2025 Chevrolet Trailblazer Review: Cute, but there's stiff competition

Pros: Attractive interior; excellent standard infotainment tech; affordable; good rear legroom

Cons: Slow acceleration and base CVT doesn’t help; dull driving dynamics; Chevy Trax is a better value

Heading into the second year since its mid-cycle refresh, the 2025 Chevrolet Trailblazer carries on virtually unchanged from 2024, except for the addition of Flex Fuel capability in the 1.2-liter powertrain.

Otherwise, it remains an attractive subcompact SUV, competing against some stiff competition — the Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Seltos, VW Taos and the slightly pricier Ford Bronco Sport are all worth your attention, as well. Heck, the stiffest competition might come from the same Chevy dealer lot. The Chevrolet Trax only offers the 1.2-liter engine and front-wheel drive, but it’s a more compelling and competitive package, making better use of its cargo and passenger space. It also boasts a more engaging driving experience and starts at almost $3,000 less.

But back to the Trailblazer: It’s practical, stylish, and a decent value proposition, with a pair of economical three-cylinder engine offerings and available all-wheel drive (something the Trax doesn’t offer). It’s not particularly exciting to drive, but it’s comfortable, with a roomy back seat, and we like the look and usability of the Google-based infotainment system. Still, we think there are better buys in the segment, including from Chevrolet.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it’s like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What’s new for 2025?

The big change for 2025 is that the 1.2-liter turbo powertrain is now E85-compatible (Flex Fuel). There are also some changes in exterior color offerings, including the addition of Marina Blue Metallic.

What are the Trailblazer interior and in-car technology like?

After it was improved for the 2024 model year with bigger new displays that modernize the dash, the Trailblazer’s interior design and styling now resembles other Chevy crossovers.There’s still plenty of black plastic switchgear, but it doesn’t feel cheap or especially low-rent for the money. The interior plastics are dressed up with interesting textures, and colorful trim pieces help keep the interior from looking dull or dreary. The Activ trim has some nice touches like yellow stitching and standard heated front seats and steering wheel. The RS gets similar comfort equipment, a flat-bottom leather steering wheel and red interior accents for a sporty look. The available eight-way power driver seat allows for a long range of movement and would be suitable for taller drivers.

The digital displays are standard across the lineup, and include an 11-inch central infotainment touchscreen and an 8-inch digital instrument panel in front of the driver. If you’ve seen what’s in the current Chevy Trax (or the Buick Encore GX or Envista, for that matter) you’ll be familiar. It uses a simple, straightforward version of GM’s Android-based infotainment system, with crisp graphics and easy-to-navigate menus and controls. We like that the menu icons remain docked on the left side of the screen. We also appreciate the standard inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A digital rearview mirror is also standard equipment.

2024 chevrolet trailblazer activ 015 12024 chevrolet trailblazer rs 110

How big is the Trailblazer?

On the outside, the Trailblazer is one of the larger subcompact SUVs, although that doesn’t always translate to interior space, especially in the cargo area. Sitting in the back seat of the Trailblazer is pleasant from a pure space perspective, with 39.4 inches of rear legroom (only a half-inch less than the compact 2024 Equinox), but it’s a step back in ambiance, as most of the intriguing trim and style up front is abandoned for the back seat. You should also think twice about the available panoramic sunroof since it significantly reduces headroom.

Cargo space is officially measured at 25.3 cubic feet behind the second row and 54.3 cubic feet with the seats down. That’s just behind the 2024 Equinox in maximum utility. We found that it’s not quite as spacious with the seats up as that official figure would indicate, ultimately falling toward the bottom of the segment for actual stuff hauling. The Trax can actually carry more with the seats up. On the plus side, the Trailblazer’s distinctive fold-flat front passenger seat grants it a degree of versatility that its competitors cannot match (apart from its mechanical cousin, the Buick Encore GX).

2024 chevrolet trailblazer activ 0182021 Chevy Trailblazer Luggage Test full length cargo capacity

What are the Trailblazer fuel economy and performance specs?

The Trailblazer’s standard power plant is a turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine making 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and only available with front-wheel drive. As for fuel economy, it gets 30 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined. This year, the 1.2-liter is E85-compatible. Using E85, it gets 22/23/22 mpg, and its driving range on a tank of gas drops from an EPA-estimated 396 miles to 290 miles. So even though E85 is cheaper than regular unleaded gasoline, the decreased fuel economy means you might end up spending more throughout the year.

The upgrade engine is another turbocharged three-cylinder, this one displacing 1.3 liters and providing 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. That engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic. With front-wheel drive, it gets 29 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined. The available all-wheel-drive Trailblazer’s efficiency suffers a tad, rated at 26/29/27 mpg.

2024 chevrolet trailblazer rs 022

What’s the Trailblazer like to drive?

You may be bored by the Trailblazer’s driving characteristics, but it’s fundamentally sound. The muted three-cylinders sadly don’t sound like much from the driver’s seat, and it’s fairly blah off the line. That’s especially true with the base engine and its droning CVT, but even the bigger 1.3-liter, nine-speed auto and all-wheel-drive combo aren’t a substantial performance upgrade. A 0-60 time of around 9 seconds seems about right, which is slow, but not unusual for the subcompact segment (then again, the Mazda CX-30 and turbocharged Kia Seltos do buck that trend). A significant amount of lag between foot down and forward thrust is to blame for some of its laziness.

We can’t speak to the handling and ride characteristics of anything but the Activ (all other trims have different damper tuning), but this one errs toward comfort over everything else. The steering is slow and numb, and the Trailblazer’s body motions don’t encourage backroad fun. It’s not cumbersome, but the Trax and other non-Chevy competitors like the Mazda CX-30 are sharper and more engaging vehicles to drive.

These comfort-tuned (or, as Chevy claims, off-road-tuned) dampers do a swell job of making the Trailblazer ride better than expected, though. Rough city streets are handled with aplomb, and it does a bang-up job of making sure harsh impacts don’t intrude into the cabin. We sent it down some dirt roads with similar results, noting that it was plenty comfortable and sopped up imperfections better than we’d expect from a car with its size and wheelbase. If this sounds like what you’re expecting from your small crossover, the Activ is probably your best bet, but you’d also be wise to check out the Subaru Crosstrek. It has the same comfort-and-off-road mission and does a better, more credible job of it.

What other Chevrolet Trailblazer reviews can I read?

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer First Drive | And then there were two

Our first drive of the totally new Chevrolet Trailblazer. We go over its engineering and other back story bits of info. Although the interior has been redone since that time, most of our overall impressions remain consistent. 

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2021 Chevy Trailblazer Luggage Test | Iffy space, good versatility

We find that the cargo area isn’t as large as its official specs would indicate, but its fold-flat front passenger seat provides utility beyond how much can fit behind the back seats.

2021 Chevy Trailblazer Luggage Test

What is the 2025 Trailblazer price?

The 2024 Chevy Trailblazer starts at $24,395 (including $1,295 in destination charges) for the base LS FWD trim, which comes with the 1.2-liter engine and CVT. The LS FWD with the 1.3-liter costs $24,790, and the LS AWD (which has the 1.3-liter and a nine-speed automatic transmission) starts at $26,395. The base LS’s standard equipment includes an 11-inch infotainment touchscreen and 8-inch digital instrument display, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio with a three-month subscription, Wi-Fi hotspot, keyless start, automatic LED headlights, 17-inch wheels, HD rearview camera mirror, a flat-folding front passenger seat, single-zone manual climate control, six-way manual driver’s seat and cloth seating material.

The Activ and RS are the higher trims of the Trailblazer. The Activ offers a little more rugged vibe, with a unique suspension tuning, sport terrain tires and a skid plate for some underbody protection. The RS provides a more on-road sporty look with a high-gloss black grille, high-gloss black 19-inch wheels, a flat-bottom steering wheel and red interior stitching and accents. Both come with the 1.3-liter engine as standard.

The 2025 Trailblazer price breakdown by trim is as follows:

LS FWD (1.2): $24,395
LS FWD (1.3): $24,790
LS AWD (1.3): $26,395

LT FWD (1.2): $25,595
LT FWD (1.3): $25,990
LT AWD (1.3): $27,595

Activ FWD (1.3): $28,995
Activ AWD (1.3): $30,595

RS FWD (1.3): $28,995
RS AWD (1.3): $30,595

What are the Trailblazer’s safety ratings and driver assistance features?

In addition to the usual airbags and restraints, standard safety equipment in the Trailblazer includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, following distance indicator, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning and a teen driver system. Also available are blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, and rear parking sensors.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn’t updated its crash test scores for the 2025 model as of this writing, but we don’t expect it to change from 2024 (unless it puts the 2025 through  updated IIHS tests). For 2024, it earned top scores for all crashworthiness categories (using the IIHS’s original standards), and its second-best “Acceptable” for headlights depending on trim. It’s rated the second-best “Advanced” for daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian crash avoidance. It got an “Acceptable” rating for LATCH ease of use.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet rated the 2025 Trailblazer, but it awarded the 2024 Trailblazer its best five-star overall crash rating, while it scored five stars for frontal and side crash categories, and a four-star rollover rating. We don’t expect that score to change for 2025.

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