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

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

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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.

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).

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.