Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips and Reviews

A red 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is shown from the front on a city street.

Should You Choose the Chevy Trailblazer or Trax?

Should you buy a Chevy Trailblazer or a Trax? I’d like to tell you that there’s a clear answer to this question and that one of these two models is definitely better for you than the other, but I can’t. The truth is that when you look at the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer vs 2020 Chevy Trax, the differences between them are quite distinct, but the best one for you really depends on what you’re looking for and need in an SUV. To be fair, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is an all-new model with all of the bells and whistles you would probably expect, but that doesn’t make it definitively better than the Chevy Trax.

While I can’t tell you that one is better than the other for you, I can take some time to dig into the options and features of both of these vehicles. Together, we’ll look at what they have to offer in terms of engines and performance, consider how much room they have inside – both for passengers and cargo, and take a look at their respective safety features. In the end, you should have enough information to know which one is best for you; or at least be able to lean toward one or the other.

So let’s see what we have!

Engines and Performance

Let’s take a look at the engines on these two crossover SUVs to see how they stack up. The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer has two engines available, though they’re not drastically different. It starts with a 1.2L Turbo engine that provides up to 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque for pretty good power and performance. If you want a bit more get-up-and-go, however, then there’s an available 1.3L Turbo engine that delivers up to 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come with a continuous variable transmission for a smooth and responsive ride.

By comparison, the 2020 Chevy Trax has a single engine on offer, which is a 1.4L Turbo EcoTec 4-cylinder engine that delivers up to 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. You can see that this engine is fairly comparable to the standard engine on the Trailblazer but with less torque, though it really can’t stand up to the power of the available 1.3L Turbo on the Trailblazer. This comes paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is fine but not exactly anything to get excited about.

Ultimately, the amount of power you want will guide you here, but the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer will likely give you a better driving experience. However, both provide the power they need, so it comes down to what you are looking for.

Overall Size

A grey 2020 Chevy Trax is parked in front of a wooden wall.

Prior to official announcements, there was a lot of speculation that the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer might simply replace the Chevy Trax. GM has confirmed, however, that the Trax will continue in production and that the Trailblazer will join it in their lineup rather than replace anything, as it is very different from the Trax. One of the significant differences between these two SUVs is their size, so let’s quickly take a look at how big each of them is overall.

The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is classified as a small SUV and measures about 173 inches in length, about 71 inches wide, and just over 65 inches in height. By comparison, the 2020 Chevy Trax is a compact SUV that measures just over 167 inches in length, not quite 70 inches wide, and almost 65 inches in height. So in terms of width and height, these two SUVs are very similar, but the Trailblazer is about half a foot longer than the Trax.

Interior Cargo Space

This difference in length and overall design leads to some notable differences inside these two vehicles in terms of how much room you have. To keep things simple, let’s first take a look at how much interior cargo space each of these SUVs has to offer. We’ll consider the room for you and your passengers further down.

Both of these are two-row SUVs, which makes comparison easy. The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer gives you just over 25 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the second row of seats and more than 54 cu.ft. of space overall behind the front row. With the 2020 Chevy Trax, on the other hand, you get a bit more than 18 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the second row and about 48 cu.ft. of total cargo volume behind the front row of seats.

That is a significant difference that can really add up if you are loading your vehicle for a long road trip or weekend of camping. You get about 7 cu.ft. more space behind the second row in the Trailblazer compared to the Trax, and the same overall. Once you picture 7 cu.ft. in three-dimensional space, you can see that’s a pretty significant amount – so if you like to really be able to load up your vehicle, the Trailblazer is a great choice.

Interior Passenger Space

Both the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer and the 2020 Chevy Trax are five-passenger SUVs, so you’re expected to have a driver and front passenger with up to three people in the second row of seats. When it comes to actual space, however, there is one crucial difference.

The 2021 Trailblazer gives you up to 40 inches of front-row headroom and nearly 41 inches of front-row legroom. By comparison, the 2020 Chevy Trax offers about 39 inches of front-row headroom and nearly 41 inches of front legroom. So, they’re pretty comparable. Similarly, the second-row headroom in the Trailblazer is about 38 inches, and in the Trax, it is also about 38 inches.

However, your second-row passengers in the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer can have more than 39 inches of legroom, while the second row in the Trax offers just over 35 inches. That’s a significant difference, especially if you have any long-legged friends that will need to squeeze into the second row of seats.

Safety Features

A red 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is parked in front of a white industrial building with large windows during a comparison of the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer vs 2020 Chevy Trax.

If you’re still not sure which one of these SUVs is right for you, then you definitely want to pay attention here. The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer comes with ten airbags, a rear vision camera, and signature LED daytime running lamps standard. In addition to this, it also has automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane-keep assist with a lane departure warning, a following distance indicator, and a forward collision alert all standard. More safety features like a rear park assist, a rear cross-traffic alert, and a lane change alert with side blind zone alert are also available on the Trailblazer.

By comparison, the 2020 Chevy Trax also has ten airbags, a rear vision camera, and standard daytime running lamps. Additional features like LED daytime running lamps, forward collision alert and lane departure warning are all available but not standard on the starting trim of the Trax. This is a huge difference and definitely something to consider; while you can get excellent safety features on the Trax, much more comes standard on every model of the Trailblazer.

2021 Chevy Trailblazer or 2020 Chevy Trax?

So, which one of these two SUVs is right for you? That depends on a lot of factors, and hopefully, I’ve gone into enough detail here for you to really get a sense of what each one has to offer. I’ll say this: while the 2020 Chevy Trax is a great compact SUV, the 2021 Trailblazer gives you a little bit more in a lot of areas. I know which one I’d choose, but the choice here is yours.

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