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A blue 2024 Chevy Trailblazer RS commuting through the city.

Which Chevy SUV Is Better for Commuters: The 2024 Chevy Trailblazer or Equinox?

If you commute to work, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a vehicle. Some put fuel economy above all and opt for a small sedan, but others prefer SUVs because they want a more flexible cargo area to use on the weekends or because they like the view the higher driving position gives them. Whatever your reasons, you can rest easy because there’s no shortage of compact and subcompact SUVs that work well for commuting. In fact, any dealership that offers a new or used Chevy for sale should have multiple models that will fit the bill.

Today, we’re going to put two of those models head to head to see what each one has to offer commuters. The Trailblazer is a subcompact model that’s fairly new to the Chevrolet lineup, while the Equinox is a compact SUV that’s been around for some time. To keep things simple, we’ll be looking at the 2024 model year for both since details about the next-generation 2025 Equinox are still coming out at the time of writing. If you’re thinking of taking a small Chevy SUV to the office, then read on to learn more.


Fuel economy is often top-of-mind for commuters shopping for cars, and for good reason. A low MPG rating is like a hole in a piggy bank, slowly losing you money over time. An efficient vehicle is a smart investment that will save you money every time you drive to the office. Because of this, you’ll probably want to opt for front-wheel drive rather than all-wheel drive, no matter which model you choose. AWD has its benefits, like improved traction, but it does use up fuel faster, and it’s not really necessary if you stick to paved roads and infrequently experience inclement weather. While both the Equinox and Trailblazer are available with AWD, we’ll stick to the FWD versions for the purposes of this guide.

According to the EPA, the average 2024 vehicle gets 28 MPG. The 2024 Equinox gets exactly that for its overall rating, though it gets up to 31 MPG for highway driving, which is the more important category for most commuters. The Trailblazer has a smaller body and engine, so it’s no surprise that it has a better fuel economy. It’s rated at 31 MPG for combined city/highway driving, getting 29 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. By the EPA’s math, that will save you about $750 over five years, compared to the average new vehicle. When it comes to fuel costs, the Trailblazer easily comes out ahead.

The steering wheel and dashboard in a 2024 Chevy Equinox LS for sale.

Interior Space

Part of the reason the Equinox is less fuel efficient is that it’s larger than the Trailblazer, which transforms from a con into a pro when you consider how much interior space you work with. Some drivers feel less stressed in an open and airy cabin, so the extra headroom, shoulder room, and hip room that the Equinox provides upfront can make driving more relaxing.

There’s also more room for passengers in the second row, including about an inch of extra legroom, so those who carpool can give their co-workers plenty of personal space. The Equinox has almost 10 cu.ft. more cargo volume than the Trailblazer, too, so you can fit plenty of groceries during errand runs or luggage for business trips and vacations. While the Trailblazer offers 54.4 cu.ft. of cargo volume, the Equinox will give you an impressive 63.9 cu.ft.


Both SUVs are fairly affordable, but the Trailblazer is easily the more budget-friendly of the two. The base LS trim has a starting price of just $23,100 and upgrading to the LT trim to get extra comfort and convenience features ups that to $24,300. The two top-tier trims (RS and ACTIV) have the same starting price ($27,100), so you can choose between them based on your own sense of style and priorities instead of worrying about finances.

The LS trim of the Equinox has a starting price that’s almost higher than the top-tier trims of the Trailblazer, coming in at $26,600. That’s still pretty accessible, at under $30k, but not quite as easy on the wallet as the Trailblazer. The Equinox LT starts at $29,495, and the RS starts at $30,950. Unlike the Trailblazer, the Equinox offers a lush Premier trim. While it’s the priciest of all, starting at $31,800, it does offer upgraded features and materials, giving you a good amount of bang for your buck.

Comfort Features

When you spend a lot of time driving, you want to stay comfortable. Getting stuck in rush hour is bad enough; you don’t need to feel cold or sore on top of it. Both the Equinox and the Trailblazer have a good range of comfort features, especially in the higher trim levels, but there are some differences between the two. While the Equinox LS comes standard with a 4-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, the Trailblazer LS has a standard 6-way manual driver’s seat, making it a bit easier to find your ideal position.

However, the next trim up on the Equinox (the LT) comes standard with an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, while this feature is merely available on the Trailblazer LT (it comes standard on the ACTIV trim and above). The Equinox also has active noise cancellation on all trims to help keep the cabin quiet, something that’s not available on any trim of the Trailblazer.

For cold winter mornings, both SUVs offer heated seats and a heated steering wheel on higher-tier trims. On the other end of the thermometer, ventilated seats are only available on the Premier trim of the Equinox and can’t be had at all on the Trailblazer. For staying comfortable across all temperatures, the Equinox LT and above come standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, while the Trailblazer only offers single-zone automatic climate control, available (but not standard) on the LT trim and up.A red 2024 Chevy Equinox RS parked in front of a downtown store.


Generally, we’ve been looking at the 2024 model year in particular to use exact figures and make comparison easier. But for tech, it’s worth stepping back to look at the 2023 and 2025 model years as well. If you look at the 2024 model year, the Trailblazer has the better tech setup, with a standard 11-inch HD color touchscreen and an 8-inch color driver information center standard across all trims. The 2024 Equinox comes standard with a 7-inch color touchscreen and a 3.5-inch monochromatic driver information center, and higher trims only get you an 8-inch HD color touchscreen and a 4.2-inch multi-color driver information center.

However, the Trailblazer had these same 7- and 8-inch touchscreens for the 2023 model year, and the Equinox will get a 11.3-inch touchscreen and an 11-inch driver information center for the 2025 model year. So, for the 2024 model year, the Trailblazer comes out ahead, but if you’re considering a 2023 or 2025 model, things aren’t so clear-cut. Both the Equinox and the Trailblazer come standard with Bluetooth connectivity for up to two devices and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with available wireless charging.

Both Are Equipped With the Chevy Safety Assist Suite

No one wants to have a close call, much less an accident, on the way to or from work. Fortunately, both the Equinox and the Trailblazer have a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thanks to their excellent designs. Both also come standard across all trims with Chevy Safety Assist, a suite of driver assistance features that includes Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Lane Keep Assist, and IntelliBeam automatic high beam headlights.

Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert is available on both models, as is Rear Cross Traffic Alert. While these advanced features are standard on the LT trim and above on the Equinox and merely “available” across the board for the Trailblazer, overall, both SUVs are about evenly matched when it comes to keeping you safe on the road.

Who Wins? Well, It Depends…

It’s worth repeating that commuters have a lot of different factors to consider when shopping for a vehicle, and to add that no two commuters are exactly alike. Because of this, it’s hard to pick a clear winner between these two Chevy SUVs. If you’re on a tight budget and want a great value with high fuel economy, the Trailblazer will make your money go further, even if you want to spring for a trim with creature comforts like heated seats. If you’re more interested in getting a spacious and comfortable vehicle and can afford to pay a little more at the dealership and the pump, then you’ll probably be happier with the Equinox. At the end of the day, both models are solid choices.