To Blaze a Trail or Not, That’s The Question: A Chevy Blazer-Trailblazer Comparison

Sometimes it takes me a while to catch up. Meaning that if it were a snake, it’d have bit me; can’t see the forest for the trees. Well, you get the idea.

Chevy recently sent me a 2022 Blazer for a week. Good thing, the Blazer; had one late last year, a 2021. Not much has changed between model years. For 2022 they’re dropping the once standard 193-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. This translates to the lineup no longer having the L or 1LT trim levels, and the turbo 2.0 four-cylinder now becomes the standard engine. Oh, and all-wheel drive now come standard with the Trailering package; it’s optional on front-drive examples.

That’s it.

But wait.

While looking back at my notes for the 2021 Blazer (at my age you can’t expect me to remember everything can you?), I noticed something. Just a few months ago I had another Chevy with Blazer in the name.

Caraganza First Drive Review 2021 Chevy Blazer RS: A Camaro on Steroids?

Wait, what?

That was a Trailblazer. Um, okay. Why had I not noticed the nearly identical names for two Chevy SUVs before? And what the heck is the difference between a Trailblazer, and a Blazer?

Follow me down this rabbit hole, shallow as it might be.

You might think the Blazer and the Trailblazer would have some sort of commonality beyond sharing part of a name. You’d be wrong.

The truth is the Blazer, and the Trailblazer are completely different, beyond that fact that they are built by GM and are SUVs. The Blazer is bigger; the wheelbase is 112.7 inches, while the Trailblazer is 103.9. Inside also has more cargo room. The Blazer has 30.5 cubic feet of capacity behind its second-row seats and grows to 64.2 cubic feet when those seats are folded down. The Trailblazer measures 25.3 with the seats up and 54.4 cubic feet, with them down.

But wait, there’s more.

Under the hood, the Blazer’s I had for my weeks had a 3.6-liter V6 with 308 horses, while the Trailblazer had a 1.3 liter 4-cylinder with 155 horses. So, yeah there are big differences, inside, outside, and under the hood (s).

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To be fair, the Trailblazer is cheaper ($31,900 for my tester as opposed to $50,585) and being smaller is a little easier to zip around in and park, and with a smaller engine gets a bit better fuel mileage (26 city, 30 highway, with the Blazer getting 19 city, 26 highway), but the Blazer is tuned more to the sportier side to match the Camaro it’s patterned after making it more fun to drive.

The bottom line then is this: You get what you pay for. The Blazer is bigger, faster, and sportier, while the Trailblazer is less expensive, easier to get around with in urban areas and parking lots, and more fuel efficient.

At the end of the day, the truth is you can’t really compare the two. Both are aimed at different segments of the market. Chevy has two offerings aimed at both: one that can satisfy the more practical buyer, and one for the buyer who wants more room, and more power.

Either way, the point is those shopping for an SUV have a choice, whether to Blaze a Trail or not.

As for me, whether it’s week with the Blazer or the Trailblazer, I’m happy with either, more so now that I’ve learned the differences. You can now exit the rabbit hole, have a good day.


Greg Engle