LA Auto Show 2019

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a funky subcompact that wants to be rugged but isn't

The Chevy Trailblazer is back though its lack of off road prowess may disappoint some.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Trailblazer is a funky subcompact SUV that is making its way onto dealership lots in the spring of 2020. Like the Blazer that was revived before it, this Trailblazer may disappoint some that were hoping the return of the moniker meant a rugged off-roader was about to be born.

"Slotting between the Trax and Equinox, the addition of the Trailblazer provides us with a great opportunity to expand the Chevy SUV family to new audiences," said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing. "With the new ACTIV trim, plus the sporty RS trim, we can appeal to customers' varying active lifestyles."

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer ACTIV trim Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

On the outside, the Trailblazer is a fun-looking little SUV in the same way that the new Kia Seltos is. Two-tone paint jobs are obviously back in a big way, especially in the subcompact segment and the Trailblazer is no exception. The model does have familial looks, playing on what the Blazer's front and rear end look like while still maintaining its own identity.

At the front it has an accent bar that is integrated with the headlamps and a faux a skidplate. In the ACTIV and RS trim levels, the Trailblazer has unique fascia elements to differentiate the grades.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS trim Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Trailblazer has a base turbocharged 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine and an available turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Both engines are paired with a standard continuously variable transmission with selectable stop-start capability (read: it doesn't always have to be on). Buyers who choose the 1.3-liter engine can opt for a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as well.

These are the same power plants that are available in the new 2021 Buick Encore GX.

The Trailblazer's all-wheel drive is selectable, allowing drivers to determine when it is active for better fuel economy. There are also three drive modes in front-wheel drive models: Normal, Snow, and Sport.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Chevy has made the cockpit of the Trailblazer driver-focused but it's still easily accessible for the front seat passenger.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Trailblazer's cockpit is driver-focused but relatively accessible for the front seat passenger. The car has good small item storage thanks in no small part to the small shelf on the dashboard in front of the passenger seat - something that the Toyota Highlander has effectively executed for generations.

The center console allowed up to 3.5 liters of open storage and 4.4 liters of storage under the armrest, as well as dual cupholders.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer ACTIV trim Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

In the ACTIV trim level shown at the LA Auto Show, the model had a handsome interior with a variety of materials that all added to the car's appearance including some denim-like cloth and leatherette-like seating appointments.

The Trailblazer will have Chevy's latest infotainment system, complete with dual Bluetooth capability. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available, as will SiriusXM with 360L.

It has a 40-60 split folding rear seat. The new Trailblazer has 54.4 cubic feet of storage space with the second row folded. That is significantly more than what is in the Hyundai Kona but slightly less than what is in a Nissan Rogue Sport. A hands-free lift gate will be available.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer cargo storage trunk folding seat For ease, the Trailblazer's front seat also folds flat.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Trailblazer comes standard with a long list of safety technology including forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, rearview camera, Teen Driver, rear seat reminder, and OnStar. Additional technologies are available.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer ACTIV trim Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevy says that the ACTIV trim level is tuned for off road use, and by that they mean on gravel, not ascending rocks in Moab. It has unique tires and shock tuning. The standard all-season Hankook Sport Terrain 17-inch tires have an aggressive shoulder design. The model has a revised lower area to add ground clearance. However, no additional undercarriage protection is included.

Chevrolet is already teasing a sub-$20,000 starting price for the Trailblazer but it's likely that the ACTIV and RS models will go for closer to $30,000. That pricing is in line with what other automakers sell their subcompact crossovers for.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Lamborghini Urus Graphite Capsule adds new interior and exterior color choices for buyers.

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

Expressions in color and trim meet at the Urus Graphite Capsule, a collection of SUVs produced by super luxury automaker Lamborghini. The Urus itself sits at the intersection of performance and practicality, and is the best-selling model in the Lamborghini lineup.

The Urus Graphite Capsule lets buyers push the limit in a pick-and-choose fashion. Lamborghini will offer the Urus Graphite Capsule in four new exterior matte colors including white Bianco Monocerus, black Nero Noctis, and grey Grigio Nimbus and Grigio Keres. The lower parts of the car, the front, rear, and side sills, are all finished in the color.

Lamborghini Urus Graphite Capsule

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

From there, buyers are able to choose from four tiny accent colors: orange Arancio Leonis and Arancio Dryope, yellow Giallo Taurus, and green Verde Scandal. Those accent colors are shown on the front splitter, door inserts, and rear spoiler.

The cabin of the Urus sports the same traditional design the SUV has had during this, its initial generation. The Urus Graphite Capsule check box adds dark, anodized aluminium trim on the dashboard and door panels, with new matt-finish carbon fiber inserts. The buyer's choice of exterior colors are carried over to the inside where upholstery is contrast stitched. Q-citura stitching and the embroidered Lamborghini logo reside on the headrests.

The ventilated Alcantara seats are an exclusive option only available on the Urus Graphite Capsule and the recently launched Pearl Capsule.

"The new Graphite Capsule endorses the inimitable versatility of the Lamborghini Urus as the original Super SUV: its color and styling is as adaptable and versatile as its presence in every high-performance and lifestyle environment." said Automobili Lamborghini Chief Commercial Officer Giovanni Perosino. "The inherent design of the Lamborghini Urus, with the DNA of our super sports heritage, lends itself to virtually limitless potential for personalizing color and trim. The Urus Graphite Capsule is the latest collection to offer our growing clientele the opportunity to stamp their individuality and way of life on their Lamborghini."

The Urus Graphite Capsule is available on Urus model year 2021. It has a starting MSRP of $218,009 in the U.S.

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The front of the concept is very EV in its design.

Photo courtesy of Honda

The Honda SUV e:concept debuted in China this week signaling what's ahead for a future mass-production model of the Honda brand's first electric vehicle to be introduced in China. While what's sold in China doesn't always make it to American shores, there are a few things to be learned by taking a closer look at the concept.

We know that the vehicle's powertrain is electric. How many motors? What type of battery? How much power? In a nutshell, we have no idea. However, that could be where Honda's relationship with General Motors kicks in. A recent agreement to share platforms and co-build future vehicles builds on the electric vehicle platform sharing agreement the two automakers signed in April. In the first agreement agreement, Honda agreed to work with GM to develop two new electric vehicles based on GM's global EV platform powered by Ultium batteries.

Honda SUV e:concept The sloping roofline of the concept is indicative of another Honda model.Photo courtesy of Honda

The concept's sweeping looks are more crossover than SUV. While there's plenty of doubt that the model will be a two-door vehicle when it arrives in showrooms, its overall aesthetic is new for Honda, though it has hints of the current-generation CR-V and Accord in its nose.

The roofline of the SUV and side profile look a lot like the 2020 Honda Avancier, a true crossover that got its start as a station wagon and now sits as the company's flagship in China. If indeed this model is an electric Avancier, it means that the U.S. market is unlikely to see it.

From a business perspective, this makes sense. Electric vehicles are not nearly as popular in the U.S. as they are in China and Europe, where they have been regulated into residents' lifestyles. Additionally, the U.S. electric vehicle charging infrastructure leaves much to be desired.

2020 Honda Avancier

Photo courtesy of Honda

Cars built for the Chinese market also do not have to meet the same strict safety testing standards as American vehicles so they can be made for less and sold for less. Upping to U.S. standards costs more and, when shipping and taxes are added in, the model may be priced out of sensibility for American Honda customers.

Wherever it's destined to go, the Honda will be a mass-production electric vehicle.

The company is committed to equipping the car with a number of safety technologies including omnidirectional advanced driver assistance systems, the next-generation Honda SENSING safety and driver-assistive system with improved recognition, predication and decision-making performance, as well as the next-generation Honda Connect, which features an AI assistant interface, smartphone link, and wireless updates.

Honda SUV e:concept The model features a unique black end with slim lights.Photo courtesy of Honda

Expect to see the next steps in the evolution of this concept in the coming year, even if it's just in spy photos.

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