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.

Chevrolet has recently upgraded the Energy Assist version of the myChevrolet app.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet has enhanced its myChevrolet mobile app to include a number of features that will help Bolt EV owners better live with their vehicle as part of their daily routine.

"We're providing EV owners with the tools to easily find available public charging stations," said Rick Spina, GM vice president AV/EV commercialization. "The enhancements to Energy Assist offer Chevrolet Bolt EV owners a holistic charging experience while they're on the go – whether traveling near home or on a cross-country road trip."

MyChevrolet app electric vehicle EV charging The new app functionality allows for more dynamic route planning. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Energy Assist, which was first available within the app in 2017, enables owners to locate available charging stations along their route of travel. The function will integrate vehicle data that combines with that charging information. When range projections change dramatically, Energy Assist will push notifications to the user about updated charging needs and availability.

According to Chevrolet, updates include:

Dynamic Data Integration - GM is now displaying dynamic data from charging networks EVgo and ChargePoint within Energy Assist, so Bolt EV owners can have a more seamless charging experience with their GM vehicles. Information provided by charging networks includes real-time data on charge station status to indicate if a charging station is available. GM will integrate dynamic data from additional charging providers throughout 2020, which will include EV Connect continuing to enhance the customer experience.

Start-to-Charge - At eligible charging stations, owners can now link their EVgo account to activate and pay for charging sessions right from the myChevrolet mobile app, eliminating the need to toggle between apps and streamline the payment process. Eligible charging stations are noted within the myChevrolet mobile app. GM will continue to add eligible charging stations throughout 2020.

Review and Rate - With crowdsourcing on the rise, GM is implementing a new feedback feature for Bolt EV owners. Coming in early 2020, Bolt EV owners will be able to review and rate charging stations within the myChevrolet app. Similar to other popular crowdsourcing technologies, this feature will rely on Bolt EV owners to share their valuable insights about charging stations by providing a star rating and leaving comments about the station.

Energy Assist provides Bolt EV owners access to all Bolt EV-compatible charging station locations, regardless of the charge point operator. EV owners can now view more than 40,000 charging stations in North America, with access to 30 percent more DC Fast Chargers compared to 2019.

Original purchasers of new Bolt EVs have access to the Energy Assist features in the myChevrolet mobile app at no additional cost for five years from the vehicle delivery date, after they accept the myChevrolet mobile app terms. Energy Assist is available for Bolt EV owners in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The myChevrolet app is available for select Apple and Android devices.

The Chevy Equinox has gotten a fresh face for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet is adding to and enhancing its popular Equinox SUV lineup. Among the changes to the model are fresh exterior design elements, a new RS trim level, and additional available safety technologies.

The front and rear fascias of the Equinox have changed, giving the car more aggressive styling that is in line with the looks of the Blazer. Its new LED headlamps and grille lead the way.

2021 Chevrolet Equinox RS

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

2021 Chevrolet Equinox Premier

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Under the hood the model retains its standard turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder base engine that puts out 170 horsepower. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Chevy is available with a 2.0-liter turbo-four that achieves 252 horsepower and mates with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet will continue to offer the Equinox with available all-wheel drive.

Adding to the Equinox stable of L, LS, LT, ad Premier trims, is the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox RS. The new trim level adds a gloss black grille, 19-inch Dark Android wheels, black badging, black rails, an RS shift knob, red stitching, and black interior upholstery.

The top-tier Equinox Premier model comes with a gloss black grille with chrome inserts, LED headlamps and taillamps, 19-inch wheels, a projection logo project tailgate, french stitching on the interior, and a high gloss black finish on the console.

A laundry list of safety and driver assistance technology is standard including a rearview camera, lane departure warning with assist, a following distance indicator, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, IntelliBeam headlights, and forward collision alert.

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox goes on sale later this year. Pricing will be anounced closer to the model's on-sale date.