When the Chevrolet Blazer returned to showrooms in 2019, it came under criticism because it was essentially a smooth-road SUV as opposed to its muscular ancestor. Then came the Trailblazer, which sets no new trails with standard front-wheel drive in its subcompact unibody structure. With the new Ford Bronco now taking the world by storm, criticism of Chevrolet’s perceived taint of the Blazer moniker is sharper than ever.
We have already dipped a toe in the what if world with our own exclusive rendering of a rugged all-terrain blazer. Now TheSketchMonkey’s round, and his digital pen falls on the smaller Trailblazer. Think of it as flashy for the Bronco Sport, but before it can happen it tackles all of the Trailblazer’s body lines and wacky styling cues that make the Chevy look remarkably like a Hyundai.
As such, the slanted body line on the rear door and the folded up C-pillar is straightened out, and honestly, that makes a big difference. The floating roof is also eliminated and the rear pillar is square to meet a flattened top without a downward arch. The front clip is cleaned considerably, with the smiling grille and perfectly squared trapezoidal mid-frame headlights. The grille might be a bit too bland, but no one will mistake it for a Hyundai. This is especially true with the addition of a large skid plate and oversized off-road tires.
Unfortunately, the foundations of the Trailblazer don’t quite match the exterior makeover. The largest engine available is a 1.3-liter turbocharged three-cylinder delivering 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. It is connected to a continuously variable transmission that turns the front wheels by default, with all-wheel drive available. It really is an on-road machine designed to give drivers some safety in snow or rain, without exploring the muddy trails behind the afterlife.
Looking back, do you think General Motors bemoans its decision to redesign the Blazer and Trailblazer as displaced people on the road? Plus, what’s your take on this tougher Trailblazer makeover? There is certainly a strong argument for the new model to be over-styled as the video suggests. Maybe in this case, the simpler the better.