General Motors has never been the sort of carmaker to let a good name lie dormant. So when it came time to roll out a new compact Chevy crossover designed to appeal to those who want a hefty helping of style with their all-road utility, the automaker reached into its bin of badges and pulled out one sure to be familiar to any gearheads who remember the early Aughts. Without further ado: Meet the new 2020 Chevrolet Trailblazer.
GM yanked the cover off the new Trailblazer on Tuesday at Auto Shanghai, the Chinese auto show that, as that country’s new car marketplace has exploded, has grown into one of the world’s most notable automotive industry events. As one might expect based on the name, the new crossover bears a striking resemblance to the 2019 Chevy Blazer that went on sale earlier this year, with aggressive lines and a Clint Eastwood squint.
It’s a bit smaller than the new Camaro-inspired crossover now gracing showrooms—which, if anything, makes the angular face seem a little more proportionate than it does on the Blazer; the top set of lights don’t seem quite as thin, and the large trapezoidal headlights below them seem more appropriately-sized to the car’s front end than the Blazer’s tiny round lights. The sweeping lines of the flanks lead back from that broad face to a subtle-yet-pronounced set of hips above the rear axle, while above that, a darkened design element like an inverted version of the one seen on the Bolt EV takes some of the visual weight out of the heavy C-pillar.
The Trailblazer seen here comes in Redline trim, which brings with it black accents and red details, such as the hash marks on the wheels, the razor-thin lines on the mirrors, and the red nibs on the front fascia. Combined with the 17-inch black rims and the dark body cladding around the wheel arches, the whole look gives the vehicle a general impression of sportiness and casual off-road capability—one that certainly makes it pop amongst the fleets of generic compact crossovers out there, such as the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue.
How sporty it will actually feel from behind the wheel remains to be seen. Chevy’s announcement made no mention of powerplant, but given the vehicle’s size and the current GM powertrain options, a turbocharged inline-four like the 1.5-liter, 160-horsepower unit or the 2.0-liter, 250-hp one found in the Malibu seems probable—at least, for the US market.
We may have to wait to find out more about that, as it doesn’t seem like we’ll be able to buy the new Chevy Trailblazer in the United States for a little while; GM’s press release made no mention of Stateside sales. The authorities over at GM Authority say the 2020 Trailblazer will eventually go on to replace the ancient and little-loved Chevy Trax here in the US. Hey, Chevy: For what it’s worth, we’d say it’s worth fast-tracking this thing for America.
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