2022 Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV – Big Fun Small Package

Sports vehicle. What does this really mean? Well, for many that means the vehicle is fun and also useful for many tasks one could ask of a utility vehicle. All-wheel drive should be part of the equation because otherwise the vehicle is a car. A spare tire seems logical since utility can mean using the vehicle on trips to the home supply store or the local transfer station, parking of both of which are likely to be strewn with nails. The vehicle should also have a decent cargo area, compared to its segment. Based on those qualifications, the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV ticks all the boxes.

2022 Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV – What is it?
The Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV is a five-passenger compact sport utility vehicle, or crossover if you prefer the term. It sits in the size segment popularized by the Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona.

Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV – What powers it?
Chevy went for a firecracker of an engine that we really liked. It’s a turbocharged gasoline engine producing a mighty 174 lb-ft of torque at just 1,600 rpm. It pulls from a stop brilliantly and the sport mode makes it very satisfying.

Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV – Is it fun?
We found the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV to be a lot of fun to drive in all situations. Around town, it’s a pleasure to point and shoot in traffic interruptions. On small roads, the sport mode wakes up the engine and it even sounds cool. The “normal profile” all-terrain tires did nothing to spoil the handling of the crips. The braking feel was wonderful. Closes in a way that inspires confidence.

2022 Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV – What’s missing?
Almost nothing is missing from the ACTIV finish. Maybe a hill descent control button for that off-road focused trim and a head-up display. However, it costs money and we like the low price of this vehicle. One thing we are very happy was missing was a huge delicate panoramic glass roof. The metal roof is ready to accept a soft carry bag between its two included roof rails. Perfect for its utilitarian role.

Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV – Infotainment and Features
A wireless charger and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are the big assets of this SUV. Throw in a heated steering wheel and front seats, plus a power-adjustable driver’s seat and this vehicle checked all our $30,000 price expectations. Under the load floor is a spare tire and tools. You won’t find that in a Hyundai Kona Ultimate.

Spare tire image by John Goreham

Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV – Cost, warranty and maintenance included
The Trailblazer we tested had an MSRP plus destination but minus dealer fees of $31,365. We think that price matches its feature list well in the segment. Chevy says one without any of the added bonuses, a less powerful engine, and a 2WD starts at around $23,000. We can’t comment on this trim, just the one we tested.

Chevrolet’s warranty is among the shortest in the industry. The bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts only three years or less and the powertrain warranty lasts five years or less. There are several brands making compact SUVs with twice as long warranties (Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi). Chevrolet dealerships usually cover the first scheduled service, but that’s it. Many brands now include two full years of maintenance or more in the price of the vehicle (Toyota 2, Hyundai 3).

2022 Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV – Conclusion
Chevy has a hit on its hands with the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer AWD ACTIV. This vehicle is truly an SUV among many contenders. It’s fun to drive, priced right, and the ACTIV version has everything we like to see in a small $30,000 crossover. Including a spare tire! We suggest buyers add this to the top of their list of considerations.

Top of page image and Trailblazer ACTIV interior image courtesy of Chevrolet. Spare tire image by John Goreham.

John Goreham is a longtime member of the New England Motor Press Association and a recovering engineer. John’s interest in electric vehicles dates back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an electric vehicle battery as part of a university team. After graduating in mechanical engineering, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotechnology. In addition to Torque News, John’s work has appeared in dozens of US media outlets and provides reviews for numerous vehicle-buying sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view their credentials on Linkedin

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