The aerial red auto you see in advanced of you isn’t your daddy’s Trailblazer, and we beggarly that absolutely literally. The old truck-based SUV we already knew as the Trailblazer is still continued dead. Admitting the actuality the name gets rebooted for 2021, the new Trailblazer is a babyish crossover that’s meant to do action with the brand of the Kia Soul, Subaru Crosstrek, and, accurately in the case of this comparison, the Mazda CX-30.
The Mazda is a car-based CUV too, administration its roots with the Mazda 3 hatchback, agreeable the aberration amid the CX-3 and the CX-5 in Mazda’s lineup. The CX-30 featured in this allegory was an AWD archetypal with the Premium package, and it stickered for $31,370. The Trailblazer was additionally a top-of-the-line model. Our RS-spec analysis car additionally came with all-wheel drive and totaled $32,350.
2020 Mazda CX-30 vs 2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS: A Compact Face-off
If you cross-shop cars by amount and are attractive for a new babyish SUV, you’re activity to accept a boxy time award subcompacts that are afterpiece than these two. They backpack agnate appearance like dark atom monitoring, Apple CarPlay, and adaptive cruise control. Although they’re carefully priced and optioned, the aberration amid these two SUVs on the alley is abundant beyond than the $980 amount basin initially suggests. But afore you leave your driveway, the Trailblazer reveals itself to be the added ample SUV of the pair.
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Because the CX-30 is about a aerial Mazda 3, it alone offers 20.2 cubic anxiety of burden amplitude abaft the rear seats, admitting the Trailblazer has 25.3 cubes of chargeless amplitude abaft the rear bench. With the rear seats down, the Mazda offers a best of 45.2 cubic anxiety of space. The Trailblazer, on the added hand, has a absolute of 54.4 cubic anxiety on offer, and the about 10 added cubes of amplitude will not go unnoticed.
Should you charge to booty a brace of added cartage and their added luggage, you’ll accept a abundant easier time in the Trailblazer. The rear bank is awfully ample for the class—a 6-footer can sit calmly abaft addition with knee allowance to spare. The Mazda struggled to board occupants of boilerplate height. If your cartage are any taller than 6 feet, their knees will be digging into the backs of the CX-30’s advanced seats.
Although it doesn’t advice with autogenous volume, actuality based on the Mazda 3 does the CX-30 a cardinal of favors, and one of them is the Mazda 3 hatchback’s standout interior. Crack the doors accessible on these two babyish crossovers, and you’re greeted by two actual altered environments.
2020 Mazda CX-30 vs 2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS: Style and Materials
“The [Trailblazer’s] autogenous is archetypal GM genitalia bin. Lots of adamantine plastics everywhere and stalks aggregate with added cars,” MotorTrend accessory online editor Stefan Ogbac said. “They were acute to booty from the Camaro and Blazer bins, but it still feels affectionate of bargain in here.”
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The CX-30, meanwhile, oozes quality. The leathers acclimated are some of the best in its chic and feel two accomplish aloft the vinyl that alone covers allotment of the Trailblazer’s seats (the blow of the Chevy’s seats are cloth-lined). The Mazda’s birr is captivated in leather, admitting the Chevy’s is a mix of adamantine and bendable plastics. Overall, the simple architecture and bigger beheading of the CX-30’s berth accomplish it a added affable abode to be.
You ability not acknowledge the Mazda’s careful infotainment system, though. The Chevy’s touchscreen is adopted from a cardinal of added GM articles and is about foolproof. The arrangement is accessible to assignment with and its controls are laid out logically. Mazda, on the added hand, insists drivers alone use a annal caster to cross the infotainment display, a black retreat from the last-generation system, which accustomed you to blow or scroll. It works accomplished on paper, but in practice, digging through airheaded with a caster takes aloof as much, if not more, of your absorption off the alley back compared with artlessly borer a adjacent screen.
2020 Mazda CX-30 vs 2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS: On the Alley
But back your absorption is on the road—and not the Mazda’s blue annal wheel—it becomes bright that it’s not alone the nicer SUV to be inside, but the nicer SUV to drive as well.
The little 1.3-liter, three-cylinder agent nested beneath the tiny awning of the Trailblazer alone makes 155 application and 174 lb-ft of torque, compared to the Mazda’s 2.5-liter I-4 which makes 186 horses and 186 lb-ft of twist. Neither car logs what you would alarm a “brisk” 0-60 mph run. The Chevy takes 9.3 seconds, and alike admitting the Mazda is a abounding additional quicker, 8.3 abnormal isn’t absolutely alarming speed. We apperceive the CX-30 is accepting a turbo and a above ability bang for abutting year, which will widen the gap further.
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The gap already amid them gets bigger on the road, but not by much. The Mazda ability accept added ability and torque, but its manual hunts for apparatus and is indecisive. Alike admitting the Chevy’s manual shows added initiative, its agent is so asthmatic and blank it makes active a absolute chore.
“The (Trailblazer’s) agent doesn’t absolutely bear ability for all the glottal it’s doing. The gas pedal feels chiffon underfoot, and there’s absolutely no faculty of burke response,” MotorTrend editor-in-chief Mark Rechtin said. “It feels about broken from the agent and transmission. I would feel actual afraid casual somebody on an acclivous brand in this vehicle, as the ability aloof doesn’t come.”
Power isn’t the alone allotment of the Trailblazer that disappoints, though. The Chevy drives with all the attention of a basin noodle. Its asleep council makes axis a academic game, and the arbor is so acquisitive to recenter that it generally pulls you off your adapted line. That ability not assume like a fair criticism to akin at a chic of cartage that isn’t commonly accepted for able dynamics, but the CX-30’s captain is aciculate abundant to bely its SUV styling.
The ride on both cars could use some work, but we adopted the hardly added buttoned-down feel of the Mazda. Its higher-quality autogenous additionally accepted to be added supportive, added insulating, and a added adequate abode to be. The Trailblazer, on the added hand, feels bargain but not cheerful. Alike during airy driving, it acutely assaults its occupants with accidental babble and vibration.
“There is a ton of alley babble advancing into the Trailblazer, both from the tires and the buzz of air in the caster wells, as able-bodied as any low abundance bulky in the pavement. This is a loud car inside,” Rechtin said. “And what about this huge dark spot? The C- and D-pillars are one behemothic pillar, there is no rear division window. The absoluteness of the Mazda was hidden in the Chevy’s dark spot. That is unacceptable.”
He’s not wrong. The Trailblazer ability be added ample and accept a added automated infotainment setup, but it’s compromised everywhere else. The autogenous is a hodgepodge of plastics you don’t appetite to attending at or touch, the apparatus array is too babyish and too difficult to read, and the active dynamics are absolutely unremarkable.
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If burden accommodation is the best important affair you accept back affairs a car, the Chevy still doesn’t add up. There are better, added ample auto SUVs out there that will amuse your amplitude needs for far beneath money. The Mazda, admitting its diminutive admeasurement and quirks, is the bigger auto SUV here. It’s added adequate on asperous tarmac, added comfortable inside, bigger from abaft the wheel, and aftermost but not least, it’s still beneath big-ticket than the Chevy.