The subcompact SUV class is filled with worthy competition from every major auto manufacturer. The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer, although the newest vehicle to enter the arena, battles other models with confidence. The new stylish design and affordable price make it a worthy contender in the smaller SUV segment.
The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, although aging considerably, is another popular choice when it comes to urban driving.
We looked at the two vehicles side by side, comparing power, reliability, and value. It quickly became apparent which SUV was the better choice.
The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer
The all-new 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is a lot of car for $19,995. The inexpensive price tag makes way for the stylish appearance and standard safety features. With two engine options, this small SUV has plenty to offer.
The redesigned appearance doesn’t hold much resemblance to Chevy Blazers of the past. No longer built to withstand tough off-road driving conditions, Kelley Blue Book refers to the sporty SUV as a “compact urban runabout [with] decent city driving manners.”
Placed between the Chevy Trax and Chevy Equinox, the subcompact SUV is available with 1.2-liter or 1.3-liter three-cylinder turbo engines. Fuel economy is impressive in the 2021 Trailblazer, offering 29 mpg to 31 mpg combined.
After driving the new Trailblazer, Kelley Blue Book wasn’t impressed with the continuously variable transmission (CVT), saying that it “can be a bit droning.” They also found the driver’s seat to be too small for most people and didn’t like the tight backseat. The use of cheap materials on the interior did not impress either.
What they did like was the 55 cubic feet of cargo-carrying capacity as well as the plentiful amount of standard features. An infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility stood out among the competition.
The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is easily confused with the 7-passenger Outlander model. The Outlander Sport is a compact SUV with a starting price of $23,750. One of Mitsubishi’s top sellers, the Outlander Sport offers a substantial 10-year powertrain warranty.
Available in all-wheel drive or front-wheel-drive, the Outlander Sport utilizes a 2.0-liter standard engine. There is an optional upgraded 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 168 hp and offers a pleasant driving experience. Although rated as a decent commuter vehicle, the Outlander Sport is not recommended for off-road driving.
The refined interior provides comfortable seating, although the rear is somewhat cramped for taller passengers. The cargo-carrying capacity is 49.5 cubic feet when all seats are folded down.
The Outlander Sport does not have a very good reliability record and is starting to show signs of age. It hasn’t seen any major production changes since 2011. Features such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay do not come standard in this model. Kelley Blue Book also pointed out that the dealer repair network for Mitsubishi is relatively small.
Which vehicle is the better SUV?
In the end, it appears that Chevy won in practically every category. Kelley Blue Book refers to the comparison of both vehicles as “a battle between the old and the new, with a 10-year-old Mitsubishi up against a brand-new Chevy.”
The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer beat out the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport based not only on its lower price but its cargo room and standard tech features. The Chevy Trailblazer offers a more efficient fuel economy and has stronger power behind its base engine. The fresh exterior design, interior styling, and larger dealer network were considered beneficial as well.
If deciding between these two compact SUVs, the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is definitely the better bet.