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Looking for something safe for your teen driver that won’t break the bank? You may be considering buying your child a new or slightly used SUV but don’t want to spend a lot of money. While used SUVs can save you some cash, new SUVs often have updated safety equipment and technology and may be worth the extra money. The 2022 Chevy Trailblazer is the cheapest new SUV recommended for teens by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports. Here’s what makes the Trailblazer such a great pick. 

A brown 2022 Chevy Trailblazer against a background of trees.
2022 Chevy Trailblazer | Chevrolet

The 2022 Chevy Trailblazer is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+

The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a great pick for teen drivers in part because of its important safety award. It’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, which is the highest award the non-profit organization gives out. The Top Safety Pick+ award recognizes only those SUVs with the best safety ratings and systems. 

To win the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, an SUV has to have all good crashworthiness scores. These include good scores in the following tests:

  • Driver-side small overlap front test
  • Passenger-side small overlap front test
  • Moderate overlap front test
  • Original side, roof strength, and head restraint tests

It also must have an advanced or superior rating safety system ratings and good or acceptable headlights standard on all trim levels.

The Chevy Trailblazer has average or better reliability

Any vehicle on the IIHS and Consumer Reports’ list of recommended new vehicles for teens has to have at least an average or better reliability rating from Consumer Reports. It also must be able to brake on dry pavement from 60 mph in less than 140 feet. They also must have easy-to-use controls.

Another thing that both the IIHS and Consumer Reports take into account is insurance claims. If an SUV has a “higher than average insurance claim rates under medical payment or personal injury protection coverage in recent model years,” it doesn’t make the list.

How much does the Trailblazer cost?


Here’s What You’ll Pay For the Top 3 SUVs of 2022

The 2022 Chevy Trailblazer price starts at $21,600 for the base model. That’s a pretty nice entry-level price for one of the best SUVs you can buy for your teen. The 2022 Trailblazer gets 29 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

The Trailblazer has a 3-cylinder engine that makes 137 hp and front-wheel-drive. This is matched to a continuously variable transmission. You can upgrade to all-wheel drive and then you’ll also get a 9-speed automatic transmission. It has a decent amount of storage space – 54.4 cubic feet.

If you want the cheapest SUV you can buy for your teen and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer just may fit the bill. It’s small and easy to navigate but it’s also considered safe by the IIHS and reliable by Consumer Reports. Add to that the fact that it has an entry-level price, at least for a new SUV, and you just may have found the perfect vehicle for your teen driver.