Skip to main content

Chevy has launched a new ACTIV trim as the top level for the 203 Chevy Trailblazer. It comes with a long list of standard features, some funky colors, and a new interior that sets it apart from other trim levels. Chevy makes two special versions of the Trailblazer, the RS, which is an on-road focused version, and the ACTIV which adds special off-road touches. What makes the top-level ACTIV trim special?

The ACTIV version of the Trailblazer has unique features

2023 Chevy Trailblazer in ACTIV trim.
2023 Chevy Trailblazer | Chevrolet

The ACTIV trim package adds a two-tone roof, unique front and rear trim with a dual-port grille, a dual exhaust, along with sport terrain tires and suspension tuning enhancements to the SUV. The ACTIV trim also adds unique tires and shock tuning to give this version of the Trailblazer a bit more off-road ability. It also gets a revised lower section designed for improved ground clearance, as well as roof rails standard. However, all Trailblazers come well optioned.

The new ACTIV has special options other Trailblazers don’t

interior of the 2023 Trailblazer
The 2023 Trailblazer interior in black with desert view through windshield.

The ACTIV version has options that other, lesser, Trailblazers don’t have. You can order it with an eight-inch touchscreen, for example, as well as Amazon Alexa and wireless charging. However, all Trailblazers get a reverse camera, and Chevy Safety Assist is standard. Chevy Safety Assist adds automatic emergency braking, pedestrian braking, lane keep assist, forward collision alert, and automatic high beam headlights.

One interesting box you can check when ordering is one that removes the heated steering wheel. You can delete it and save $25.

The ACTIV gets the hot 1.3-liter turbo engine

Can the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer actually blaze trails? Is this subcompact SUV capable of driving off-road?
2022 Chevy Trailblazer off-road | Chevrolet

The ACTIV trim comes standard with Chevy’s 1.3-liter three-cylinder engine. The new three-cylinder engine makes a healthy 155 horsepower and is the upgraded engine from the Trailblazer’s base 1.2-liter engine that makes 137 horsepower. The new 1.3-liter not only makes more power, but it gets slightly better fuel economy, too. With either engine in front-wheel-drive spec, the Trailblazer gets 29 mpg in the city, but the 1.3 gets up to 33 mpg on the highway, compared to 31 mpg for the 1.2 liter.  

What SUVs does the Trailblazer compare to?

A blue 2023 Volkswagen Taos parked in front of a building.
2023 Volkswagen Taos | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

One of the best direct competitors for the Trailblazer is VW’s Taos. While the top-level trim of the Trailblazer starts at $27,395, the Taos starts at $24,155. You can add all-wheel drive to the Taos for $1,450. AWD adds a multilink rear suspension for a smoother ride, too, while front-drive Taoses get a solid axle. On the Trailblazer, all-wheel drive is a $1,500 option. But, you can only order all-wheel drive with the optional larger motor to a regular Trailblazer, which is also an extra $345. 

The VW Taos gets 32 mpg on the highway, and 25 in the city from its 158-horespower turbocharged four-cylinder. The VW offers IQ.DRIVE which offers a slate of driving aids and more. It has many of the features you’d expect, like rear traffic alert and adaptive cruise control, but also the travel assist feature that adds semi-autonomous driving features like automatic speeding up or slowing down when you need it.


Small SUV Decisions: VW Taos vs. Chevy Trailblazer