The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is a member of the growing in-betweener compact crossover segment (we really need to come up with a name for these things) that includes the Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30 and Ford Bronco Sport. They’re a bit bigger than subcompacts like the Hyundai Kona and Nissan Kicks, but smaller than the CR-Vs and RAV4s of the world.
That can very well be seen in their cargo capacities, which indeed fall in between those more defined segments. In the Trailblazer’s case, it has 25.3 cubic-feet of space behind its raised back seat. On paper, that’s about 5 cubes better than the Subaru Crosstrek and Mazda CX-30. It’s exactly the same as the Nissan Kicks, but that speaks more to that car punching above its weight class in luggage testing. The Kia Seltos has a bit more at 26.6 cubic-feet.
As it turns out, the Trailblazer doesn’t do as well as its number would suggest. However, it has a few special features that increase its versatility.
As with an increasing number of crossovers, the Trailblazer cargo area has two heights: a lower one for max capacity and a higher one to provide a flat floor when you lower the back seats. You can see the height difference in the pictures below.
As always in such cases, I only test with the floor in its lower height. There was no cargo cover included with this test vehicle.
As with every luggage test, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).
So, this was a very tight fit. Something was preventing the power mechanism from closing, but it was easy enough to close it manually. As you can see below, the fancy bag could fit, but it was awfully tight. If there were actually things in the bag, I have my doubts.
So despite what the numbers might say, this amount would be less the Subaru Crosstrek (below left) and basically the same as the Mazda CX-30 (below right). My guess as to why the Crosstrek can hold more: Its cargo area is wider, whereas the Trailblazer’s is taller. Width is ultimately more useful for bags.
Similarly, the Trailblazer may be taller than the CX-30, but appears similar in width. As such, it can basically hold the same luggage.
The Kia Seltos, meanwhile, is indeed bigger than them all.
However, despite the Trailblazer not being as useful as its cargo capacity number would indicate, it counters with impressive versatility. For starters, that extra height will give it an advantage should you need to transport something taller and/or bulkier. I don’t do a 60-Inch TV test, but if I did, I’m sure it would smoke the Subaru and Mazda.
I will, however, debut a new test specially for the Trailblazer: the Extendable Tree Trimmer Test. I know, I’m excited, too.
You see, the Trailblazer can not only fold its back seat down, but the front passenger seat folds too.
I broke out the measuring tape and this feature allows you to haul something as long as 100 inches. That’s more than 8 feet. Or 2.54 meters. Or more than even my extendable tree trimmer thing in its least extended form.
You can see how much I needed to extended the tree trimmer (note the silver bit) just to fill up the space. This seems like a great feature even if there are still tall things you’d probably prefer to strap to the roof. Don’t think I’d want to deal with the sap and needles of a Christmas tree, do you?
There’s also some versatility to be found in these little partitions.
Found on either side, when in place, they provide the typical bin space behind the wheel arches that’s good for keeping smaller items from flying around the cargo area. Milk jugs, beer, etc. However, when the cargo floor is in its lower setting, you can remove these partitions to allow for something wider to fit. Thoughtful.
So although the Trailblazer isn’t the best in its segment when it comes to hauling luggage, its versatility ensures that it ultimately provides a suitable amount of utility for a small utility vehicle.