Chevrolet Trailblazer vs. Toyota Corolla Cross

The Toyota Corolla Cross is one of the most notable all-new models for 2022. It capitalizes on the popular Corolla nameplate and should appeal to buyers looking for a basic crossover SUV. As with its rivals, the Corolla Cross has a raised seating position and much of the utility of larger SUVs, but at a lower price. High fuel economy is also a plus. But it competes in a highly competitive small SUV segment. Is this Toyota baby SUV a home run or just an infield single?

Edmunds experts compared it to the Chevrolet Trailblazer to find out. This small Chevy SUV debuted for the 2021 model year, and it also draws on some naming heritage. It’s one of Edmunds’ great small SUVs thanks to its roomy seats and abundant features. Read on to find out which is the best buy.

INTERIOR AND TECHNOLOGY

We appreciate the simplicity of the Trailblazer’s interior layout, especially in the center console. The screen’s forward angle is less than ideal, but the shape, resolution and intuitive controls are excellent. Toyota has given the Corolla Cross a perfectly capable interface, but it’s not as sharp or responsive as the Trailblazer’s.

Both the Trailblazer and Corolla Cross do a good job of integrating your smartphone functions and apps through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is a plus, as neither model offers a built-in navigation system. The Trailblazer slightly integrates the Corolla in that you can connect your phone wirelessly, while the Corolla Cross still requires tethering to the USB port.

The Toyota has slightly more cargo space behind its rear seats, but the Trailblazer has 7.4 inches more legroom behind the Corolla Cross. We found that the difference in legroom made a noticeable difference to the comfort of rear seat passengers, as well as to the ease of installing child safety seats.

Winner: Trailblazer

POWER AND PERFORMANCE

These vehicles are not built for speed, but for steady everyday driving, and both achieve that goal. Every 2022 Corolla Cross is powered by a 169-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Buyers can choose between standard front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. The base engine in the 2022 Trailblazer is a 137-horsepower turbocharged three-cylinder engine, also with front-wheel drive. Opting for an all-wheel-drive Trailblazer upgrades you to a 155-hp turbocharged three-cylinder engine.

On paper, it seems like the Corolla Cross should be zippier, but the Chevy’s turbocharged nature makes its power and torque more easily accessible at low revs. As a result, the Trailblazer moves faster, giving the driver more confidence to pass and accelerate on freeway ramps.

Winner: Trailblazer

FUEL EFFICIENCY

In Edmunds real-world testing, the Trailblazer with the more powerful engine and all-wheel drive returned 26.9 mpg, which is slightly less than the EPA-estimated 28 mpg in combined city/highway driving. However, we’ll give Chevrolet points for a turbocharged engine that doesn’t require premium fuel, saving a few bucks at the pump.

The Corolla Cross fared better in Edmunds testing, returning 33 mpg and beating the EPA estimate of 30 mpg combined for a fully loaded XLE model with all-wheel drive. For even better fuel economy potential, the base front-wheel-drive Corolla Cross gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg overall.

Winner: Corolla Cross

FEATURES AND VALUE

Toyota has spent considerable time and money to ensure that its Corolla Cross includes a wealth of driver assistance features. Even in the base model that starts at $23,780, the Corolla Cross includes forward collision mitigation, lane keeping, traffic-adaptive cruise control and automatic high-speed as standard equipment.

The Trailblazer starts lower than the Toyota at $22,995 for the base LS trim level. It also comes equipped with forward collision mitigation, lane keeping and following distance indicator. However, the LS trim doesn’t even come with standard cruise control, and adaptive cruise control is optional.

Both SUVs check in at around $32,000 when fully loaded with features like a premium sound system, sunroof and power liftgate. The basic and powertrain warranties are also the same. While there are some slight differences in the margins here, it’s not enough of a difference to pick a winner.

Winner: tie

EDMUNDS SAYS:

Both the Trailblazer and Corolla Cross are excellent daily drivers. The Toyota Corolla Cross might be best for you if you prioritize fuel economy, but we think most entry-level SUV buyers will be better served by the Trailblazer because of the additional rear legroom, more likeable tech interface, and enjoyable low power output.

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This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds.

Kristin Shaw is a freelance writer at Edmunds. Follow Kristin Twitter.

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