Let’s face it, $22,000 doesn’t go that far if you’re looking for a new crossover. But, the 2022 Honda HR-V and the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer both offer a lot for their $21,800 base prices. When you’re looking for fun, inexpensive, practical transportation, it’s hard to beat these two crossovers. On paper, the Trailblazer and the HR-V are pretty similar, with nearly identical pricing, cargo areas, and engines. But the reality is different.
The two are similar on paper
Neither the HR-V nor the Trailblazer are high-performance crossovers. The base engine in the Trailblazer is a turbocharged three-cylinder with 137 horsepower. The four-cylinder in the Honda makes 141. But they’re efficient: the Chevy gets 29 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway, while the HR-V gets 28 and 34. Both have CVT transmissions.
They both have seven-inch touchscreens. The HR-V holds 58.8 cubic feet of stuff with the seats folded, and the Trailblazer holds 54.4 cubic feet. The Chevy is just three inches longer than the HR-V. Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend either crossover, mainly because of their lackluster performance. Both can be ordered with all-wheel drive.
The 2022 Honda HR-V is cheap to buy and own
The 2022 Honda HR-V comes in four flavors, LX, Sport, EX, and EX-L. The big differences are in the options. Honda built the HR-V to be inexpensive, but in the EX and EX-L trims you can get heated seats, automatic climate control, push-button start, and more. To get Honda Sensing active driver safety aids you also have to step up to the EX and EX-L models. However, even in the top trip, the Honda tops out at about $27,000.
The HR-V’s ace in the hole is its Magic Seats, which allows you to flip and flop the seats in dozens of ways to carry things as long as eight feet. Honda introduced the HR-V as a 2016 model and it was built on the Fit platform. It had a facelift in 2019. The Sport trim offers paddle shifters. Fun fact: the pre-2019 front-wheel-drive HR-V could be ordered with a six-speed manual.
The 2022 Chevy Trailblazer has spunkier styling
The Trailblazer was launched in 2020 as a 2021 model and it has styling that makes it stand out. The Chevy offers some more SUV utility than the HRV, like the dealer-installed trailering package with a hitch. You can order a heated steering wheel, a larger touchscreen, roof racks and more. You can also order a much more powerful 1.3-liter turbo that puts out 155 horsepower, which owners tell J.D. Power makes it more fun.
The Trailblazer’s top trim is called Activ, and it starts at less than $27,000, however, Chevy will sell you options that could get a Trailblazer to more than $35,000. The LT and RS are the mid-level trims on the Trailblazer. The Trailblazer’s seats can fold flat and it, too, can hold objects more than eight-feet long. While Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend it, that doesn’t mean CR doesn’t appreciate it. The Trailblazer comes in third on the magazine’s list in its class.
The Trailblazer will face stiffer competition from the new 2023 Honda HR-V
It looks like Honda benchmarked the Trailblazer for its new 2023 HR-V. Honda’s new 2023 HR-V will address many of the shortcomings of the 2022 Honda HR-V. It will have a stronger engine (though slightly worse fuel economy), more room, and a longer list of options. The larger engine should help the HR-V compete, as well as its new infotainment options. But, the new HR-V will cost a bit more: the base version will start at $23,650, while the EX-L will start at $28,950.