2020 Audi Q3 vs. 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/14

The Q3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q3 and Trailblazer have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q3 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Trailblazer’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Q3 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q3. But it costs extra on the Trailblazer.

The Q3 Prestige has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Trailblazer only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Q3 and the Trailblazer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi Q3 weighs 616 to 909 pounds more than the Chevrolet Trailblazer. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q3 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 86 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trailblazer has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The Q3 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Trailblazer’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Trailblazer’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

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The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Trailblazer’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Q3’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Trailblazer’s camshafts. If the Trailblazer’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 11 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 91 more horsepower (228 vs. 137) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 162) than the Trailblazer’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 73 more horsepower (228 vs. 155) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 174) than the Trailblazer’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Q3 has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trailblazer (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Trailblazer:

Q3

Trailblazer

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

11.81 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

10.39 inches

The Q3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Trailblazer are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the Trailblazer (235/55R18 vs. 215/65R16). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trailblazer (255/40R20 vs. 225/60R17).

The Q3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Trailblazer L’s standard 65 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Trailblazer RS’ 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trailblazer L. The Q3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Trailblazer RS.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Audi Q3 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Trailblazer has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Q3 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q3’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Trailblazer (105.5 inches vs. 103.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q3 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Trailblazer.

Passenger Space

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The Q3 has 1.3 inches more front shoulder room and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trailblazer.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q3’s rear seats recline. The Trailblazer’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Q3 easier. The Q3’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.8 inches, while the Trailblazer’s liftover is 30.8 inches.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Q3. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The Q3’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Trailblazer’s (1500 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 12% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

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The Q3’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Trailblazer’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Q3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Trailblazer can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Q3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Trailblazer’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Q3’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Trailblazer LT/ACTIV/RS.

The Q3 Premium Plus/Prestige’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Trailblazer offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Q3 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Trailblazer L/LS doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Q3’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Q3 and the Trailblazer offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Q3 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Q3 (except Premium)’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Trailblazer’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

The Q3 Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/14

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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