2020 Lexus NX Series 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 2020/06/04

The NX Series’ optional 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.

The NX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The NX Series offers an optional Intuitive Parking Assist with Automatic Braking that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The NX Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The NX Series offers an optional Panoramic View Camera 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.

The NX Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the NX Series and the Trailblazer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the NX Series its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trailblazer has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The NX Series 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.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the NX Series 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Trailblazer. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Trailblazer ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The NX Series’ 6 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Trailblazer runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 25th.

Engine

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The NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 57 more horsepower (194 vs. 137) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (199 vs. 162) than the Trailblazer’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The NX 300h’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 39 more horsepower (194 vs. 155) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (199 vs. 174) than the Trailblazer’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder. The NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 80 more horsepower (235 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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On the EPA test cycle the NX 300h gets better fuel mileage than the Trailblazer 1.3 turbo 3 cyl. 4WD Auto (33 city/30 hwy vs. 26 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The NX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trailblazer (14.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The NX Series’ standard fuel tank has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trailblazer (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons).

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the NX Series has larger standard tires than the Trailblazer (225/65R17 vs. 215/65R16). The NX Series F Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trailblazer (235/55R18 vs. 225/60R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the NX Series has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trailblazer L.

Suspension and Handling

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The NX Series offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Trailblazer’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The NX Series 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.

Passenger Space

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The NX Series has 1.9 inches more front legroom, 2.8 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 8.2 inches more rear hip room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trailblazer.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The NX Series’ cargo area is larger than the Trailblazer’s in almost every dimension:

NX Series

Trailblazer

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

36”/71.5”

32”/64.5”

Max Width

53”

54”

Min Width

44.3”

41”

Height

27”

28.2”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the NX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the NX Series. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Chevrolet Trailblazer is limited to 1000 pounds. The NX 300h AWD offers up to a 2000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 36% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

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When three different drivers share the NX Series, the optional memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle and climate settings. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a memory system.

The NX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The NX Series’ 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 NX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Lexus service department.) The driver of the Trailblazer can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The NX Series’ optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Trailblazer’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the NX Series F Sport has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer cornering lights. The NX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The NX Series’ 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.

When the NX Series with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Trailblazer’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The NX Series’ standard rear view mirror and optional 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the NX Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the NX Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The NX Series 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 NX Series’ 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 NX Series and the Trailblazer offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the NX Series 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 NX Series’ 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.

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 2020/06/04

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus NX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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