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The RDX Advance has a standard Surround-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 RDX 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, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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 all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Acura RDX weighs 494 to 1072 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 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 RDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trailblazer has not been tested, yet.
The RDX 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.
Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 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 RDX’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Trailblazer’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the RDX’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.
The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 135 more horsepower (272 vs. 137) and 118 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 162) than the Trailblazer’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 117 more horsepower (272 vs. 155) and 106 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 174) than the Trailblazer’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder.
The RDX has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trailblazer (17.1 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The RDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better stopping power the RDX’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Trailblazer:
For better traction, the RDX has larger standard tires than the Trailblazer (235/55R19 vs. 215/65R16). The RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trailblazer (255/40R20 vs. 225/60R17).
The RDX’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 RDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Trailblazer RS’ 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trailblazer L. The RDX A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Trailblazer RS.
For superior ride and handling, the Acura RDX 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 RDX has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the RDX flat and controlled during cornering. The Trailblazer’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The RDX 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 RDX 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 RDX’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the Trailblazer (108.3 inches vs. 103.9 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 3.2 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Trailblazer.
For greater off-road capability the RDX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Trailblazer (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the RDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The RDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The RDX has .7 inches more front legroom, 2.7 inches more front hip room, 4.3 inches more front shoulder room, 4.2 inches more rear hip room and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trailblazer.
The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Trailblazer with its rear seat up (31.1 vs. 25.3 cubic feet). The RDX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Trailblazer with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 54.4 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the RDX’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo 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 RDX. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The RDX’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Trailblazer’s (1500 vs. 1000 pounds).
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 21% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.
When two different drivers share the RDX, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a memory system.
The RDX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The RDX Advance has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The RDX’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 RDX 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 RDX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Trailblazer’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The RDX Advance’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.
The RDX’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.
When the RDX 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 RDX’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 RDX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Trailblazer LT/ACTIV/RS. The RDX Advance also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Trailblazer.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the RDX 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 RDX’s 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 RDX 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 RDX’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 RDX and the Trailblazer offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the RDX 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 RDX’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 Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.
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