Praised as "the world's first sport utility vehicle," the Ford Bronco has a rich history in America that we see continued today with the reintroduction of the Bronco and the debut of its smaller counterpart, the Bronco Sport. The Bronco Sport promises to be the most versatile subcompact SUV in the segment, sharing the same passion for adventure as the legendary Bronco. It's the crossroads of urban sophistication and rugged adventures, but nothing shows this better than slating the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport vs 2022 Chevy Trailblazer.
Like the Bronco, the Trailblazer isn't a new addition to the Chevy lineup and has its origins in the late 1990s as a top-tier trim on the S-10 Blazer. Known then as the TrailBlazer, the trim was so popular that Chevy gave the model a platform of its own in 2002. However, the model's popularity was short-lived in America, and that forced Chevy to replace it with the larger Traverse. This wasn't the end of the line for the TrailBlazer name, which Chevy reintroduced in 2021 to widespread acclaim. The 2022 Trailblazer builds on this acclaim with several new upgrades, features, and conveniences that make it a strong contender in the segment.
However, comparing the 2022 Trailblazer to the 2022 Bronco Sport is a lot like comparing apples to oranges. Sure, they're both fruit, but they look and taste entirely different. While the Trailblazer promises luxury and efficiency, the Bronco Sport delivers that as well as rugged capability that you won't find on the Chevy. This pushes the Blue Oval to the front of the race, leaving very little doubt that the Bronco Sport will cross the finish line ahead of the Trailblazer on the pavement and certainly on the trail.
Looking under the hood, the 2022 Bronco Sport takes an early lead against the 2022 Trailblazer. While Ford and Chevy offer capable powertrains, you'll find the Bronco Sport delivers more horsepower and torque. This makes it quicker to accelerate and a more capable hauler, both of which are vital in a rugged road warrior that carries the Bronco name.
The Bronco Sport Base, Big Bend, and Outer Banks come standard with Ford's 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This combination delivers 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque along with a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. In contrast, the Trailblazer comes standard with a 1.2-liter turbocharged engine that's mated to a continuously variable transmission to deliver just 137 horsepower.
While the Bronco Sport's standard engine is plenty capable, more power is always welcome, and Ford delivers with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that sits under the hood of the Bronco Sport Badlands. The 2.0-liter is mated to the same 8-speed automatic transmission but adds SelectShift and paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel. In terms of power, the 2.0-liter doesn't disappoint, churning out 250 horsepower, 277 lb-ft of torque, and a maximum towing capability of 2,200 pounds. You won't find anything comparable to this on the Trailblazer even when you opt for the available 1.3-liter turbocharged engine, which delivers a modest 155 horses and a maximum towing capacity of merely 1,000 pounds.
Aside from powertrains, the Bronco Sport and the Trailblazer give you more control over performance with driver-selectable drive modes. Chevy equips the Trailblazer with three drive modes–Normal, Snow, and Sport on FWD models or Normal, AWD, and Sport on AWD models. These modes tailor the Trailblazer's performance by adjusting components like the throttle and torque distribution to optimize the SUV's performance.
With the Bronco Sport destined for adventure, it's no surprise that the SUV comes with more drive modes affectionately dubbed "G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) Modes." These modes include Sand, Slippery, Sport, Eco, and Normal. The Bronco Sport Badlands adds Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl to match its capability long after the pavement ends and the trail begins. The additional modes on the Badlands allow it to get maximum performance out of its sophisticated twin-clutch AWD system.
The 2022 Chevy Trailblazer isn't designed for off-road adventures. The best capability you'll get from the Trailblazer is opting for AWD, which gives you more control in slippery conditions. This is a stark contrast to the 2022 Bronco Sport, which exudes versatility and lives up to its "Built Wild" motto with an impressive standard four-wheel-drive system and numerous off-road components that make it more than capable of handling your weekday commute and your weekend adventures on the trail.
The 2022 Bronco Sport builds on the Bronco's reputation by delivering exceptional capability both on and off the trail. With four-wheel-drive standard across the lineup, there's no question that the Bronco Sport is ready for adventure. It's also outfitted with a High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS) system that's designed to withstand even the harshest terrain and driving conditions. This, along with the independent front and rear suspension, engineers confidence when you're behind the wheel.
The Bronco Sport's Terrain Management System, which features seven G.O.A.T. Modes, tailors the SUV's performance to the terrain at hand. Trail Control Technology extends this capability by serving as trail-specific cruise control. When engaged, the system controls the throttle and braking at speeds up to 20 mph going forward or up to 6 mph in reverse so that you can focus on navigating the trail ahead.
If you're looking for greater capability, the Bronco Sport Badlands meets and exceeds those needs as the most rugged model in the fleet. Capable of wading through 23.6 inches of water, the Badlands doesn't miss a beat on the trail, nor does it require you to sacrifice comfort for capability. Ride quality is exceptional with its monotube rear shocks, specially-tuned front struts, and tuned springs that absorb the bumps of even the harshest terrain. You can also rest easy knowing that the Badlands' undercarriage is protected thanks to metal bash plates that create a barrier between the SUV's vital components and obstacles on the road.
There's no shortage of technology on either the 2022 Bronco Sport or the 2022 Trailblazer. Ford and Chevrolet are dedicated to delivering the latest features, and that means equipping their SUVs with everything from smartphone integration and virtual assistants to advanced safety and driver-assist tools. In many cases, this technology is similar across the models, but, as expected, the Bronco Sport offers a few unique features that the Chevy simply can't touch.
The Bronco Sport comes standard with an 8-inch center touchscreen display that's home to Ford's innovative SYNC 3 system. The system gives you access to your smartphone via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to equipping the SUV with a virtual assistant, thanks to Ford+Alexa. This combination allows you to use voice commands to make calls, respond to messages, add items to your shopping list, stream your favorite music, and more. On the Trailblazer, you'll find comparable features, but a smaller, 7-inch touchscreen display comes standard, which means you'll need to spend more for the available 8-inch upgrade.
The Bronco Sport distinguishes itself against the Chevy with Breadcrumb Navigation that's ideal for navigating new trails. The available GPS navigation allows you to drop virtual breadcrumbs along your route to eliminate the risk of getting lost when you wander off the beaten path. Ford takes this connectivity to the next level with the available voice-activated touchscreen navigation that allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and your focus on the road or trail ahead.
Beyond connectivity, you'll find many similar safety features on the Bronco Sport and the Trailblazer. These features are designed to extend your visibility and minimize the potential for collision. On the Bronco Sport, they're centralized in the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite, while the Trailblazer offers the Chevy Safety Assist suite. So, what's the difference between the two?
The Bronco Sport's Ford Co-Pilot360 suite comes with Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking featuring Pedestrian Detection and Forward Collision Warning with Dynamic Brake Support to bring the SUV to an emergency stop when a collision is imminent. On the Trailblazer, you'll find similar functionality via Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, and Forward Collision Alert. The Ford Co-Pilot360 suite also includes a Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, automatic high beam headlamps, and a lane-keeping system. The Trailblazer's comparable tools include a Following Distance Indicator, IntelliBeam headlamps, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. Both models also offer adaptive cruise control that actively monitors the flow of traffic and adjusts the SUV's cruising speed as needed.