Ask Nathan: Tiny Chevy Trailblazer Pickup Rumors, Toyota Camry vs Corolla Hybrids, and Driveway Reviews?

Ask Nathan: Tiny Chevy Trailblazer Pickup Rumors, Toyota Camry vs Corolla Hybrids, and Driveway Reviews?
Rendering by: Kleber Silva

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will there be a itty-bitty Chevy Trailblazer pickup?
  • Your Toyota Camry Hybrid video vs Corolla hybrid video was not apples to apples…
  • What do you think of driveway reviews?
There were (and are) small Chevy pickups based on cars in other markets. This is a Chevy 500, with a 70 horsepower engine, built in South America in the 80s and 90s. (Image: Chevrolet Brazil)

The first question comes from a fan who heard rumors about a Chevy Trailblazer pickup.

Q: (Via Twitter@NathanAdlen) Nathan! I hear from a source that GM is working on a Chevy Trailblazer pickup.

(This will) compete against the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. It makes sense and it will sell like gangbusters if they manage to undercut the competition. But I’m doubtful about why they would use theTrailblazer as a platform.

Don’t they have something better like the Volt power train?

— Titan_Log

A: You’re the second person to mention a Chevy Trailblazer pickup to me, this week.

Based on the unexpected popularity of the There’s a 2019 story from GM Authority about a possible Chevy Trailblazer pickup as well. So far, in 2021, GM has sold over 80,000 Trailblazers in North America. It’s doing well, and there’s a good reason behind that – it’s a great little crossover.

While I still think the Ford Bronco Sport is one of the best in class for its overall capability, utility and appeal, the Chevy Trailblazer is a compelling alternative. It’s not quite as large as the Bronco Sport, but it’s fairly close. The Trailblazer holds up to 54.4 cubic feet of cargo. On the other hand, the Bronco Sport has a maximum of 65.2 ft of cargo space. So, it’s larger.

I mention the Bronco Sport because the wildly successful Ford Maverick pickup is based on a similar platform, and uses similar running gear. All of that is based on the Ford Escape platform and running gear. All of which is simply beefier than the equivalent Trailblazer.

“IF” Chevrolet was considering a pickup version of the Trailblazer, they would be working a bit uphill. The 137 horsepower 1.2 and 155 hp 1.3 three-cylinder turbo would be short of the Maverick’s output. I should say, the same goes for the Hyundai Santa Cruz too. Maverick’s base-model hybrid makes 191 hp combined, and the turbocharged four-cylinder makes 250 hp.

There is one compelling argument for a Chevy Trailblazer pickup –

Simply put: it could be a quick fix for GM’s lack of foresight. The possibility for building this tiny pickup, running on a Trailblazer’s powertrain increases when you look at potential. For one thing, GM is not ready to go all-electric yet. They still need to develop new competitive products.

GM could have easily ruined Ford’s thunder with the Maverick’s success, yet they chose to remain obscure. Sure, the Trailblazer’s powertrain would be comparative disadvantage, but if you price it right, it could have been a hit. Image an $18K tiny pickup that can haul five and gets great mileage. There are plenty of people who need a tiny bit of utility, and economy.

What do you guys think?

— N

The next question comes from a viewer who is displeased with a Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs Toyota Camry Hybrid video we recently produced.

Q: (Via YouTube) RE: video – “This would have been a much more relevant comparison if both were LE models.”

— Brad Hallowell


To compare apples to apples, it would be interesting to see camry le hybrid instead. Not only that, but camry le hybrid is the only trim that has better battery compare to other trims. Camry le hybrid has mpg in 50s.

— Sergi Amromin

A: Greetings.

You guys are absolutely correct, it would have been far better, and more accurate, if we compared them via trim. On top of that, I did a poor job explaining how the E-CVT (Toyota’s naming) is actually it’s connected to one or two electric motor-generators, which are connected to a planetary gearbox.

As for the comparison, we strive to get the right cars and trucks, but seldom do. We have to deal with the hand presented to us. That means, we get whatever the automaker’s PR and lending folks deep appropriate. Sometimes, we get exactly what we ask for. Unfortunately, when it comes to getting two vehicles, from an automaker – with the same trim-level – at the same time… it rarely works out.

Hopefully, as our channels expand, our websites grow and our voices gets louder – automakers may give us what we ask for more often.

— N

The last question comes from a fan who has issues with other automotive reviewer’s techniques.

man walking up to 2020 mazda cx-9
Image: Mazda

QHi Nathan and the TFL family.

I was curious about how you feel about driveway reviews and dudes who look at a camera all day while they talk. Its so boring and I know you try to avoid it. I see —– —– and –0-0-0- doing it all the time. Am I being to critical or is it something that bothers you?

I thank you for always making me laugh and think Nathan!

— B Gonsales

A: Howdy!

If you think about it, we (TFL Studios) do driveway reviews. It’s just that we have a great production crew and we try to keep things engaging. As for having the camera trained on the host, well, we do that too. If you go to TFL Talk, we film our podcasts. Sure, we drop a graphic here and there, but it’s mostly focused on our ugly mugs.

I have no problem with anyone who makes an effort to bring viewers insight, entertainment and news. Now, if they are being idiots about it, spewing falsehoods and whatnot – sure, I take issue. In all honesty, most of the folks who toss themselves into the fray of social media to review something are brave.

The best part of this whole thing is: if you don’t like the way they do their presentation – you can switch channels!

Thanks for the note!

— N

Check out THIS beauty!