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The Truth About Cars released an article about the Trailblazer and in it they discuss the fuel economy of the fully loaded, 1.3-liter, all-wheel drive version.

According to them that version will have an EPA rating of 26 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined.

Now it’s time to hit the trail(blazer).

What’s the point, you say — same platform, same powertrains. Consumption should be the same, right? Not exactly. The EPA has revealed the gas mileage of one Trailblazer variant: the loaded, 1.3-liter, all-wheel drive version. That model puts its muscle down via a nine-speed automatic.

Power amounts to 155 horses and 174 lb-ft of torque and, in Buick form, this exact package garners an EPA rating of 26 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined.

The donning of a bowtie badge brings a pleasant surprise for Chevy fans, as, while the city and combined ratings stay the same, highway fuel consumption rises by a single MPG, or 30 mpg even. It’s likely just a fraction of an MPG, given the usual rounding up and down of efficiency figures. Regardless, “30 mpg”, like beverage calories, is something you can highlight prominently on billboards and in marketing materials.

As for the front-drive 1.3L model and FWD-only 1.2L Trailblazer models (there’s 137 hp and 166 lb-ft on tap from the smaller of the two mills, btw), their exact thirst remains unknown. The EPA cites figures of 30 city/32 highway/31 combined for the AWD/1.3L Encore GX and 26/30/28 for the 1.2L version. Could the Trailblazer top both of these highway numbers? We’ll know soon enough.
 

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An issue is that the larger Equinox offers more or less the same fuel economy as the Trailblazer. The Trailblazer's unconventional 3-cylinder offered an opportunity to break from the pack and offer the best fuel economy in its class. GM missed the mark here. I still love the look of the Trailblazer though.
 

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An issue is that the larger Equinox offers more or less the same fuel economy as the Trailblazer. The Trailblazer's unconventional 3-cylinder offered an opportunity to break from the pack and offer the best fuel economy in its class. GM missed the mark here. I still love the look of the Trailblazer though.
That's true, the numbers are a bit disappointing, but like you said, the Trailblazer is better looking than the Equinox and also not everyone needs the extra space.
 

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JMHALL,
I agree. The newer body style Equinox is not as nice as the previous generation. I really like the GEN 2's..Heck the GEN 1's are even better looking. I believe it shows, as I do not see nearly as many out there. That is a big reason why I went with the new TB. MY4 cyl Equinox averaged about 23.5MPG mixed use. So far the TB is averaging just over 28MPG.
 

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JMHALL,
I agree. The newer body style Equinox is not as nice as the previous generation. I really like the GEN 2's..Heck the GEN 1's are even better looking. I believe it shows, as I do not see nearly as many out there. That is a big reason why I went with the new TB. MY4 cyl Equinox averaged about 23.5MPG mixed use. So far the TB is averaging just over 28MPG.
Same here, the Gen 2's are my favorite design of the 3. I feel like eventually it's going to be pushed out for the Blazer and Trailblazer.
 

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After 1600 miles my average mpg is 28.9, however on my last 3 trips I've managed 31.1 which is higher than the rated average for an AWD RS, so I'm happy. I did notice a slight mpg increase when I switched from 87 to 91 which is exactly what I saw when I had my 2012 Cruze that had a 1.4l turbo. The little turbo engines run just fine on 87, but they seem to like 91 better.

Steve
 
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After 1600 miles my average mpg is 28.9, however on my last 3 trips I've managed 31.1 which is higher than the rated average for an AWD RS, so I'm happy. I did notice a slight mpg increase when I switched from 87 to 91 which is exactly what I saw when I had my 2012 Cruze that had a 1.4l turbo. The little turbo engines run just fine on 87, but they seem to like 91 better.

Steve
I made the switch to using 91 a while ago and I've noticed something similar. It definitely makes the engine run a bit smoother.
 

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I just switched to 91, and I don't know if I was just imagining it, but right out of the gas station I had a noticeable increase in performance. I felt an increase in acceleration...
 

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I just switched to 91, and I don't know if I was just imagining it, but right out of the gas station I had a noticeable increase in performance. I felt an increase in acceleration...
Well if your imagining it then so am I, lol, because I also noticed smoother running and and a slight increase in power. These little turbo motors usually respond well to higher octane due to how hot they run which keeps spark advance high which equals a little more power through the rpm range. From what I have found online the 1.3T has a compression ratio of 10.0:1 which can certainly benefit from using 91 vs 87. I also noticed a slight increase in gas mileage as well using 91. My last 3 trips averaged 31 mpg.

Steve
 
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I just switched to 91, and I don't know if I was just imagining it, but right out of the gas station I had a noticeable increase in performance. I felt an increase in acceleration...
Well if your imagining it then so am I, lol, because I also noticed smoother running and and a slight increase in power. These little turbo motors usually respond well to higher octane due to how hot they run which keeps spark advance high which equals a little more power through the rpm range. From what I have found online the 1.3T has a compression ratio of 10.0:1 which can certainly benefit from using 91 vs 87. I also noticed a slight increase in gas mileage as well using 91. My last 3 trips averaged 31 mpg.

Steve
Hopefully this doesn't mean all 3 of us are imagining things haha.
 

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Based what I have read here running 91 oactane will bump you MPG a little and the motor runs better/smoother?
 

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Try running a couple tanks of 87 octane and take note of the mileage, power and idle smoothness then switch to 91 and run a couple tanks through. When I switched to 91 I almost immediately noticed a little more power, a smoother running engine and a 2 mpg overall increase. I had the same result with my 2018 Colorado ZR2 that also recommends 87. I can't wait until someone unlocks the Trailblazer computer and offers a tune for it. A 91 octane specific tune will likely gain 10-15 hp on a turbo engine like ours and maybe more with cold air intake and exhaust.

Steve
 

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This video may be interesting for some on the topic of octane levels. These are all vehicles which recommend but don't require 91 octane. Locally for me, 91 octane is ~20% more expensive than 87 octane.


Note: Jeep Renegade did not have better power with 91 vs 87, but average fuel economy improved 2%. Among the vehicles tested, this seems like the most similar vehicle/engine to the TB. The similarities may be superficial and unimportant, I don't know ¯\(ツ)

Here's an excerpt from the Renegade's owner's manual:
FUEL REQUIREMENTS
1.3L Turbo Engine
This engine is designed to meet all emission regulations, and provide satisfactory fuel economy and performance, when using high-quality unleaded “regular” gasoline having an octane rating of 87, as specified by the (R+M)/2 Method. The use of a 91 or higher octane “premium” gasoline will allow these engines to operate to optimal performance. This increase in performance is most noticeable in hot weather or other heavier load conditions, such as towing. While operating on gasoline with the required octane number, hearing a light knocking sound from the engine is not a cause for concern. However, if the engine is heard making a heavy knocking sound, see your dealer immediately. Use of gasoline with a lower than recommended octane number can cause engine failure and may void or not be covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Poor quality gasoline can cause problems such as hard starting, stalling, and hesitations. If you experience these symptoms, try another brand of gasoline before considering service for the vehicle.

2.4L Engine
This engine is designed to meet all emissions regulations and provide excellent fuel economy and performance when using high quality unleaded “regular” gasoline having a octane rating of 87 using the (R+M)/2 method. The use of premium gasoline is not recommended, as it will not provide any benefit over regular gasoline in these engines. While operating on gasoline with an octane number of 87, hearing a light knocking sound from the engine is not a cause for concern. However, if the engine is heard making a heavy knocking sound, see your dealer immediately. Use of gasoline with an octane number lower than 87 can cause engine failure and may void or not be covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Poor quality gasoline can cause problems such as hard starting, stalling, and hesitations. If you experience these symptoms, try another brand of gasoline before considering service for the vehicle.
Note: Jeep is quite explicit that 91 can be beneficial but not required for their 1.3L, but they are also explicit that 91 octane will not be beneficial for the 2.4L.

Compared against the Fuel section of the TB owner's manual:
Recommended Fuel
Minimum 87
Use regular unleaded gasoline meeting
ASTM specification D4814 with a posted
octane rating of 87 — (R+M)/2 — or higher.
Do not use gasoline with a posted octane
rating of less than 87, as this may cause
engine knock and will lower fuel economy.
Do not use any fuel labeled E85 or FlexFuel.
Do not use gasoline with ethanol levels
greater than 15% by volume.
There's more in the TB owner's manual about fuel additives and prohibited fuels, but that is the relevant section about octane. 91 Octane would seem permissible but not recommended, as an implication of the topic not being covered in detail.
 
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