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The Chevy Trailblazer is back. And like the sporty, all-new 2019 Chevy Blazer, the compact ute blazes a whole new trail compared to the truck-based, mid-size Trailblazer of old.

The 2021 Trailblazer will slot into Chevy's lineup between the small Trax and compact Equinox as American continue to gobble up everything ute.

The Trailblazer is also an indication of the fundamental shift of Chevrolet to an SUV-focused lineup after discontinuing the Cruze compact sedan and shuttering its Lordstown assembly plant. Based on GM's new VSS small-SUV platform (along with the Buick Encore GX that was also announced this Wednesday) the compact, unibody Trailblazer will be built in South Korea where it can also be exported to the Chinese market.

The new ute will get a sporty, RS trim with a face uncannily similar to the mid-size Blazer RS. Fierce, upper running lights with the headlights placed lower alongside a big, gaping grille.  

Where the Trailblazer of old (produced from 1999-2009) was made in conjunction with the mid-size Blazer, the new Trailblazer is much smaller than the new Blazer, which is built in Mexico. 

The Trailblazer will share interior design with the Trax, but gets more standard features and likely more cargo space.

The Trailblazer, which will hit dealerships early next year, will have standard safety features like automatic emergency-braking and pedestrian braking, as well as lane-keep assist. Though pricing has not been disclosed, expect the Trailblazer to fall somewhere between the $22,295 Trax and $24,795 Equinox.

"This helps replace replace the Cruze in Chevy's lineup as they continue to offer the SUVs that Americans want," said Stephanie Brinley, senior auto analyst at IHS Market.

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne. Catch “Car Radio with Henry Payne” from noon-2 p.m. Saturdays on 910 AM Superstation.

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