I drove a $48,000 Chevy Blazer to see if the all-new crossover SUV lives up to its flashy looks - here's the verdict
- The 2019 Chevy Blazer is the latest version of an SUV that's been around since the late 1960s.
- The new Chevy Blazer is a stylish crossover that might confuse some fans of the nameplate's rugged lineage.
- I thought my test vehicle was good, if a bit overpriced, and I loved the V6 engine.
The Chevy Blazer, like the Ford Bronco, is one of the original SUVs. The Blazer started life as little more than a pickup truck with a shell over its bed and some seats added.
By the time Chevy most recently retired the nameplate in 2005, the crude original had morphed into a modern SUV.
The revived Blazer bears little resemblance to its ancestors. The styling is downright flashy, and plenty of reviewers have noted similarities to the Chevy Camaro muscle car. Honestly, my first reaction to the $48,075 Blazer from the 2019 model year that Chevy let me borrow for a few days was, "Hmmm ... not sure I like all that exterior jazz. Isn't a Blazer supposed to get dirty and haul around a couple of dogs?"
If you read on, you'll find out what changed my tune.
So here it is, the 2019 Chevy Blazer, with a "Red Hot" exterior, coming in at just over $48,000.
When I first saw the new Blazer in photos, I thought it looked kind of ... un-Blazer-ish.
That's because when I think Blazer, I think of the earlier versions (the last time a Blazer was sold in the US was 2005). This 1979 Blazer is effectively a 4x4 pickup truck with a topper and some seats.
The 2019 Chevy Blazer is a crossover SUV that's meant to evoke some nameplate heritage and give Chevy dealers another vehicle to sell in crossover-mad America.
I will say that the Blazer's sort of Lexus-y design grew on me over time. But it's pretty far from being a rough-and-ready, bare-bones SUV.
I mean, look at those sleek headlights and that crispy rendered grille with chrome trim. It's more sports car than SUV, right?
No four-wheel-drive here, but an all-wheel-drive system that should be able to handle moderately foul weather and the odd snowstorm.
My tester was the "Rs" trim level — that's why it's sporting all those cool black exterior elements, such as the blacked-out Chevy bowtie badge.
The nameplate is also blacked out.
Let's slip inside! The "Jet Black" interior is roomy. The front seats are heated and cooled.
The rear seats are a bench design, but they also provide ample room for adults.
The Blazer, in the end, is quite spacious. Or at least it creates the illusion of spaciousness.
A sunroof would have made it seem even roomier, but there wasn't one on this test vehicle.
I'm not kidding about the roominess! The Blazer is made for full-size people!
There are 30 cubic feet of cargo space available once you open the gesture-activated "hands free" power liftgate.
Drop the rear seats and you have a capacious 64 cubic feet.
Let's have a look under the hood at what's probably the Chevy Blazer's best feature.
That's a 3.6-liter V6 engine, making 305 horsepower. It doesn't look like much, and the fuel economy isn't great (18 mpg city/25 highway/21 combined). You can opt for a 193-horsepower four-banger if you'd like better MPGs.
Across its portfolio, Chevy's crossovers have a user-friendly, open interior design. What the driver sees is quite straightforward. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is heated.
Power is routed to the wheels through a capable nine-speed transmission.
The infotainment system is Chevy's superb, responsive IntelliLink. All functions, from navigation to Bluetooth device pairing, are excellent. You have USB/AUX ports and OnStar 4G LTE WiFi connectivity.
The Blazer also has wireless charging, and my tester was outfitted with a wonderful Bose premium audio system.
The climate control venti-knobs are sort of weird, but they're easy to use — and borrowed from the Chevy Camaro!
So what's the verdict?
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