Nothing more than a name. The return of the Blazer nameplate to Chevrolet’s lineup may have traditionalists feeling all nostalgic. Well, get that out of your head because the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is a clean cut from the previous generation that left us in 2005 – no, we aren't counting the bloated TrailBlazer that hung around through 2009. This all-new Blazer is a mishmash of sharply styled crossover and nimble sedan with just a pinch of SUV tossed in.
Styling for days. The 2019 Chevy Blazer minces no words when it comes to styling. It’s a far cry from the body-on-frame SUV of yesteryear. Today, the Blazer boasts a sharp body with razor-like lines, soul-piercing LED headlights, a bold front grille, and a swoopy silhouette. Add in the darkened bits on the RS model, and the Blazer takes on a surprisingly sporty look too.
Inside, this design language carries on with its winglike dash insert. But with this shapely interior comes some compromise, as the climate controls are jumbled up and spread across the dash with little concern for placement or logic.
Strong optional powertrain. The Blazer’s optional 3.6-liter V6 engine pumps out an impressive 305 horsepower that gives it the giddyup buyers expect. Pair this with its advanced twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system in the RS and Premier trims, and you get a strong launch in all conditions. This powertrain also lets you pull a 4,500-pound trailer.
While the optional powertrain is nice, the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit leaves a lot to be desired. On paper, this unit seem adequate with 193 hp, but this power is near the top of the rev band, and this engine delivers tons of racket at higher speeds. Even the Blazer’s active noise cancellation does little to drown this out. If noise isn’t enough to turn you off, the four-pot’s 1,500-pound towing capacity should finish the job.
Lapse in safety but not tech. In today’s automotive world, safety ratings can be a make-or-break part of the buying process. While we're still waiting on IIHS testing, the Blazer’s on-paper safety is unimpressive. It’s not that it lacks the safety equipment it needs to compete. It’s the fact that you have to separate from at least $41,795 (destination fees included) for the RS trim just to get automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning. Competitors like the Ford Edge, Honda Passport, and Hyundai Santa Fe have these important safety features standard.
The Chevy Blazer makes a comeback on the more fun side of the tech rainbow with its standard 8-inch touchscreen, four USB ports, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth audio streaming, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This puts it back on a level playing field with much of its competition and passes the standard tech features on the Passport, Santa Fe, and Honda CR-V.
Final thoughts. Nostalgia may draw you to the 2019 Chevy Blazer, but there's nothing throwback about this all-new crossover. It boasts the latest in crossover styling, a trick all-wheel-drive system, advanced connectivity, and more, but there are a few compromises.
Want more than its 64.2 cubes of cargo room? Look toward the spacier Ford Edge or Honda Pilot. Don’t want to shell out big bucks for automatic emergency braking? Look to the Edge, Passport, or Santa Fe. Is the styling a bit too dramatic for you? Head across the showroom to the marginally smaller Chevy Equinox.
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