2019 Chevrolet Blazer – Hawaii Cars

2019 Chevrolet Blazer

A blast from the past, but in name only

By MALCOLM GUNN
www.wheelbasemedia.com

Are buyers ready for yet one more utility vehicle? General Motors’ Chevrolet division must think so since it’s launching a new midsize model . . . with a name pulled from the history books.

The Blazer logo hasn’t been attached to any Chevrolet vehicle for years, but it’s now affixed to a five-passenger utility that’s eight inches longer than the compact Equinox, but 13 inches shorter than the Traverse. The Blazer is also the sixth such vehicle in a lineup that ranges from the teeny-tiny Trax to the Goliath-sized Suburban.

The Mexico-built Blazer is arguably the most attractive of the group, highlighted by a blunted nose, dominant grille and an agglomeration of creases and curves that extend along the sides, gracefully folding into the liftgate.

Clearly, any connection between the new Blazer and any Blazer of old extends no further than the name, and that includes the chassis. While the original’s body-on-frame construction was truck based on that of the Chevy’s pickup series, the 2019 edition uses a unitized platform from the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia.

The Blazer’s designers created and interior that’s as stylish as the sheetmetal that surrounds it. Thankfully, the tablet-style touchscreen doesn’t perch atop the dashboard, but sits more discretely below the driver’s line of sight.

The dashboard also includes a standard electronically lockable glove box that’s controlled via the key fob.

Second-row seating provides ample legroom for three bodies, thanks to a five-inch-plus gain in distance between the front and rear wheels over the Equinox.

The cargo space behind the split-folding and sliding rear seat can be ordered with a special cargo management system consisting of a removable aluminum “fence.” It can slide fore and aft on rails that lock in place to keep your stuff from rolling around.
Base-model Blazers come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet. This is definitely the one to have when towing (up to 4,500 pounds) is a necessity. Interestingly, in this day and age, there’s not a turbocharger in sight for either engine as both are naturally aspirated. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line.

As of this writing, fuel-economy numbers haven’t been announced, but the base 2.5 should perform a bit better than it does in the GMC Acadia. There, it’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and achieves a fuel-economy rating of 21 mpg in city driving and 26 on the highway.

Front-wheel-drive is standard for the base four-cylinder L and 1LT models, while all-wheel-drive can be fitted to the V-6 2LT and 3LT Blazers. When the system is not needed, it decouples the rear axle, which helps save fuel.

The top-level RS and Premier V-6 models qualify for an upgraded AWD that can shift all of the available torque to either rear wheel as needed.

Blazer pricing starts at $30,000 for the front-wheel-drive L, including destination charges. It arrives reasonably equipped, but moving up the chain will get you access to such technology as a wireless charging pad, rear camera with trailer-hitch guidance and heated-and-cooled front seats that automatically vary their outputs according to cabin temperature. Active-safety tech, such as emergency braking and lane-departure warning, are also optional, as are 21-inch wheels (18-inchers are standard). At the top is the Blazer Premium that, with AWD, will set you back close to $47,000.

Whichever model your financial resources can handle, the Chevrolet Blazer should be more than adequate for most transportation tasks and in moderate to severe road conditions. Looking sharp at the same time is a bonus.

What you should know: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer

Type: Four-door, front- /all-wheel-drive utility vehicle

Engines (h.p.): 2.5-liter DOHC I-4 (193); 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 (305)

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Market position: Before the Blazer, Chevrolet already had the utility-vehicle spectrum mostly covered. Although the new ride might seem a bit redundant, it fills a slot between the smaller Equinox and the larger Traverse.

Points:
• Aggressive and attractive styling should help lure buyers.
• Functional, rather than flashy interior offers some nifty touches.
• Four-cylinder and V-6 engines make sufficient power without the need for turbocharging.
• Major cash outlay is necessary to move up to the premium trim levels, especially if you desire all the latest luxury content and safety technology.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (opt.); active cruise control (opt.); emergency braking (opt.); lane-departure warning (opt.)

MPG (city/hwy) 22/28 (2.5, FWD); Base price (incl. destination) $30,000

B Y C O M P A R I S O N

Ford Edge
Base price: $31,100
Updated FWD/AWD models come with an all-turbo lineup with up to 335 h.p.

Honda Pilot
Base price: $32,450
Both front- and all-wheel-drive versions come with a 280-horsepower V-6.

Dodge Durango
Base price: $31,400
Older design, but has impressive power; tow capacity, plus room for seven.