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- Highs Seriously sporty driving responses, enthusiastic V-6 engine, no shortage of desirable features.
- Lows Top features reserved for top trims, larger wheels diminish ride quality, not a great value.
- Verdict Chevy's flashiest crossover is enjoyable to drive but can be expensive to buy.
Despite its off-road heritage, the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer prioritizes style over ruggedness. Chevy slots the mid-size, two-row crossover between the compact Equinox and the three-row Traverse to secure a larger share of the highly popular segment. While the Blazer is available with an assortment of high-tech driver assists and premium features, buyers will have to pay top dollar for the fanciest models. Likewise, the base four-cylinder engine cannot be paired with all-wheel drive. The all-weather setup requires the more powerful V-6, which provides quick acceleration and useful towing capability. The Blazer is best appreciated by those who prefer distinct styling and an inspired driving experience. Still, every model has a spacious back seat and an excellent infotainment system.
What's New for 2019?
Chevrolet revives the Blazer nameplate for 2019, with a stylish all-new model. It shares a platform with the three-row GMC Acadia and the compact-luxury Cadillac XT5 but adds wider proportions and sportier pretensions. Its interior is inspired by the iconic Chevy Camaro except with much more passenger space and an improved layout.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
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While we enjoyed the RS model's enhanced handling traits and more aggressive exterior styling, it's not the greatest value. In fact, the 2019 Blazer is more expensive than most competitors, especially when optioned with the best features that are only available on the top-tier RS and Premier. Instead, we'd recommend the 3.6L version with the cloth seats. Not only does this more powerful engine choice unlock the optional all-wheel-drive system ($2700), but it can tow 4500 pounds—3000 pounds more than the four-cylinder. We'd also add the Convenience and Driver Confidence package that includes heated front seats, remote start, power liftgate, and driver-assistance tech (blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors).
Engine, Transmission, Performance, and Towing
Likes: Quick with the V-6, truly engaging to drive, impressive braking capability.
Dislikes: Smaller engine is front-drive only, larger wheels disrupt ride quality, lazy transmission reactions.
The Blazer features a standard 193-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or an optional 308-hp 3.6-liter V-6. Both pair with a nine-speed automatic transmission, but only the V-6 is available with all-wheel drive. The front-drive version has sufficient power for getting around town and highway duty. However, the more powerful engine delivers impressive acceleration and provides added confidence when passing on the highway. The Blazer RS we tested hustled from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and bridged the gap between 50 and 70 mph in 4.6 seconds, which is speedy for this class. Quick as that may be, the automatic transmission was slow to downshift. Front-drive models can tow up to 1500 pounds, while all-wheel-drive versions can handle up to 4500 pounds.
With steady composure and accurate steering, the Blazer is easily the best-driving crossover to wear the Chevrolet bow tie. It was confident and responsive on twisty sections of road, especially the RS model, which has exclusive steering and suspension tuning. Still, even the four-cylinder version we drove was more engaging than many competitors. Its 18-inch wheels provided a smoother and quieter ride than the RS model that wore large 21-inchers, which thudded over bumpy roads. Thankfully, both models remained hushed on even surfaces and at highway speed. The steering's precise feedback was satisfying during spirited sessions yet fluid at low speed. The firm brake pedal immediately responded to our inputs, and the brakes brought our Blazer RS test vehicle to a stop from 70 mph in an impressive 165 feet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the four-cylinder Blazer will earn 22 mpg city and 27 highway. The front-drive, six-cylinder version is slightly thirstier, at 20 mpg city and 26 highway. Both engines use stop-start technology to improve fuel efficiency, but the system cannot be deactivated. While the all-wheel-drive model gets 1 mpg less on the highway, its 18-mpg city rating is on par with the Hyundai Santa Fe and lower than a similarly equipped Honda Passport. The four-cylinder Blazer earned 26 mpg on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route. We haven't tested the highway fuel economy of the V-6 version.
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
Likes: Spacious back seat, fully stocked infotainment system, plentiful interior cubby storage.
Dislikes: Some subpar interior materials, top features reserved for fanciest models, unsupportive front seats.
Inside, the Blazer design is heavily inspired by the Camaro, with an intuitive climate-control system that features round air vents below the center stack. These vents can be twisted to adjust the temperature settings. The visual flourishes include soft-touch plastics and a two-tone color scheme. While the fancier models receive leather surfaces and flashier materials, our mid-level test car had several cheap pieces and mostly grayscale colors. The Blazer also offers desirable content, such as ambient interior lighting, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. The front seats on our test vehicle had small cushions that lacked support, but the back seat had plenty of stretch-out space that should comfort everyone on long trips.
Every Blazer comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The system's interface is attractive and easy to operate, but a rotary controller would be helpful to reduce distractions. A pair of USB ports located at the front and on the back of the center console are standard; a 120-volt outlet is also available on certain models. The Blazer also can be equipped with a 4G LTE mobile hotspot, eight-speaker Bose audio system, built-in navigation, and wireless charging for phones.
With 31 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 64 with the seats folded, we were able to fit 11 and 26 carry-on suitcases, respectively. There are several storage solutions for small items, including ledges on the front-door panels that are perfect for smartphones. There's a decent-size cubby at the front of the center console, too, and the bin has good space, albeit without organization. The back seat is less remarkable, with a bin at the back of the center console and small door pockets.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
The Blazer hasn't been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but we expect that to change since it's an all-new vehicle. While base models miss out on driver assists, the other models are available with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. Unfortunately, only the RS and Premier offer the most advanced driver-assistance technology. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Blazer has the typical Chevrolet warranty plan that includes competitive limited and powertrain coverage as well as one complimentary scheduled maintenance visit. It also has five years or 60,000 miles of roadside assistance.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance covers one visit in the first year