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- Highs Stylish looks, fun to drive, useful cargo space.
- Lows Ho-hum interior materials on lower trim levels, weak base engine, not a great value.
- Verdict Chevrolet's flashiest crossover is enjoyable to drive but can be expensive to buy.
The 2020 Chevrolet Blazer isn't a burly 4x4 designed to chase Jeeps into the wilderness—it is instead a slick, decidedly street-oriented crossover bristling with cool, Camaro-inspired design touches. The two-row, mid-size Blazer thus falls on the stylish end of the segment that includes the Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano. It is further distinguished from boring, everyday crossovers by its sporty driving characteristics. Want to stand out while still hauling your family around in a roomy, useful vehicle? The Blazer is worth a look.
What's New for 2020?
An all-new model for 2019, the Blazer blazes into 2020 with few major changes. Chevrolet has added a new 230-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to the lineup, where it fits between the entry-level 193-hp 2.5-liter (non-turbo) four-cylinder and the available 308-hp V-6. The new engine forces a trim-level shakeup from last year's L, 2.5L, 3.6L cloth, 3.6L leather, RS, and Premier trims to L, LT, 2LT, 3LT, RS, and Premier. The L and LT now use the 2.5-liter engine, meaning they're front-wheel-drive only; the 2LT and 3LT come standard with the new turbo four and offer as options all-wheel drive and the V-6; and, as before, the RS and Premier have all-wheel drive standard, as well as the V-6.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While we enjoy the RS model's enhanced handling traits and more aggressive exterior styling, it's not the greatest value. In fact, the 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 2LT trim level. Not only does this unlock the more powerful V-6 and all-wheel-drive options, but this combination can tow 4500 pounds. 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).
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Engine, Transmission, Performance
The Blazer features a standard 193-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a 230-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine an optional 308-hp 3.6-liter V-6. All three pair with a nine-speed automatic transmission, but only the turbo-four and the V-6 are available with all-wheel drive. The front-drive version has sufficient power for getting around town and highway duty. However, the V-6 delivers impressive acceleration and provides added confidence when passing on the highway. Quick as the last Blazer RS we tested was, the automatic transmission was slow to downshift. Front-drive and four-cylinder models can tow up to 1500 pounds, while the all-wheel-drive V-6 version 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 2.5-liter four-cylinder Blazer will earn up to 21 mpg city and 27 highway. The turbo-four is rated at up to 21 mpg city and 28 highway, and the V-6 version is the thirstiest at 19 mpg city and 26 highway. The Blazer we tested with the front-drive, 2.5-liter four-cylinder earned 26 mpg and the all-wheel-drive, V-6 version earned 24 mpg on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which simulates real-world mpg and is part of our extensive testing regimen. However, we haven't tested the highway fuel economy of the turbo-four.
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
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. 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.
Infotainment and Connectivity
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.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
The 2020 Blazer earned a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but it wasn't named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 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