From Automotive and Driver
UPDATE 9/25/18: This story has been up to date to mirror the 2019 Blazer’s just lately introduced base worth of $29,995 for the bottom L mannequin with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
For these of us who’ve achieved a sure age (if not the maturity that typically comes with it), we all know what a Chevrolet Blazer is. It’s the K5: a cut-down full-size pickup with a flimsy detachable fiberglass shell protecting the mattress and cab. It’s sort of ratty as a result of it’s owned by a youngster, it’s been jacked up a mile within the air, and it wears off-road tires that roar louder than a hurricane after they journey over pavement. It’s the truck that at all times led the conga line to the lake each summer time as a result of it was principally stuffed with low cost beer and ice. It’s all Alan Jackson songs, T-shirts with out sleeves, cutoff Lee denims, a cooler held along with duct tape, and inner-tubing on the Chattahoochee.
A Blazer has dwell axles entrance and rear, four-wheel drive, a full body, and a small-block V-Eight with a lumpy idle; and when it rains, that’s when nature itself hoses out the inside.
Then there’s this. A 2019 crossover with a unibody construction and transverse mounted engine that Chevy calls “Blazer.” We knew the Blazer. We liked the Blazer. And this, GM, is not any Blazer.
Get me some Doritos and a six-pack. Coors? Budweiser? Hamm’s? Who cares? I’m going to go float on the raft for a few hours and attempt to get previous this.
Simply Precisely What Isn’t Wanted
Chevy already has 5 crossovers and SUVs in its lineup, starting from the wee little Trax up via the Equinox, Traverse, and Tahoe to the stupefyingly giant Suburban. Common Motors will rightly brag about how the Tahoe and ’Burban dominate their markets, the Equinox and Traverse are gaining market share, and that the Trax does one thing or different. The brand new two-row “Blazer” slots into the slim area between the Equinox and Traverse, one by no means earlier than acknowledged by Chevy. Name it the mid-mid-size, mid-midrange crossover section. Or name it Chevy’s model of the GMC Acadia. Your selection.
What’s apparent is that Chevrolet didn’t want the “Blazer” as a lot because it wanted an opportunity to select up some gross sales in a section occupied by the Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano. Within the present market, virtually nobody desires to purchase a Malibu. The brand new Blazer is a wonderfully rational response to what consumers need. And that sucks.
Now That That’s out of the Method . . .
Okay, the Blazer is what it’s: a mainstream crossover. Right here’s what to learn about it. It’s handsome, with the nostril capped by a grille that appears as if it migrated over from the Camaro ZL1, the wheels pushed out to the corners so there are barely any overhangs, and each physique panel that includes some fascinating sculptural ingredient. Of the now six Chevrolet crossovers and SUVs, this one is probably the most daring, if such a phrase may even be uttered in reference to an SUV.
Of all the opposite crossovers on the market, maybe the one the brand new “Blazer” resembles most is the Lamborghini Urus. You determine which of the 2 is flattered by that comparability.
The essential structural bits are actually shared with the GMC Acadia and the Cadillac XT5. The brand new Chevy shall be constructed at GM’s plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico (which doesn’t please the UAW). It’s a five-passenger hauler with each rows providing first rate room and well-shaped seats. And within the sports-like RS trim, the inside options bursts of colour within the upholstery and alongside the dashboard that handle the neat trick of being each startling and sort of elegant. The much less flashy Premier trim is subdued sufficient that it could as properly be an Equinox.
The usual powerplant is the acquainted 193-hp 2.5-liter inline-four. Extra enticing is the equally acquainted 305-hp 3.6-liter V-6. Each engines are direct injected, and each feed a nine-speed automated transmission that may in flip feed an all-wheel-drive system. Gasoline-economy estimates haven’t but been revealed, however they need to be a bit higher than the Acadia’s because the GMC at the moment makes use of a six-speed automated.
Decrease-spec Blazers will come customary on 18-inch wheels. Flash a number of extra bucks and people wheels develop as much as 21 inches in diameter, which can impress many, many neighbors. With all of the LED lighting and the aggressive-ish styling, discovering the suitable stability between visible dignity and blinding ostentation shall be an options-sheet problem for Blazer consumers.
Chevrolet has solely introduced a base worth so far-$29,995 for the bottom L model-because the Blazer received’t hit showrooms till early 2019. Count on costs for the remainder of the lineup to be absolutely aggressive with related machines, although, as a result of GM really desires to promote this stuff.
Monster mudder tires and metallic dashboards had been virtues again within the full-size Blazer’s run, from 1969 to 1994, however now the world desires smartphone integration, backup cameras, and sensors that throw off sufficient radar waves to irradiate the nation’s almond crop. The brand new Blazer has six USB ports, a glovebox that snaps open electronically, and all kinds of lane-keeping tools accessible. The digital trick record stretches to incorporate a wi-fi charging pad, a hands-free liftgate, and a trailer-hookup steering system, amongst a number of different issues, however none of that is shocking on this present atmosphere. Tech is anticipated. And tech is what the 2019 Blazer presents.
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
Jeep can’t hold Wranglers in inventory, the Toyota 4Runner has skilled an incredible gross sales renaissance, and Ford is about to carry again the Bronco. The Blazer title needs to be on a very succesful off-roader like these beloved machines. Why is Chevy letting this chance slide by?
Chevrolet has heretofore performed a reasonably good job of protecting a philosophical deal with on its heritage nameplates. Corvettes are nonetheless all two-seaters with fiberglass our bodies. The Camaro is, as at all times, a rip-snorting muscle pony even when it’s powered by a V-6. The Blazer should be, as soon as once more, Chevy’s true off-roader, one thing that appears superior lined in mud.
Frustratingly, there’s even a product in Chevrolet’s prolonged household that might make a real Blazer. That’s the Brazil-market TrailBlazer, which shares a lot of its engineering DNA with the Colorado pickup truck. Deliver that factor up, name it the Blazer, and name this one the Vue or the Lumina APV or one thing.
Satirically, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the primary Blazer. It’s a reputation that evokes affection in these of us who admired the original-and even the smaller S-10 variations. And there’s an actual ardour amongst us parents who drove them each after they had been new and after they had been decades-old beaters. There are rivers and lakes and massive open areas that decision for an actual Chevy Blazer to go discover them. This “Blazer,” irrespective of how good a crossover it is perhaps, isn’t that Blazer.
Let’s go get sno-cones.
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