By on December 7, 2016

Chevrolet Blazer 1994

General Motors has been repeatedly busted testing a vehicle that should be Chevrolet’s next midsize SUV. The automaker has been restructuring its model portfolio to fulfill the desires of today’s crossover-obsessed consumer and needs a model between the Traverse and soon to be downsized Equinox.

Recent spy shots of a moderately camouflaged test vehicle seem to allude to dimensions similar to GMC’s Acadia, refuting theories surrounding earlier photos that it might be the redesigned 2018 Traverse. 

The CUV in question is anticipated to revive the Blazer name and share the same C1XX platform with the Cadillac XT5 and aforementioned Acadia. The upcoming Buick Enclave is also making use of the “Chi” platform, but the vehicle in the covert images is definitively a Chevrolet — given away by the slats on its Equinox-like front grille. The headlights and taillights are almost as equally telling.

Chevy mentioned that it would have big plans to for its crossover lineup at the unveiling of the 2018 Equinox. Since then, the insider buzz has suggested that 2017 will usher in the revamped 2018 Chevrolet Traverse and 2018 Chevrolet Blazer. However, nobody has said anything about renaming the Acadia the Jimmy.

Expect the Blazer to arrive with a modest 2.5-liter four-cylinder or an optional 3.6-liter V6. Front-wheel drive should be standard, with something identical to the Acadia’s selectable All-Terrain AWD package for buyers outside southern cities. It should launch a few months after the next-gen Equinox goes on sale in the first quarter of 2017.

[Image: Spanish Coches/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)]   [Source: Automotive News]

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81 Comments on “The Chevrolet Blazer May Return in 2017...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    Another CUV/SUV. Whee!

  • avatar
    MartyToo

    Just how did the spy photos appear if they eluded? Spies indeed!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    If it’s not on the GMT330 platform and made from plastics unsuitable for a dollar store toy they might as well keep it. People want the authentic Blazer experience.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Here I was thinking Chevy was fielding a 4Runner competitor. Nope! Another fat station wagon for those pretending they don’t drive fat station wagons.

    Do you want your amorphous blob in XS, S, M, L, XL, or XXL?

    • 0 avatar
      Storz

      Bingo. The days of the real SUV are basically over at this point :(

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      The 4Runner is a shell of itself too….sure, it’s still BOF, but it’s also a fat pig with terrible driving dynamics. The thing wallows around turns and nose-dives under braking like something from the 80s. Oh wait…..I guess it’s exactly like the old ones after all!

      But that’s really the point–the teeming millions love their CUVs, even if they are just tall station wagons with AWD.

      It will be interesting to see what Toyota does with the (long overdue) next generation 4Runner. It’s one of the very few BOF SUVs remaining, so they might keep it old school just because the field is so narrow. Plus the fact that they’d be competing with their own Highlander if they turned it into a CUV, much in the same way that they were competing with the FJ Cruiser not long ago.

      I’d like to see Ford bring back the Bronco as a real SUV and it would be cool to see Chevy bring back the Blazer as a real SUV, but it’s doubtful that will happen.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The next Toyota 4Runner will probably be lighter and nimbler, but i see no reason it couldn’t remain body-on-frame, especially when, as you said, it would just be competing with the Highlander if it went unibody-FWD…and no one who buys 4Runners would look twice at it. The future for its luxury stablemate, the Lexus GX460, is less clear. Market trends suggest Toyota should replace it with either a Highlander-based three-row SUV (so that it’d be something like an RX-plus), or a RWD-based three-row crossover (like the Audi Q7).

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Kyree the GX is simply too easy/cheap to bring over as simply a Prado with a dopey bumper and thousands of dollars in ginger-bread profit, I think it will remain. A Highlander-based three-row CUV in addition to the existing model line up is definitely overdue.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “but it’s also a fat pig”

        It weighs almost exactly as much as a unibody AWD Explorer or V6 Grand Cherokee. Yes they have gained quite a bit of weight since something like my 3750lb 3rd gen. But climb into mine and you will be sitting in what feels like a compact pickup cab, feet sticking mostly straight out. Climb into a 5th gen and it is a much roomier more conventional midsize SUV experience. And in regards to the pitching and brake dive, well that’s the only way to get a smooth ride+lots of suspension travel. The optional KDSS system is a clever engineering solution that solves the problem basically entirely.

        Say what you will, but drive one of these wallowy new 4Runners down some bombed out city streets and you quickly understand how wonderful an old school BOF SUV with fat tires really is. Hitting a bad pothole that would send chills down your spine in a rubber-band tire CUV are but a mild annoyance in the 4Runner. It’s nice piece of mind with our current state of infrastructure in many areas.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Yeah, I’m not getting where he is coming from on this. I finally and suddenly caved in to my long running desire to own an offroad capable vehicle and bought a 2016 SR5. The dynamics are wobbly but it is a comfortable family vehicle given its capabilities.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Shell of itself? It’s a better combination of off-road capability and family hauler than it was twenty years ago. These things were never efficient or drove that well but that is the necessary tradeoff for nearly 10 inches of ground clearance and a low range transfer case.

        Make them efficient and nimble and you have a fat station wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        @White Shadow – you’re being way too harsh on the 4runner. It drives like a compact truck… sure – what’s the point you’re making? I, for one, am more than happy to be in my TRD pro instead of the cute utes I drove for most of the last decade. It fits perfectly in my garage (being only 190 inches long), it drives down the highway fantastically at 90mph for a vehicle wearing Terra Grappler tires, and it will go literally anywhere in this desert I want to take it – with nary a hitch. My favorite generation of 4runner was gen3, but I was too poor to buy one back then. The 5th gen SUVs stack up well against those, IMHO. Count me as a happy customer.

        As for the new “Blazer” – BOF or go home.

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        That’s not fair. The older ones drove better.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          You must be referring to the 4th gen, which traded away a decent amount of ground clearance but gained a much more composed ride/handling balance that was much closer to a sedan or crossover than any of the previous 4Runners. I test drove an ’03 V8 Sport a few years ago and it was a revelation after my high and bouncy ’96 Limited. 5th gen regained its former ground clearance glory, while retaining the 4th gen’s cushy ride. The result is the aforementioned brake dive. In fact my ’96 with KYBs in front dives less than a 5th gen, but most people (including myself to a degree) would be massively put off by the stiff legged ride.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      You know the best way to make a station wagon more useful? Make it fat.

      Don’t get me wrong I love wagons. I miss my old B-body wagons every day. I still pine for a clean 96 Roadmaster to grace my driveway. That said a Suburban is more useful. Its basically a tall fat Roadmaster.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Now that S10 Blazer there is a beauty. Refreshing to see such simple and purposeful styling.

    Growing up, my friend’s family had a ’00ish(?) Blazer. Their dad was a regional manager at AppleBees and got a company truck. Man I thought they were living high on the horse. Company Blazer with leather interior and overhead console that showed exterior temperature?! Free AppleBees whenever they wanted?! He also had both an N64 AND Sega Dreamcast (I had neither), AND they got an above ground pool put up in their backyard. Needless to say I spent a lot of time over at his place. I guess I have nothing but fond memories of the GMT330 for this reason alone.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yeah, but the 4-door was a stylistic kludge; clearly an afterthought shoehorned onto the original 2-door version. Ford had enough sense to stretch the Bronco II when they made the Explorer.

      • 0 avatar
        Thorshammer_gp

        Hey now! My family had a ’91 4-door when I was little, and I always loved the utilitarian styling of it. Ultimately it succumbed to body rust, though…

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      I like the very last of the Blazer before it got rounded for 1995. The ’94 Blazer Tahoe.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Bra-va-da.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          Spaceship center console!
          http://www.moibbk.com/images/oldsmobile-bravada-interior-3.jpg

          Directional alloys!
          http://momentcar.com/images/oldsmobile-bravada-1994-7.jpg

          Gold package!
          http://farm1.static.flickr.com/579/22191121073_7641094c9e.jpg

          How could you need anything else?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Bring back Smartrac AWD!

            (Yeah I realize that most modern AWD systems are smarter or as smart as Smartrac, but wasn’t that a really cool marketing name?)

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Help! What was the name of the Bravada upscale trim available from like 97-99. Ultra? Elite? You got two tone and some badging.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            It was called Platinum Edition. it showed up in 1999, I think, and it persisted all the way through the remainder of the S10-based Bravada’s tenure. I think they made the two-tone paint a separate option for 2001, the last year for that generation. In addition to the two-tone and side cladding, you got some driver-convenience features. And it was tasteful.

            However, the Blazer TrailBlazer Edition and Jimmy Diamond Edition were not:

            Article by DeMuro on Jimmy Diamond Edition
            http://playswithcars.com/?p=632

            Interior shot of Blazer TrailBlazer Edition
            http://zombdrive.com/image-model/4712-1999_chevrolet_blazer_4dr-suv_trailblazer_i_oem_1_500.jpg.html

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I think the Diamond Edition is Corey’s favorite LOL. Take it back Kyree!

            Around the same time I was getting rides in that Blazer LT, a different friend’s mom drove a Bravada, white over beige, with the Smartrac system.

            They’re really “cozy” feeling trucks. Not the roomiest things, but the seats are soft, and suspension soft and mushy as well, and the 4.3L nice and torquey.

            For all their real or perceived shortcomings, I truly miss the 1990s SUVs. If only for some very good memories associated with that time in my childhood. There were enough of the Blazers/Grand Cherokees/Explorers made that it’s still quite possible to find a decently clean one for reasonable money if you look for a bit. They make excellent second/trip vehicles, as I have found with my ’96 4Runner.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Interesting how trim names became separate models. The Blazer Tahoe simply became the Tahoe. Similarly, the final S-10 Blazer had a ghastly TrailBlazer Edition that inspired the name for that car’s GMT3xx successor…and the final S-10 Jimmy had an Envoy trim, and as you know, its successor was called Envoy.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Ford has done the same. Ranger, Edge and Explorer were all once trim lines.

          And Silverado was a trim line on the C/K before it became the model that replaced the C/K.

          C/K….
          I LOL every time I see some idiot on craigslist calling his truck a “C/K”. Its either C or K, it isn’t both. Oh, and don’t forget the “C”1500 with 4wd! No, you’re doing it wrong again, its a K if its 4wd, C if it isn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I forgot about the Fords, but you’re right.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Ranger and Explorer were both full sized pickup trims. My dad had a ’77 F250 Explorer and IIRC a ’69 F250 Ranger.

            What Ford vehicle sported the “Edge” trim?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            There was a Ranger Edge. It had body-colored front and rear bumpers, unique interior upholstery, vinyl flooring, and distinct “Edge” graphics along each side of the bed, plus some upgrades from the XLT 4×4 trim. Even when equipped with just RWD, it had the higher ground-clearance and I believe torsion-bar suspension of the 4WD Ranger variants. The Range Edge was introduced in 2001 and lasted until 2006, when Ford decided to utilize that name for its Fusion-based crossover, and then this same version of the Ranger was called the Sport. It could be had in regular and extended cab, with either conventional or Flareside (stepside) bed configurations, but I don’t think it was available with the 2.3-liter I4 engine; it was either the 3.0-liter V6 or the 4.0-liter V6. I’m sure I missed some stuff there, in which case I hope JohnTaurus chimes in and correct me.

            I’ve seen quite a few of them.

            https://i.ytimg.com/vi/LJAp0TnCKY4/maxresdefault.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            If we wanna split hairs, Explorer was always a package, usually applied to top-of-the-line models, but not always. Ranger was only a package in 1964-66, when it had bucket seats out of the Mustang. From ’67 through ’81, it was the name or partial name of (a) higher trim level(s).

            So the ’77 was probably an F-250 Ranger or Ranger XLT Explorer.

          • 0 avatar
            Frylock350

            Interestingly enough plenty of insurance companies still label a Silverado half ton as a K1500 or C1500.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        1999 was the first year of the rounded body, same as the pickups. GM did make a few prototypes for 2-door GMT800s, but never put them into production.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “Now that S10 Blazer there is a beauty. Refreshing to see such simple and purposeful styling.”

      They don’t look bad on the outside but man that interior. Looked at these in 2DR form when searching for a small truck/SUV but could never get past the dash and pretty much every interior bit.

  • avatar
    B_C_R

    Isn’t this crossover market pretty crowded already, even in GMs own lineup? So what, is this Blazer going to slot between the Equinox and the Chevy Traverse? What’s going to be unique about the Blazer if it’s just another crossover?

    I didn’t even make any statements, I just asked a bunch of questions because I’m so baffled by this.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, if the Traverse is going to remain a large, full-sized, minivan-replacing crossover and the Equinox is getting downsized to be a proper compact crossover…there’s plenty of room for something mid-sized. Like I said below, it could be like the final Blazer and TrailBlazer, which were each a mid-sized SUV with an adequate second row and the possibility for a small third row…or it could be like the Edge, Murano, Santa Fe Spot, Venza, etc…and just be a proper five-seat SUV with lots of second-row comfort.

      Edit: Upon thinking about it, I bet what’s going to happen is the Blazer will be on the regular-wheelbase C1XX platform, which means it’ll definitely be mid-sized. That architecture already has two cars, the 2017 XT5 and the 2017 Acadia. The Blazer could take the philosophy of either vehicle. It could embrace the fact that it’s mid-sized and just make things very comfortable for two rows of people (XT5), or it could get some extra length rear of the backseat, a less-sloped D-pillar, and a small third-row (Acadia). My bet is on the latter, because that would be in the spirit of the final Blazers.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      Because there are folks who won’t buy the downsized Equinox due to its smaller size, but do not want a Traverse. Having this new CUV keeps them from buying a Ford Edge instead.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Hey, graffiti with umlauts!

    You’d think they’d drip.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That’s interesting. It makes sense to have compact, mid-sized and full-sized crossovers. I’d guess this Blazer will be something like a Grand Cherokee, a mid-sized five-passenger crossover with a longer cargohold than something like an Edge (but probably with a backseat that’s more cramped). It could still have a token third row for pinch-situations (a la Toyota 4Runner and Lexus GX). And then that’ll leave room for the Traverse at the top end size-wise.

    It’s interesting because automakers used to have cars that were almost identically-sized and on the same platform, separated only by price and prestige. GM, in particular, did a lot of this…such as with the Biscayne -> Bel Air -> Impala lineup that went from ’58 to ’76.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      So Chevrolet: Trax, Equinox, Blazer, Traverse

      GMC: Terrain. Acadia, something new on the new Traverse platform?

      Buick: Encore, Envision, Enclave

      Note – I’m only listing unitbody CUVs.

      Sounds like Ford’s plan to kill off slow sellers in favor of more CUV/SUVs is professional jealously. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Correct. From what I understand, the new 2017 Acadia sits on the regular-wheelbase C1XX platform, which is a thorough revamp of the mid-sized Epsilon II FWD platform. The Enclave and Traverse will use a long-wheelbase variant of that same architecture to make them full-sized. So the Acadia has been downsized to a mid-sizer, while the Traverse and Enclave will remain full-sized, but it’ll be the same basic platform. Also, I don’t think GM has any plans to release a crossover above the Acadia for the GMC brand. The next step up would be the short-wheelbase Yukon. I also don’t know what will happen to the Terrain. I think it’s getting downsized like the Equinox, and will remain a sister to the Equinox.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “GM, in particular, did a lot of this…such as with the Biscayne -> Bel Air -> Impala lineup ”

      My understanding of that was that those are more or less equivalent to modern day trim levels, the sheetmetal was identical. Of course there were trim levels and packages even within those distinct names.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    A full chassis Colorado 7.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Not likely. As far as mid-sized BOFs SUVs, here in the ‘States, the previous fuel crisis seems to have killed them off. Most were on aging platforms and bodies to begin with, and when the market called for more-fuel-efficient offerings, their respective automakers chose to replace them with FWD-based unibodies. Makes sense. I was surprised that the old Pathfinder soldiered on for as long as it did, especially since it was a proper (premium-sucking) gas hog in both V6 and V8 form.

      Sp we’re pretty much down to the Toyota 4Runner and Lexus GX (R.O.W. Land Cruiser Prado), as far as old-school goes. And I guess the Jeep Wrangler also counts. I haven’t seen any signs that GM will resurrect its mid-sized BOF’ers. People are saying that the upcoming Bronco might end up being a Ford Everest, though, so there’s that.

      But the Colorado 7 would be the most natural continuation of what the Blazer and TrailBlazer were…and I think it’s even branded as the latter in other markets.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        I don’t see the Bronco being a Ford Everest. I think it will be a Troller T4 sent to finishing school, maybe with an additional bodystyle, a 4 door to compete with Wrangler Unlimited.

        The Troller T4 is now on the current Ranger platform, btw.

        I don’t think Ford needs an in-store Explorer compeditor with worse MPG. I would rather have the Everest as the Explorer (to replace the current CUV, but retaining its name for marketing purposes), but such is not meant to be. If they did bring it here, I hope they make it look less like a rebadged Durango from the front.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        With BOF having limited appeal mostly to those specifically seeking it these days I’m sure GM also knows that a Trailblazer may steal Tahoe sales.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    They must mean that the Blazer nameplate will return. And for clarity, there was the full-size truck based Blazer, and there was the S-10 Blazer.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Yep and the FS Blazer became the 2DR Tahoe. I had ’97 2DR ‘Hoe w/350 Vortec, 3:73 rear end. That thing was an absolute beast. Only truck I’ve ever drove or ridden in that bone stock would lay you right back in the seats when you mashed the go pedal to the floor boards.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        My grandfather had one of those, too, probably also a ’97. It was green with beige cladding and beige leather. It lasted him a very long time; I think he only just recently got rid of it.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          ” My grandfather had one of those, too, probably also a ’97. It was green with beige cladding and beige leather. It lasted him a very long time; I think he only just recently got rid of it.”

          If you believe everything a salesman tells you those trucks supposedly held their resale better than any other 1/2 ton Chevy truck/SUV at the time. I traded mine in on my ’04 Sierra HD. Went back to the dealer two days afterwards just to see what they had it priced at but it was already gone. When I got it, it was a lease return that they hadn’t even put on the lot yet. One of those vehicles they didn’t sell a ton of new but seemed to be a hot commodity on the used market.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Holding high resale value actually sounds likely, given that many more were sold to the personal use market and not to fleets by the late ’90s, compared to the regular pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        I would LOVE a K5 Blazer (actually prefer the GMC Jimmy’s grille) or a two door ‘Hoe/’Kon.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I guess this would challenge the new Ford Bronco?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Not really. This is the old Equinox size, since the newest Equinox is now occupying the spot previously held by the gag-inducing Captiva Sport. More of a challenger to the Edge.

      The old lineup was: Trax (subcompact), Captiva Sport (discontinued compact), Equinox (midsize), Traverse (full-size).

      Now it sounds like it’ll be: Trax (subcompact), new Equinox (compactish), new Blazer (midsize, probably 3-row), new Traverse (full-size)

  • avatar
    MAGICGTI

    Echo the thoughts of this needing to be a 4Runner competitor, or at least Grand Cherokee. We don’t need or want a smaller Traverse.

    How hard can it be to make a Colorado SUV? They did it before as the picture suggests!

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Grand Cherokee…

      s/ Hey the new slightly smaller Acadia has an AWD system where you can select the conditions you are dealing with, isn’t that just as good as “Trail Rated”?

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    A Blazer based off the Colorado could be really sweet. Offer it with the diesel and figure out how to stuff the 4.3 in the engine bay. There’s GM’s Jeep fighter right there.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      A modern GM BOF midsize SUV with the 4.3L would indeed be fantastic, but I feel like if anything BOF did make it this way, they’d saddle it with the 3.6L.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Exactly. If they were going to use the 4.3 as a BOF engine for smaller truck-based vehicles, it would be the premium gas option on the Colorado and Canyon, instead of the 3.6-liter. It’s not unlike how Toyota replaced the 4.0-liter in the Tacoma with the 3.5-liter “car engine”, which people are upset about.

  • avatar
    kmoney

    Make a new version of the GMC Typhoon and I would be excited.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    We knew this was coming for a while, just not that it would take the Blazer name.

    So can we also have a Colorado 7/TrailBlazer to compete with the Ranger-based Bronco?

  • avatar
    legacygt

    The Equinox is already on the larger side for a small CUV and the Traverse has the three-row segment covered. Unless the new Equinox will be smaller than the current one (unlikely because there’s the Trax) why do they need this car?

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