By on May 1, 2018

Image: Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Oh man, they even got the paint right. Who knew retro design cues could feel so authentic?

Hold on, that’s not the upcoming midsize Chevrolet Blazer — it’s a 1979 model (in alluring Cheyenne trim). Obviously, General Motors expects the public to hold fond memories of the Blazers of yesteryear, otherwise it wouldn’t affix the brawny, rugged name to its newest crossover. Yes, crossover. The Tahoe, which replaced the two-door K5 Blazer back in the mid ’90s, remains the top choice for drivers looking for bowties and body-on-frame construction.

However, there’s plenty of space between the newly downsized Equinox and sprawling Traverse. Into the breach drives the Blazer.

1983 Chevrolet Blazer

As you see here, the model retains the blocky proportions seen in the previous generation, as well as a traditional two-door layout and sliding rear window. Wait, that’s a 1983 S-10 model!

Sorry about that, but you get the picture. With a long-running name comes plenty of heritage, and some folks might not be too keen on the idea of a unibody, front-drive crossover with optional all-wheel drive carrying this particular nameplate. Thankfully for General Motors, these types are vastly outnumbered by folks who just want a damn crossover and find the Equinox a little too small.

Image: Brain Williams/Spiedbilde

The actual new Blazer, seen above, rides atop the shorter of the GM “Chi” platforms, shared by the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5. Looking at that sharply slanted rear glass, it seems this model won’t have a third row, leaving the classroom-hauling capabilities to the Traverse, Tahoe, and Suburban.

Yes, it’s a far cry from the blocky, square-rigged SUVs of the past, but Chevy already has those. Fuel economy requires a graceful face, and the model’s styling needs to stay in line with that of the brand’s smaller and larger crossovers.

It’s too bad about the bulky padded camo hiding the vehicles’ flanks. We can see, however, a set of high-mounted horizontal taillights looking quite similar to those on the Equinox.

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

It’s likely buyers will see a 2.5-liter four-cylinder in base trim, with uplevel models gaining a 3.6-liter V6. In other words, a carryover from the Acadia. GM’s nine-speed automatic seems the most probable transmission candidate.

The upcoming Chevrolet Blazer should appear later this year as a 2019 model.

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

[Images: Wikimedia (CC BY-SW 4.0), Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

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75 Comments on “Spied: Chevrolet’s Butch New 2019 Blazer...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Whooooooooooo! A Chevrolet Acadia!

    Nope that’s sarcasm, I have 0 enthusiasm for the reuse of the Blazer name.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      They should make a BOF midsize SUV based on the canyonerado, with only the V6 or diesel. Make it tow 7k lbs, which handily bests the 4runner.

      I’d be into that.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        It will never happen. It’s too much like right.

      • 0 avatar
        YellowDuck

        I doubt you’d get 7k lbs towing (that’s like Durango territory), but something exceeding minivan capability would be nice. Can’t a Ford Escape tow 5000? That would be a good target.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I think at some point it becomes more of a function of curb weight, wheelbase, and suspension tuning (4Runner or in an extreme case Wrangler prioritizes offroad articulation over towing manners) more so than the capabilities of the motor/transmission. IIRC A weak-kneed 3.5L Tacoma is rated to tow more than a 4Runner with the stronger, torquier 4.0L. Taco has a longer wheelbase and leaf-sprung rear end that might be more stable with a loaded trailer. Durango is nicely set up for towing with a fairly long wheelbase, road-oriented suspension and lower center of gravity, and the strong motor option of course.

          • 0 avatar
            Joshua Johnson

            After checking out Budda-Boom’s link, I am torn between the colors of “Edible Berries” and “Global Sun of a Gun.”

            Assuming I am translating correctly, the towing capacity of the Trailblazer is 3500 kg (7700 lbs) without trailer brakes, and 5700 kg (12500 lbs!!) with trailer brakes.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Josh you need to take the global tow ratings with a huge grain of salt, US spec tow ratings are generally massively lower given our litigious society.

          • 0 avatar
            Joshua Johnson

            In my excitement over the ratings, I forgot to finish reading the rest of the text. It looks like the figures I quoted are the maximum combined weight of the vehicle and trailer. The vehicle is 2200 kg/4800 lbs, so tow rating would be 2900 lbs w/o trailer brakes, 7700 lbs with trailer brakes. Factoring in the US litigation reduction you mentioned, and it goes down to 7000 lbs max like most other BOF SUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            John Boschen

            I’m not sure but correct me if I’m wrong isn’t the Durango on a truck frame anyway? I really don’t know I’m just guessing.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I’m so glad I didn’t follow my childhood aspirations of being an automotive mechanical engineer at GM. My soul would have shriveled up long ago from working on these, and I’d have to live in the dreaded north. When the press release hits for this thing, I likely won’t even notice it.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Much like the 1985 Nova, the people in the know will say “That’s not a Blazer!”

    But most people won’t care.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Will GM simultaneously announce the discontinuation of the Impala and/or Malibu when this debuts? May as well…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Wtf is the difference between Equinox and this again (other than the folly of man)?

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Yet another tall, formless blob of a CUV. Yeah.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    It seems like every mid-sized SUV from the 90s has been turned into a blobby CUV or otherwise discontinued except the 4Runner. Sad.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Pathfinder, Cherokee, Explorer and now the Blazer. Even the Eclipse has come back as a crossover. Perhaps the Bronco will be our salvation?

  • avatar
    bts

    Why didn’t Chevy come up with a new name for this crossover and leave the Blazer name available for a body on frame SUV based on the Colorado truck platform?

    This way they’d have a competitor to the Ford Bronco that’s coming out soon and the 4 Runner.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Good question.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Not many folks actually remember the Blazer used to be a butch off road vehicle. They remember it as a family truckster. In that sense, I suppose it makes sense.

    • 0 avatar
      TheBestPlaceEver

      +1

      The Colorado is a great platform, and the small truck segment seems to be doing well – why not get more juice out of their existing R&D spend?

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Since the Bronco is certain to be a bland 4-door utility vehicle on a par with the Escape, calling this thing a Blazer is no big deal.

      I still think that Ford or Chevy could have a big hit by taking their down-sized truck platforms and creating a 2 door squared off design to appeal to those people who like the image of a Jeep but don’t want to put up the crudeness of a Jeep. Don’t bother with serious off-road capability, just make it look macho but keep it comfortable. I even think that Toyota/Subaru could pull it off with the RAV4/Forester platforms. Toyota tried something like this with the FJ but they went too far.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Even if the Bronco disappoints by ending up a rebadged Everest, it would still be a legitimate SUV in direct competition with the 4Runner.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        We don’t know what the Bronco is going to be yet. Ford has claimed that its kinship to the early Bronco will be obvious, whereas this thing bears no relationship with the first Blazer.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        “Since the Bronco is certain to be a bland 4-door utility vehicle on a par with the Escape”

        I had no idea the Escape was based on a BOF truck chassis with real off-road chops. Oh wait, it isn’t.

        I think its great that you’re certain about something already dismissed by the facts that have been released thus far. There will be a smaller unibody but off-road capable utility, but the Bronco itself is based on Ranger and will be nothing like the Escape whatsoever, except you can buy either one at the same dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        John Boschen

        Watch one of the trailers from that new movie The Rock is in called Rampage I think he’s got one of the new Broncos in that movie and that thing is really nice!

    • 0 avatar
      Magnusmaster

      Beats me, since the current Colorado-based SUV is called Trailblazer.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Nope. Not-a Blazer. Whoever buys one should automatically have the Not-A fastened in front of the Blazer label. In no way would this qualify as a Blazer in any of its previous iterations.

  • avatar
    Oldschool

    The Blazer name should NOT be revived. Too many bad memories growing up knowing people that owned them and were in shambles and ghettofied.

    Also, those old trucks from the 70’s on down were truly solid as a rock. They were actually meant to be battered and beat up as it’s sheetmetal was ultra thick and couldn’t easily be dented.

    Try abusing a new truck as hard as they old ones, and I’m sure the new trucks sheet metal will be in much worse shape because of how paper thin the entire body is.

    I’ll take a 60’s-70’s big Chevy pick up with all that heavy duty steel any day over the chinzy new crap that feels like one big plastic Tonka Truck.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “Also, those old trucks from the 70’s on down were truly solid as a rock. They were actually meant to be battered and beat up as it’s sheetmetal was ultra thick and couldn’t easily be dented.”

      The ’73-’87 Gm trucks are about the most rust-prone domestic trucks ever made (key word being domestic, they were probably on par or a bit better than an early Toyota or Datsun truck). I don’t doubt that they could resist a dent well while new, but hoo-jeez did they rot.

      • 0 avatar
        IBx1

        Oh right, the ones where 2/3 of the entire bed has rusted away.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I find that hard to believe when pre-1994 Dodge trucks are practically extinct here in PA…

      • 0 avatar
        2000ChevyImpalaLS

        Speaking from personal experience:
        – My first vehicle was a ’78 K5 Blazer. I loved that truck. I still had it up until a couple of years ago, even though I didn’t drive it anymore. I had grand visions of reviving it, but never the time or resources. So I let it go to pay off my current car. I would welcome it back, or a reasonable direct descendant thereof, any time. So it pains me to see the Blazer name attached to something it just doesn’t belong on.

        – I don’t know about the “rust prone” aspect of the ’73-’87 GM trucks you speak of. I’ve had one in my life since I was 5 and none of them, the Blazer above included, ever suffered anything more than surface rust, and that’s more due to failing original paint than anything else. My parents bought an ’86 Chevy Custom Deluxe pickup brand new, Christmas Eve 1985. It was in our family until just over 10 years later, when my dad was nearly killed in it, having been hit by a semi-truck and another pickup. It was replaced by an ’86 Silverado 4×4 which he still daily drives. None of the Chevy trucks my family has or previously owned suffered any major mechanical failures, nor did they rot away.

        But that’s just my experience here in Georgia. YMMV.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This is downright embarrassing to GMs reputation, and most people would laugh at the very thought GM still has any good reputation left. I can’t believe they produce another turd like this when the 4Runner and Wrangler are riding so high in sales and don’t sag a brand down with the reputation of producing turds such as this. An embarrassment to not just the Blazer name but to an American icon.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      Screw Chevrolet. Hope they lose big on this one.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        Nothing surprises me anymore after the FWD Malibus, Impalas and Monte Carlos.

      • 0 avatar
        NN

        I share your sentiment. As a prior owner of 2 S-10’s (1993 that I drove cross country, down Baja mexico and back to east coast) and a 1998 ZR2 that got some good off-road time in; I would never buy this. It is not a Blazer. Yes those trucks were not as reliable as 4-Runners but they had great engines, were capable and looked so damn classic. I ran mine both beyond 150k then sold them and truth be told they were both good trucks to me.

        I see a lot of the new Colorado’s on the road. They seem to have replaced what the Blazer & S10 both used to be for smaller Chevy truck fans.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    The grave of yet another reputable SUV nameplate gets the a$$ of crossover dragged across it. I’m waiting for the Montero Cross X from Mitsubishi. 3 rows, 6 inches of ground clearance, turbo-4 with CVT.

    I’m glad I didn’t wait for the domestics to turn something out when I bought the 4Runner. Yes, I know about the Grand Cherokee.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Just waiting on the Corvette crossover…..

    That 83 looks great in yellow but I never saw one in the wild.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I guess everyone forgot what an utter disappointment the final generation of the Blazer was. This looks like a logical evolution from that, in form at least.

    I am quite concerned about the headlight situation on this also-ran crossover. Looks like it might be taking a page from the Cherokee or Juke.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    So its a minivan. Great. The Pathfinders not doing to well, I’m sure this thing will do SO MUCH better, amirite?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      1) This is a competitor to Nissan Murano (among others), not Pathfinder.

      2) As per the article, it probably won’t have a 3rd row, so how is is a “minivan”? How many 5 passenger minivans are there?

      3) The Pathfinder sells poorly compared to most in its segment, but still outsells the Dodge Durango, for example. Its just not a very good vehicle, and its sales numbers reflect that. Cash on the hood is probably the only thing that keeps it selling better than Durango. Chevy’s answer to this segment is the Traverse, one of the better selling vehicles in that class. There is no shortage of 3rd row crossover sales, but again, the vehicle in this article does not compete there.

  • avatar
    TW5

    FCA: I bet you can’t wreck one of your legacy nameplates better than we wrecked Cherokee.

    GM: Hold my beer.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      LOL, ditto Explorer and Pathfinder, although the final IRS implementations of those two were no spring chickens offroad either, but miles ahead of their CUV successors. The last GMT-360 Trailblazers were thoroughly neutered in terms of offroad ambitions as well (stock anyways, there is a small aftermarket to lift and armor them). At least the GMT360 had the basic bones to build off of, ditto the GMT-330 (S10 Blazer) before it. There was at least a ZR2 variant that was a pretty beefy offroader.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Let’s remember 13 years ago when mid-size SUVs still existed.

        caranddriver.com/comparisons/2005-ford-explorer-vs-jeep-grand-cherokee-mitsubishi-montero-nissan-pathfinder-toyota-4runner-vw-touareg-comparison-tests

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Jeez it’s like half the space in the “lows” category for all of those cars was spent complaining about interior panel textures and how knobs looked. What a bunch of dopes.

          My own ranking from those competitors, with current used examples in mind:
          1st 4runner (best built, among most capable, but even more cramped headroom than my 3rd gen.
          pricey on used market)
          2nd Montero (Land Rover driving position, hard to find a clean one but good values used, poor articulation)
          3rd Pathfinder (cramped, but made until 2012 and affordable used)
          4th Grand Cherokee (crap quality but hemi+ quadradrive is genius offroad)
          5th Explorer (crap quality, mediocre capability, at least its roomy and parts are cheap/easy to find)
          6th Touareg (unreliable sh*theap that is also expensive to repair)

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I usually like Bedard’s writing, but this article doesn’t work. The “lows” list didn’t match well with the text, and try figuring out how the Explorer was placed last when they hardly had anything negative to say about it.

            And I’ll buy a Touareg over an Explorer or 4Runner when hell freezes over.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      This whole thing is a damned joke.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I’ll echo what others are saying, what a waste of a name. I’ve eyeballed GMT400 K5 Blazers (later renamed Tahoe) for a while, they are a fetching combination of solid GMT400 driveline, everyday usability and comfort, and good looks (more rare and interesting than the 4 door Tahoe/’burb). Clean ones are going up in value. I like the square body S10 Blazers as well. Good luck getting your infotain-ed Chinesium packed new CUV Blazer up here:
    youtu.be/JdJ1LlQ5vWM
    youtu.be/1Yn6rxOduhM

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    **** Chevrolet.

  • avatar
    RSF

    Yeah should have been a competitor for the 4Runner. Or better yet the Wrangler. Why can’t GM build something fun with removable top, removable doors, body on frame with big off road capability, etc? It’s not like Jeep is struggling to sell the Wrangler.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    I haven’t heard a friend yet who owned a Trailblazer and liked it. The biggest complaint was the reliability. It looks like Chevy completely crapped on that name, so now they need to differentiate the model from its previous failure. How much you want to bet it’s a name change with a facelift on the same failure of a puffed-up sedan?

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      yeah I’ve heard tales of woe about the GMT360 trucks, most of the ones I see on the road now are in various states of decline, the typical socio-economic position of their owners certainly doesn’t help things. They always seem to make ominous suspension noises going over bad roads around here. Yet underneath all of that crusty interior, various failing sub-systems, broken transfer cases and loose suspensions is a fundamentally sturdy and awesome engine: the I6 4.2L Atlas. It kills me when GM spends the money to create an awesome beastly motor like that, and then unceremoniously kills it when the turd of a vehicle they shoehorned it into goes by the wayside. I wonder if any Lemons or Chumpcar teams have swapped the Atlas into something? Seems like it’d be a cheap motor to get from a yard, with very strong performance in 100% stock form.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        The GMT360s were solidly in the era when GM was beggaring its suppliers into bankruptcy, so the various parts were the cheapest sub-Chinese garbage possible.

        The problem with swapping the Atlas I6 is that it is tall and long, and everything it would fit in will also fit an LS1 or other rorty V8.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          You’re right on all points of course, but I think the sound and smooth fury of a DOHC 275HP I6 is just plain cool and somewhat unique compared to a ubiquitous LS/LT iron block swap.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            The entire Atlas project was money hemorrhaging comedy as only GM could do it from beginning to end.

            First, GM set out to build a new midsized truck motor, seemingly unaware they already had the standard of the world midsized truck motor in the 5300 V8.

            Second, GM failed to check whether it actually fit in their new midsized truck, of course it didn’t and the Colorado went out with a noisy, gutless five cylinder cutdown instead that lost every single competitive sale in the first five minutes of the test drive.

            Third, to their credit GM had either the sense or blind luck to also offer the 5300 V8 in the Trailblazer, which of course all buyers wanted instead, so the cheap pushrod V8 was positioned as the extra cost option while the expensive Atlas went to cheapskates and fleets.

            Fourth, GM then spent another heap of money completely refreshing the Atlas for MY 2006 at the same time that they were cancelling the 2nd gen Trailblazer that it was going to go in. So the new and even more expensive Atlas 2.0 went in the same rental cars as the old one had.

  • avatar
    ArialATOMV8

    As a car enthusiast, (Just like the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross)I strongly feel this car does not live up to its Historical nameplate. A Blazer should be a off-road orientated durable SUV not a grocery-hauler.

    Then again times have changed for the social norm of the US consumer market.

    These days, for the most part, SUV’s stay on pavement, a majority of the consumers want “Practical”, “well-equipped” cars, and finally, for most buyers, fuel-efficiency takes a higher priority over “driving pleasure”.

    Thus, gone are the days in this country where dealer lots were loaded with bare-bones models, a world with 2 door off-road capable SUV’s, and finally when there was a abundance of exiting and/or impractical cars like the Subaru Baja, Ford Bronco, and all of the 90s ricer cars like the MK4 Supra, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Honda CRX, etc

  • avatar
    tonyola

    At least Chevy isn’t calling it a BLZ.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    The fraction of new vehicle buyers who actually go off road is infinitesimal. Let Jeep sell Trail Rated vehicles to the few who care. Meanwhile there is big money to be made from people who will never read or post on TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Toyota’s clearing 120k 4Runners annually at the moment, and you’re right barely any go offroad. And as you mentioned Jeep is selling every last 4 door Wrangler they can build, typically with transaction prices in the $35k+ range. Both Toyota and Jeep likewise have a healthy crossover portfolio for buyers to choose from, yet they also recognize there’s money to be made on more heavily image/lifestyle/capability-oriented offerings. I think a lot of “regular” people go to a Toyota dealership and see a Highlander and 4Runner, both for sale in the $36-38k bracket for a V6/AWD/4WD unit, and decide the 4Runner “looks tougher” or they think the rolldown rear window is really neat or something.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    I will wait for the RST trim with the Camaro/Corvette V8 Supercharge inside and suspension package! Hope they limit the governor speed to 200 mph! Then the name “Blazer” will mean something special!


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