2019 Chevrolet Blazer: Forget the Past, This Is Our Future

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

General Motors has pulled the wraps off its 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, a vehicle that in no way reminds anyone of past vehicles bearing that heritage-steeped nameplate.

Sporting two rows of seating, an edgier profile than either its smaller Equinox sibling or its hulking Traverse big brother, and two engine choices, the Blazer’s main competition seems to be the Ford Edge, rather than its three-row GMC Acadia platform mate.

While the underpinnings and engines are shared with the Acadia (as well as other GM vehicles), the Blazer, which arrives early next year, has a sportier persona in mind. The rear glass is much further from the vertical than its stablemates. Its fenders bulge. Its roof floats, if only by a bit. The flat beltline appears high, the similarly straight roof low. Its stacked headlights, seemingly designed by Hyundai, lend a meaner look to this family hauler’s face.

GM claims those peepers, which place thin LED running lights on top and driving lamps slung below in large, crowded vents, are meant to reduce glare for other drivers. Overall, the impression is of a vehicle that’s lower and wider than its compatriots. Dare we say muscular? Athletic, maybe.

In terms of volume, there’s a whopping seven-tenths of a cubic foot more cargo space with the rear seats folded down than in the compact Equinox. At least there’s more power, as well as towing capacity. When equipped with the familiar 3.6-liter V6 (305 horsepower, 269 lb-ft of torque), the Blazer can manage up to 4,500 pounds on a rear hitch, or 1,000 lbs more than the Equinox when outfitted with the 2.0-liter turbo four.

Entry-level Blazers, simply called “Blazer” and not the traditional LS or LT or some variation thereof, come equipped with a 2.5-liter inline-four making 193 hp and 188 lb-ft. Both engines put the power down through a nine-speed automatic, and both a feature stop/start system.

All Blazers leave the factory with adjustable Traction Select traction control, with all-wheel drive an option for all. The sportier mid-range RS trim seen here (GM calls it “sinister-looking,” tell us if you agree) and the top-flight Premier model can both be had with a twin-clutch AWD system that’s more suited to diverse road and weather conditions. And driving moods, one assumes.

Looks-wise, you’ll be able to tell a base Blazer apart from the others from its standard 18-inch aluminum wheels. RS and Premier trims can be outfitted with hoops as large as 21 inches. There’s also the matter of the grille. Blacked out and mesh-filled in RS guise, the fancy-pants Premier goes all in on the chrome.

GM says buyers can expect plenty of choice with the interior, with a number of colors and trims to choice from, depending on model. As you see below, there’s more of a horizontal motif going on here than in other GM crossovers. This impression of width, plus circular air vents, is meant to convey an impression of sport. We’re eager to see if the ride comes close to cashing that check.

Elsewhere, a panoramic sunroof is available, as is Chevy’s Cargo Management System, which segments the cargo area via rails and a fence. It’s standard on RS and Premiere.

Among the high-tech niceties are available Hitch View, which gives passengerless drivers a bird’s eye view of the vehicle’s rear, an electronic locking glove box to keep other people’s hands off whatever, and the ability to roll all four windows down en masse via the key fob. No one likes ass-searing leather. A feature seen on other GM models — hands-free power liftgate with logo projection — appears on RS and Premier.

Infotainment comes by way of an 8-inch touchscreen on all Blazers, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard kit.

That’s all GM’s willing to tell us right now, and, depending on your memories of past Blazers, it might be more than you need to hear. Reusing nameplates can be controversial, and we have no doubt many readers already have their shorts in a bunch over GM’s decision to slap a brawny name on a unibody crossover. Regardless, the vehicle fills a hole in the lineup, and the name rings a bell for many. Sad? Too bad.

Further details, including price, will have to wait until closer to the model’s production date.

[Images: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Pb35 Pb35 on Jun 23, 2018

    Eh, it doesn’t offend me but who cares what I think? I’d never buy a CUV so they don’t have to market it to me. They’ll sell 10k/month, everyone from graduating seniors to senior citizens will be driving them. But not me, the 50yo dad with 2 kids under 10 and plenty of disposable income. My question is though, how come I never heard a peep about this new offering until I got the email from Chevy yesterday morning? I’ve been hearing about the Bronco for years and I get the major auto mags and read about cars online every day. I have an SS in my garage so I get the promo emails from GM. Anyway, I came up with a winning tag line for this one, JUST BLAZE. The kids’ll love it.

  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on Jun 23, 2018

    Interesting that they went for the Jeep Cherokee or Nissan Juke headlight position. Looks pretty good. Caprice would have been an interesting heritage name choice. Probably another nail in the coffin for the Impala as this will likely crush that model in sales. These two-row cross overs are this era’s personal luxury coupe. Edge, Murano, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Infiniti Qx50 and Qx70, and the CUV “coupes” from BMW and M-B are all in this niche.

  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
  • EBFlex The answer is yes. Anyone that says no is just….. wrong.But the government doesn’t want people to have that much freedom and the politicians aren’t making money off PHEVs or HEVs. So they will be stifled.