By on June 22, 2018

Image: GM

It seems there were no shortage of comments left on our 2019 Chevrolet Blazer story after it went up last night. Sorry for keeping you all up, feverishly pounding those keys. But could there not be? The decision to resurrect a fairly fondly remembered name and apply it to a less-rugged vehicle was bound to spark controversy. Twitter, that bastion of right-thinking hot takes, was aflame.

You can’t always get what you want, some might say. The middle ground in Chevy’s crossover space is too lucrative to field anything other than what we got. Sure, the model isn’t what us die-hards hoped for, they’d say, but a two-door, body-on-frame SUV just doesn’t fly, and the development costs and resulting MSRP would place it outside the hole Chevy intended to fill.

Screw that, others might say. Ever heard of the Bronco? No one shoved a .38 in the small of Chevy’s back, forcing it to dust off the Blazer name for this particular model.

Amazingly, especially given my very GM-centric upbringing, I have no experience with a Blazer, though I have spent time in a first-generation Jimmy (front-mounted spare, white Tremclad bumpers) and an Envoy. For the first model especially, “indestructable” is the word that first comes to mind.

Heritage holds weight, so it’s little wonder Chevy decided to go with a nameplate that carries significant name recognition. For the same reason, it’s no wonder why many are upset. By calling this midsize, unibody crossover the Blazer, GM made it clear we’re not going to see a latter-day revival of the BOF ute in showrooms anytime soon, if ever. Ford went in a different direction when it opted to return the Bronco name on a 2020 BOF SUV (we’re waiting, with bated breath, to see just how faithful this model actually is).

If there’s no plan to ever fill that same SUV space again, why not make use of available historic names? Something new doesn’t erase the past, it just clouds the memory. And sales remain unaffected by words (unless those words are “recall,” “unreliable,” and “explosion”). Plenty of shoppers are bound to like what they see in the new Blazer, and they won’t galloping into the showroom simply because of a returning nameplate.

On the same note, a person with absolutely no desire to ever own a midsize crossover will continue keeping his or her distance from midsize crossovers. Advantage: GM.

So, how about it? Do you still feel stung, or have you gotten over it already? Or do you care at all what GM does with a name like Blazer?

[Image: General Motors]

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58 Comments on “QOTD: Yea or Nay to the Blazer Name Game?...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    I didn’t expect a K5 Blazer like the ones I remember from the ‘70s, but I didn’t expect another example of Crossoverus Insipidus either.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      AND BOOM – GM TO BUILD NEW BLAZER IN MEXICO

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gm-mexico/gm-to-build-chevrolet-blazer-in-mexico-idUSKBN1JI069

      “GM to build Chevrolet Blazer in Mexico

      Reuters Staff

      (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N) is going ahead with its plan to manufacture the new Chevrolet Blazer SUV in Mexico, a spokesman for the automaker said on Thursday, despite criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump over making vehicles abroad.

      FILE PHOTO: A logo of General Motors is pictured at its plant in Silao, in Guanajuato state, Mexico, November 9, 2017. Picture taken November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
      Trump has been pressing automakers to build more vehicles in the United States under efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

      “We remain committed to working with the administration on a modernized NAFTA,” GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said, adding the decision was made years ago.

      Trump has previously criticized GM for building vehicles in Mexico for sale in the United States….”

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Nay. That thing deserves the Blazer name no more than Ford’s ridiculous model deserves the Explorer name. The Bronco might–only might–deserve that off-road moniker.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    GM – you’ve got many great names that you have consigned to the ash heap of history.

    Why are you picking Blazer?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Jeebus that looks horrible. What was wrong with the current one?

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “Or do you care at all what GM does with a name like Blazer?”

    I don’t care much. I don’t have a personal history with the nameplate and it’s not like the S-10 based versions carried the K5 torch very well.

    With the current 4Runner, 2 Jeeps, the incoming Bronco, and Chevy’s own ZR2 Colorado, there is already a reasonable selection of midsize 4-door offroadables on the market

  • avatar
    Dan

    The K5 was 50 years ago. In modern times Blazer just means malaise POS and the Chevy Rogue lives up to that just fine.

    Outside of the Suburban it’s not as if GM has any name equity left to ruin at this point.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    I had a similar reaction when Honda brought back the Passport name. Whatevs…

  • avatar
    TW5

    Chevrolet is doing what it must to keep shareholders happy. Diluting the Blazer nameplate was an inevitability.

    Car enthusiasts also have a responsibility to mock any company that squeezes profits from its marketing assets because it has run out of ideas.

    In this instance, the name Trailblazer or Blazer has nothing to do with the vehicular pastiche Chevrolet built, but they needed to somehow shoehorn the name Blazer into their CUV lineup. Chevrolet marketing decided the name “Blazer” was not Trailblazer, rather an article of pastel clothing worn by bicurious parking attendants on the upper-westside. The social media campaign also deserves mockery, even if the vehicle itself is a reasonable.

    The new Blazer is more or less what the buying public would expect, but the buying public should also curb stomp the manufacturers whenever they smash the piggy banks associated with legacy brands. It’s unsustainable and lazy, and it is already ushering in a new era of malaise.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I never owned a Blazer, and never wanted to own one, so I’m afraid I don’t have a dog in this fight.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    It could be worse. They could have named it the Vega. Or going the other way, they could have named it the Caprice. Actually, I think Caprice would have been better.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Dear GM:

    Feck you. I m buying TOY HON Buru from now on.
    If I need a pick up- it ll be a RAM.

    RAM IT

  • avatar
    cammark

    To me, using the Blazer name on a vehicle with a much more modern architecture and construction method, however far-removed from the original it may be is not an issue. If a modern version of a K5 Blazer is what you’re looking for, good news- Tahoe. Sure, it’s a 4-door, but so is every pickup truck now.

    It comes down to styling. going back to the current Tahoe, they would have done better making this look like a little brother to the Tahoe. Actually photoshop a picture of a Tahoe onto this wheelbase and give it to the guys in the design studio. Done.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Seems to me that the Blazer name is just fine. Probably appropriate to pin a well known name it to a vehicle that will enjoy brisk sales and nice profits.

    Really not sure where the vitriol is coming from with regard to the name or the looks of this vehicle. This thing will sell like hotcakes. Its exactly what the market wants.

    • 0 avatar
      cammark

      Looking at some of their other products with history behind their names: Camaro, Corvette, Suburban… style-wise they all at least reflect a lineage of the past models. There is a direct visual link from what’s in the show room to what was made 40 years ago. That suggests that they respect the history of the model.

      This new Blazer model is more like the other historic name on dealer lots… Malibu. I don’t hate the looks of the current one. It fills the same spot in the lineup as the classic model. But this is their 3rd or 4th attempt at trying to get it right.

      Giving the Blazer the benefit of the doubt, let’s assume they have built a reliable, economical vehicle suitable for it’s intended buyer. Apart from being a 2-box, “SUV” shaped thing, nothing about it points to the classic models.

      I think that may be the issue. Using the name without respecting where it came from.

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    I just couldn’t care. Like others have said, it’s not like the 90’s Blazer represented the K5 name all that well. That actually might be my one issue with this name – it reminds me of the crappy 90’s Blazer/Jimmy’s and now BHPH Lot Trailblazer. People like to complain that these OEM’s keep diluting their precious once off-road capable suv names, but it’s working. Y’all have seen the sales numbers of the Cherokee, Pathfinder, Explorer…etc. Why not let Chevy do it.

    People online seem to get a huge boner over off-road type vehicles and names, yet rarely buy them. Sure 4Runner’s get taken off-road, but would it really make sense to make this BOF to compete with that. No. Go get your ZR2 or Wrangler. Smart Move GM bringing Blazer back.

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    YAawwnnn…. Sorry… Did you say something?

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    If Chevy can call a Toyota Sprinter (JDM Corolla variant) a “Nova” – and they did – they can call this a Blazer.

    I happen to think it’s a good fit for the marketplace these days.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I’m convinced more and more each day that the B&B is less concerned with the fiscal health and fiduciary obligations of car companies, and more with seeing car companies bend to their will, no matter how ridiculous or irrational.

    The “heritage” of the K10 Blazer was completely vaporized by the S10 turd which followed for the next decade and a half. I guarantee next to nobody but a handful of internet dweebs are mourning the misuse of this glorious marque. If anything they should have named it something else to keep that stench off. This is about as bad as reviving the Cavalier name.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      Actually, the S-10 was a very good vehicle. And judging by the number of S-10 Blazers and Jimmys that I still see, they were also. (I had one of those Jimmys.)
      And Lorenzo is right- at least they gave it a NAME.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        The 4.3 liter wasn’t the greatest six I’ve ever owned.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          The old 4.3 had its peaks and valleys throughout its life.

          I personally think the good outweighed the bad, but reasonable people can disagree.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            The original 4.3 V6 was a classic GM solution to a problem. Take an 8, lop two cylinders off… here’s your 6.

            It was certainly an improvement over the 2.8 V6 it replaced in vehicles like the S10 Blazer. By the Vortec Era it was a good little fuel injected 6 and not demonstrably inferior to it’s competition.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Fuel injection related maladies and some LIM dexcool gasket issues aside, I think the 4.3L Chevy was every bit as good as many years of the Jeep 4.0L I6 that the internet loves to worship. Those Jeep mills were not without their pattern failures either (cracked 0331 heads, broken piston skirts, weak cooling systems).

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Better an easy to remember name than LSM42 or similar. The problem here is all those people with memories. Forget your dad’s cars or those old used junk heaps you drove in your youth.

    Everyone who ever drove a 1968 Toyota Corolla should thank heavens today’s model is an entirely different car. It’s the same with the 1970s Civic. So what’s the diff when a car name from way back is attached to a different car?

    GM has a wealth of defunct model names to dip into and apply to vehicles that just didn’t exist when they were last used. If Chevy is using an old Chevy model name and you’re upset, what are you going to do when they start using old Pontiac and Oldsmobile model names?

    You just KNOW there’s going to be a GMC Tempest, Cadillac Regency, and Chevrolet Cutlass, don’t you? Get ready, the outrage line is forming quickly. Just don’t be surprised when Gen-X and the millennials walk by, pointing and laughing at the old geezers.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I’m not so much worried about the name. I do wonder what kind of sales a Camaro inspired crossover will get in the market. Most of these crossovers are pretty plain vanilla, with the Edge Sport as an exception. Do buyers really want this? Maybe if it comes with the active exhaust like a Camaro….

    Also, copying the Camaro’s interior might have seemed like a great idea, but the Camaro’s instrument panel is not that great. You try finding the low set, tiny black HVAC buttons on the black dashboard.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      The Camaro has about as much influence on this turd as Iron Maiden has on Justin Bieber.

      Use the Camaro platform to wring out something with an available V8 in automatic or manual with rwd or awd (the way Infiniti basically had a CUV based on the G35 coupe/sedan) and THEN you might have something.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Iron Maiden DID have an influence on Biebs. He hated it and went in a different direction. It’s like when I give my sister advice – she does the opposite. It may be negative, but it’s influence.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    There is no reason to use the Blazer name.

    The only people it had equity with won’t be buying this vehicle.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    They’re going to sell so many they may do like Ford and quit sedans. Nobody gives a darn about heritage anymore. The guys who need and want a serious BOF 4×4 are quite happy with the existing choices (Wrangler and 4Runner), everyone else wants to “sit up higher” and have an “active lifestyle.” It’s actually pretty good looking, and 300+HP is nothing to sneeze at.

  • avatar
    James2

    If Mitsubishi can call a CUV “Eclipse” then Chevy can use “Blazer” however they like.

    It might be a good thing they didn’t call it “Trailblazer” because the last one we rented many years ago was so bad that my dad, who knows nothing about cars, said it was crap.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Much like the 4-door Charger which rousted up a slew of hate for reasons that everyone knows, this is a bad move. The difference is, the Charger regardless of name is about the most awesome thing you can buy with 4 doors and a trunk…AND, Dodge didn’t expect coupe buyers to sell out for practicality and buy a sedan…they gave us the Challenger.

    This thing however, is just another boring crap CUV…doesn’t matter WHAT you call it. The fact is, GM sucks so bad they wont step up to the plate and offer a BOF 4×4 to answer the Wrangler challenge…they took the lazy lame way out and are just pooping out another also ran turd. Even Ford found its jewels and is bringing back the Bronco. Wether it will pass muster or not, remains to be seen.

    Hey GM, if you had even a shadow of a spine, youd have taken the ZR2 Canyon/Colorado extended cab, shortened the wheelbase, and integrated the rear bed (for a cross between the Avalanche and Toyota FJ) supplied a coil spring live front axle, and made multiple rear roof options available. Jeep might actually take notice.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I dunno, it’s a decent looking soft roader that doesn’t look like a total mommobile (looking at you, Traverse) and has a pretty gutsy V6. Being GM, it will probably also have a bunch of other useful features like good climate control, that Chevy link with remote start, and some solid but chillers. I kinda like it.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Pretty sure when most people hear “Blazer,” they think S-10, not K-5. And most people who bought S-10 Blazers new did so for family hauling and/or posing, not actual off-roading. No different purpose than this new crossover Blazer.

    I fail to see the problem here. You could argue that reminding consumers of a vehicle that everyone who isn’t a blind GM loyalist thought was dogsh*t isn’t the best idea, but it’s still a better name than Equinox.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Meh. I had a 98 T10 Blazer; it ate wheel bearings like there was no tomorrow. In the 17k miles I had it, I’d replaced all of them at least once and a couple twice.

    It was very used when I bought it, did it’s job as a part time vehicle, was sold. I hold no ill-will to the thing and the name Blazer doesn’t make me soft and gooey. If GM can make a case for it and it won’t cannibalize sales from their other dozen crossovers (it will) let them try.

  • avatar
    2000ChevyImpalaLS

    Those who say the K5 was replaced by the S-series Blazer forget that the K-5 Blazer stayed around in it’s most recognizable (squarebody) form through 1991, and became the Tahoe when folks decided 4 doors were better than 2, but a Suburban was just too much.
    But the smaller Blazer was a pretty decent machine itself. I still see plenty of them around, decades after they went out of production, so GM must’ve gotten something right. I’ve looked in to buying one a time or two.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but my first vehicle was a ’78 K-5. I loved that truck. I’m not thrilled with the idea of putting the Blazer name on an _UV, but I won’t lose any sleep over it, either. And honestly, neither will anyone here. I hope they at least offer a 4WD/AWD version.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    My gut reaction is that yes, I would like the resurrection of old nameplates be reasonably related to the original or at least best-known iteration of the original. So yeah, I don’t really want to see a bland _UV with the Wildcat appellation.

    That being said, Aspen seemed like a decent SUV name despite it having nothing in common with the F-body original. And remember that the Voyager was a full-size van and the Town & Country was a station wagon before they were minivans.

    As far as destroying nameplate brand equity, you can be sure Chevy focus-grouped this to within an inch of its life. If it was likely a majority of buyers would reject the name, they would have left it mothballed.


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