By on June 24, 2019

2019 Chevrolet Blazer front quarter

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS AWD

3.6-liter V6, DOHC (308 hp @ 6700 rpm, 270 lb/ft. @ 5000 rpm)

Nine-speed auto transmission, all-wheel drive

18 city / 25 highway / 21 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

22.7 (observed mileage, MPG)

12.7 city / 9.5 highway / 11.3 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $44,695 US / $48,295 CAD

As Tested: $50,765 US/ $55,485 CAD

Prices include $1195 destination charge in the United States and $1995 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

As I’ve been reviewing cars for this venerable publication for nearly three years, I’ve noticed how easy it is to become jaded about new cars. While I’m not like some journalists, getting handed keys to six figure exotics every week, I am rather lucky to experience cars on a regular basis that frequently cost more than I’d likely ever spend with my own money.

I’m reminded of this most often when something unusual graces my driveway, and a neighbor strikes up a conversation — or when I’m walking back to the car from the supermarket and someone is waiting to ask about the car. It doesn’t happen often — but this new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS seemingly compels conversation.

Plan your trips accordingly.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer profile

The styling is certainly polarizing. The new Blazer has been so frequently referred to as a “Camaro but as a crossover” that it’s becoming a bit cliché. From my angle, I see a Camaro that one can actually see out of.

I’ll be here all week. Be sure to try the meatloaf.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer front

But really, thanks to Chevrolet for building a crossover that doesn’t blend in. Most competitors are visually interchangeable save for the preponderance of hideous corporate grilles — I’m looking at you, Lexus.

Here, the style goes beyond the front hubs. Blacked-out A-pillars, a funky D-pillar creating an almost-floating roof effect, and a dramatic upward sweep to the rear quarter panel make this one of the most distinctive crossovers on the market.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer rear

My only gripe with the styling is on the rear, where a highly-polished black panel sits below the tailgate, with another black panel of a slightly different sheen makes up the lower bumper. The mismatch is distracting, but if one were to select a darker color than the bright Red Hot hue found here, the panels would likely not be as incongruous.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer interior

Inside, the Camaro influence continues with the central HVAC ducts dominating the dash. I love the novel method of controlling temperature by spinning the outer rim of the duct — dual-zone climate control is important as my usual front-seat passenger typically sets her side about ten degrees higher than mine. However, the location of the duct outlet itself isn’t ideal. I’d prefer it be set higher in the dash to allow warm or cold air be blown toward the driver’s face as needed — on a long evening road trip, I’ll often keep cold air blasting my schnoz paired with plenty of caffeine to help with alertness. With these nozzles, my right hand, right knee, and the forward-most cupholder gets the bulk of the airflow.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer center stack

Otherwise, the interior is perfectly functional, with clear controls for HVAC in a single row above those big ducts, and a quick-reacting touchscreen for audio and phone controls. The plastic on the lower half of the dash is a bit hard to the touch, but the top half is nicely finished in stitched leather(ish?) material, with body-color stitching. Front and rear comfort is quite good, as the kids had plenty of head and legroom in the second row without kicking me. The seats are supportive enough — the lower cushions are a bit flat but, unless one takes this big Blazer corner carving, you’ll never notice.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer front seat

No, I’m not saying that the Blazer leans toward the “sports” side of the SUV formula. But the driving dynamics are superb for what it is. Steering is light but responsive and cornering is reasonably flat. The ride is a touch firm but controlled over frost heaves and potholes. Some of the harshness likely comes from the optional 21-inch alloy wheels, included on my tester as part of the creatively-named “Sun and Wheels” ($2,495 MSRP) package that adds the panoramic sunroof and the larger (versus standard on the RS trim 20 inch) wheels.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer rear seat

308 horsepower is a lovely thing. However, as the Blazer is equipped with a naturally aspirated V6, the power comes in relatively high on the tachometer. Many other competitors use a turbo four cylinder, which produces power lower in the range. Still, I love the character of the V6 — with a nice subtle growl under load. I’ve generally found the V6 to more consistently meet fuel economy expectations than a turbocharged engine. I was pleasantly surprised to beat the EPA combined rating of 21 mpg in my week of driving mostly in typical city conditions.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer gauges

It’s fair to say that I like the Chevrolet Blazer. It’s pricey for what it is, certainly, but it’s fair to say that the typical incentives offered on most General Motors products will make this a more appealing buy.

Were I to spec a Blazer, I’d have to select the V6, but I’d shy away from the RS trim simply to bring the cost down. I’m looking at another creative trim name, “Blazer Cloth” with all-wheel drive, cloth seats, the V6, adding the $1,845 Convenience and Driver Confidence package (remote start, heated front seats, power liftgate, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind zone monitor among other things) for a delivered MSRP of $39,040 before any cash on the hood. And this one will have to ride even better on meaty 18 inch wheels. I’d have to imagine that this is a spec that will frequently be stocked by dealers, and thus allow for more aggressive discounting.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer Screenshot

Make mine the unusual Sunlit Bronze Metallic, and again thank Chevrolet for making a number of interesting colors a no-extra-cost option.

At that number, the Blazer will continue to turn heads and spark conversations. Yeah, a few of those convos will bring up the “ruined heritage” of the Blazer name. No matter. As an owner of a Chevrolet TrailBlazer, I can guarantee you the “heritage” of that name was obliterated by the GMT360 platform in 2002. Don’t worry about the name — this Blazer is good enough to make most people forget.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer rear quarter
[Images: © 2019 Chris Tonn, screenshot courtesy]

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79 Comments on “2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS AWD Review – Everybody’s Talkin’...”

  • avatar

    Still the most god awful, ghastly, monstrosity to roll on American roads, the only minivan that could ever make the Aztec look appealing.

    • 0 avatar

      I have to disagree. From the outside I like it a lot – every other crossover on the road is essentially the same boring formula. Kudos to Chevrolet for being different. The interior, at least from the photos, does not look nearly as nice. I’d would certainly test drive one of these if I was in the market for a crossover.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m not seeing how this isn’t the same old formula. I think CUVs look so similar now that minor differences are elevated to being “not formulaic.” I can’t see how this doesn’t follow pretty closely to existing CUV formula. Not bad looking, but not unique.

    • 0 avatar

      Godwin’s Automotive Corollary predicts that intelligent debate in any automotive forum will eventually give way to comparisons involving the Pontiac Aztek. Kudos for getting there on the very first post.

      But seriously, in a world of overwrought sci-fi vehicle design this one ain’t all that bad. It’s a little garish, like a Nissan or Toyota, but it also benefits from a dash of Mazda and a sprinkling of Camaro. If you were Chevrolet and wanted to stand out, how much better could you realistically do?

      • 0 avatar

        “how much better could you realistically do?”

        A lot better, perhaps something that created a buzz to get people into the showroom. As is now there is precious little going on over at your local Chevrolet dealership to attract consumers. Not everyone is suited by a horribly styled minivan. And for some reason Chevrolet sells 4 different flavors of the same general idea.

        • 0 avatar

          “A lot better”

          By all means, submit your drawings.

          My point is there’s only so much one can do with crossover styling, and this one hits many of the current hot buttons while being distinctly Chevy. Frankly I expected worse.

      • 0 avatar

        “how much better could you realistically do?”

        For 50g I would expect more or less. Either more capability or less ugliness. Whoever does GM styling is off base just a touch. Did I mention price? 50g baby. Ouch.

        Obviously the days of Blazer being affordable are long gone.

    • 0 avatar

      Surely your speaking of current Lexus CUV’s with that silly front end

    • 0 avatar

      I actually like the styling “for an SUV”. The one criticism I could make is that it looks “Japanese” and not “American”. Which I don’t mind, but some Chevy buyers might not connect with it as much.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    “Most competitors are visually interchangeable”

    So is this.

    “this new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS seemingly compels conversation”

    Outside of car people who discuss a myriad of topics, the only people I can envision seriously conversing about this are vapid proles at best.

    Serious question: is Chevrolet still a friend to the credit challenged as Nissan, Mitsubishi etc.?

    “I can guarantee you the “heritage” of that name was obliterated by the GMT360 platform in 2002”

    Atlas I6 drank gas but was long lived. This thing, remains to be seen.

  • avatar

    I dig the color. Otherwise, not my segment.

  • avatar

    I agree with Chris here – I like the styling, and I don’t care what the haters say about it. Don’t like it, don’t buy one.

    But ***fifty grand***? Put the bong down, Chevy. Even thirty-seven for the one Chris put together is silly money for what amounts to a lifted sedan.

  • avatar

    Uhhh…nine speed MANUAL transmission??? Really? I’d “almost” be interested, if not for the grade-school level quality and design of the interior.

    I’m guessing a major typo on the spec chart?

    • 0 avatar

      The interior is a cross between a Camaro and a Cruze.
      The exterior is a step above the competition from the side, but the grille is faux Lexus, and the whole thing looks like a Nissan Juke cross-bred with a Hyundai Santa Fe.

      Wasn’t the Blazer supposed to have some off-road, or at least logging-road capability? Would this pull your boat to the lake and back again?

      This is Chevy’s version of the machoified Dodge Caravan that Chrysler put together a few years ago, with that concept applied to an SUV.

      • 0 avatar

        “…The Blazer is the family vehicle that actually appeals to the whole family, and for that reason it upsets the Honda(Passport)on its home court.” 

        I think the Motor Trend staff was weeping when they wrote that!

  • avatar

    GM kills the E2XX based Lacrosse and now builds the P2XX based Blazer for the same money.

    More profit.


  • avatar

    Too expensive for that -typical GM- interior. Just nicely stitched swaths of that insipid gray they’ve used for … how long? I get nightmares thinking about my 1998 Grand Prix GTP… and how far they haven’t gone with some of these “new” interiors.

    Same with the SIlverado review… except the Blazer has at least some semblance of modernization with regard to the gauge cluster. Silverado? Same terrible low-rent gauges, same wretched mutated orange needle color, same derp-tastic font. Bonus round: the usual ugly center-pushbutton turn-dials.

    May as well pile the hate on :)

  • avatar

    This is about the same price as an Explorer Sport, but the Ford offers 3-rows of seating and 57 more hp. I’d rather have the Ford

  • avatar

    The exterior is at least distinctive, in a contemporary Japanese or Korean kind of way. Besides the odd panel on the rear bumper cover, GM should have done better than the parts bin exterior door handles for the rear doors. Because of the flair of the rear fender, the door handles are high mounted and awkwardly positioned.

    The only interesting thing in the interior is the round center vents. Otherwise its the standards floating touch street above the vents that everyone is building now to put the screen higher in the driver’s line of sight.

    As with any crossover, there is a certain degree of ease of entry and utility absent in any sedan. Of course you give up driving dynamics, fuel economy, and size to get these benefits. Two row CUVs like the Blazer, Edge, Murano, Grand Cherokee, and Passport are today’s version of the 60s pony car, the 70s personal luxury coupe, or the 90s Japanese sport coupe: all about the style without all the practicality.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Two Points:

    The HVAC buttons are small, and the symbols on them smaller still. I could not read those without putting on my reading glasses. Unforced error.

    Notice how the lower spec vehicle, with different grille and more ordinary tire/wheel combo loses A LOT of its distinctiveness.

  • avatar
    John R

    Salaryman’s Urus

  • avatar

    I’ll give Chevy credit for a normal shifter. No buttons, no dial, no monostatic lever, no park button. Just a shifter that goes forward and backwards.

  • avatar

    One of the most focus-grouped, derivative, painfully NOW exterior designs of all time. Will be next to 2019 in the vehicular encyclopedia.

    The interior is unique at least, but not entirely practical.

    You can’t really see it in these pictures, but the one thing that says everything to me about this vehicle is the fact that the “Blazer” and “AWD” nameplates on the rear are mounted crooked to each other because they’re placed on two sides of a small crease in the bodywork, and it looks terrible in person.

  • avatar

    So what are the best ways to keep my knees and hips in the finest shape possible so I can avoid future CUV ownership?

  • avatar

    Only a fool…….

  • avatar

    GM needs to fire whomever is responsible for their interiors and start again. For $50,000 there is no excuse for not putting something decent into the vehicle. Offer Peter Schreyer double whatever Kia is paying him and start from there.

  • avatar


    Chrevoret Brazer! Feel Exciterement, by Guangzhou Motor (GM), Dong Yue LLC, and Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila de Mexico LLC.

    • 0 avatar

      I think you need to learn Spanish.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh DW how I’ve missed you

      • 0 avatar

        What the story on the 3.6L timing chain and intake valve carbon issues on this motor. I’ve heard local AM radio Saturday morning mechanic shop shows recommending 4x per year fuel treatments and 1x per year intake BG carbon cleaning service. ?? How are stretched timing chain issues.??

        I understand that GM has an updated 3.6L in the XT6, but the Hecho in Mexico Blazer “No Tengo”.

        Will this be rental car, dealer auction material to the Credit Roach crowd in 18 months??

        • 0 avatar

          Timing chains haven’t been an issue now since around 2011-2012 or 5-6 years ago. I have owned several 3.6 DI engines along with several friends and carbon was never an issue for any of us even with 160K on the odometer. Now if your speaking of BMW, Audi and Mercedes they have had very mixed results on there DI engines.

  • avatar

    I actually like the exterior styling of this car and the size is exactly what I’m looking for, but I hate the interior. It looks plastic and cheap to me and I don’t like the round vents and center location. And the door panels look awful. Maybe if they offered some colors besides black to offer contrast it might look better. When I look at the competition, the interiors seem higher quality. Look at the Mazda CX-9, Murano or even the Ford Edge or Explorer and they all seem nicer. Heck, the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Pallisade blows this away for the money. It will probably make Chevy loyalists happy but there are too many better options out there.

  • avatar

    My old Blazer was more like a truck. This is pure ugly and too expensive.

  • avatar

    They disgraced “Blazer”. Now what are they doing to “Jimmy”??

  • avatar

    Unfortunately, the Blazer continues GM’s bad habit of making the lower trim levels of their models really cheap looking and feature poor compared to comparably priced competitors. Just look at the Blazer Cloth and Blazer Leather trims on the Chevy website where the 35 grand Blazer looks like an 11/10’s Nissan Rogue Sport that is about to sneeze.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Observation 1: give it 6 months and these will be 25% off like the rest of GM’s stable.
    Observation 2: It looks very similar to the new Santa Fe. I’d rather put my money on the Korean.

  • avatar

    Mary Barra be buggin’.

    Dan Carlisle gonna fix Cadillac right up quick ala Roger Smith v2.0 X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7, CT3, CT4, CT5 Chevy/GMC parts bin specials.

    Chrevy Brazer have wrong, rich historee that Guangzhou LLC treasure!

  • avatar

    Chrevroret Brazer interior parts and textures pride of Dong Yue LLC, Industrial Zone D17, Factory No. 3.

    SAIC Guangzhou deeply values lowest cost bidder parts supplier status with GM North America!

  • avatar

    The Rav4 is a far superior product to the Blazer. This will not sell.

    • 0 avatar

      Is the RAV4 in the same class as this new Blazer? I thought the Blazer was marketed as a ‘tweener, in between the Traverse and whatever their smaller SUV is called, the one that competes with the RAV4 and CR-V.

      • 0 avatar

        Toyota seems to think so …

        Many sites compare the two vehicles.

        • 0 avatar

          Okay, I see what Toyota did, compare a strippo Blazer to their Base RAV4.

          But they (Toyota) did not address size comparison and class, leaving it up to the shopper to make the final decision.

          I think the price difference is probably in line with the Blazer being larger.

          I have not seen one in my area, yet. They must be introduced to the larger metropolitan areas first.

    • 0 avatar

      Seeing them all over the place tells us differently. In what ways is the Rav 4 superior? Last time I checked they weren’t even in the same size class.

  • avatar

    Ooof. This thing hit every branch through the ugly tree. That grill would make Lexus proud. The humpy lines and the try hard styling. Yikes. And that interior, Chevy hasnt done a good interior since before I was born. I couldnt imagine buying this thing not only because of its hideous styling, but also typically shoddy GM build quality and lowest cost parts. What a waste of a classic nameplate and (more)terrible GM management.

  • avatar

    This is a nicely-styled crossover that also manages to be unique-looking. The interior is fine, and it’s nice to see that they managed to integrate the screen into the dashboard rather than apply the glued-on tablet look. I saw one today in traffic. It was as wide as a Traverse (is it built on the same platform?)

    I’m pretty sure if this were a Toyota, the comments here would be benign at worst, gushing at best. This appears to be a fine effort by GM and I hope it does well.

    • 0 avatar

      I think this is an easy case for “no bad products, just bad pricing”. The upper trims are pretty expensive for the performance on tap, and that interior isn’t luxury. It’s absurd that it starts above an Edge ST. Its base price is also into X3 xDrive 30i territory which is just as fast although slightly smaller. Loaded at $50k seems unrealistic. You are now closing in on the price of entry for legitimately quick luxury 2 row CUVs. And I’d take a stripper model X3 M40i over this any day of the week.

  • avatar

    This is a nicely-styled crossover that also manages to be unique-looking. The interior is fine, and it’s nice to see that they managed to integrate the screen into the dashboard rather than apply the glued-on tablet look. I saw a Blazer today in traffic. It was as wide as a Traverse (is it built on the same platform?)

    I’m pretty sure if this were a Toyota, the comments here would be benign at worst, gushing at best. This appears to be a fine effort by GM and I hope it does well.

  • avatar

    Why would anyone spend $50k on this when you can get a Grand Cherokee with the HEMI, 19-speaker audio system, lane assist, front/rear park sensors, self park, Adaptive cruise, 4 corner air suspension, actual capability, and much more for $46k?

    Is GM high?

  • avatar

    What a horrific pile of crap.

  • avatar

    I don’t mind this CUV at all – although its seems priced too high. So unfortunately, the other commentators are right, it will see steep discounts soon.
    A couple of interesting things…
    1. The gauge/instrument cluster is straight out of my 2017 La Crosse. But they don’t make those any more, so I guess its ok.
    2. Although it has the same basic powertrain as my La Crosse, the stated gas mileage is horrible…18 city / 25 highway / 21 combined?
    My La Crosse was rated 21 city / 30 highway / 25 combined and I can easily achieve all of those numbers.
    Is this thing that much heavier and less aerodynamic?

    • 0 avatar

      Heavier, higher off the ground, larger wheels and probably less aerodynamics. Which is pretty much the case with many SUV’s VS sedans with the same engine/transmission combos.

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    Because I might not be around for the 2040 QOTD on 2020 CUV’s, this is my burn vote just in case.

  • avatar

    I’m impressed with your observed city MPG in this beast. My Volvo XC60 is a six-cylinder CUV too, probably isn’t quite as big, but has the real-world city MPG of a Tahoe. So, good job GM. (One difference: you get all the power right away in the Vulva, which has the torque curve of a Peterbilt: exploring the tach is neither necessary nor pleasant.)

    I don’t think the Blazer is that distinctive on the outside, but it is styled well: it looks like a RAV4, which is probably the best looking compact CUV, but sized up a bit to make the rakish angles a little less abrupt…capped off with reinterpretation of the Lexus nose so successful that it’s almost rendered tasteful. But things go to hell in the interior. The Camaro has the worst interior of any modern car; why you’d copy it for something you want to sell at 50 grand utterly escapes me.

    Sounds like it drives very well indeed, and if Norm’s references are to be believed, if anything this review undersells that aspect.

    Bottom line: if this were a platform for a Cadillac, sold at the same price but trimmed with a nice stitched dash and buttery beige leather, the wife would be interested in one off-lease.

    But new? At that price? With that interior?

    I know, GM has openly stated that their game plan is to move as many high-profit CUVs and SUVs as they can, while they can, to pay for development of the EVs it will need to be competitive in the coming decade. Good for them; I’m sure Tesla wishes it could milk that kind of cash cow. But this is…ambitious pricing.

  • avatar

    Take a Traverse, send it to Nissan for restyling, then have a five year old design his version of a Kia Soul (without thinking how ineffective those low middle air vents will be in the summer), and you have the new Chevrolet Blazer.

    The only reason this is even thought of as a looker is that the rest of GM’s lineup looks like it just came from a mortician.

  • avatar

    It is a very handsome vehicle. Like most GM vehicles the interior is a little cheap.

  • avatar

    Chevrolet is starting to remind me of the Dallas Cowboys for the past I don’t know how many seasons now: for all the hype they build during the off-season, when the season starts they’re just a disappointment. Yeah they make it to the division championship only to get eliminated from contention by losing the game after that

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