By on May 7, 2020

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS Fast Facts

3.6-liter V6 (308 hp @ 6,700 rpm, 270 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm)

Nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

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

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

Base Price: $43,500 (U.S) / $46,300 (Canada)

As Tested: $50,765 (U.S.) / $55,485 (Canada)

Prices include $1,195 destination charge in the United States and $1,995 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

In addition to being a gearhead, I’m a sports fan.

The long-time play-by-play man for my favorite baseball team called it quits a year or two ago, presumably deciding the golf course was more appealing than the broadcast booth as he approached his eighth decade of life.

This gentleman, long ago given the nickname of Hawk, had a whole bunch of catchphrases in his verbal toolbox. One of them was “right size, wrong shape” – meant to describe a foul ball that traveled home run-worthy distance but landed on the wrong side of the foul pole.

And this particular Hawkism came to mind when I tested the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer last year. It does a lot right – but the price made me blanch.

Sure, you can get into a base Blazer for around 30 large. But the top-dog RS? That will set you back a great deal more. And there’s not enough, even in the RS guise, to set it apart from cheaper alternatives, such as a loaded Honda Passport.

I’m not as verklempt about Chevy slapping the Blazer name on a mid-size crossover as others are. I get why BowTie fans would prefer the Blazer to be a BOF full-sizer, based on history, but it’s not like the S10 Blazer didn’t exist for over two decades.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS

This Blazer does look cool, thanks to aggressive styling cues that seem shamelessly stolen from the Camaro, and I particularly dug the skinny headlights. The red-on-black trim and blacked-out wheels my test unit sported didn’t hurt, either.

Camaro influences continue inside, most noticeable in the big air vents at the bottom of the center stack. The design isn’t fully cohesive, though, and the infotainment screen looks like an afterthought. The materials are merely middle-of-road, at best. You might also notice in the pics that the panel gaps are bit larger than they probably should be.

[Get new and used Chevrolet Blazer pricing here!]

The 308 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque on tap from the 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 help the RS scoot around town with urgency, and Chevy has tuned this model’s suspension (independent MacPherson strut with hydraulic control arm ride bushing and hollow stabilizer bar up front, five-link independent with auxiliary spring aids and hollow stabilizer bar out back) to offer up handling that’s relatively fun for a crossover. That comes at the expense of ride, which is on the stiff side.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS

It’s nice that the Blazer looks cool and is relatively engaging to drive, but it’s not as well rounded as the Passport. At least it feels lighter on its feet than Ford’s Edge. Nor is it quite as refined as Nissan’s Murano. Even the aging Jeep Grand Cherokee feels more upmarket, and while that SUV also gets pricey, it can be had with a V8.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS

The $43K base price of my RS tester is bad enough – we’re already overlapping with a top-trim Passport Elite. A $2,495 Sun and Wheels package added a panoramic sunroof and the 21-inch wheels. The rest of the options sheet is taken care of by a $3,575 convenience package that included infotainment, premium audio, wireless cell-phone charging, heated rear seats, cooled front seats, adaptive cruise control, power tilt and telescope steering wheel, forward-collision alert, forward automatic braking, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, and front pedestrian braking.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS

Chevy aficionados can argue all day long over whether the Blazer name should be slapped on a five-seat, mid-size crossover SUV or not. They’re missing the point. The problem isn’t the name, it’s the price.

Good looks and a driving experience that contains some spirit aren’t enough to compensate for sticker shock, especially given the levels of “meh” present in terms of cabin materials.

If all pricing were equal, the Blazer would rank higher on my mental list concerning its class. As is, at least in RS trim, I’d shop elsewhere and pocket the dough.

[Images © 2020 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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83 Comments on “2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS Review – Right Shape, Wrong Price...”


  • avatar
    chaparral

    It needs a discount – why wouldn’t it get one? The Epsilon platform isn’t exactly expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Part of the point of this was to have a vehicle with a higher ATP than the Impala (which is why the Impala was taken out back and shot at almost the same time this abominiation was introduced.)

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        The Impala V6 I rented for a week was an outstanding car and earned my grudging respect (I don’t think it’s ugly, but I’m not thrilled with the exterior. But it was OK–the car “felt” smaller than it was from the excellent drivers seat–very nimble, great ride and handling, great power, even burned less gas than I expected)

        This Blazer is analogous to a 1976 Monte Carlo… a poser meant to generate profits by offering ‘styling’ and charging a lot for it.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          When I bought my TourX the husband of our daycare provider saw it and said: “Wow, I didn’t know anybody made a wagon anymore. Guess I’m a truck guy”

          I replied: “Being closer to the ground means that handling isn’t a foreign concept to me.” ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            CKNSLS Sierra SLT

            PrincipalDan-

            With all due respect-your friend will come out a lot nicer at resale time when he trades in his truck-mean while you have an orphan.

            Yes-you get great handling-he gets a nice sum at trade in time.

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            CKNSLS, the implication being resale matters one whit.

            If I recall correctly Dan drove a pretty clapped out F150 until he tied the knot and was still EducatorDan.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        PrincipalDan

        No it’s because of Climate Change. When the ocean levels rise, people still driving cars will be drowning. Whine GM fans will be high & dry in their trucks & Crossovers

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m sure it is being discounted to hell – this IS GM we’re talking about.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        They definitely had screaming lease deals in Feb when I got mine. Cheaper than an equivalent equipped Equinox. Mine has the 2.5 with the 9T50 transmission. It’s a beautiful powertrain. Much quicker than I expected..all that gear reduction (4.69 low) really gets it going.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        Aint nobody paying $50k for the new Blazer in RS trim. Heck, aint nobody paying $40k for this. Realistically, the new Blazer in RS trim is a $35k – $38k vehicle depending on how its optioned. The powertrain is convincing – thats a lot of horsepower for a midsize CUV and it handles well. But thats all it has going for it.

        At $50k there are so many better choices that there isnt any good reason to pick a Blazer RS. Id opt for a Grand Cherokee Overland Hemi, but to each their own.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @SSJeep: At $50K it better have a Tesla drivetrain under it. There are no “better choices” for a CUV at that price. Any CUV at that price is overpriced UNLESS it’s a full-on BEV.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    WIth rumors of the Camaro’s demise coming in 2023, what car will Chevy Designers have to steal styling cues from?

    Corvette like “Great Wall” center consoles for everybody? Perish the thought.

  • avatar
    Heino

    I used to think of BMW as one car in many sizes. It seems GM is playing the game too with trucks. Instead of X1, X2, X3, XMillion…..they have names.

  • avatar
    cardave5150

    Wow, another White Sox fan that’s a car guy! To overuse some Hawk-isms, Chevy can “grab some bench” for thinking this abomination was going to be competitive in its class. Their pricing? “You have got to be bleeping me!”

    The Grand Cherokee may be aging, but, as you stated, it IS available with a V8, AND it’s real-wheel-drive based. This rolling garbage looks like a first-generation Murano slept with a Camaro. Yuck.

  • avatar
    ttiguy

    The sticker price argument about GM products is completely naive. It’s the oldest trick in the book….mark em up to mark em down. I know bc I leased a fully loaded Blazer RS AWD (51k sticker) for $400/mo (incl tax) on a 24month/30k lease with $500 down back in February. The vehicle is a fantastic value for that price. A comparable 47k Passport was around $600/mo on similar terms….. the Telluride/Pallisade twins around $700 on similar terms LOL

    As ive said before, only a fool shops based on MSRP. Thats for suckers

    • 0 avatar
      cardave5150

      If that’s such a brilliant way to price a car, why doesn’t everyone do it? It’s just another GM game, instead of producing a class-leading vehicle and pricing it accordingly.

      • 0 avatar
        ttiguy

        I do not disagree. Its an idiotic strategy IMO. But the end result is a good value that allows GM to control production levels as they see fit I suppose. I’m not complaining

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Yes, GM sets its MSRP assuming their usual 15-20% off sale. Even then, though, you have to be careful because GM skimps on the equipment, and you sometimes end up with less than the competition, despite the price adjustment.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Agreed, GM sticker pricing is an elaborate fantasy (same for Hyundai), but someone who’s reviewing this car can’t go off some guy on the Internet saying “I picked one up last month for XXX dollars”. You can’t even go off what you see on dealer websites, because nine times out of ten, that figure is BS (and so is the guy saying “I picked one up last month for XXX dollars”).

      I suppose a reviewer could also say “as this is written, there is a XYZ incentive on this vehicle,” but as incentives change all the time, the review becomes inaccurate the minute the incentives change. Not good.

      And, yeah, I bet that after all the discounting is done, your Chevy dealer will give you one hell of a deal. But really, all a reviewer who’s being honest can do is quote MSRP.

      • 0 avatar
        quaquaqua

        You certainly end up with less when you go with a Chevy, especially if you’re trying to get all the latest safety tech. As for “wow I got my Blazer cheaper than a Telluride!”, well, you should. The Blazer is nowhere near the car the Telluride is. So its higher sticker is especially bonkers.

      • 0 avatar
        ttiguy

        Try looking at swapalease.com or leasehacker.com and you might learn a thing or two. The lease pricing is pretty consistent currently and that’s how MOST are bought. Thesetypes of vehicles are appliances, more or less to most people. Yes, if incentives, money factors and residuals change then prices change. But prices have been pretty consistent for a while now.

      • 0 avatar
        CKNSLS Sierra SLT

        FeedMike- The Kia Tellurides are selling at, above, or slightly below MSRP. No major discounts-they are selling all they can make.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      These RS’s are around $40K or less on autotrader. With lease incentives the RS is smoking deal considering it runs with Stelvio Ti in Motor Trend handling testing.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      We list the sticker price because it’s not practical to change up our reviews each time an automaker tosses cash on a hood. We use the MSRP as a guideline, figuring most of our readers will understand that the S in MSRP stands for suggested.

      I didn’t mean that to come off as sarcastic. It’s just a limitation we have. We publish the review once and we can’t control what happens to pricing after that.

      • 0 avatar
        ttiguy

        “figuring most of our readers will understand that the S in MSRP stands for suggested”

        Ha! You cannot assume anything. A quick watch of the news reveals most people are fools and need to be spoonfed info in only the smallest of bites.

        All I was implying was that with GM the MSRP is really just a starting point and that’s pretty consistent, similar to say BMW and others. With that being the case, when you review a car it should be noted as others typically do.

        Remember, there is always room for improvement bud.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    A couple of editing notes:

    “Blanche” is an old lady’s name, “blanch” is to turn white either by cooking a vegetable or by having the blood drain from your veins

    If Hawke is beginning his eightieth decade of life, he is closing in on Methuselah’s longevity, and has seen the entire history of baseball in person.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    A couple of editing notes:

    “Blanche” is an old lady’s name, “blanch” is to turn white either by cooking a vegetable or by having the blood drain from your veins

    If Hawk is beginning his eightieth decade of life, he is closing in on Methuselah’s longevity, and has seen the entire history of baseball in person.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    -cough- Lexus RS 350 -cough- some ads from my local dealers for your perusal: https://www.pohankalexuschantilly.com/auto/new-2020-lexus-rx-350-rx-350-chantilly-va/45553946/ and https://www.tedbrittchevrolet.com/VehicleDetails/new-2020-Chevrolet-Blazer-AWD_RS-Sterling-VA/3550473553 Oh and tell me how the Chebbie will be running in 10 years. Yeah, yeah; anecdotes I know. Statistically which one will be running better in 10 years.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Are the headlights the thin high mounted elements or the larger ones mounted lower on the corners?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    GM will never change, build what they think is a competitive crossover to the Japanese brands, charge more for it and expect buyers to beat a path to their door, money in hand to buy it. They won’t, ever

    There isn’t a thing about this Blazer that I can’t get somewhere else for less

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Even as far as here in Texas, many people are familiar with Hawk’s catchphrases.
    Yogi Berra’s worthy successor, for quotable phrases.

    But we are discussing the Blazer, aren’t we?

  • avatar
    thornmark

    I would think that w/ the ever expanding multiples of SUVs and CUVs there should be rampant discounting, especially among discount brands like Chevrolet

    • 0 avatar
      cardave5150

      @thornmark Car manufacturers turned to CUV’s because the profit margins were higher, especially when there were relatively few on the market. Once that’s just about all that’s left, won’t the desperate players in the market (ahem….Nissan) start to give away some of that margin, leading to a race to the bottom?

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        yes, that’s the way economics/markets are supposed to work

        a problem is consumers who look at monthly payments, rather than actual cost

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @thornmark: And that’s because the dealerships have discovered they can sell the vehicles at a higher price by selling based on payments rather than overall cost. I don’t let them do that but the simple fact is that most buyers worry more about how much they can afford per month rather than the actual value of the vehicle.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    At the Buffalo car show in February they had a top trim Kia Telluride which included the extra foofy interior with heated second row seats for $46 K. 50 feet away from the KIA sat a top trim Avenir Enclave priced around $50K as I recall. The KIA seemed much nicer but the Buick is a nice vehicle. Then just a Stones throw from the Buick was a Blazer with a sticker price of $51 K. I remember thinking holy smoke, why would anyone pay that much? I think the Blazer is a nice looking truck and I’m a fan of that V6 but seriously? Shame GM cant price this thing competitively without discounts. Then if sales take off feel free to jack up prices accordingly. Then your aren’t screwing over early adapters by destroying resale value.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Whenever I see a Blazer in the wild I try to get a glimpse of the number of tailpipes and trim badge. I think it has been running toward mid trim as far as real world lots of FWD LS/LT models very little of the top trim. Honestly I think the top trim exists just to give to reviewers.

      (Just like the KIA to be honest. I have yet to see anyone review a Telluride with the middle row bench seats.)

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Wait, there’s a Chevy Blazer *and* a Chevy Trailblazer? I need to lie down.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Has anyone been in one?

    I CANT SEE OUT. Just like a Camaro.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    $42K for a base RS without AWD, $44.5K with AWD.

    That buys an Edge ST with the 2.7 EcoBoost (not that I agree with calling it an ST…Sport was just fine). Hell even the base Edge comes with the 2.0T….

    “I particularly dug the skinny headlights.”

    What “skinny” headlights? The headlamps are in the front fascia—just like what was in the Cherokee—pre refresh.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Those “skinny headlights” as you call them aren’t necessarily the headlamps. I need to look closer but if they’re anything at all like the first new-generation Jeep Cherokee, those were the DRL/marker lamps with the headlamps in the more square fixtures mounted lower (to reduce glare to oncoming drivers.) Images at Chevrolet dot com support this as the slim wedge lights clearly contain a row of LEDs and maybe sensors for reading oncoming headlamps or cameras to assist semi-autonomous driving while the turn signals are directly below the headlamps.

    Now, personally I like this design feature as it helps the vehicle become more visible in variable lighting conditions (especially cloudy days or highways where shadows can make a vehicle nearly invisible) while putting the headlamps low enough to reduce glare to oncoming drivers. I also think it’s stylish compared to the grossly generic CUVs by nearly everybody else.

    That said, even the non-RS version is pricier than I would like and to be quite blunt, despite how much I like it, I’m not willing to pay near-pickup truck prices to have one.

    • 0 avatar
      ttiguy

      yes the headlights are actually down low

      I’ll say it again……NO ONE is paying list for a GM product outside of the new C8. Maybe when they first launch yes and someone HAS to have that model yes. But the rest of the time, no way. Good, bad or indifferent, its part of the game

  • avatar
    canam23

    All well and good, but how would Vin Scully describe this piece of… never mind.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    What I don’t understand is why to get Adaptive Cruise Control a package has to be added. Several other features that are standard on mid to higher trims on other cars cost so much extra because they cost more.

    We were looking at a Buick Envision and it takes a Premium II trim + driver confidence package just get heated and cooled seats plus driver confidence package, making it 48K. Even with deals out there at around 41 or 42K, thats more than other comparable models.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Squat, fat and ponderous with a huge derriere (and not in a good way). This looks like Eric Cartman. That’s all I see when I like at the new Blazer. I know SUVs and crossovers aren’t supposed to be svelte, but yeesh that’s gross.

    Pontiac called; they want their air vents back.

    The lighting treatment doesn’t look good either; it didn’t on the Cherokee and it doesn’t on the current crop of copycats.

    All that said, I like the color.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Pretty much everything you don’t like about it, I do. Especially the lighting treatment because it makes logical sense, even if it doesn’t look conventional. And a good CUV/SUV is going to have decent space for cargo behind the back seats–which is a serious issue for most as they barely have room for a couple shopping bags in many of them, without the rear seats being folded.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I suppose I should have been more specific by saying that it’s visually displeasing, to me, while perhaps being more functionally useful.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @tankin’: I figure that what you would find aesthetically pleasing, I would consider aesthetically displeasing. I could be wrong, of course, but I even like the new Blazer’s look. It just took me a while to get past the history of the name. As for the V6, I’m quite happy with the 300+ horses under the hood of my Colorado. 100+ horses more than every one of my previous vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            It’s very possible that you’re correct. Some vehicles/brands that I find generally attractive. Going strictly based on styling, mechanical reliability notwithstanding.

            BMWs through about 2003.
            1998 Blazer
            Most of Mazda’s current lineup (admitting my bias since I currently drive a CX-5).
            Audi/VW with a few exceptions, notably the current Jetta.
            Honda through about 2007.
            The final gen Taurus (actually most Taurus aside from the first gen, the fish gen, and the 500 facelift gen).
            Ford Flex without the F O R D across the front.
            The most recent Impala from certain angles.
            I liked the front end on the first gen Cruze, but felt it fell apart when it got to the droopy butt.

            I realize styling is subjective and know there are no right or wrong answers.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Tankin’: Believe it or not, I’ll agree with you on the Ford Flex… then again, that’s probably the best-looking Ford in 50 years. And while I’ve looked at most of the others at one time or another while buying cars, I’ve never chosen any of them. Honestly, I was a GM fan until they shut down Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Saturn, though I’ve owned a few CPDJ models along the way. One of my favorites was a ’79 Dodge Aspen (a better car than the OPs want to acknowledge) while my ’86 (maybe ’87) T-type LeSabre and ’86 Toronado were my absolute favorites (at least until the nylon timing gear shredded in the Toronado.) But my absolute favorite for looks of all time is the ’59 Chevies, with the Impala, both Impala 2-door hard-top and coupe, wagon and El Camino topping those models. I’ve lusted for them since they came out and never had a chance to own one.

  • avatar
    ajla

    You can get it in gold!
    inventory-dmg.assets-cdk.com/7/2/4/22159920427.jpg

  • avatar
    BigDuke6

    PLEASE! Make the blacked-out wheels STOP! Make them go the way of the third brake light mounted in the rear deck lid spoiler……

  • avatar
    BigDuke6

    If my own brother said to me, “Here, borrow my Blazer RS for the day…”, I’m sure I would reply, “Uhhh…..it’s OK. I’ll walk…..”

  • avatar

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  • avatar
    Hummer

    Flaming pile of unsightly shart, it makes it’s smaller sized predecessor desirable by setting a new low.

    I can’t believe anyone would willingly get into one of these and drive around for others to see.

    Just buy the minivan you need and stop acting

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    A few weeks ago I was driving home from work in my 6-cyl 2014 Mustang. The Blazer RS driver behind me apparently thought he was driving a muscle car and was tailgating me as much as he could. ::sigh::

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @dividebytube: There are idiots on both sides of that fence. I found the best way to handle that type is to completely ignore them, no matter how much they try to get your goat. At my worse, I’ve actually slowed down on them, one mph at a time, over the course of a mile or two until they end up proving to themselves how much of an idiot they are (usually found them crashed within a couple miles of finally passing me.)

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    (a) Only a real truck should ever be called Blazer (yes I have a real Blazer, ZR2)

    (b) 50 Grand is completely insane for this toy, you could negotiate a Tahoe down to that

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The best Blazer is the middle of the road 2LT or 3LT models with the 3.6 and AWD for under 40K. If you must get an RS I would avoid the $1000 dollar 21″ ugly black harsh riding wheels and the 1595 roof which is too large and lets in lots of heat and sun in the Summer months and even the RS models should be around 40K.
    I did drive a rental LT 2.5 FWD with the convenience package and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it overall. This would be a really nice ride if Chevy offered the 2.0T in this model but is restricting it to AWD models. For around 30K this was one of the best handling SUV’s I have driven to date and it got a lot of attention wherever I went!

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