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2019 Chevrolet Blazer Review

The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer sees the return of an iconic name for the brand’s newest crossover, but something seems to be missing. Unlike the upcoming Ford Bronco or the Jeep Gladiator, the Blazer isn’t a rugged, off-road capable vehicle, but instead a sportier, slightly smaller version of the Chevy Traverse. With room for only five passengers, the Blazer looks to take on smaller crossovers like the Ford Edge and the Hyundai Santa Fe, as well as the Nissan Murano and to some degree, the Jeep Grand Cherokee. To its credit, the new Blazer is an attractive vehicle with loads of features and two engine options: a 193-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a 308-hp 3.6-liter V6. Slightly larger than the current Chevrolet Equinox, but not as long as the Traverse, the Blazer sets up camp in the middle ground between the two, offering consumers a sporty, midsize SUV with plenty of room for all their stuff. On the flip side, a trailer tow rating of 1,500 pounds for the front-wheel drive models isn’t going to impress many, although that figure jumps to 4,500 pounds when equipped with all-wheel drive and the V6 engine. We also are not impressed that, unlike most rivals, the Blazer’s driver assists (think automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control) are options only offered on the most expensive trims.

What’s New for 2019?

The Blazer is all-new for 2019. Sharing a platform with the Cadillac XT5 and the GMC Acadia, the Blazer offers buyers a sporty, 5-passenger crossover with more presences and features than the smaller Equinox, and a more sinister look than the family-sized Traverse. See the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Camaro like good looks
  • Sporty driving attitude
  • Powerful V6 engine
  • Plenty of cool options
  • 4,500-lb tow rating when properly equipped

What We Don’t

  • Optional driver-assist systems only offered on most expensive trims
  • Uncompetitive pricing
  • 1,500-lb tow rating for FWD models
  • Lots of black plastic inside the cabin

How Much?

$29,995-$54,000

Fuel Economy

The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer offers a choice of two engines. Base models with the 193-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder are FWD only. This engine earns an EPA estimated 22 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Optional is a 308-hp 3.6-liter V6. Fuel economy for this engine is rated at 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy with FWD, and 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy when equipped with AWD. There are two part-time AWD systems that activate only when wheel slippage is detected. RS and Premier trims get a more advanced, twin-clutch setup that can shuttle power to the outside rear wheel helping improve cornering. All models employ a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Standard Features & Options

The Chevrolet Blazer comes in five trims: L, L Blazer Cloth, L Blazer Leather, RS and Premier. The L trim comes only with the 2.5-liter engine, the Cloth and Leather offer the option of AWD and a V6 engine, while the RS and Premier come standard with the V6 and offer the option of all-wheel drive.

The Blazer L ($29,995) comes standard with power windows and door locks, dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-in alloy wheels, cloth seats, hill start assist, an electronic parking brake, an 8-in color touchscreen with a rear backup camera, 6-speaker audio with Bluetooth audio streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot and OnStar. Also standard are two USB charging ports (one type-A and one type-C), cruise control, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, heated outside power mirrors, keyless entry with push-button start, a spare tire inflator kit, HID headlights with auto on/off and seven airbags.

The Blazer L Cloth ($33,495, FWD) ($37,195, AWD) adds an 8-way power driver’s seat, a 4.2-inch color driver information center, 18-in compact spare tire, rear privacy glass, driver and front passenger illuminated vanity mirrors and SiriusXM satellite radio. A V6 engine is optional.

The Blazer L Leather ($38,695, FWD) ($41,395, AWD) adds the V6 engine, leather seating, heated front seats, a 6-way power passenger seat, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change alert, rear park assist and a power lift gate.

The Blazer RS ($41,795, FWD) ($44,695, AWD) adds unique black exterior accents, 20-in alloy wheels, black leather seating with Alcantara inserts, gesture power lift gate, navigation, a 120-volt outlet, an 8-in diagonal color driver information display and a heated steering wheel.

The Blazer Premier ($43,895, FWD) ($46,795, AWD) adds chrome horizontal grille slats, unique 20-in wheels, Bose audio, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a power adjustable steering column with memory settings.

Most options are bundled into packages and vary by trim. The Blazer Cloth offers the Convenience and Driver Confidence package that adds heated front seats, remote start, a programmable power lift gate, roof rails, lane change alert with blind zone warning, rear cross-traffic alert, rear park assist and auto dimming heated side mirrors.

The Blazer Leather offers the Sun and Wheels package that adds a panoramic power sunroof and 20-in wheels.

The RS and Premier are the only trims to offer the advanced Driver Confidence II package that includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, auto high beams, rear camera mirror, a wireless charging pad, a surround vision camera and the safety alert seat.

Safety

The Chevrolet Blazer comes standard with seven airbags, electronic traction and stability control, a rear backup camera and a tire pressure monitor. Additional safety equipment varies by trim and includes blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, lane change and lane-keeping assist.

As of the writing of this review, neither the government nor the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2019 Blazer.

Behind the Wheel

When powered by the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, the Blazer feels adequate, but not spectacular. It can accelerate and pass, but it doesn’t do either with any sense of urgency. The situation doesn’t get much better with four passengers onboard. Overall, the Blazer L has a fairly smooth ride, responsive steering and a quiet cabin. Body roll in the corners is minimal, comparable we’d say to that of the Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano. The 4-cylinder can feel a bit jumpy at low speeds, making it difficult to get a smooth start from a standing stop. We also noticed the 9-speed transmission was slow to shift at times.

Move up to the V6, and it’s a whole different story. The 308-hp engine fulfills the promise made by the Blazer sleek sheet metal, and when teamed with the torque vectoring AWD system, increasing towing from 1,500 pounds to 4,500 pounds (requires optional tow package). Assisting with the drive is a mode selector that adjust steering, shift points and throttle response to one of three settings: Sport, Tow and Off-road. We like the V6 in the L Cloth and L Leather, and think this is the best choice for comfort, power and value. While the RS is clearly aimed at the enthusiast driver, it’s stiffer suspension and big wheel and tire combo produce a rather stiff, sometimes jarring ride.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Ford Edge— The Ford Edge offers more powerful engine options and more standard driver assists, as well as more trim and option choices.

2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee— The Grand Cherokee offers a more versatile platform, with real off-road ability. It also offers more luxury and standard safety systems, although its interior is not as roomy. The Grand Cherokee also offers both V8 and diesel engine options.

2019 Nissan Murano— A comparably equipped Murano costs less than the Blazer and comes with more standard equipment. The Blazer’s V6 is more powerful, but the Murano’s engine is more fuel-efficient.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe — The Hyundai Santa Fe offers more standard features, standard driver assists, a better warranty, a lower price and more optional equipment choices. However, while the 4-cylinder engine is comparable to the Blazer’s standard engine, the optional 2.0-liter turbo isn’t as powerful as the Blazer’s V6.

Used Lexus RX 350— A used 2014-2017 Lexus RX 350 offers more luxury and safety features in an upscale SUV with plenty of room and power. There’s also a high-mileage hybrid option in the RX 450h.

Autotrader’s Advice

If you’re not concerned with the latest driver-assist features, we think most people will be quite happy with the 3.6 Leather trim. The 4-cylidner is just too weak for this vehicle, and the V6 opens the door to AWD and a 4,500-lb tow rating. We’d toss in some options like Sound and Technology package and still get out the door for around $40,000. Find a Chevrolet Blazer for sale

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