- The Chevrolet Blazer nameplate dates back to the 1970s.
- The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is derived from the three-row Atlas.
2021 Chevrolet Blazer
Base Price: $29,995 / Read our 2021 Chevrolet Blazer Review
What we like: Sharp-looking design inside and out; sporty handling; available V6; tows up to 4,500 pounds
What we would change: AWD unavailable with the two lower trims; driver-assists not standard on lower trims; richly priced at the high end
Overview: This Chevy nameplate may have been born out on the trails, but the 2021 Chevrolet Blazer is an urbane crossover whose chief calling cards are sporty styling and sharp handling. That’s particularly true of the Blazer RS, although its stiffer suspension exacts a toll in ride comfort. There’s plenty of room for five in the stylish interior, but some cabin materials are disappointing. Cargo space, meanwhile, is average for the class. A 193-horsepower 2.5-liter engine powers lower trims, but the 227-hp 2.0-liter turbo four offers more grunt, is more fuel-efficient, and can be combined with AWD. Our favorite, though, is the potent 306-hp V6 that’s standard on the RS and Premier and optional on the 2LT and 3LT. It can tow up to 4,500 pounds and can be paired with FWD or AWD, and the latter includes rear torque vectoring in the RS. The V6’s mileage is a not-so-great 22 mpg combined (FWD) or 21 mpg (AWD). The turbo four adds 3 mpg to those numbers and is the most economical choice. All engines are paired with a 9-speed automatic, which can be slow to downshift.
What’s new for 2021: The Safety Assist Package, consisting of forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beams is now standard on the 2LT, 3LT, Premier, and RS trims. V6 Blazers with front-wheel drive can now be had with the trailering package (raising the tow rating from 1,500 to 4,500 pounds).
Features and technology: The Blazer is offered in L, 1LT, 2LT, 3LT, RS, and Premier trim levels.
All trims get a user-friendly infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, while the RS and Premier add navigation. Forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beams is now standard on the 2LT and above. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional on 1LT and 2LT and standard on higher trims. Leather arrives with the 3LT. Adaptive cruise control and wireless device charging are optional on the two top trims. The RS and the Premier are the most desirable variants, but they’re also quite pricey. Better to option a 2LT or 3LT with your preferred features.
What does the future hold: The current-generation Blazer has been around since 2019, which means it’s likely to see a minor redo for 2022. See 2021 Chevrolet Blazer models for sale near you.
2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
Base Price: $32,050 / Read our 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Review
What we like: Roomy interior; lots of luggage space; high-tech cabin; robust towing capacity
What we would change: Fuel economy is not so great; firm ride; expensive top trims
Overview: The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is carved from the larger three-row Atlas, but VW only snipped 5 inches of rear overhang and fitted a lower roofline with a more sloped backlight. Thus, the Atlas Cross Sport is among the biggest in its field of two-row mid-sizer SUVs. As a result, passenger space is especially generous with over 40 inches of rear-seat legroom, and luggage space is, too, both behind the rear seats and with the seatbacks folded. Cabin materials are somewhat wanting, however. Like its bigger brother, the Cross Sport offers a 253-hp 2.0-liter turbo four or a 276-hp 3.6-liter V6, both paired with a well-mannered 8-speed automatic and a choice of FWD or AWD. Either engine is fairly thirsty, with the 2.0-liter averaging 22 mpg and the 3.6-liter managing just 20 mpg with FWD or 19 with AWD. Both deliver adequate acceleration, but the V6’s notable advantage is in towing, where it’s rated at 5,000 pounds. The Atlas rides firmly, but overly light steering makes it not so sporty to drive.
What’s new for 2021: Not a whole lot. The available adaptive cruise control now features lane-centering and is called Travel Assist. The infotainment system has been updated.
Features and technology: The 2021 Atlas Cross Sport in available in S, SE, SE with Technology, SE with Technology R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, SEL Premium, and SEL Premium R-Line. The R-Line variants get sporty-looking visual accents. All Cross Sports come standard with forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Lane keep assist is standard on the SEL and higher trims, which also get Travel Assist. While the base S uses a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the rest of the lineup has an 8-inch unit with a newly upgraded operating system. More impressive is the 10-inch Digital Cockpit instrument cluster that’s sharp-looking and highly customizable. It’s standard on SEL and higher variants. Wireless smartphone charging is standard on all but the base car.
What does the future hold: The Atlas Cross Sport may be due to a mid-cycle update next year. See 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport models for sale near you
Blazer vs. Atlas Cross Sport: Strengths comparison
Chevrolet Blazer Benefits: Lower starting price; more powerful V6; sporty RS variant; sharp exterior design
Atlas Cross Sport Benefits: Roomier interior; greater luggage capacity; longer warranty; available digital instrument cluster
2021 Chevrolet Blazer vs. 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport: Which is better?
Stylish and sporty (at least in RS form), the Chevy Blazer will attract one type of buyer, while the spacious and practical VW Atlas Cross Sport likely will appeal to another. Neither is a fuel-economy champ, though, and their off-road capability is limited. Find 2021 Chevrolet Blazer models for sale or Find 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport models for sale
|2021 Chevrolet Blazer||2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport|
|Engine||2.5-liter I-4||2.0-liter I-4 turbo|
|Horsepower||193 hp at 6,300 rpm||235 hp at 4,500 rpm|
|Torque||188 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm||258 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm|
|Transmission||9-spd automatic||8-spd automatic|
|Fuel Economy||23 mpg (21 city/27 hwy)||22 mpg (21 city/24 hwy)|
|Also Available||2.0L turbo i-4; 3.6L V6; AWD||3.6L V6; AWD|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety||n/a||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||112.7 inches||117.3 inches|
|Overall Length||191.4 inches||195.5 inches|
|Width||76.7 inches||78.4 inches|
|Height||67.0 inches||67.8 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.7 feet||40.5 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.8 inches||39.4 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||38.6 inches||37.8 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.0 inches||41.6 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||36.9 inches||40.4 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||59.1 inches||61.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||58.6 inches||60.6 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||107.8 cubic feet||112 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||30.5/64.2 cubic feet||40.3/77.8 cubic feet|