An-all new generation of GM’s Chevrolet Blazer was introduced today during a special event in Atlanta, some 13 years after it retired the nameplate with the S-10 Blazer back in 2005.
With the bulk of buyers, even those initially hesitantly clinging on to cars, having long embraced the new order of SUVs and crossovers, General Motors is eager to fill any niche it can. The new Blazer has been re-imagined as more aggressively styled crossover designed to be bigger and roomier than Chevy’s Equinox but smaller than the three-row Traverse.
GM’s design team purposely avoided making it look like the Blazers of old, giving it a modern styling with some hints of the refreshed 2019 Camaro SS on the edgy fascia to reflect its youthful appeal.
Beyond the squinty HID headlights and big black grille, the 2019 Blazer has a strong profile with intricate (busy) lines and a floating roofline trick we’ve seen implemented on many models these days. Out back, despite the modern LED-illuminated taillamps and quad exhausts, it’s more generic, unless you see (and then can’t un-see) the ghost of the front of the pre-facelift Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Some here saw a bit Infiniti QX50 too, but that’s pushing a bit. Wheel options will range from standard 18-inch rims all the way up to 21-inch for the Premiere and RS.
“The Blazer has attitude,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design. “It looks commanding on the road, while fulfilling the promise of versatility at the heart of every Chevy crossover and SUV.”
Chevy will offer three trims, namely the base, Premiere and RS, that differentiate the Blazer’s looks on the outside, including unique grille appearances, additional bright chrome on the Premier trim and a more sinister-looking, blacked-out appearance for the Blazer RS.
Five-seat cabin with a hint of Camaro design
The interior echoes the exterior design with bolder (but not necessarily beautiful) lines that are in part inspired by the latest Camaro. It can seat up to five people, with the back seat sliding backward or forward 5.5 inches to increase cargo or legroom, depending on your needs.
The 2019 Blazer offers the Chevrolet-first Cargo Management System, standard on RS and Premier models. It has a rail system and cargo fence to help secure smaller items by dividing the cargo area.
Other features and amenities include an electronic-locking glove box, Adaptive Cruise Control and Rear Camera Mirror on RS and Premier models, hands-free power liftgate with Bowtie logo projection as standard on RS and Premier, and wireless charging and six USB ports.
In regards to the infotainment system, all models get an 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen running Chevrolet Infotainment 3 as standard, along with 4G LTE Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Four and Six cylinder powertrains
Built at GM’s Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, alongside the Chevrolet Equinox crossover and Cruze hatchback, the new Blazer will offer two engines at launch. These include a base 2.5-liter inline-four producing 193 hp (143 kW) and 188 lb-ft of torque (255 Nm), and a 3.6-liter V6 offering 305 hp (227 kW) and 269 lb-ft of torque (365 Nm). Both offer start/stop tech and are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Chevy says that the V6 can tow up to 4,500 pounds (2,040 kg).
Traction Select is standard on all models allowing the driver to make real-time adjustments to the vehicle’s driving mode, while on AWD models, it also allows the system to be completely disconnected from the rear axle, meaning drivers can opt to have their vehicle operate in FWD when AWD capability is not necessary.
The higher-level RS and Premier Blazers get a more sophisticated twin-clutch AWD system that is said to provide better performance in wet, snowy and icy conditions, as well as enhanced stability in dry weather.
Available next year
You’ll have wait until the first months of 2019 to get your hands on the new Blazer, with pricing to be announced towards the end of this year.