2019 Chevrolet Blazer First Drive Reveals More Strengths Than Weaknesses

While its name brings back lots of memories, the Mexican-made 2019 Blazer is as modern as Chevrolet SUVs get.

The modern Blazer rocks a sporty, Camaro-inspired exterior instead of a rugged body such as the K5 Blazer adventure truck from the 1970s and 1980s. That’s because the Blazer is now a road-focused mid-size crossover that targets families and drivers with active lifestyles. While its truck-based predecessors took pride in their off-roading abilities, the 2019 Blazer places emphasis on comfort, practicality, and connectivity.

It’s also sportier than any other Blazer before, including the last one that went out of production in 2005. That doesn’t mean it’s a performance SUV, despite the fact that it comes with an available 305hp 3.6-liter V6 in addition to the standard 193hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder.

Also watch: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Won’t Seat Seven, But Has Plenty To Offer

Edmunds’ Dan Frio got behind the wheel of the new Blazer to find out how Chevrolet has reinvented the nameplate. He drove a V6 model and noted that the engine is smooth and produces plenty of power. He also says handling is good for a midsize SUV, although that doesn’t qualify it as a sports SUV.

As for comfort, the 2019 Blazer sports wide seats with good lumbar support but not very pronounced side bolsters — which could be either good or bad, depending on your preferences. Ride quality is good but not perfect; the suspension filters road irregularities well but becomes bouncy on rougher surfaces.

Inside, the new Blazer is a convincing proposition thanks to the roomy cabin, big cargo capacity, and slick infotainment system that offers crisp graphics. Are these qualities enough to make it a worthy opponent for the likes of the all-new 2019 Honda Passport and Hyundai Santa Fe? Only time (and sales figures) will tell.

  • Some ol’ bloke

    That front. Amazing.

  • ErnieB

    Still ugly as sin!

  • Six_Tymes

    Nice design details. The simple stream lined look is spot on. I think the silver color looks best, not a fan of red on this.

    • I like it too. It looks sporty and rugged at the same time.

  • NO MORE NISSAN C-PILLAR KICK-UP/FLOATING ROOFS. ENOUGH ALREADY.

    • emjayay

      Blame Citroen.

  • charlotteharry57

    I’ve been chuckling all day because every single reviewer based in Detroit thinks that it’s quite the cat’s meow (surprise, surprise). Enough to be a class-leader. Just wait until Consumer Reports gets a hold of one. They will be gracious and not kick its looks, but won’t be nearly as kind when it comes to value, visibility and ergonomics (like the crazy, super-low center air vents).

    • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

      Well if you have a tiny penis, you will probably care what consumer reports say. Enthusiasts won’t however.

  • salamOOn

    very nice looking inside out.

  • RysterARCEE

    I am a current Chevy Equinox owner and was waiting for the new Blazer, but this thing will be DOA without significant discounting. Honda will easily sell every 2019 Passport they can assemble. Meanwhile, Chevrolet will have 15-20% off incentive programs running on every 2019 Blazer by July-August.

  • MarkoS

    The Chevrolet Travesty. Most of what the Equinox should have been. The Blazer should have been a SUV based on the next Colorado’s platform. GM is setting itself up for Bankruptcy again.

  • Matt

    The orange peel at 4:22 is really bad for a factory-fresh model…

    • danno

      Or it could be that rock guard clear coat they use to protect rocker panels, but to protect the sill from boots scuffing it.

      • Matt

        Could well be, here’s hoping.

  • TrevP

    In Premier trim it isn’t a bad looking car. Way too expensive tho! Fully loaded it’s over 50k!!

    • :/ Yurr

      Right looks very good, I wish they wouldve put the 3.0 Twin Turbo in the higher trims for that much money.

  • Blade t

    I think they would’ve had a big hit if they went retro on the design of the new blazer..

    • Enter Ranting

      Ford has a huge opportunity with the upcoming Bronco, now that the Blazer is a Santa Fe wannabe.

  • Alx

    “I like this instrument panel, it’s pretty clean.” lol… It’s busy AF.

  • Enter Ranting

    2/3 of that front grille is solid. Here’s a styling ecercise for every car maker: design a grille opening that reflects the cooling requirements of the engine. Anything else is stupid.

    • Matt

      That’s just like saying design an alloy wheel that reflects the requirements of the brake rotor size. We’d all be back to 13” rims and cars would look weedy.

      Design and market appeal is infinitely more valuable than accurate grille sizing. That’s just the reality.

      • Enter Ranting

        I disagree. There are a lot more considerations when designing wheels’ functionality than there is the front grille. The trend of gigantic grilles, most of which are solid plastic, looks ridiculous. It’s a desperate ploy to make a car look “sporty.” It usually ends up making the front of the car look plasticy and cheap. Form should follow function to some extent. This car is all show. I can’t believe they’re actually calling it a Blazer. The original Blazer was a badass truck. It didn’t need a giant fake grille to look cool.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/44db74d080c7cd19636559c17b424d8942a61880212e64c080b88355c43a0668.jpg

        • rodriguez256

          That grill looks pretty big to me. And much of that air entering through will cause major drag.

        • Matt

          I don’t disagree that too much ‘fake’ grille looks cheap, but like my wheel analogy the point is consumer demand. Plenty of money spent on customer research clinics, and big grilles are obviously want SUV buyers want. It’s certaibly not a trend specific to GM (see: new 7-series).

          Also there’s no engineering or practical reason for large 20” wheels either, but that’s what buyers want.

  • Harry_Wild

    Blazer’s front end looks like it came from a Toyota/Lexus model. Big open mouth! Not very fast either. RS model look to edgy to me. But if it has a big discount, I maybe an Blazer owner even if it is made in Mexico!

    • serge charles

      Whats wrong with being made in Mexico?

  • EL CHAPO THA GREAT

    What’s wrong with Mexico?

  • EL CHAPO THA GREAT

    “Better than any german any japan any koreans.Very sporty strong looks”

    We’ll wait for the recalls this car has in the future

  • EL CHAPO THA GREAT

    This is a clone of the Rx and Santa Fe

  • no25

    HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHA

  • no25

    Saw one of these at the Auto Show, and it’s beyond bloated like a whale and hideous all around. Will never live up to the original Blazer name. Shame.

  • Rocket

    He lost me at “roomy cabin”. It just isn’t. It gets smoked by everything else in its class. Overall the review is very different from the other Blazer reviews that I’ve read that ranged from “meh” to flat out disappointment. Chevy can and should do better — especially at the premium price they’re asking for this.

    • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

      It’s by far the best looking SUV in it’s class. Unless you are obese, there is MORE than enough room.

      • Rocket

        Sure it is. Well, except for the Grand Cherokee, Edge, Santa Fe, Passport and maybe the Murano, that is.

        I’d like to know how they managed to give it the smallest trunk in its class by such a wide margin. It even has less cargo capacity than a CR-V, RAV4, Forester and other crossovers a full class down. Quite a packaging trick.

        • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

          Sante Fe , Passport and Edge? Stevie Wonder its great to have u join the forum LMAO

  • eb110americana

    Chevrolet has buggered up some recent new models and refreshes, like the Cruze and Volt, which look like previous-gen Honda Civics, and the Cruze and Malibu refreshes, which add ginormous grilles with tacky chrome surrounds like they were in a battle with Lexus’ spindle for real estate. However, the Blazer isn’t one of those screw ups. It has presence, it’s attractive, unique–not just from competitors, but other Chevy crossovers (ahem, Pilot/Passport)–it’s sporty, has a great interior, better infotainment interface than almost any competitor, a smooth quiet ride, and it will excel at what it will be used for: shuttling small families around.

  • Liam Paul

    GM lost me at Made in Mexico.

    • MayTheBestCarWin05

      What do you drive?

      • serge charles

        kia

    • Alduin

      With engine and transmission made in China i’m sure like Fords LOL.

  • SteersUright

    Good looking but a “Blazer”? Hell no. Anyone that remembers the Blazers remembers they were awesome, 2-door version of Tahoe’s with tons of clearance and big V8’s. This is more of a Aztec than a Blazer. A CUV cooked up by marketing groups, not people passionate about vehicles, despite the reasonably good looking design.

    • TheHake

      I agree. Nice car but they shouldn’t have called it Blazer.

      • Bash

        Totally agree.

    • MayTheBestCarWin05

      Almost all the reviews for the Blazer reference the original big trucky/boxy blazers….but breeze right on past the fact that GM abandoned the V8 powered K5 Blazer when they moved the Blazer to the S-10 chassis from 1983 – 2005….to be a true midsized SUV.

      Did we forget that Blazer existed? (Probably, it wasn’t a very good vehicle).

      I get this new Blazer is not on a truck frame any longer, but can you blame GM for leveraging a nameplate with high name recognition among the buying public?

      We as enthusiasts need to remind ourselves that we are not representative of the buying public at large. While we want big knobby tires, V8s, and general bad-assery….the vast majority of buyers don’t.

      Embrace the change….or visit a Toyota dealer…word has it they’re still selling the 4Runner and Land Cruiser.

      • SteersUright

        Cant argue with sound logic. But in the day of Jeep Wranglers, Raptors, G wagons, Power Wagons, TRD offroad, etc, you’d think a proper Blazer couldnt be launched at a better time.
        Oh well.
        American cars are largely crap outside of a few rare gems. Ive been waiting for the American auto makers to return to global leaders since high school when I first heard a V8 Camaro SS. Its now quite a bit of time since then and now theyve manahed to not only fall behind the Germans and Japanese, but the Koreans and I wouldnt be surprised if soon the chinese as well

        • MayTheBestCarWin05

          Thank you for being levelheaded and rational in your response…its seriously refreshing.

          As as GM lifer (we have a 14′ Cruze RS LTZ in our household) , I could not agree more. Their products have been a serious let down for a very long time. It took me the better part of 20+ years to say it out loud. Took me buying a new VW Atlas to finally realize it….

          • SteersUright

            Sad thing is, most folks, myself included, still hold out a glimmer of hope that Lincoln or Cadillac might return to glory under the right management. FCA has done pretty well at keeping Jeep relevant.
            At the end of the day these companies amount to nothing more than people and decisions, so one or both are not good. How hard can it be to poach some top notch talent from the current market leaders, invest properly, and revive such storied brand especially with the goodwill that somehow still exists for everything from Ford, to Chevy, to the aforementioned Cadillac and Lincoln. In all fairness, Jaguar, Land Rover, and others struggling too, I just honestly care less, since they aren’t home grown brands, for whatever silly nationalistic reason.
            Anyhow, like I said, done holding my breath. I moved on to BMW’s M235i and could not be happier at the moment, absolutely love this little car.

          • MayTheBestCarWin05

            Ooh a M235i…very nice. Would love to get behind the wheel of that machine.

            The big three can hire the best talent, but great talent can’t erase 25 years of sh*t product. They’ve painted themselves in a corner, and it will take decades of segment leading products to change that.

            We traded in our 2013 Escape SEL AWD for the Atlas…couldn’t be happier. Although, that Lincoln Aviator looks to be the shot across the bow Lincoln needed. Interior appears to be high quality, monster power in GT trim, and looks half way decent.

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    Best looking SUV in it’s price range bar none.

  • Alduin

    This stupid and ugly design trend of moving the headlights way down to where the foglights should be on the bumper is stupid. It started with the Jeep Cherokee then spread to the Hyundai Kona then Palisade to Santa Fe and now this turd the Blazer. This trend needs to die and die quickly. You’re not fooling anyone and this trend is hideous. What is the point of the upper lights now? Just foglights that aren’t bright enough?

    • Marty

      I get that you find it ugly, but why is it stupid? It’s not as if the headlights are placed any lower than on a normal (as in not raised) car.

    • Hamish Mancini

      It actually started with the Nissan Juke and in my opinion it should have ended with it.

    • Actually I think this is the best thing you can do. Pulls the attention to the upper light as the main one, makes the car look sleek and modern, also day time running lights are mandatory in many markets so they have their use. The main light which is usually an ugly huge pice to house halogen bulbs is nicely hidden in the bumper and doesn’t ruin the design with huge headlights.
      Also I hate when an SUV drives behind me and blinds me with its headlights in my line of sight. So I appreciate and applaud this approach.

  • Bash

    People will (might) love this and buy it only because of its front and the dash. back is dull and ugly, side profile is vague and not not interesting.

  • Danny Boy

    Other than the Nav, this is probably the only American made SUV that I actually think is attractive. Oh, I do like the Grand Cherokee and XT4. The rest are trash!

  • Paul

    By any other name it would have been fine. They have desecrated the Blazer name with this, but it is a nice vehicle otherwise.

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