by Dan Lyons
As SUVs have grown in popularity, they have spawned a seemingly endless supply of niches and sub-niches around them. Bigger than big sport 'utes. Station wagon sport-ute hybrids. And, sporty sport-utes, like the Chevy Blazer Xtreme.
We know that very few of the people who are buying SUVs are taking them off-road. Some folks also don’t want or need four-wheel drive. The Xtreme targets those that like the SUV look, but would gladly trade the backwoods traction and chunky styling sameness of most utes for something a little different. The Blazer Xtreme is a sharp looker, playing to a very specialized audience.
In a world of SUVs so high that they block out the sky, Blazer is a low rider. It sits hunkered down on its sport suspension, surrounded by deep dish five-spoke rims, shod with 235/60R-16 Goodyear Eagle LS tires. The front end features a wrap-around lower fascia with integrated fog lamps. The side view is all angles and flares. Ground effects and body cladding tugs the Xtreme’s profile even lower. Wheel arches curve out to swallow the low profile tread.
The wide, angular c-pillar common to all two-door Blazers, splices the glass sections into uncommon geometric shapes. The D-pillar is wrapped in the same heavy tint shade used in all the rear windows. Blackout glass caps the top of the clamshell tailgate too. A textured step integrates with the rear bumper, just above the heavy-duty platform hitch.
Check off the Extreme Equipment Group option 1SY and pony up an additional $2,040 and you have a very well-equipped vehicle, with power windows and door locks, heated outside mirrors, cruise and tilt and a six-way power driver’s seat. Seating is comfortable for trips long and short, and controls are in easy, fingertip reach. Storage spots large and small abound and cupholders are spotted fore and aft. Any sound system in the GM audio arsenal is available to soothe or damage the ears of the Xtreme buyer. For those who wish to trade the overhead console for some sun worship, a sunroof is available.