- Clean break from Blazers past
- Towing capacity
- Inline-4 or V-6
- Brand heritage cries foul
- Not substantially bigger than an Equinox
- Will automatic emergency braking be standard?
The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer reboots a name from the past, and leaves truck bona fides behind for crossover comfort.
Reboots come in all shapes and sizes, from the kind found on TV and film, to the daily process you go through just to get your phone to receive voice mails.
The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is a reboot, but the familiar nameplate won't return on a truck-based SUV.
With the reformatted Blazer, Chevy will fill the niche in its lineup left between the five-seat Equinox and the seven-seat Traverse. If you're still hoping for a two-door spin-off of the Silverado, we feel your pain, but that Blazer left us a decade ago, and won't be coming back anytime soon.
The new vehicle is a mid-size crossover SUV with front-drive roots, seating for five, and a base inline-4 engine. It will be sold in base, Premier, and RS models.
The new 2019 Blazer has donned a more premium look than the Equinox that it barely outsizes. Like the Nissan Murano and Acura RDX, the Blazer has a swoopy shape with lots of clever lines and catchy details, far removed from its truck roots. LED lighting frames its face, its fenders swell out in a fashionable way, and blackout trim lets its roof float on its rear pillars.
Chevy will sell a base, 193-horsepower Blazer powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 good for pound-feet of torque. A 3.6-liter V-6 on the options list is rated at 305 hp. Both engines couple up with a 9-speed automatic, and each engine sports stop/start and direct injection.
With a set of drive modes offered to the driver, the Blazer will be able to tailor its stability and traction systems to driving conditions. We expect most shoppers will upgrade the front-drive Blazer with one of two all-wheel-drive systems. A basic setup on base models can disconnect power that would otherwise go to the rear wheels, and save some fuel in the process. The Blazer RS and Blazer Premier get a more sophisticated AWD system with a twin-clutch rear differential, which can shift torque between rear wheels, for better handling and for better traction. The standard 18-inch wheels and tires can be upgraded to 21-inch wheels and tires.
Chevy says the 2019 Blazer can be equipped with a tow package that has hitching guides built into the standard rearview camera. With the V-6, the 2019 Blazer will be tow-rated to 4,500 pounds.
With seats for five passengers, the Blazer takes sides with the Equinox, and leaves three-row seating to the Blazer and Suburban. The Blazer's rear bench slides to flex cargo and passenger space. Among the comfort features it offers, the Blazer will cool and heat its front seats on high-end versions, and heated rear seats will be available.
Chevy claims up to 64.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats, but hasn't disclosed a number for space behind the second-row seat in its rearmost position. On the nominally smaller Equinox, cargo space totals 63.5 cubic feet, while the much larger Traverse checks in at 98.2 cubic feet). Some Blazers will come with a panoramic twin-pane glass roof, a hands-free power tailgate, and an electronic locking glovebox.
Chevy says some Blazers will get a rear mirror camera and adaptive cruise control, but it hasn't said which models, if any, will get standard forward-collision warnings with full-speed automatic emergency braking.
Wireless smartphone charging and USB ports are available on all models, as are an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and hardware for in-car wireless data.
No EPA fuel economy figures or prices have been announced. The 2019 Blazer goes on sale early in calendar-year 2019.