Chevy brings back the Blazer, at least in name
Alexander Pope wrote, “Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” Pope died in 1744, and thus would never expect the automobile, much less the revival of the Chevrolet Blazer for the 2019 model year. Were such an idea teleported back through the ages to the English poet, he would likely be amazed.
Those who were expecting the Blazer to be a pre-emptive strike against Ford’s forthcoming boxy Bronco, however, will despair. The new Blazer offers not a hint of retro, nor any serious off-road credibility such as ladder-frame construction. Or any nod to past Blazers at all, actually.
Instead, the Blazer blends the latest of Chevrolet styling themes—a wide grille connecting to the headlights (with a Lexus-esque spindle shape)— and of-the-moment design trends like character lines that sweep to to the rear of the bodywork. And, of course, a floating roof.
Details from Chevy’s early press release are scant, but it appears that the new Blazer shares some underpinnings with the GMC Acadia. Chevrolet says the Blazer will sit between the Equinox and Traverse in size, which is where the Acadia currently sits. Both the GMC and the Blazer offer a 2.5-liter inline-four and a 3.6-liter V-6. The Chevy gets GM’s latest nine-speed automatic transmission, and power goes to either the front or to all four wheels. The Blazer offers seating for five, whereas the GMC has an optional third row.
Yes, vintage fans might be sour that the Blazer skipped out on any retro nods to either the original K5 Blazer or the S-10 Blazer that last carried the nameplate, but it does have some credible utility that you’d expect from the name. Maximum towing capacity is 4500 pounds, and both a top-down view and center line overlay for the rearview camera help with trailering. The Traction Select system found on other Chevy SUVs is standard on all models of the Blazer, and adjusts engine and chassis calibration for different driving conditions.
The new Blazer also comes with all of the conveniences you’d expect in a modern car, with available options like adaptive cruise control, hands-free power liftgate, and even heated outboard second row seats. There we go again with those expectations.
Chevrolet says the Blazer will go on sale in dealerships in early 2019.