It's no Wrangler rival, but here's why that's OK.
When rumors first emerged that Chevrolet was bringing back the Blazer nameplate, hopes of a body-on-frame rival to the Jeep Wrangler and upcoming Ford Bronco were short-lived. Instead, Chevy decided to make the new Blazer a crossover based on the same architecture as the Equinox. While you won't be able to take your 2019 Blazer up a rocky trail, it will be just fine hopping over the parking blocks at your local mall (which is what most consumers want).
People with fond memories of the old K5 Blazer may never accept this new one but just remember, the S10 Blazer wasn't exactly the ultimate Wrangler rival either. We recently had the chance to test a 2019 Blazer RS trim and after a week of driving, we are completely sold on Chevy's decision to build a car-based crossover instead of a body-on-frame truck.
Love it or hate it, you have to admit the new Blazer looks interesting. We've compared it a Camaro SUV in the past and from some angles, we think the Blazer even looks better than its sports car sibling. Opting for the RS trim (like our tester) certainly helps up the curb appeal, as do optional 21-inch black wheels and an eye-catching shade of Red Hot. During our week of driving, the Blazer drew more stares and generated more intrigue from other drivers than any of the SUVs we've tested recently.
As with the exterior, we think the Blazer's cabin is a win for Chevy. Much of the layout is inspired by the Camaro but it feels more practical in this application. The red accents of the RS trim are a nice touch and all of the materials feel like they wouldn't be out of place in a Buick or Cadillac. In fact, the Blazer's interior had us wondering whether a similarly equipped Buick Envision or Cadillac XT5 would be worth the extra investment.
The cabin is also home to some usable and impressive pieces of technology. There's an impressive 360-degree camera system with excellent resolution. But if you are still incapable of parking the car, the Blazer can pull into a parallel spot all by itself. GM's MyLink infotainment system is quick and responsive and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available if you prefer. All of the luxury features you'd expect are present, like heated and ventilated seats and a panoramic moonroof, so you won't be missing out if you trade in a luxury car for the Blazer.
People buy SUVs for practicality and although the Blazer is smaller than the Ford Edge, it's still very practical. The rear cargo area offers 30.5 cubic feet of storage, which increases to 64.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Chevy has also included a clever rail system, which can slide to different points in the trunk to divide your stuff or prevent smaller items from rolling around. The rear seats offer 39.6 inches of rear legroom along with the ability to slide and recline, meaning even taller occupants will be comfortable.
There are quicker SUVs out there, like the Ford Edge ST and old Trailblazer SS, but the new Blazer's 3.6-liter V6 feels more than adequate. It produces 308 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque going out to front- or all-wheel-drive through a nine-speed automatic transmission, which shifts smoothly without disturbing the driver. The Edge ST is quicker with its 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 but its lackluster eight-speed automatic completely ruins the experience. Chevy's V6 drivetrain is smooth as butter and the Blazer will even offer a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for the 2020 model year.