Come on Chevy, don't waste the Blazer name on yet another crossover.
Ford made headlines when it announced the return of the Ford Bronco, a true rugged body-on-frame SUV. The Bronco won't be available until 2020, but rumors indicate that it will look like a modern version of the original. The new Bronco should be a fierce competitor to the upcoming next-generation Jeep Wrangler, but GM didn't want Ford and FCA to have all the fun. According to Automotive News, Chevy is reaching back into its names bin to revive the long forgotten Blazer. Just don't expect this new Blazer to be anything like the original.
The Blazer name was used in two different incarnations over the years. The full-size K5 Blazer was based on the C/K pickup truck chassis and stuck around from 1969 to 1999 when it was replaced with the Tahoe. The compact and mid-size Blazer was based on the S10 pickup and built from 1983 to 2005. There was also the Trailblazer, which was a trim level that eventually became its own model. The K5 is the Blazer that everyone loved. It was a rugged truck that competed against the Bronco and even had a removable top at one point. We would love to see something like the original Blazer on the market today as a Wrangler competitor, but it looks like GM is just making it yet another boring crossover.
The Blazer will likely slot between he Equinox and Traverse and has been spotted testing against a Nissan Murano. Clearly the Wrangler and Bronco are not in GM's sights for this model. Chevy recently made the Equinox smaller and the Traverse bigger, which opens up space for a new three-row crossover. The Blazer could offer a third row, which the Nissan Murano and Ford Edge do not offer in this category. GM has been testing two prototypes, both with engines from the new GMC Acadia on which the Blazer will be based. The prototypes reportedly have GM's 2.5-liter four-cylinder and 3.6-liter V6 engines that are shared with the GMC Acadia.
The Blazer is expected to go on sale next year as a 2019 model, which means it will beat the Ford Bronco to market. Unfortunately, it seems like GM isn't willing to take any chances with the new Blazer and make it as cool as we remember the original being.