Chevrolet brings back the Blazer as a Camaro-styled crossover
Chevrolet has introduced the 2019 Blazer, marking the model's comeback after over a decade of absence. The Blazer will no longer be a body-on-frame SUV, but will instead be a midsize crossover with looks taken from the Camaro and structure from the GMC Acadia.
The Blazer was last seen in showrooms in 2005, where the SUV had built a reputation for being robust, off-road capable, and family-sized. The march of the unibody-designed crossover, however, had meant that sales of the old-school Blazer were flagging. The car-like crossover-SUV designs that have since largely replaced truck-based sport utilities offer more efficiency, better driving characteristics, and more interior space.
The re-introduced 2019 Chevrolet Blazer joins other former SUVs in the crossover realm. The Blazer will fit between the compact Equinox and the larger three-row Traverse. The Blazer features looks akin to the Camaro sports coupe and engines pulled from across the Chevy lineup.
"The Blazer has attitude," said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design. "It looks commanding on the road, while fulfilling the promise of versatility at the heart of every Chevy crossover and SUV."
The front fascia is particularly strong in its statement, with a sharp nose, thin LED headlamps, and a wide grille and intake. The high ride stance of the Blazer is offset by the relatively narrow wheel well gaps. An upward-curving beltline creates a more pronounced and sporty slope for the roofline above, while hinting at the Camaro's thick rear pillar. Wheels are pushed to the corners, especially at the rear, promising good handling and muscular performance.
Both a four- and a six-cylinder engine will be offered in the 2019 Chevy Blazer. The standard four will be a 2.5-liter inline that produces 193 horsepower (143 kW) and 188 pound-feet (255 Nm) of torque. Engine stop-start and a nine-speed automatic transmission are also standard. The six-cylinder offering is a 3.6 L that produces 305 hp (227 kW) and 269 lb-ft (365 Nm). Stop-start and the nine-speed transmission are also standard.
Blazers will be front-wheel drive by default with all-wheel drive as an option. A special sport-centric RS model will feature blackout trim and will share a twin-clutch AWD system with the Premier model. The twin-clutch allows both optimized traction between axles and a full disconnect for the rear axle when AWD is not needed. The latter setting is driver-selectable.
The 2019 Blazer will be a five-passenger crossover with up to 64.2 cubic feet (1,818 liters) of cargo space with the rear seats folded. The rear seating will be adjustable (slide/tilt). Towing in the V6-powered model will be up to 4,500 pounds (2,041 kg). This will include Chevrolet's "Hitch View" feature on the rearview camera for lining up the trailer hitch to a trailer.
Chevrolet plans to include a host of active safety systems in the Blazer. Chevy did not elaborate on these, but the Chevrolet lineup of crossovers includes such things as crash mitigation with emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and so forth. Several other convenience features will also be available in the 2019 Blazer, including the rear camera mirror option found on the Traverse and other models.
The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer will also introduce GM's new cargo management system, which adds a rail system to the rear cargo area with an adjustable cargo fence and tie-down system. This allows cargo to be separated and secured for less hassle on the road.
Chevrolet has promised more information on the new Blazer before its expected launch in early 2019.