Ever wondered what would happen if they mashed up a muscle car with an SUV? Meet the Chevrolet Blazer. For 2019, Chevy reincarnated its legendary Blazer moniker in a cool, streetwise crossover with plenty of style and swagger. At first glance, this sexy crossover seeks to attract a new generation of Blazer enthusiasts with modern styling and tech. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Deeply inspired by the revamped Camaro, the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer tries hard to exude muscle-car sex appeal. It’s got well-defined wheel wells, and its sharp lines and sleek bodywork give it an aggressive, ready-to-rumble stance. The narrow headlamps recall the new Camaro’s glowering countenance as well.
But make no mistake: This is a CUV. So despite the bellicose silhouette, there’s ample space for cargo, plus plenty of room for five. Add in a bevy of long-haul creature comforts, like a full-screen infotainment system, abundant USB ports, and even an adjustable rear seat, and you’ve got a rugged exterior that’s also plush and well-appointed inside.
The base model 2019 Chevrolet Blazer starts at $28,800. Three distinct trim packages are available: the standard Blazer, the shiny Premier (from $42,700), and the sporty RS (from $46,670). All come with a dash-mounted 8-inch screen and infotainment system, and sync with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is an upgrade. The Premier and RS models feature a more powerful V6 engine and all-wheel drive.
Chevy says the Blazer RS we tested makes 308 horsepower—pretty impressive power for a CUV—and we found no reason to doubt that claim. The smooth 9-speed transmission is smartly geared and eager to please. And the exhaust note even emanates a bit of a grumble.
Perhaps more than any other feature, the cockpit clearly derives from the Camaro, with bullet-style a/c vents, sporty digital instrumentation, and sleek black leather interior accented by red contrast stitching.
But it’s the driver enhancements that made our Blazer RS a pleasure to drive. On the highway, the Blazer was practically on auto pilot. The Rear Cross Traffic Alert puts a tangible buzz in the driver seat on either the left or right, depending on the proximity of the obstacle behind. When the Blazer veers too close to the edge of its lane, Lane Keep Assist notifies the driver via a slight turn adjustment and vibrating steering wheel.
And Chevy’s Adaptive Cruise Control is one of those high-tech new-car features that blows your mind the first time you experience it. It wouldn’t allow the Blazer to get closer than three car lengths behind the vehicle in front of it. On the highway with the cruise control set, we found we could sit there with our feet flat on the floor while the Chevy maintained a safe braking distance in traffic. Even the bright lights switched on automatically on a dark country highway at night when the Chevy knew there were no cars ahead. When headlights would come into view from the opposite direction, they switched off, and we didn’t have to move a muscle.
If you want a Blazer like the one we drove, it’s going to cost you a bit extra. The Enhanced Convenience and Driver Confidence II Package runs an extra $3,575, even on the spendy $46,000 RS. It includes the adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and rear cross traffic alert, plus a rearview camera mirror, heated (and cooled!) seats front and rear, surround camera, and a killer 8-speaker Bose sound system. If you want a panoramic sunroof and 21-inch rims, tack on the $2,495 Sun and Wheels Package.
Now, that’s a lot of bells and whistles—but all those accoutrements push the price point of this American newcomer well past $50k, and into the rarefied territory of luxury imported CUVs with names like Mercedes, BMW, and Infiniti. So if you’re willing to spend, your rowdy CUV can be as refined and graceful as any on the road. Otherwise, you’ll still have a capable and dependable Chevy crossover with muscle-car looks and a legendary moniker on its fender.
[From $28,000; chevrolet.com]Get it