2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS – Interior, Exterior and Drive. Chevrolet’s new Blazer is a throwback in name alone. Sure, it revives the Blazer nameplate, which disappeared from Chevy’s lineup in 2005, but that’s pretty much where the homage ends.
For starters, the Blazer’s appearance draws more from Chevrolet’s cars than its trucks, inheriting most of its design DNA from the Camaro sports coupe. The Blazer is angular and aggressive, from the sharp headlamps and jagged grill to the geometric profile and muscular flanks. The look gets a little softer around the SUV’s upright rear end, while still looking taut and decidedly sporty. Personally, I think it’s one of the best-looking SUVs in the midsize crossover class — but I know that’s not an opinion held by the rest of the Roadshow crew.
The design inside feels economical but thoughtful. The cabin’s design is simple and mostly well made. There are a lot of small goodies throughout the cabin that are fun to discover. From my RS model’s red accents and stitching to the illuminated USB ports to the way the central vents double as dials for the climate controls (another Camaro-like trick), I kept catching myself smiling at cool little details.
But this is also a different Blazer from a structural standpoint. For starters, it is underpinned by a front-wheel drive, unibody construction rather than rear-drive, body-on-frame setup of the old Blazer. This fundamentally makes the new Blazer more road- and commute friendly, trading the trucky ride of the old Blazer for something more akin to a large car.
Two engine options
The basic Blazer powertrain setup consists of a 2.5-liter I4 engine that sends 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. This is also the most efficient of the two engine options, estimated at a fairly middle-of-the-class 22 miles per gallon city and 27 mpg highway.
If you upgrade to the 3.6-liter V6, you’ll be treated to 308 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. This more potent version of the Blazer also features a nine-speed automatic transmission and still comes standard with front-wheel drive, but you can get V6 models with Chevy’s advanced twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system — essentially, it acts as a FWD vehicle most of the time, until rear-end power or traction is needed. Of course, going big with power comes with efficiency tradeoffs: V6 models step down to 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway with front-wheel drive or 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway when equipped with all-wheel drive.
The front-wheel-drive, V6 RS model impresses with its strong acceleration. The gearbox feels — in its default setting — tuned for efficiency, and is fairly quick to upshift through its nine gears. That can make the Blazer feel a little lazy to accelerate during passing maneuvers while the transmission sorts itself out, but it also means that the SUV has a relaxed and quiet character, both around town and on the highway.
The handling department is staffed by a MacPherson strut suspension up front, a five-link independent rear suspension and wheel-and-tire packages ranging from 18-inches for base models to 21-inch options for RS and Premier models. The electric power steering feels light and easy to use around town, while still offering fairly good responsiveness for a vehicle of this size. Still, the suspension can’t overcome the laws of physics — you can feel every bit of the Blazer’s 4,017 pounds (in FWD V6 trim) when hustling around a corner.
Pricing starts at $29,95 for the base model, known simply as the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, and stretches to $41,795 for the sport-styled and well-equipped Blazer RS. You can climb a little higher and spend $43,895 for the feature-loaded Blazer Premier — before options and destination charges, of course.
The Blazer’s biggest competition looks to come from the new Ford Edge, which is similar in scale and price. After driving both, I’d give the early advantage to the Blazer based on my very positive first impressions of the Chevy’s design, performance and Infotainment 3 tech. However, the Blazer will face stiffer competition when cross-shopped with the Hyundai Santa Fe and Hondas’s brand-new Passport, but I think the Blazer will fare well given its competitive price and striking style.
#new_Blazer #chevy_Blazer #Blazer_RS
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