Preview: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer

Chevrolet is expanding its crossover stable to four. The latest one slots in between the Equinox and the Traverse, but adds more sport to the utility. At least in the looks department. This is the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer.

This is one that’s going to look good sitting in your driveway.

This is the return of a classic Chevrolet nameplate. No, it’s not a two-door, body-on-frame, full-size off-roader. And that’s not really what this name represented for most of its lifetime. This is a big compact, or maybe a small mid-size crossover. It fits in at just bigger than the Equinox, and smaller than the three-row Traverse. And it looks sportier than any other crossover under the GM umbrella. That aggressive look is what the Blazer nameplate represents now.

This is a sharp-looking crossover. The Camaro-like nose, wide rear haunches, and floating roof give it a sporty look that stands out in the mainstream compact SUV segment. This is one that’s going to look good sitting in your driveway.

The black grille and trim of the RS look almost sinister, but even in bright chrome on the Premier trim, looks striking. Other model grades will have unique trim to help set each one apart. The two shown off at today’s reveal include the Premier and the RS. The first is the luxury model, and the RS adds sport.

What looks like ultra-slim headlights are actually just daytime running lights. The real lights are located below those. Low and wide in the front bumper where you’d expect the fog lights to be.

Powertrains for the Blazer will include a 2.5L four and 3.6L V6. The four makes 194 hp and 188 lb-ft, with the V6 at 305 hp and 269 lb-ft. Both get the nine-speed automatic from the Traverse – where it’s known to shift smoothly and cleanly, and let the V6 run all the way past redline. Hopefully, this one gets the same calibration.

The Blazer will be available with front-wheel drive or GM’s twin-clutch AWD system. If you’re looking to take your toys with you, the Blazer will be able to tow up to 2,041 kg. To help you back up to that trailer, Advanced Hitch View will help drivers line up with their trailer. A back-up camera mode will also give a better view for matching hitch to receiver.

Inside, the Blazer uses unique twisting air vents that turn to adjust cabin temperatures. It’s a Camaro-inspired look, more sport than most of the segment. It will have an electronic locking glovebox, a first for Chevrolet. The RS adds unique accents to the seat fabric inside and a blacked-out bowtie. Available on RS and standard on Premier are comfort-open windows that roll down with the keyfob to cool the car as you walk up to it.

Six USB ports are available, as well as two USB-C ports. The infotainment system uses an 8.0-inch display that runs the latest version of Chevrolet’s MyLink. It includes a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. A rear-view camera mirror is on the options list that adds a display inside the conventional rear-view mirror to let you see a wider view behind you that’s unobstructed by passengers and cargo.

The rear seat reclines as well as slides, and offers enough space for six-foot-plus passengers, even with the panoramic moonroof. The cargo area holds up to 1,810 L with the rear seats folded, just a few litres more than the Equinox. It also offers a unique sliding cargo divider that uses runners in the hatch that allow the divider to be repositioned and locked in place. That cargo management system is standard on the RS and Premier trim.

Lower trims haven’t yet been revealed, but expect other models to trickle out closer to launch. The Blazer will arrive at dealers early next year.

Blazing through the crossover field 6/22/2018 6:31:00 AM