Chevrolet Blazer RS
SAN DIEGO ó The
2019 Chevrolet Blazer midsize SUV is poised to jump to the head of
its class, thanks to great looks, a roomy and comfortable
five-passenger interior and good performance.
If you remember the
boring old Blazer and TrailBlazer midsize SUVs, forget them now. The
2019 Blazer doesnít share a nut or bolt with them. Itís long,
elegant and surprisingly luxurious ó Chevroletís answer to
people who fear booming SUV sales will mean highways full of bland
The new Blazer just
started showing up in dealerships, but I recently spent a couple of
days driving Blazers in and around San Diego, on routes that
included twisty mountain roads, steep hills, flat out highway runs
and rush-hour traffic.
handling and steering were responsive, making it feel like a smaller
vehicle in heavy traffic. The ride is comfortable, and the cabin is
quiet at highway speeds and over rough pavement.
The styling is
unique, with narrow LED running lights, a sharp nose, fast
windshield and roof and sculpted sides. Itís one of the few SUVs
youíre likely to recognize 100 yards down the road.
Two engines, many
Blazer prices start
at $29,995 for a front-wheel drive model with a 193-horsepower
2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. I tested a
well-equipped Blazer RS, the sporty model with all-wheel drive and
the optional 308-hp 3.6L V6. A smooth nine-speed automatic
transmission is standard equipment.
Chevy expects the
Blazer to compete in a growing new segment of high-styled
five-passenger midsize SUVs. It fits in the lineup between the
compact Equinox and three-row Traverse.
Blazer prices can
approach those of the family-oriented Traverse, but Chevrolet
doesnít expect the two to compete based on the idea that buyers of
five-seat SUVs are more interested in style than practicality.
The Blazer RSís
sporty handing and responsive handling should win over buyers who
have been skeptical about switching to an SUV. Itís at least as
much fun to drive as the front-wheel-drive midsize and large sedans
automakers are abandoning in favor of SUVs.
The Blazerís main
competitors are likely to be the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and Honda
Passport, another old name thatís coming back attached to a new
model this year.
interior has the head and shoulder room of a large luxury sedan, and
plenty of cargo space. The doors, dash ó just about everywhere you
touch ó is wrapped in soft materials. Infotainment included a WiFi
hotspot, wireless charging and an 8-inch touch screen.
drive for the RS for improved handling and response
Faster steering on
the RS that less sporty models
Surround view video
emergency braking with pedestrian detection
18-, 20- or 21-inch
Sliding and reclining
headlights and LED daytime running lights
2019 Chevrolet Blazer
at a glance
Blazer RS AWD tested
3.6-liter V6 engine
Power: 308 hp @ 6,700
rpm; 270 lb-ft of torque @5,000 rpm,
EPA fuel economy
rating: 20 mpg city/24 highway/22 combined
Price as tested
$48,270 (excluding destination charges)
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.