I should get something off my chest before I raise my eyebrow. I like Chevrolet – really General Motors in general – but at heart, I’m a Chevy guy. Sure, Buick is cool and Caddy has their strong points, but my Silverado and Camaro enthusiasm is first. I live in Detroit and the Chevy Fountain is my favorite part about Comerica Park, made even better when one of our beloved Tigers launches a ball over it.
I am certain Chevrolet and General Motors (in general) know what they are doing. The have been building cars for a minute and understand the ever changing trends in the market. The 2019 Blazer will go exactly where it’s intended, but that’s a much different place than where the Blazer used to go.
Like through snow drifts and sand dunes.
But times are changing and the markets are evolving. To use a phrase fitting of the Chevy Fountain, it’s a different ballgame today and automakers, if they are to remain successful and profitable, must tune in to such things.
“Chevrolet has been at the forefront of each of the major automotive industry trends by anticipating consumer demand and delivering innovative products like Bolt EV, Colorado, and Trax,” explained Alan Batey, President of GM North America and head of Global Chevrolet. “The introduction of the all-new Blazer builds on that momentum and further strengthens the most comprehensive lineup of crossovers and SUVs on the market today.”
With the old K5; its near-immortal engines (350, 400, 6.2 Diesel), heavy-duty suspension, transfer case, and axles, and sheer size, one felt like they could drive over mountains. And yes, with today’s technology and engineering, smaller powertrains can produce more torque with better efficiency; advanced materials make for lighter and stronger components. Overall, today’s vehicles are better in almost every way.
And the 2019 Chevy Blazer is no exception. It’s “better” than the K5 because it benefits from a dose of modernity. But still . . . the K5 was the K5. As a kid, I thought the “K’ stood for King. The 2019 Chevy Blazer might be better, but could it ever best the King? Similar to how a pop star today might benefit from modern recording equipment, but that doesn’t make them Elvis.
The new Blazer lands between the Equinox and Traverse, an odd move considering the return of the Ford Bronco in 2020. Perhaps the Bowtie will challenge the Blue Oval with another offering, but from the onset, it would seem the best (and only) contender against a burly Bronco would be a beastly Blazer.
Give it the ZR2 treatment like the Colorado, and Chevy might could send the old Bronco to pasture.
Instead, it looks like the 2019 Blazer will roam free on city expressways and through suburban developments, standing as the most prominent expression of Chevrolet’s current crossover design theme. No, it’s not the K5, but the wide stance, tight proportions, higher beltline, and overall sculpting do give it a certain level of muscular flair.
The LED daytime running lamps are a nice touch.
Each individual model will offer a unique look and distinctive styling, meant to fancy the tastes of different customers. Depending on the model, the grille or chrome layout might change, or in the case of the RS, a shaded and blacked-out theme will rule the vehicle. 18-inch aluminum wheels are standard but opt for either the RS or Premier, and 21-inch wheels are on the table.
Five passenger seating means the clan can pile in and with wireless charging and six available USB ports, they won’t miss a single right swipe on the trip. Those having already found the right swipe of their dreams can kick out the extra passengers, fold the second row seats down, and take advantage of over 64 cubic feet of cargo space for that romantic getaway.
Don’t read into that. Two lovers on vacation can pack enough to supply an army.
If packing for the trip causes concern, opt for the Blazer’s cargo management system which will help keep everything organized. Once the gear is packed, the drive should be enjoyable with the available heated and ventilated front seats and panoramic sunroof.
The Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system is standard along with 4G LTE WiFi connectivity.
Power & Performance
The 2019 Blazer trades big and bulky for lean and efficient, coming standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 193 horsepower. Drivers will get more juice out of the available 3.6-liter V6, an evergreen GM plant that produces a healthy 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft. of torque. Both engines are direct-injected, utilize stop/start technology, and come paired to a nine-speed automatic.
With the V6, the 2019 Blazer can tow 4,500 lbs., nice for those weekend trips to the lake. The Hitch Guidance and Hitch View systems should make it easy to attach to a trailer.
Traction Select is standard, allowing drivers to better tailor the Blazer to the conditions at hand. RS and Premier models offer a more sophisticated twin-clutch all-wheel drive system that helps optimize traction, especially on wet or icy roads.
Pricing & Availability
Expect the 2019 Blazer at Chevy dealerships early next year, with pricing announced closer to the start of production.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.