Chevy Brings Back the Blazer But It Will Probably Bum You Out

The iconic off-roader is now a perfectly-fine mid-size crossover.

It’s been known for some time that Chevy would bring back the iconic Blazer nameplate, which for enthusiasts is kind of a big deal. The Blazer traces its roots back to 1969 when the K5 Blazer was introduced as a big two-door body-on-frame SUV that went toe-to-toe with the Bronco. In the early 1980s, the Blazer was revived in S-10 guise, a more refined beast but still a capable, ladder-frame-riding off-roader. The new 2019 Blazer doesn’t seem to be either of these things because, well, it’s a unibody crossover with what appears to be no off-roading intentions.

The result looks like the product of a Lexus RX and the new Camaro settling down with each other. Which is to say it looks perfectly nice. The new Blazer’s raison d’être is, ostensibly, to fill in the gap between the smaller Equinox and the three-row Traverse. It fills the need for a larger crossover but with only two rows of seating, because apparently developing a new vehicle is easier than just offering a two-row version of the existing Traverse. It will thus compete with the Ford Edge and the Nissan Morano and I can already tell you’re falling asleep. Wake up — I’m not finished.

Two higher-end trims will be available: the “luxurious” Premier and the “sporty” RS. Power will come from either a 193-hp 2.5-liter inline-four or a 305-hp 3.6-liter V-6. Either comes coupled to a nine-speed automatic which sends the power to the front wheels in standard form or all four wheels if you opt for a version with one of the two available AWD systems. Fun (I guess) fact: the standard AWD system can decouple the rear axle, sending power just to the front wheels in order to save fuel. The higher-end AWD system will feature a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system. Neat.

At this point, you might be wondering why you should care. My response to that is to say that the Blazer looks like a very nice mid-size crossover that will sell well because that’s exactly the kind of thing that most people want to buy. Though, that’s hardly a reason to get excited about it. I suppose I could segue into a diatribe about the Blazer name being diluted or something, but this new crossover is so milquetoast I’ve lost any sort of passion for that.

I guess I’m not mad; just disappointed. There’s a new Ford Bronco on the way, which people have been chomping at the bit to see. The Blazer could’ve been an opportunity for Chevy to provide a rebuttal. But it isn’t. It’s just another ennui-inducing mid-size crossover.

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