When Ford reintroduced the Bronco, it was a long-awaited return, as the automotive world knew well in advance that the nameplate was returning, but yesterday’s reveal of the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer came as a total surprise. General Motors did a remarkable job of keeping this new mid-sized SUV hidden from spy photographers and while it isn’t what some old-school Blazer owners would hope for in terms of chassis construction, it looks like it could be a solid competitor in the popular segment.
“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,” said 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.”
This is No K5
The Chevrolet Blazer is best known as a large, body-on-frame sport utility vehicle that battled the likes of the Ford Bronco and the Dodge Ramcharger in the 1970s and 1980s. With the pending return of the Bronco, you might think that Chevrolet has rolled out a modern Blazer to go toe-to-toe in the mud with the new Ford and the Jeep Wrangler, but you would be wrong.
The 2019 Blazer is no K5. Where the K5 was a full-sized, body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive based vehicle, the 2019 Blazer is a mid-sized unibody vehicle that comes with standard front-wheel-drive or optional all-wheel-drive. Where many of the older, larger Blazers had a powerful V8, the new model comes with a standard 4-cylinder engine or an optional V6, but if you put aside the comparisons to the older namesake, this new SUV is pretty interesting.
Face of a Camaro
The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer has far more aggressive styling than the other similarly-sized SUVs in the GM portfolio and the Camaro-like face is a big part of that. Like the recently-introduced 2019 Camaro SS, the new Blazer has slim upper headlights with LED accents that angle in and down to a gigantic grille. Like the Camaro, the upper portion of the grille is small while the lower portion takes up most of the front end real estate.
Separating the upper and lower grille areas is a thin black strip that carries the brand’s bowtie badge, while the outer portions of the front fascia have strong angles and a contrasting pocket with the actual headlights located down below where you would expect them. This design with the headlights located below the traditional spot is similar to the previous Jeep Cherokee, except the Blazer features this non-traditional lighting layout while still featuring the traditional look – and that is a great idea.
Honestly, while some people don’t care for the look of the 2019 Camaro SS front end, the related design looks great on the new Blazer.
Solid Power and Capabilities
There is no V8 for the 2019 Blazer, but for the mid-sized segment, it still packs respectable power levels.
The standard engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that is rated at 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque, but those buyers who want more power – or the 4,500-pound towing capacity – there is the optional 3.6-liter V6. This larger mill delivers 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, and regardless of the engine chosen, all 2019 Blazers come with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Also, the new Blazer features Traction Select on all models regardless of the engine or drive configuration chosen. On front-wheel-drive models, the traction system uses real-time input to provide the best grip in changing road conditions and on all-wheel-drive models, it does the same while also allowing the driver the option to drive only in front-drive mode.
The details on the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer are still fairly short, but we know that this new model is expected to hit dealerships sometime in early 2019 and before then, we can expect the full spread of details and pricing.