Consumer Reports is staffed by well-educated, level-headed veteran experts in the automotive department. That’s why we were so surprised by just how negatively they reviewed the new Chevrolet Blazer battery-electric vehicle. While they do admit that the company got a few things right, for the most part, this is a crushing review of a new car that GM was counting on to be a hit.
Keith Barry chaired the video segment and perhaps summed up the review best when he said, “I couldn’t wait to get out of it.” Mike Monticello called parts of the interior design “Unsafe” and “Crazy.” These are words most reviewers never use when talking about new cars, let alone ones that cost $60,000.
The biggest slam is on the built-in Google. GM has decided to abandon the much-loved and now ubiquitous Android Auto and Apple CarPlay found in nearly every vehicle built today. The new GM-Google system simply didn’t work correctly in the Chevy Blazer EV that CR has purchased (this is not a media test vehicle.) The screen of the vehicle flashes off and on and does not allow the operator to input destinations. The video goes into great detail explaining why the new Google Built-in is inferior to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. For example, the CR team explains that you need to keep logging into downloaded apps.
The problems are not all related to “software.” The testing staff found that the rear seatbelts were unusable, and the crew at Consumer Reports had to repair them before they would work. It took two team members, one of whom is a mechanic, to resolve the issue. There was also a problem with the front floor mats that required repair.
Despite being built upon the much-hyped GM Ultium EV platform, the test team at CR found that the vehicle charges more slowly than many models already on the market for many years. The team also commented that the "RS," as in rally-sport trim, is not that sporty, particularly for its lofty $60K price point.
Looking for bright spots to offer some balance to the negative review, the team resorted to saying the brakes felt “normal,” and that the door handles worked.
Watch the video yourself to see how the CR team picks apart a $60,000 five-passenger crossover in a negative way that we rarely see from the motor press. Keep in mind that the Blazer has been pulled off the market via a “stop-sale” by GM. Other publications, including EV-advocacy publications, have also panned the new Chevy Blazer, but none so harshly as CR has done.
Torque News has not tested or seen a Chevy Blazer EV in person. If we have the opportunity to test one out, we will offer our honest opinion. Your author named a GM EV the best overall electric vehicle for 2023 at Car Talk. We loved the Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV and would like to see more GM EVs succeed. Hopefully, many of the Blazer EV's problems will be resolved by GM while the vehicle is off the market.
John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.
Image of Chevy Blazer EV courtesy of GM media support.