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Consumer Reports Absolutely Shreds New Chevy Blazer EV In Negative Review

In a new review video, Consumer Reports rips into the new Chevy Blazer EV in one of the most negative reviews we have ever seen from any respectable publication. 

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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. 

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Comments

MandoMark (not verified)    January 27, 2024 - 10:08AM

My daughter recently got saddled with a Chevy Bolt EV from a rental car agency. She was traveling on business from Grand Rapids, MI to Chicago and was assured it would make the 170-mile trip. She got as far as Saugatuck, MI (about 45 miles) when it warned her it needed charging. She stopped, and had to download two apps on her smartphone to find a charging station. Those available near enough to get to were not 'quick' charging locations. She sat there for an hour or two and managed to go 40 or 50 miles, then had to stop again. The car finally quit outside of Chicago, so she abandoned it and took an Uber to her final destination. She called the agency, who told her, "We can't tow it for a couple of days, and you'll be charged the daily rate for it sitting wherever it's at." She had her own insurance tow it to Chicago Midway and is working on getting the balance of that reimbursed from the rental car agency. Bottom line: The 2.5 hour trip to Chicago took 7.5 hours, and she never even made it there with the EV - in winter/cold weather. They simply are NOT viable for most Americans, and this one appears to be no different.

Leo (not verified)    January 27, 2024 - 9:24PM

In reply to by MandoMark (not verified)

EVs are totally viable for Americans and anyone. Just the right ones like Tesla. Ask any real Tesla owner about their long distance travel - best vehicles ever. GM and legacy auto with oil companies want to sabotage EVs instead of doing them right. And here we go - your story confirms it.

Blake (not verified)    January 28, 2024 - 10:41AM

In reply to by MandoMark (not verified)

While it's unfortunate that your daughter had such a hard time with the Chevy Bolt, the vehicle itself is well documented due to it's age on the road. The bolt can easily muster a 350+ range travel in normal weather. I don't doubt that in extreme temperatures the bolt may have been unable to complete at 170 mile trip but that is really cutting it close to the 50% loss margin which would indicate something is amiss in the details. Perhaps she wasn't given the vehicle with a full charge to begin with. I would say it's more likely the rental agency didn't properly educate the electric vehicle to your daughter. The Bolt unlike Tesla doesn't do as well with trip guidance for various chargers etc. This doesn't help with the public infrastructure on electric vehicles is quite bad still today as you said no quick stations. As a Tesla tho, the fast charging and number of stations out there cause zero range anxiety unlike a traditional vehicle. Before you write off electric vehicle ownership, look at a company that's doing it right from the ground up and supporting their vehicles. I've driven all across the US in my Tesla. Yes it does take longer due to the charging sessions, but most of the time I'm stopping for food/bathroom breaks etc. It balances out for the most part when reality is put back in it's place. And before we go down the road of viability to most people of the Cost of a Tesla vs a Bolt, the Bolt can be had for 29k these days whilst the Tesla around 32k (after at sale credits). If you can buy a Bolt, you can buy a Tesla. Given the average temperature year round in the US is 53, I doubt the Bolt would have suffered for most people in other places beyond Chicago.