SPIED: Chevrolet Applies Blazer Name to Crossover Expected for 2019
Midsize SUV to Do Battle With Ford Edge, Not Ford Bronco
Automakers are going crazy resurrecting old names, like Ford will do with the 2019 Ranger and 2020 Bronco. With news that Chevrolet is bringing back the Blazer nameplate for a 2019 midsize SUV, we expected it to be positioned like the old Blazer: a rugged, body-on-frame machine with some reasonable off-road chops.
These latest spy photos, combined with industry rumors, suggest the 2019 Blazer will likely be a unibody crossover more akin to the Ford Edge, not the Ford Bronco. Expected to use GM’s C1XX platform (shared with the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5, as well as the Chevy Traverse), the Blazer should be a two-row SUV targeted at lifestyle buyers like empty-nesters and small families. Chevrolet reportedly downsized the Equinox and made the Traverse larger to make space for the Blazer, giving the company a three-crossover lineup to do direct battle with Ford’s Escape, Edge, and Explorer. (Ford will return volley with the subcompact EcoSport, giving the Chevy Trax a run for its money.)
We must admit we’re a bit disappointed to learn the Blazer name will be applied to an on-road–oriented SUV such as this one, but other than the name, the 2019 crossover should be a pretty attractive offering. Like the slightly larger Acadia, it’ll likely have a 2.5L I-4 as standard; with 193 hp and 188 lb-ft on offer, it’ll likely struggle a bit against the Blazer’s expected 3,800-pound curb weight. Helping matters will be an optional 2.0L turbocharged I-4 currently found in the top-level Chevy Equinox compact SUV, where it makes 252 hp and 260 lb-ft. The top engine option in the Blazer will likely be GM’s 310hp, 271–lb-ft 3.6L V-6.
The manufacturer’s smooth nine-speed automatic transmission will be standard across the board, making the most of each engine’s output. We presume the combination will be good for a highway fuel economy rating of 30 mpg for a front-wheel-drive Blazer with the 2.5L I-4. The thirstiest model will probably be a 3.6L V-6–powered all-wheel-driver, which will hit at least 26 mpg on the highway. Those numbers should match well against the Edge, as well as the similarly sized Nissan Murano.
Expect Equinox-plus styling on the new Blazer, with wraparound rear glass and a low, carlike front end giving the crossover sleek styling reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. A fast rear glass angle will eat into maximum cargo space somewhat, but Chevy shoppers looking for the most interior room would likely head for the Traverse anyway. Otherwise, if our experiences with the smaller Equinox are any indication, expect the Blazer to be a spacious, smooth, and comfortable place for four or five passengers to spend time.
We should see the 2019 Blazer in full sometime next year, perhaps at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. And GM, it’s not too late to pull the name from this machine and call it the Tracker or Celebrity or something. Save the Blazer name for a true, hardcore Ford Bronco/Jeep Wrangler rival!
Source: SpiedBilde Photography