2019 Chevrolet Blazer First Look: Reinventing the SUV for a CUV World

We knew it was coming. Chevrolet made the Equinox smaller so there would be a midsize hole in the crossover lineup between it and the full-size Traverse. And talk about bringing back the Blazer name has been rampant for a while.

General Motors finally gave us our first look at the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer at an event in Atlanta, but unlike the Blazers of the past, this one is not a body-on-frame SUV, or a two-door, nor does it have a removable roof. Instead, it rides on the same C1 architecture as other car-based crossovers including the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia.

The five-passenger crossover has a number of trim levels including the sportier and blacked-out RS and the more upscale Premier, both with optional 21-inch wheels instead of the standard 18s. Chevy tried to give each trim a distinct look with changes to the grilles and trim pieces.

The Blazer name, which dates back to 1969, has not been used since 2005, but the auto industry is going through a retro phase with other discarded names coming back, including the Ford Bronco, Lincoln Continental, and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Automakers save a ton on marketing when known names are repurposed, and they have shown they have no qualms about putting past names on vehicles vastly different from their original namesakes.

The 2019 Blazer has little in common with its predecessor two-door truck-based SUV, but “the Blazer has attitude,” said John Cafaro, executive director of Global Chevrolet Design. The crossover has a high beltline, bolder front, dual exhaust outlets, and an integrated tailgate spoiler.

The base engine is GM’s 193-hp, 188-lb-ft 2.5-liter inline-four, and buyers can opt for the 3.6-liter V-6 that generates 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and have stop-start technology.

Also optional is all-wheel drive including a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system on the RS and Premier trims. The Blazer can tow up to 4,500 pounds with the V-6. Opt for the Hitch View to accurately back the hitch up to the trailer.

Touches buyers can appreciate include a padded knee area, round air vents, and an available panoramic dual-pane power sunroof. There is an automated heated steering wheel and automated heated/cooled front seats while the second row seats fold flat and slide and adjust for easier access. You can use the key fob to roll down the windows and let the heat out before getting in the vehicle.

There is an electronic-locking glove box and a new cargo management system, standard on RS and Premier, with rails and cargo fences to keep gear in place. The liftgate is hands-free.

For connectivity there is an 8-inch touchscreen and 4G LTE Wi-Fi. It’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.

The 2019 Blazer goes on sale in early 2019. Chevrolet’s SUV lineup will now include, from smallest to largest: Trax, Equinox, Blazer, Traverse, and the truck-based Tahoe and Suburban.

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