Blazer offers attention-grabbing style, superb versatility

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Blazer offers attention-grabbing style, superb versatility

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While driving the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier around town, I couldn’t help but notice how its distinctive and sporty look was turning heads.

With its pronounced hood, high beltline, floating roof, and overall badass design, it definitely stands out from the cookie-cutter design that is so commonplace among this high-volume segment.

I must admit, bringing back the Blazer name on a midsize crossovers is a cool idea. Then there are those who don’t even remember the original truck-based Blazer, which dates back to 1969, but they do but recognize the name — they think it’s cool, too.

Despite its off-road heritage, the Blazer — which slots in between Chevrolet’s compact Equinox and full-size Traverse — prioritizes style over ruggedness. And while the Blazer is available with an assortment of high-tech driver assists and premium features, buyers will have to pay top dollar for the fanciest models, like the Premier. Still, every model has a spacious back seat and an excellent infotainment system.

The 2019 Blazer shares a platform with the three-row GMC Acadia and the compact-luxury Cadillac XT5, but adds wider proportions and sportier pretensions. Its interior is inspired by the iconic Chevy Camaro except with much more passenger space and an improved layout.

I like the large, in-your-face and intuitive air vents: you turn them to adjust the temperature. Admittedly, the cabin looks more practical than luxurious, with lots of soft-touch plastic and standard-looking trim, even in the Premier, which starts at $43,895.

All that said, at the Premier trim level, two-tone black-and-tan and leather surfaces are attractive enough, and there are easily accessible USB ports for people in both rows.

Every Blazer comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. It also can be equipped with a 4G LTE mobile hotspot, eight-speaker Bose audio system, built-in navigation, and wireless charging for phones. My vehicle had a 120-volt outlet, too.

After a week in the Blazer, I was seduced by the sporty exhaust note from the 3.6-liter V-6 in my all-wheel-drive Premier tester.

The Blazer features a standard 193-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or an optional 308-hp 3.6-liter V-6. Both pair with a nine-speed automatic transmission, but only the V-6 is available with all-wheel drive.

The more powerful engine delivers impressive acceleration and provides added confidence when passing on the highway. Front-drive models can tow up to 1,500 pounds, while my all-wheel-drive version can handle up to 4,500 pounds.

With steady composure and accurate steering, the Blazer is easily the best-driving crossover in the entire Chevrolet lineup. Its large 21-inch tires with aluminum wheels remained hushed on even surfaces and at highway speed. The firm brake pedal immediately responded to my inputs.

EPA estimated fuel economy is a respectable 22 miles per gallon city and 27 mpg highway.

Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.


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