Some Camaro In Your Blazer? The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD
The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD.
The slicing and dicing of the crossover/sport utility vehicle market is a wondrous thing to watch. 

The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is Chevy’s sixth SUV.  That’s right.  Sixth.   The bowtie boys and girls (check the Chevy logo if that reference escapes you) have found a space of daylight between the compact Equinox and the midsize Traverse and thus we have the Blazer.

Actually, there’s some fair amount of good sense involved here, since the Blazer pretty well goes head-to-head against the Toyota Highlander and that’s a vehicle worth competing with. 

Side view of 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD

Chevy chose to set the Blazer apart from the pack not only with its distinctive name ( a two-door SUV based on Chevy’s full-size truck wore that nameplate from 1969 to 1994) but with fairly aggressive styling, inside and out---intended, the company admits, to evoke images of its sporty Camaro coupe.

Why do that?  Well, to give some comfort to the men and women whose lives, thanks to children, no longer allow them to simply drive a Camaro.   And props to Chevy---it’s not all looks.  

Engine in 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD

The Blazer’s 3.6-liter V6 makes 308 horsepower, which, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, delivers decent fuel economy (the EPA says 18 city/25 highway).  It handles very well on the road, too.  And the interior---especially the gauge cluster and the controls---appear to be very much Camaro-inspired.

Interior of 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD

Gauge cluster in 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD

Blazers start at $29,995 with a 193-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, but our tester was the Premier AWD, and that’s a $45,600 price tag. 

Beyond the engine and its 115 additional horsepower, the $11,000-plus difference comes from a raft of very nice standard equipment, including 20-inch aluminum wheels, deep-tinted glass,  trailering equipment, a power hands-free liftgate, remote vehicle start, dual-zone automatic temperature control,  heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a heated steering wheel, perforated leather-appointed trim an upgraded Bose Premium infotainment system with an eight-inch color touchscreen, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and its own 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot.

And, rare for a vehicle from a manufacturer press fleet, this particular tester had no extra-cost options.  There are plenty available, and you could easily end up with a loaded top-of-the-line Blazer Premier AWD with a sticker price between $50,000 and $55,000, but the one we drove for a week rang in at $46,795, which is more than reasonable for the performance and the equipment.

Front view of 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD

Rear view of 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD

But back to the options---there’s one that bugs me.  Adaptive cruise control---which maintains a distance you set between you and the vehicle in front of you (It slows, you slow.  It stops, you stop) is becoming standard equipment on cars priced in the low $20,000 range.  It is, in my view, an essential piece of safety equipment.   

On the 2019 Chevy Blazer, it’s only available as part of the “Driver Confidence II Package”, which bundles it with a rear camera mirror, a safety alert seat (it vibrates to let you know when you’re about to hit something or vice-versa) and wireless charging.  And it costs $2,165.

That’s just wrong.  And it would probably have me choosing the Toyota Highlander, which is less fun to drive.  But Toyota includes adaptive cruise as standard equipment even on its lowest trim level, the LE, which starts at $31,830.  

This is a GM problem---I've also recently been in GMCs and Buicks and Cadillacs that make you pay extra for a safety feature that reduces the number of rear-end crashes.  And other manufacturers do it, too.  Props to the carmakers (largely Japanese and Korean) who offer it as standard.  When GM does, I could wholeheartedly recommend the Blazer.