2020 Chevy Blazer review: Coming out swinging

    A bit of little bit of design goes a good distance.
    Andrew Krok/Roadshow
    Did Chevrolet really want to jam the two-row Blazer between the three-row Traverse and the smaller Equinox? Probably not. Did Chevrolet really want to wedge a 3rd engine choice between the bottom I4 and the upmarket V6? Probably not. But consumers purchasing for a two-row crossover with ample house and energy will in all probability be completely satisfied the automaker did, since this new-for-2020 combo appears like a winner. Mostly.

    LikeSprightly turbo fourSpacious second rowSolid in-car tech

    Don’t LikeWonky pedal tuningMiddling inside materialsBad driver-assist availability

    Handsome from 5 feetI wasn’t initially bought on the concept of including some sportiness to GM’s crossover portfolio, however each on paper and in individual, the Blazer works. The sharp angles up entrance play very effectively and the rear finish even manages to snag a little bit of the Camaro’s character with out overemphasizing it. Throw in a touch of ruggedness by the use of the dark-gray trim across the backside of the physique and growth — you have received one significantly handsome SUV.The inside, however, has a couple of extra downs to counteract the ups. From 5 ft, the cabin appears to be like nice — the angles on the dashboard are fascinating and the little bit of leather-based on the 3LT trim’s dashboard provides a premium contact. The Camaro-like local weather controls are at all times fascinating, with the ring across the entrance vents used to set the temperature. There’s a great quantity of storage within the middle console and whereas I respect the distinctive dual-level format of the door panel cubbies, the upper trays aren’t giant sufficient to carry something considerable.

    Move slightly nearer, although, and GM’s acquainted inside points come up. The aluminum trim appears to be like OK, however it feels chintzy and accumulates smudges simply. Hard plastics abound, whether or not it is on the decrease a part of the dashboard or in that satin-silver end stuff flanking the cup holders and equipment lever. It’s usually forgivable at cheaper price factors, however because the Blazer’s increased trims push nearer to $50,000, it is rather less welcoming.Since the Blazer slots above the Equinox however beneath the three-row Traverse, there’s an ample quantity of house inside. Front occupants don’t have any drawback getting comfy, with sufficient width for 2 elbows to share the middle armrest, whereas second-row passengers are aware of headroom and legroom in spades. Behind the second row, there’s about 31 cubic ft of cargo house, which is greater than sufficient for a weekend journey or an enormous grocery-store haul, however it lags behind nearly each competitor, together with the Honda Passport (41), Hyundai Santa Fe (36) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (36).

    Comfortable commuterThe greatest Blazer replace for 2020 lives below the hood of my tester. It’s a brand new 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 — producing 230 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque — and it lives between the 193-hp, naturally aspirated 2.5-liter base I4 and the 308-hp V6 on the prime quality. In all honesty, I do not know what you’d need the V6 for, as a result of the turbo I4 is surprisingly keen. With simply the entrance rollers clawing for traction (part-time AWD is engaged by means of a middle console dial), an excessive amount of proper pedal will certainly lead to copious tire squeal.

    Combine that with a throttle that is in all probability manner too sensitive from the manufacturing facility (and a scarcity of car modes makes this unimaginable to regulate) and the Blazer could be too prepared to select up its nostril and hustle to the horizon. You’ll by no means be left wanting for energy right here, that is for certain. The brake pedal is unusual, in that it’s extremely agency, however it’s not as sensitive because the throttle, so you could have to push slightly more durable than anticipated to shed pace.GM’s interiors can get slightly boring, so it is good to see the Blazer spicing it up by incorporating among the Camaro’s parts.
    Andrew Krok/Roadshow
    The nine-speed computerized transmission is simply OK, with clean (albeit frequent) upshifts and gradual, who’s-in-a-hurry-here downshifts. If you need paddle shifters, powerful tomatoes, as a result of they are not obtainable; you will should make do with the terrible buttons on the facet of the gear lever.Every journey within the Blazer ends with me remarking about how comfy the experience is. Truly, GM outdid itself right here, because the Blazer is kind of the comfortable commuter. My 3LT tester’s commonplace 18-inch wheels come wrapped in meaty Continental Cross-Contact LX Sport all-season tires, which do an excellent job absorbing dangerous roads along side the Blazer’s fastened dampers. Throw in some well-sealed home windows and doorways and wind noise barely exists in right here — and there is not a lot street noise to take heed to, both. It’s not Lexus quiet, however for the value, I’m impressed.The solely cause to go together with the Blazer’s base engine is to save cash, as a result of it certain will not prevent something in your gasoline invoice. A base 2.5-liter Blazer with front-wheel drive earns simply 21 miles per gallon metropolis and 27 mpg freeway, whereas the two.0-liter FWD mannequin provides 1 mpg to the freeway score. My 2.0-liter AWD tester earns 21 metropolis and 27 freeway, numbers that I discover fairly simple to fulfill and beat.High marks for infotainmentIf there’s one a part of the automotive that Chevy has just about nailed for the final couple years, it is the infotainment. The Blazer comes commonplace with an 8-inch touchscreen operating  Chevrolet Infotainment 3, which incorporates Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. It’s an excellent system, with a smart format, quick boot and response occasions and a design that’s sharp with out being overdone. It’s in all probability my favourite mass-market telematics getup. The Blazer will get excessive marks for charging, too, with two USB ports (one Type-A, one Type-C) on the dashboard and one other two within the second row, commonplace.CI3 has a pointy set of graphics and nearly all the flexibility you’d want every day.
    Andrew Krok/Roadshow
    A high-definition backup digicam is offered as a part of a $1,400 expertise package deal that additionally provides embedded navigation, an 8-speaker Bose audio system, a colour show within the gauge cluster, a rear digicam mirror and two further USB ports within the middle armrest. Considering the fundamental backup digicam’s decision is appalling, the HD choice ought to actually be commonplace, however that is GM for you.Safety-related nickel-and-diming is the identify of GM’s recreation and that story continues on the Blazer. If you are a fan of ordinary suites of energetic and passive driver-assistance options, you are not going to love the Blazer very a lot. Base trims miss practically each newfangled piece of tech, whereas center tiers get entry to blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors and cross-traffic alert. If you need the great things — adaptive cruise management, computerized emergency braking — you will should shell out greater than $40,000 for the RS or Premier trims, each of which mandate the V6 engine. I’m sorry, however in 2020, that is dumb as hell.How I’d spec itMy tester’s 3LT AWD specification begins at $39,000, rising to $41,595 together with vacation spot and the only package deal on supply for that trim. To be trustworthy, that is how I’d spec my excellent Blazer, too; not solely do I get entry to the mid-tier security programs right here, I additionally get leather-based seats that befit the Blazer’s barely fancier nature and the AWD is sweet peace of thoughts for when the climate turns south. If I need a bit extra model, the $1,895 Redline package deal gussies up the outside with larger wheels and purple accents. It’s the correct mix of creature comforts and value, in my thoughts.The silver paint works effectively with the faux-chrome components between the headlights and grille.
    Andrew Krok/Roadshow
    Down to brass tacksLarge two-row crossovers are fairly widespread nowadays. The Honda Passport gives a bit more room and comes with way more security programs as commonplace gear, whereas these searching for some off-road ruggedness would possibly need to try the Jeep Grand Cherokee and its many variants, though a brand new technology is simply over the horizon. The Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Edge supply different mall-crawler approaches to this section and, as soon as once more, they provide an entire lot extra in the way in which of driver-assistance options.The 2020 Chevrolet Blazer gives a snug experience, good-looking aesthetics and a correct in-car tech expertise (security however) that ought to resonate with anybody who’s contemplating a crossover however nonetheless desires to prioritize past the fundamental utilitarian stuff. It’s not a star-studded standout in its section, however it gives sufficient compelling materials to place it excessive on consumers’ cross-shopping spreadsheets. 

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