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DRIVEN: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer LT AWD 3.6

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DRIVEN: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer LT AWD 3.6 (MSRP around 40k)

HIGHS:

-Blazer name is back!

-Unique, sporty CUV style, drawing inspiration from the Camaro.  Be seen.  Looks good in person, even in a bad color.

-Nice new interior design, including ball blower vents down low.  That will be a godsend in summer.  I liked the gauges, displays, controls, and touchscreen.

-Cargo area seemed more useful in size than I imagined.  If I recall, the rear seats can slide forward and back to help out with that.

-If you are averse to 4 cylinder engines, Chevy has you covered here.  Most of the Blazers will be had with 3.6 v6.  And with enough throttle foot, and after you let it wind up, and if the tranny actually kicks down, it scoots pretty well.

-Fans of CUV's that are heavy and sit high will be like pigs in slop in the Blazer.

LOWS:

-There are probably a lot of people that won't be into the styling.

-Drivetrain doesn't seem refined.  Sorry, another one of these GM drivetrains with the common 3.6 that underwhelms.  Slow transmission kickdown.  Feels like driveline has a lot of slop.  Lack of useful torque.  Grainy sounding, revs slow, throttle response is a dud.  

-Interior space is not exactly a middle spot between the Equinox and Traverse.  To some it will feel not much larger than an Equinox inside, which is either a compliment for the Equinox (wasn't intended to be) or a rip on the Blazer (maybe that's where I was going).   Perhaps how high you sit on the queen perch exacerbates the truckiness of this thing, but it feels narrow in relation to it's size, and it's easier to knock elbows with your neighbor than it should be in this thing.

-There is nothing about the ride and handling that stuck in my mind as impressive.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  Now, maybe the RS is better, I don't know.

-Irregardless of whether a vehicle being heavy is a good or bad thing, it's that the Blazer actually feels porky or even porkier than it is / isn't.

-The elephant in the room on this thing is price.  This lightly equipped LT was near 40 grand.  In the same showroom is an almost equally equipped Traverse for an almost equal price.  The versions that are in the high 40's and 50's, it's a real SMH to me.

-An all around feel about the vehicle that it was just a cobbled together parts bin ride (which historically has been GM's PENCHANT).  The Blazer is a vehicle that feels old by several years on the market, right when it's introduced.

SUMMARY

No compelling reason to pick this vehicle on the market other than if you are a GM fanboi/girl or you've gone sick on the styling of it.  If it's the former, its another case of GM missing an opportunity to provide class competitive or better vehicle refinement and dynamics and missing the mark.  If it's the latter, then the styling ends up being the sole purpose for the vehicle to exist in the market.  If it doesn't have more than that, than it's hopes for being a long term success are pretty thin.  I don't need to dive much more into this one.  Reviving the Blazer name and throwing it on something that evokes the Camaro in styling is about all there is behind this effort.  Nissan came out with the Murano in 2003? 2004? And Chevrolet finally has something to compete with it in 2019.  The list of vehicles that are better options to this for your money, whether 2 or 3 row, are in the dozens.  As far as Chevy, if you really want size, immediately bypass the Blazer and just go straight for the Traverse.  For performance and refinement, it's entirely possibly that a well loaded Equinox with the 2.0 engine is a much more enjoyable vehicle for a majority of people.  And don't forget the GMC options too.  Other makes and models, Santa Fe, Atlas, Edge, Passport, all better.  I might be here all day if I list all the better options.

It doesn't make it bad to like the Blazer and I wouldn't criticize anyone for buying one.  I just think GM mailed it in here, which they seem to be doing with increasing frequency here.  All you get here is a name and some style.  Bless ya if that's what you want.  I may try the 2.5 FWD for contrast, but i think I can 99% safely say one of these will never be in my driveway.  Continuing to lose more and more faith in GM and Chevy all the time.

 

 

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I am quite a bit looking forward to seeing how badly the 2020 Explorer tramples all over this thing.

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2 hours ago, regfootball said:

I am quite a bit looking forward to seeing how badly the 2020 Explorer tramples all over this thing.

Not even the same class. It's the Edge that will trample all over it.  On interior, I give the edge to the Blazer, but everything else goes to the Edge.  The Blazer is too small. It feels like the old Equinox size inside. 

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4 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Not even the same class. It's the Edge that will trample all over it.  On interior, I give the edge to the Blazer, but everything else goes to the Edge.  The Blazer is too small. It feels like the old Equinox size inside. 

Compare MSRP’s. The explorer in base and xlt trim will compete favorably as an option regardless of 2 or 3 rows

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1 minute ago, regfootball said:

Compare MSRP’s. The explorer in base and xlt trim will compete favorably as an option regardless of 2 or 3 rows

You can't just compare MSRPs... the two simply aren't going to be cross shopped.  If we're comparing MSRP, then the Avalon is a competitor too.  The Explorer may outsell the Blazer... but the Traverse and Acadia will too, so it doesn't really matter. 

No, the Edge is the direct competition to the Blazer, they both start at $29,995, but the Edge has the upper hand on power train and standard features right out of the gate. 

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12 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

You can't just compare MSRPs... the two simply aren't going to be cross shopped.  If we're comparing MSRP, then the Avalon is a competitor too.  The Explorer may outsell the Blazer... but the Traverse and Acadia will too, so it doesn't really matter. 

No, the Edge is the direct competition to the Blazer, they both start at $29,995, but the Edge has the upper hand on power train and standard features right out of the gate. 

The blazer is then priced miserably compared to both. At least in lower spec trims. 

Edited by regfootball

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1 minute ago, regfootball said:

The blazer is then priced miserably compared to both. 

Yes. With that base 4-cylinder and no AWD in that model, it should be $4k cheaper if only to close the gap down to Equinox.

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Yes. With that base 4-cylinder and no AWD in that model, it should be $4k cheaper if only to close the gap down to Equinox.

What? Sound pricing? GM would never price the Blazer sanely these days.

Better Q: who would BUY a new Blazer these days?

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Perhaps, someone who wants to move up a bit from an Equinox and no third row. 

7 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

What? Sound pricing? GM would never price the Blazer sanely these days.

Better Q: who would BUY a new Blazer these days?

I think if it were priced better, that group would be quite large. But now I know why they are making it in less volume and higher prices in Mexico. 

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17 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

What? Sound pricing? GM would never price the Blazer sanely these days.

Better Q: who would BUY a new Blazer these days?

It'll be a lease vehicle I'm betting.  I still don't understand its placement against the Acadia. I know it is a bit smaller than Acadia, but it doesn't seem to drive any different. 

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2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

It'll be a lease vehicle I'm betting.  I still don't understand its placement against the Acadia. I know it is a bit smaller than Acadia, but it doesn't seem to drive any different. 

Basically the same vehicle mechanically, right?  Same wheelbase..the Acadia has a couple inches more rear overhang for the 3rd row. 

I couldn't see considering one over a Ford Edge or a Grand Cherokee..

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3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

It'll be a lease vehicle I'm betting.  I still don't understand its placement against the Acadia. I know it is a bit smaller than Acadia, but it doesn't seem to drive any different. 

rather fitting that when the Blazer comes out, there's a lot of cheap lease offers on Acadias going on

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On 2/16/2019 at 4:37 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

Not even the same class. It's the Edge that will trample all over it.  On interior, I give the edge to the Blazer, but everything else goes to the Edge.  The Blazer is too small. It feels like the old Equinox size inside. 

Edge ST for the win for me....or Grand Cherokee...

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I'm gonna have to go drive one today.. cause your review is a complete contrast to almost everyone I've read or watched. Sales wise we'll have to see.. versus the Edge.. U people have way more faith in that ugly thing than I do. Engine-wise, I see not one issue with its specs versus the Edge ST, and I'm betting that performance comparisons will say pretty much the same. NOW! Do I think that there should be an optional, more powerful engine? Abssf@#kINlutely! But that stands on every GM CUV available. But I've said this to the point of making myself sick saying it again

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4 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

I'm gonna have to go drive one today.. cause your review is a complete contrast to almost everyone I've read or watched. Sales wise we'll have to see.. versus the Edge.. U people have way more faith in that ugly thing than I do. Engine-wise, I see not one issue with its specs versus the Edge ST, and I'm betting that performance comparisons will say pretty much the same. NOW! Do I think that there should be an optional, more powerful engine? Abssf@#kINlutely! But that stands on every GM CUV available. But I've said this to the point of making myself sick saying it again

Will be interested in your thoughts for an intelligent counter point.

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1 hour ago, caddycruiser said:

 

Yet last week I had a 2018 Colorado 3.6L crew cab and was shocked at how nice it was, and "why don't they make an SUV from this?"...

GM has had the Colorado based TrailBlazer in Asia for years, but it has a very ugly greenhouse, IMO..

images-14.jpeg

Edited by Robert Hall
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11 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Will be interested in your thoughts for an intelligent counter point.

Problem with my thoughts is that most believe that I can't find faults with GM vehicles as a whole because I am a serious GM fan. The thing is that I view GM vehicles for what they offer versus their actual competition. Apples to Apples. Come the fukk on.. someone here actually compared an Explorer to the Blazer. WTF? Why not compare a 370Z to a Grand Sport? 

Anyway..  very often, if unavailable, I ask for more to triumph over all competitors. For example.. we want to say that the Edge ST will trounce all over the Blazer RS, but looking at the actual numbers a great deal says that they are almost identical in performance. Another example is the BITCHING about the pricing of the Blazer.. when we all know.. as does the public, that by the time these vehicles go on sale there is almost always a SALE and the price is not even remotely what the MSRP says. Old school marketing and it works in making the consumer think that they are getting a better deal than they were.. even with the Internet avail. Its tiring and annoying at best hearing supposed informed enthusiasts bitch about constantly. Look here.. (Below) Its what GM does. It just is. 

blazer pric.jpg

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But @Cmicasa the Great, GM is on record that they are trying to cut back on incentives. 

Anyway, I went to the Pittsburgh auto show over the weekend.  I sat in all of the 2-row and smaller 3-row crossovers.  The GC has the nicest interior of them by far, but the Blazer is pretty close.  Where the Blazer falls short is interior space for the price. It doesn't feel much bigger than the old Equinox.. maybe slightly wider.  If I'm looking for room, I can pick just about anything else, but most drastically I can get into a V6 powered Durango for about the same price. If I'm looking for off-road capability, there's the GC.  If I'm looking for sportiness, there's the Edge. 

And I still haven't seen anything that tells me this drives any different than an Acadia. 

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7 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

But @Cmicasa the Great, GM is on record that they are trying to cut back on incentives. 

Anyway, I went to the Pittsburgh auto show over the weekend.  I sat in all of the 2-row and smaller 3-row crossovers.  The GC has the nicest interior of them by far, but the Blazer is pretty close.  Where the Blazer falls short is interior space for the price. It doesn't feel much bigger than the old Equinox.. maybe slightly wider.  If I'm looking for room, I can pick just about anything else, but most drastically I can get into a V6 powered Durango for about the same price. If I'm looking for off-road capability, there's the GC.  If I'm looking for sportiness, there's the Edge. 

And I still haven't seen anything that tells me this drives any different than an Acadia. 

I haven't driven it yet.. and I will.. as U should as well. Thing is that I've driven the Acadia Denali, the Enclave, and the XT5.. I had no issues with the way they drove and that's after, in one case getting out of the V and into the XT5. I'm not in any way saying that those two drove similar.. but for a CUV, just in Sport Mode.. it drove pretty damn nice and aggressive. But then again.. I have challenged Mustangs and Camaros in cornering fast in my slightly lowered 5500 lb Yukon.. So I may be a bad person to comment. Because I DRIVE!!! Everything like I'm driving my Vette😂

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3 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

I haven't driven it yet.. and I will.. as U should as well. Thing is that I've driven the Acadia Denali, the Enclave, and the XT5.. I had no issues with the way they drove and that's after, in one case getting out of the V and into the XT5. I'm not in any way saying that those two drove similar.. but for a CUV, just in Sport Mode.. it drove pretty damn nice and aggressive. But then again.. I have challenged Mustangs and Camaros in cornering fast in my slightly lowered 5500 lb Yukon.. So I may be a bad person to comment. Because I DRIVE!!! Everything like I'm driving my Vette😂

My point was that I don't see what makes the Blazer any more sporty driving than the Acadia.... it's not going to be the Camaro styling cues that make it corner better. 

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I hadn't looked much into what Grand Cherokees are being priced at these days, but after doing some quick research, it seems crazy evident that the GC is a screaming deal, and you know it's going to have a solid driveline to boot.  Nicely loaded GC?  Or any other GM crossover.  The Cadillac Escape...er, XT4, while being a cool vehicle, if a Grand Cherokee is a far better buy and better vehicle its an easy decision.  

Actually, as bland as I think the XT5 is, at this point I would find a lightly used XT5 or heavily discounted one a FAR better option for a CUV than this Blazer.  Until there is 7-10 grand off the Blazer, its a huge turd bucket IMO.  

Edited by regfootball
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21 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

But @Cmicasa the Great, GM is on record that they are trying to cut back on incentives. 

Anyway, I went to the Pittsburgh auto show over the weekend.  I sat in all of the 2-row and smaller 3-row crossovers.  The GC has the nicest interior of them by far, but the Blazer is pretty close.  Where the Blazer falls short is interior space for the price. It doesn't feel much bigger than the old Equinox.. maybe slightly wider.  If I'm looking for room, I can pick just about anything else, but most drastically I can get into a V6 powered Durango for about the same price. If I'm looking for off-road capability, there's the GC.  If I'm looking for sportiness, there's the Edge. 

And I still haven't seen anything that tells me this drives any different than an Acadia. 

Hate to say it, GC would have my vote, followed by Edge ST. That is not to crap all over the Blazer, I like the Blazer...it just comes in third in the competition in my mind.

Just now, regfootball said:

I hadn't looked much into what Grand Cherokees are being priced at these days, but after doing some quick research, it seems crazy evident that the GC is a screaming deal, and you know it's going to have a solid driveline to boot.

An optional Hemi V8 and a choice of 4 Four wheel drive systems would seem to put it way out front in my book...

8 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

My point was that I don't see what makes the Blazer any more sporty driving than the Acadia.... it's not going to be the Camaro styling cues that make it corner better. 

More than Sporty driving, I want genuine 4wd performance if I give up the nimbleness of a sport hatch or sport sedan.

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20 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Hate to say it, GC would have my vote, followed by Edge ST. That is not to crap all over the Blazer, I like the Blazer...it just comes in third in the competition in my mind.

An optional Hemi V8 and a choice of 4 Four wheel drive systems would seem to put it way out front in my book...

More than Sporty driving, I want genuine 4wd performance if I give up the nimbleness of a sport hatch or sport sedan.

In my eternal shopping quest, the JGC keeps bubbling to the top of the list no matter what else comes out. 

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      Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?
      The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath.
      Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
      For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded.
      Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.
      The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 
      On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.
      But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $38,800
      As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00

      View full article
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