Once upon a time, the Chevy Blazer was a big, serious truck-based response to the Ford Bronco. It is certainly not today. While the Bronco is reborn and stays true to its original off-road roots, the 2021 Chevy Blazer follows a completely different path. It is a crossover based on a car for one, and rather than putting on pseudo-robust tunes, it draws from the performance branch of the Chevy family tree. Specifically, his style and driving experience were inspired by the Camaro.
In many ways, this is a successful approach. It is especially appealing to the midsize crossover segment, which is generally devoid of driving fun and eye-catching styling. It is also a little more energetic to drive than the segment standard. Only a little, however, and some will regret that this is done at the expense of ride quality – especially with the available 21-inch wheels. Value is also an issue with the Blazer, although prices have dropped for 2021. Higher trim levels don\’t provide enough performance or luxury improvement to justify their sky-high prices, while lower versions offer less. space and equipment than cheaper compact models like the Toyota RAV4 and the Mazda CX-5. So while it\’s fitting that the Blazer isn\’t true to its roots, what it actually is could ultimately be better (or at least cheaper).
What\’s new for 2021?
Advanced security technology is now more widely available for 2021, making the Blazer more compliant with its competitors. The Safety Assist package, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assistance, tracking distance alert and automatic high beam, is not only available on 2LT and 3LT trim levels, but also standard. It is also standard on the RS and Premier. Adaptive cruise control, however, remains exclusive to these higher versions and is bundled with a variety of other elements in the Driver Confidence II package.
There are a myriad of other packaging and feature availability changes, plus the leather-wrapped steering wheel is no longer standard on the L, 1LT, or 2LT. It is certainly a slide back. Likewise, the Blazer\’s most advanced all-wheel drive system is no longer offered on the top-of-the-line Premier.
Surprisingly, prices actually dropped in 2021 by around $ 1,100 for each trim level.
What does the interior and on-board technology of the Blazer look like?
On the one hand, the interior of the Blazer impresses with its Camaro-inspired design cues – note the rotary air vents / air conditioning controls in particular – which make it look as special inside as it does on the outside. \’outside. Unfortunately, the quality of the materials used is disappointing considering the price of the Blazer. This is particularly the case with the Premier and RS versions which can exceed $ 50,000, but even the lower trim levels are not more pleasant than the compact SUVs (Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4) which cost much less when they are equipped in the same way. Quite simply, the Blazer needs a lower price or a more chic interior.
At least the Blazer\’s infotainment offerings are better and more plentiful than most. Each version has an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE onboard WiFi, OnStar and four USB ports, including a USB-C port (the small one). This standard touchscreen is fairly easy to use with large, clear icons and a neat menu structure.
How big is the Blazer?
The Blazer is a mid-size crossover, with exterior dimensions that put it in the camp of vehicles such as the Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the new Toyota Venza (the Honda Passport also attends this camp but is much more spacious. than the Blazer). However, the rear seat legroom at 39.6 inches is similar to only the larger compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4, and it has less headroom. That sleek, low roof can cause your hair to rub against the headliner, and with the panoramic sunroof, you may even have to slouch or use the wide tilt of the backrest.
The rear seat slides freely, making it easy to bring children closer to those in front or to free up additional cargo space. This is a good thing, because its freight figures on paper are trite. There are 30.3 cubic feet with the seats raised and 64.2 cubic feet when lowered completely flat thanks to a cleverly designed seat bottom (see cargo video below). In contrast, larger compact models like the CR-V and Forester are found in the mid-1930s and 1970s, respectively. Even Chevy\’s own Equinox has only one cubic foot less maximum cargo capacity than the Blazer.
What is the performance and fuel consumption of the Blazer?
Chevy Blazer L and LT trim levels come standard with a 2.5-liter inline four for 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. That\’s not a lot of growl for a vehicle that weighs 3,810 pounds and is significantly inferior to the base engines of most similarly sized competitors. Like all Blazer engines, it\’s mated to a nine-speed automatic, but it only comes with front-wheel drive. Fuel consumption figures for 2021 were not available at the time of writing, but we expect them to be the same as last year. With the base engine, they were 21 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined, which is just OK considering its meager output.
The 2LT and 3LT come standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four that produces 230 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is optional. Fuel economy is actually better than the base engine, as it returns an estimated city of 21 mpg, 28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with FWD. It lowers to 21/27/23 with all-wheel drive.
Optional on the 2LT and 3LT, and standard on the RS and Premier, is a 3.6-liter V6 that develops 308 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. So it\’s one of the fastest midsize crossovers, reaching 60 mph in the low 6-second range. Fuel economy is actually the same whether you go front-wheel drive (19/26/21) or all-wheel drive (18/25/21). Note that the RS alone is available with a more advanced all-wheel drive system with a torque-vectoring rear differential which improves handling in addition to further improving traction.
What does the Blazer look like?
Just like the Blazer presents a Camaro-inspired look, its driving experience is definitely in the same spirit as the beloved muscle car of Chevy. Even a basic four-cylinder Blazer mounted on 18-inch wheels will whip a cloverleaf with poise and minimal rollover. The sportier RS finish remains even flatter thanks to a sport suspension and the AWD system with torque vector.
Unfortunately, the power steering disappoints – at least for those who expect the Blazer to be the sporty SUV its styling implies. It just doesn\’t engage enough or doesn\’t provide enough feedback. Ride quality is also a mixed bag. Even the Blazer on 18 has a firmer ride than we\’d expect from GM crossovers, but the damping is pretty good, and it\’s perfectly acceptable for a vehicle with sporting intentions. On the other hand, the optional 21-inch wheels gave a tiring ride when driving between 25 and 50 mph on anything but perfect pavement. We couldn\’t see the bumps, but we could certainly feel them. It was certainly more livable at highway speed.
In terms of engine choice, the basic four-cylinder is obviously weak for a segment dominated by V6 engines. That said, we found it to be perfectly functional and not as stubbornly slow in practice as we expected. That roughly matches the four cylinders found in compact SUVs (of course, the price of the Blazer is not).
The turbo-four provides plenty of low-end torque and sharper dynamics than you usually get in a mainstream grocery store, but the V6 upgrade delivers solid performance that compares favorably to other V6-powered competitors. For the sporty-tuned RS model, however, it just doesn\’t deliver the kind of soundtrack or amplified exhaust note that one expects. The transmission is also lazy to react and does not have shift paddles to negate those reactions. These may look like stings, but the Blazer RS is supposed to be a sporty, performance-oriented SUV. Yet for the same price, the Ford Edge ST goes much further towards this goal while delivering 30 more horsepower and 111 more pounds of torque.
What features are available and what is the price?
The price of each trim level is approximately $ 1,100 lower than last year. Base LS starts at $ 29,995 and includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED position lights, proximity entry and push-button start, rear view camera, driver\’s seat adjustable in height, fabric upholstery, leather upholstery. steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, OnStar, 4G LTE WiFi, an 8-inch touchscreen, four USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a six-speaker audio system. It\’s generous, but note that this trim is only available with the basic four-cylinder, front-wheel drive and a choice of colors of white, black and silver.
The 1LT, meanwhile, may cost less than last year, but still costs $ 3,500 more than the LS despite the addition of rear protection windows, a compact spare tire, and a driver\’s seat. with eight electric settings and satellite radio. As such, we\’d start with the 2LT at least, as it adds the turbo engine and a variety of safety gear for a relatively reasonable $ 800 premium. LT versions also have access to additional options and paint choices, but the value remains questionable. You will find that this is a common theme when you discuss the pricing and content of the Blazer\’s features, especially the RS and Premier which can reach $ 50,000 when loaded with options. Competitors offer you more content and / or space for the same (or much less) money.
What are the safety features and crash rates of the Blazer?
For 2021, you no longer have to pay the most expensive Blazer for access to the type of technical accident avoidance features that are standard on most competitors. However, they are still not standard. Instead, the Chevy Safety Assist package is only included on the 2LT, 3LT, RS, and Premier trims. It includes a front collision warning system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane keeping assistance, a front distance warning system and automatic headlights. An advanced forward collision system that operates at higher speeds and GM\’s vibrating safety alert seat are added with the Driver Confidence II package available only on the RS and Premier.
The government gave the Blazer perfect five-star crash ratings in all categories. At the time of this writing, the Road Safety Insurance Institute had only submitted the Blazer to two crash tests: moderate and lateral overlap. He received the highest possible rating of “Good” for both.