Chevy's venerable Blazer recently returned to the GM lineup after having been sidelined for about 15 years before being re-introduced in 2019. After starting its life as an SUV variant of Chevy's popular full-size pickup truck, the latest iteration is strikingly different than its predecessors, bearing more of a likeness to the modern Camaro. The 2020 Chevy Blazer now falls squarely in the mid-size crossover category boasting a suite of engine options matched with updated tech features and dynamic road handling.
One look at the new Blazer, and it's clear that it's one of the most distinctively-styled crossovers on the market. Its sporty exterior stands apart from the traditional boxy appearance of many of its competitors. This aesthetic also carries through to the inside, where the Camaro-styled influences fill the cabin. The Blazer is a crossover that is both powerful and looks good, qualities that are appealing to consumer preferences and unique in the crowded crossover field.
The base engine on the new Blazer, which carries over from the 2019 model, is a naturally aspirated 2.5L I4, which generates 193 horsepower with 188 lb-ft of torque and also incorporates stop-start technology. This engine is only available with front-wheel drive, and the fuel economy numbers come in at 21 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway.
Another engine the comes along from the previous model is the naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 with 308 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available. The front-wheel drive version provides 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, while going with all-wheel drive, the fuel economy comes in at 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Another perk of the 3.6L engine/all-wheel drive combination is the substantial towing capacity offered - up to 4,500 lbs.
New for the 2020 Chevy Blazer is a 2.0L turbocharged I4, which is only available on the mid-tier 2LT and 3LT models and is also coupled with a nine-speed automatic. This turbo beast generates an impressive 230 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, bringing in an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
The Blazer is available with GM's Traction Select, which works to distribute power more efficiently based on driving and road conditions. Tour mode switches all-wheel drive to front-wheel drive in an effort to boost fuel economy, Tow/Haul mode provides more traction for hauling heavy loads, Off-Road mode adjusts the chassis control systems and throttle for better performance on rougher roads, All Wheel Drive mode is best suited for snowy or slippery road conditions, and Sport mode boosts the throttle response to maximize performance. Each individual mode is distinct from the others, and all work to actively enhance the driving experience.
Standard features are plentiful on the 2020 Chevy Blazer, including keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, rear-view camera, and dual-zone climate control. The mid-level trim sees the addition of power-adjustable heated front seats, remote start, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Moving up to the top-level trim also includes a hands-free liftgate, heated steering wheel, navigation, ambient lighting, and a 120-volt power outlet.
A fully specced-out Blazer will also get you ventilated front seating and rear heated seats for the folks in the back. A plethora of connectivity options are available via numerous USB ports both in the front and rear, as is a 360-degree parking camera, auto-dimming mirrors inside and out, and wireless device charging. Available extras include lane departure warning, forward collision alert with auto braking, and adaptive cruise control.
All models of the 2020 Chevy Blazer are equipped with an intuitive and easy to use eight-inch color touchscreen display, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio is also available. A six-speaker audio system provides rich sound throughout the cabin. Connecting your devices to the infotainment system is easy via one regular USB and one USB-C port. For the kids on those long drives, rear screens with DVD players can also be configured as an option.
For seasoned Chevy drivers, stepping into the new Blazer should be a familiar experience. The array of instruments and design cues are taken from designs such as the Camaro, with a clean layout and ample center console and controls. Soft-touch features and leather trimming help to set the Blazer apart from other SUVs in its class, although to those amenities, you need to move up the trim level a bit. The base Blazer is outfitted with standard cloth upholstery. All models feature a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The RS model is the standout trim level, featuring perforated leather, red accent stitching, and red air vent accents. Some of the aluminum trimmings have also been chromed on this model, giving them a more sleek and sporty appearance.
The Blazer seats five and is fairly spacious for a vehicle in this segment, although taller rear passengers may be a little cramped with the modern sloping roofline. This is countered though by a flat floor which offers exceptional legroom. The Blazer's cabin provides enough roominess for easy entry and exit, and the driving position is aided by simple adjustability.
Buyers tend to choose crossovers for their practicality, so it's important to note the cargo area and interior space option on the new Blazer. The rear cargo area offers 30.5 cubic feet of storage space, ample enough room for a moderate amount of cargo, and deceivingly more than the exterior design of the Blazer might suggest. Folding the rear seats down provides a flat surface which expands the total storage area to more than double at 64.2 cubic feet and also allows access to the vehicle's unique floor-mounted rail system, which slides into place exactly where you need it.
Small space storage includes bins and door sleeves, along with a center console cubby and the standard glove box. Medium cup holders upfront and in the back are also included. Overall, the Blazer interior is well-crafted, good looking, and a comfortable place to be, whether you're just driving around town or on a long highway road trip.
The redesigned 2019 Blazer is heavily influenced by the styling of the Camaro, and the 2020 Blazer continues this design direction, with headlights and angular lines taken straight from that car's blueprints. The LED daytime running lights, large grille and LED taillights continue the muscle car look of the Camaro, but at the same time are updated for this crossover adaptation. The upper trim levels also get a panoramic sunroof and choice of 18, 20, or 21-inch wheels.
Originally launched with a choice of ten colors in 2019, that number has been reduced to nine for the 2020 version, and two of the previous colors have changed. Sunlit Bronze, Oakwood, and Kinetic Blue are three metallic colors that have been removed as available options and have been replaced by Midnight Blue Metallic and Iridescent Pearl Tintcoat (available at an extra cost). The other extra cost finish is Cajun Red Tintcoat. The returning colors from 2019 are Summit White, Silver Ice Metallic, Graphite Metallic, and Nightfall Gray Metallic. The Red Hot scheme accentuates and complements the red trim accents found in the cabin of the Blazer.
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