This week we are reviewing the Chevrolet Blazer RS. Our vehicle was assembled at the Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico and has an MSRP of $53668.00 CAD.
Fun Factor: 7
Can it Family: 8
City Cruising: 4
One crossover this year has surprised us both in performance and design. At first glance, the exterior shows off sporty lines and design cues coming straight from the Camaro. Underneath the hood of the Chevy Blazer, we can find 3 different engines depending on the drive-train coupled with a quick-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission. The base 2.5L 4-cylinder engine available with front-wheel drive produces 193 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. Moving up is a 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder engine making 230 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque available both in a front-wheel configuration and with AWD. Finally, the engine we are testing in the RS variant comes with a 3.6L V6 engine making 308hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. This engine is quite responsive and likes to be pushed. The first gear is tuned quite aggressively, even surprising us with our first kick-down. It propelled us forward quite rapidly in a way we do not often see with other CUV's accentuating the notion that exterior look matches the performances. In our acceleration test, we achieved 100km/h from a still stand in 7.45 seconds using winter tires. With proper summer tires, the acceleration should situate itself in the lower 6-second range. Steering is accurate, giving us confidence around corners; however, the Blazer cannot hide the fact that it is a CUV, so expect to experience some body roll. Suspension and chassis are tuned towards sportiness, hence mitigating some of the body roll you would expect from a vehicle its size.
As a family vehicle, the Blazer is a spacious 5-seater. You can easily fit 4 adults and one child sitting in the middle seat of the rear bench. Yes, even the adults will enjoy the rear seats as they offer lots of legroom. The rear bench moves forward and backwards, either increasing legroom or giving you additional storage in the trunk. In addition, the backrest is also adjustable to provide you with even more comfort during long road trips. The front seats come standard with heated seats and heated steering wheel in the RS variant. In the model we tested with the supplementary RS Plus Package, we benefited from ventilated front seats, these were quiet when in use, and gained the heating functionality for the rear outboard seats. The seating position for the driver provides flexibility so that short and taller drivers will find a comfortable position. Cargo room is plenty; we were able to fit 2 medium strollers stacked up together and still have space on the side. The divider in the cargo compartment helped when transporting suite cases as it kept them from bouncing all over when taking corners sharply. A detail that may be good to know, Chevy gives the option to easily open the trunk at ¾ of the maximum height through a button in the driver's door. This would be useful for shorter people to close the trunk or to reduce the time it takes to close the trunk. The only dislike we have in the cabin is with the positioning of the Camaro styled vents. While we appreciate their functionality, you only need to turn them to adjust the temperature; their placement might work efficiently in the Camaro; however, they are too low in the Blazer as the seating position is different. Instead of cooling the cabin, they blow air directly at your face or your tummy.
The fuel-efficient we observed in the city was 14.4 L/100km; this includes us driving the Blazer in a spirited fashion to take advantage of the natural-sounding exhaust, which has quite an exciting tune. On the HWY, we observed a fuel economy of 10.9 L/100 km. After more than 450 km of mixed driving, we averaged 12.8 L/100 km. We conducted these tests while exterior temperatures oscillated between -9c and +11c. The announced fuel economy for the city is 13.1 L/100 km; for the HWY, it's 9.4 L/100 km, and the combined fuel economy is 11.4 L/100 km. The Co2 emissions of the V6 are 269 g/km and even beat the emissions of Ford Edge ST (258g/km).
On the HWY, the Blazer is pleasant to drive; naturally, the first question we had on our social media accounts was regarding the rear visibility. While the rear window is not the largest in its segment quite the contrary, actually, we never found it to be problematic. Besides, it sure helps that Chevy's rear-view mirror is enhanced by a camera at the back of the vehicle to increase the viewing angle. Due to the wide angle of the camera, it helps with noticing vehicles in your blind spot a lot faster. Another aspect we found interesting; the Blazer equipped with the V6 can tow up to 4500lb. It is great for hauling your equipment and trailer on family camping trips, and this is more than what you would find in the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and even the Honda Passport that we would consider its closest competitors.
The sound system in our Blazer RS was the optional 8-speaker BOSE audio system; we cannot hide the fact this system is not our favourite when it comes to audio reproduction. While classical and acoustic music can sound adequate, when it comes to heavy bass music, those systems fall short of expectation. The 8" touchscreen infotainment, on the other hand, shines inside the Blazer. It is easy to use and offers you the option to either use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Both these still require to be physically connected via USB cable. Wireless Apple CarPlay may become available as this is something several new models in GM's 2021 line up will have. The Blazer offers 6 USB ports, 2 underneath the infotainment, 2 in the center console and 2 for the rear passengers. Each comes in the following combo, one being a type-A and one being a type-C port, you also have the option to charge your phone wirelessly. The Blazer gets extra credit for voice recognition as it was user friendly; it was interesting to see that when you select it, the screen will display examples of scripts so you and your Blazer may understand each other better.
The doors of the Blazer open wide, hence getting child seats within the cabin is simple. Once you tucked the car seat in, the anchors of the LATCH system are somewhat hidden underneath the seat, requiring some fiddling around to get the seat into place. As for the rear anchor LATCH, you can easily access it from the rear bench without needed to jump in the cargo compartment. Kids will require some help when opening the rear doors since the handle is placed quite high. Once the door is open, it is not too hard for them to get inside. The seatbelts are positioned in a way that kids can grab them without needing too much dexterity. The belt buckles were positioned to look aesthetically pleasing; the downside is they are also more challenging to reach if the whole rear bench is in use.
Finally, in the city the Chevy Blazer RS with its 3.6L engine might be a little too thirsty for the daily commute, we would drive the 2.0L Turbo in the city as it is more fuel-efficient and will more than satisfy your everyday needs. Currently, no mild-hybrid or hybrid system is available on the Blazer. The rear-view camera is of good quality and gave us excellent cues of the size of the Blazer. In our RS variant, we also had a 360-degree depiction of the vehicle's surroundings. All this, along with the rear cross-traffic alert, parking your Blazer will not pose any difficulties.
Why would we buy the 2020 Chevrolet Blazer RS, or what we liked about it: The stylish exterior looks, the distinct engine note and sporty driving dynamics, the functional interior, smooth 9-speed automatic transmission.
Why we would not buy the 2020 Chevrolet Blazer RS, or what we did not like about it: The fuel consumption is a little high in the city, no hybrid variant, FWD biased.
Chevrolet has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle, we have no affiliation with GM Canada, and the above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.