Road Test: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS AWD

The bold, new 2019 Blazer is a very special vehicle from Chevrolet. We know it doesn’t have the retro, boxy shape of the original Blazer, with the off-road credibility, but we’re so glad that Chevy excelled in taking it in a new direction.

Being the sportier RS trim with AWD, we found the stand-out design to be a mix of modern elegance with classic American luxury. It still has concept car looks as it rolls down the road, yet feels like one of the most polished vehicles we’ve driven as of late.

Kind of like a 60-second elevator pitch, driving different vehicles regularly allows one to decipher within the first minute of being behind the wheel if a vehicle is well-executed or missing that special characteristic. The Blazer team definitely went above and beyond.

The 3.6L is one of our favorite engines of all time, and that Chevy planners decided on going with the V6 over a turbo-four, is greatly welcome. But it’s the non-engine related qualities that shocked us.

The ride, noise-suppression, smoothness, and overall execution are simply incredible. The bumps and ruts of roads that we drive on every day felt non-existent! General vehicle noises, from wind to tire, were nearly absent.

We can tell the NVH engineers worked very hard on the Blazer, and the manufacturing team put it all together without a single squeak or rattle.

One of tools engineers used was Active Noise Cancellation. But we’ve experienced ANC in many vehicle before, and it’s never been this good. The collaboration between Chevy and Bose must’ve been really strong, because the effort has definitely paid off.

Going back to the V6, it pumps out 308 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, just enough to haul this 4,000+lb vehicle to highway speeds without working too hard. The transmission calibration is perfect too; we never felt it hunting or waiting for a downshift.

Fuel economy is rated 18 mpg city, 25 highway, 21 combined and we easily averaged 24 mpg in mixed driving. The standard active upper grille shutters and engine start/stop system help.

Those that need to tow can opt for the Trailering package with Hitch Guidance and Hitch View technology on AWD 3.6L models.

Inside, Chevy designers combined elements from the Camaro and modern design motifs to build a cabin that feels luxurious, yet comfortable. The details are contrast red stitching, red air vent surrounds, and a very cool red underlay in the seat leather that contrasts with the black top layer leather, looking very unique in person.

The streamlined HVAC controls in a single row work perfectly with the logically designed temperature dials that surround the center vents. Heated/ventilated seats are part of the optional package and highly recommended. The heated steering wheel (entire wheel) is standard on RS and highly recommended for anyone with colds hands or arthritis.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive in all respects, with good padding in both elbow rest areas.

Rear seat passengers get an adjustable sliding seat that balances cargo room versus leg room. Fold the rear seat and cargo space expands to 64.2 cubic feet.

Speaking of cargo, Chevy says the Blazer has their very first Cargo Management System, with a rail system and cargo fence. As you’ll see in the gallery below, we found it incredibly useful for keeping groceries and anything behind transported from rolling around.

On the tech front, let us begin by saying this is one of the best from Chevy. There is so much tech loaded into the Blazer that we can hardly contain ourselves! From Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, numerous USB-A/USB-C ports, to wireless charging and connectivity, the Blazer fufills our inner nerd.

The HD Surround Vision camera system is slick with a 3D rendering view of the Blazer, shown in the photos below. It’s a feature we’ve seen in vehicles costing twice as much. The 8″ center mounted display is HD and responsive in all functions.

On the safety front, we’re glad to report the Blazer retains GM’s widely available Safety Alert Seat which vibrates either or both sides of the driver’s bottom cushion in accordance with the alert type. No more beeps or wheel vibrations that feel like a rumble strip.

The Confidence II package on our Blazer RS includes all the driver assist technology, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Automatic Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and IntelliBeam. The adaptive cruise control worked very well, and lane keep assist wasn’t obtrusive.

At night, the standard HID headlamps shine brightly with a wide beam and intensity, using IntelliBeam to switch the high beams on and off automatically.

Lastly, we made use of the hands-free power programmable liftgate on several grocery runs. With a Chevrolet bowtie logo projection onto the ground, it makes swiping to open and close in the right location much easier.

Summary Scorecard (1-10)
Ride and Handling10
Braking10
Powertrain and Fuel Economy10
Noise10
Headlights9
Interior Fit and Finish10
Seating10
Visibility7
Gauges and Controls10
Infotainment10
Crash-Avoidance9
Total Score95


Make: Chevrolet
Model: Blazer
Trim Level:
Engine: 3.6L V6
Transmission: 9-Speed Automatic
Options: Confidence II Pkg

Base Price: $43,500
As-Tested Price: $48,270

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