If you are a person of a certain age (we see you, baby boomers), the name "Chevy Blazer" probably rings a bell.
The rugged Blazer was ubiquitous in the 1970s. Those of us who grew up back in the moon-shot era associate Blazers with top-down, off-road fun. The Chevy Blazer and the Ford Bronco were among America's favorite SUVs through the 1990s, when we still called them trucks.
So, when Chevrolet reintroduced the Blazer name on a line of crossovers for 2019, plenty of us 20th-century types felt a nostalgic buzz, although the new Blazer is not truckish. At all.
The old Blazer was a metaphor for trailblazer. The new Blazer is more like that comfortable, stylish blazer in your closet that you wear with a button-down Oxford shirt.
I recently spent a week in a 2020 Chevy Blazer 3LT on Chattanooga streets, courtesy of the manufacturer. I came away thinking that Chevy has designed it for boomers, prioritizing comfort over off-road chops.
* Model: 2020 Chevrolet Blazer 3LT AWD
* Exterior color: Summit White
* Interior color: Dark/Light Gray
* Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged
* Horsepower: 230 (as tested)
* Transmission: 9-speed automatic
* Fuel economy: 27 mpg highway, 21 mpg city
* Local dealer: Integrity Chevrolet, Mountain View Chevrolet, Walter Jackson Chevrolet (Ringgold, Ga.)
* Price (as tested): $41,595
The five-passenger Blazer compares to the Nissan Murano and Ford Edge. All three combine sedan-like road manners with enough cargo space to meet modern-day demands. We didn't buy 48-packs of Charmin bathroom tissue back in the day.
WHAT IS IT?
The Chevy Blazer is a five-passenger crossover that comes in six different trim levels with three available engines. My tester was a mid-trim 3LT model with a small, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. (See, not a truck.) A non-turbo four-cylinder engine and a brawnier 308-horsepower six-cylinder engine are also available. You'll want the six-cylinder engine if you need to tow heavy things.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
How much do you have? Chevy makes a Blazer for nearly every pocketbook. The least expensive model, the L, starts at $29,995, and the range-topping Premier starts at $43,895. My middle-of-the-road tester rings up at $41,595 (with options) and includes leather upholstery, a Bose stereo system and navigation.
WHAT'S TO LIKE?
The Blazer is attractive, in a generic kind of way. The shoulder lines form interesting curves, and the bold, sculptured hood and blacked-out grille give the Blazer character. The interior of my tester had a handsome two-tone gray color palette. You'll want to show your friends the magic rear-view mirror that can project a rear-mounted camera image of what's behind you, not just a reflection.
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED?
My tester had all-wheel-drive, which is a good insurance policy against Chattanooga's once-a-year snowfalls. But if you're looking to crawl over rocks or tear out across a pasture, you might want to visit the Jeep store instead. Modern Blazers are made more for highways and mall parking lots.
My week of driving was uneventful, which is close to saying unexciting. The smaller turbocharged engine is OK, but I'd step up to the six-cylinder for added towing capacity.
The Blazer is a quiet, smooth-riding crossover, which is, frankly, what most of us 60-somethings desire. Families with young children, meanwhile, are probably going to opt for three-row SUVs for more versatility.
Contact Mark Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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