The 2019 Chevy Blazer arrives in dealerships in early 2019 as a 5-seat companion to the Equinox midsize crossover. [Steve Fecht for Chevrolet]

All-new, unibody 2019 Chevy Blazer aims for stylish on-road capability

Chevrolet took the wraps off its all-new 2019 Blazer in mid-June, as the front-engine, FWD/AWD D-segment midsze SUV is charged with filling a gap in the Chevy lineup, slotting in between the Equinox and Traverse. Based on a unibody structure, the 5-seat Blazer is not off-road focused per its storied namesake (think blazer like sportscoat), but is a sharply styled on-roader. Its closest competitor in terms of size and mission is likely the Ford Edge, in a segment still sales-led in the U.S. by the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The new Blazer has a definite style, something chief engineer Waqar Hashim credited to close collaboration. “Engineering and design really worked together to figure out how to enable the styling,” he said. This includes a reduced IP and hood profile to enhance the sense of spaciousness, with high-mounted LED daytime running lamps and HID headlamps mounted within the lower front fascia.
“The HID headlamp has a special package to support it, because it's a large mass hanging at the bottom of the fascia,” Hashim explained. “The beauty is, for oncoming traffic the headlamp is not an impediment in terms of visibility, and for the driver you get a wider view of the lit road – it's closer to the ground so you get a bigger footprint.”
Hashim noted that the all-new 2019 Blazer is “based off an existing platform, but it’s wider and lower. Basically, it’s a platform in itself at this point.” Although Chevrolet officials wouldn't yet confirm it, the new Blazer likely uses a modified version of GM’s global C1 SUV platform, which also underpins the new Cadillac XT5. In-cabin storage is plentiful and the Blazer will feature Chevy’s first rail-based rear cargo management system, adjustable sliding rear seat and a valet-friendly electrically activated glovebox.
The standard engine will be GM’s 2.5-L inline-4, SAE-rated at 193 hp (143 kW) and 188 lb·ft (255 N·m). An available 3.6-L V-6 is rated at 305 hp (227 kW) and 269 lb·ft (365 N·m). Both direct-injected gasoline engines will feature stop-start functionality, and will be paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
The available AWD system is designed to work on-demand. “It’s electrically activated,” Hashim explained, “so you don’t get the spin losses normally associated with an all-wheel-drive system. The PTU and propshafts, they’re shut off when you don’t need it, so the only thing that's moving is the halfshafts in the back.”
The new Blazer will feature a number of chassis-response modes, via what Chevy has labeled “twin-clutch AWD” technology. Driver-selectable via a console-mounted rotary dial, they include a Sport mode and one that disconnects the rear axle on AWD-equipped models to improve efficiency when additional traction is unneeded. A rear-axle disconnect arrangement is available for Chevrolet's other 5-seat midsize crossover, the Equinox.
With the V6, towing capacity is expected to be around 4,500 lb (2041 kg) and two available camera-based tools (Hitch Guidance and Hitch View) should ease trailer hookup. The infotainment system features a standard 8-in. touchscreen that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible and 4G LTE Wi-Fi will be available. The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer will be built at GM’s Ramos Arizpe facility in Mexico, and is expected to be in U.S. dealerships in early 2019. Continue reading »