Chevrolet Blazer
Chevrolet

2021 Chevrolet Blazer Brings A Taste of Camaro Style to a Family SUV

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 Chevrolet Blazer
Chevrolet

Meet the Blazamero

Admit it — you’re older, you have family obligations and your days of driving sports cars are behind you. But hey, you still want a little excitement in your ride, right? Enter the 2021 Chevrolet Blazer, a midsized sport utility vehicle that mixes an SUV’s practicality with lots of styling cues from its hipper, rowdier cousin the Chevy Camaro. Slightly updated and starting at a family friendly $29,995 MSRP (including destination fee), the Blazer offers plenty of room for kids and cargo, but evokes a Camaro’s rakish looks inside and out. I recently tested the upscale Blazer RS AWD (base price: $43,700, excluding a $1,195 destination charge), which trails only the top-of-the-line Premier in trim levels. Here’s what I found.


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Exterior
Jerry Kronenberg

Exterior

On the outside, the Blazer looks about as much like a muscle car as a midsized SUV can. My test model came with macho Midnight Blue Metallic paint and black trim that looked pretty roguish. An aerodynamic hood sat atop LED headlights and a big black grille emblazoned with a large Chevrolet logo — all very similar to a Camaro’s design. The grille swept back to front passenger doors with large folding mirrors all sitting atop brawny 20-inch, six-spoke machined aluminum wheels and Michelin Total Performance Primacy Tour A/S tires. All the way back, my test model featured an automatic liftgate with a handy rear wiper, as well as dual chrome exhaust pipes.


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Front Seats
Jerry Kronenberg

Front Seats

Inside, my test Blazer came with black-and-brown perforated stitched-leather front seats that offered plenty of legroom and hip room, along with exceptionally good headroom. The driver and front passenger seats were very comfortable, thanks to six-position power seat adjusters and built-in heating and cooling (part of a $1,660 optional Enhanced Convenience package). My test car also came with stitched-leather trim on the door interiors and dashboard, as well as on the heated steering wheel. There are also large, Camaro-style circular air vents that the driver and front passenger can open or close easily to whatever extent they want to customize the airflow.


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Electronics
Jerry Kronenberg

Electronics

As for my Blazer RS’ dashboard, it featured an analog tachometer and analog fuel and temperature gauges, as well as a nice LQD speedometer and range of other digital readouts for oil temperature and other performance information. The model came with a great 8-inch touchscreen to control the vehicle’s navigation, climate system, backup camera, and AM/FM/SiriusXM Bose premium stereo (part of the Enhanced Convenience package). The audio system featured Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an optional Wi-Fi hotspot, and more. Another nice touch: a wireless phone charger, part of an optional $1,650 Driver Confidence II package.


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Rear Seats
Jerry Kronenberg

Rear Seats

The Blazer’s heated, 60/40 split fold-down back seats offered good legroom and hip room, as well as decent headroom. Two grown-ups would generally find this space good for even long trips, although my lower back told me I wouldn’t want to spend too much time back there. That said, even three adults would find the space sufficient for trips of under an hour or so, while three kids would fit back there for even long journeys. When there’s no third passenger, the back seat features a nice fold-down armrest/cupholder in the center spot, while the rear compartment comes standard with a household-style 12-volt power outlet.


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Cargo Bay
Jerry Kronenberg

Cargo Bay

The Blazer RS featured a generous 30.5-cubic foot cargo bay that can easily accommodate two or three large suitcases and perhaps two additional knapsacks. If that’s not enough space for you, the rear seats fold flat without strain to create a truly cavernous 64.2-cubic-foot space that can handle seven to nine large suitcases, plus a few knapsacks. This space would also fit a bulky item such as a large dresser or a window air conditioner.


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Road Test
Chevrolet

Road Test

On the road, my test car’s standard 308 horsepower V-6 engine, nine-speed automatic transmission, large tires, and all-wheel drive system teamed up to provide a smooth but powerful ride. The Blazer accelerated smoothly from zero to 60 mph in a decent 6.2 seconds, while revving only to 4,500 rpm. The SUV also braked and cornered well, while parking is relatively easy for a model the Blazer’s size. The Blazer can run in five different modes — two-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, off-road, sport and towing/hauling — but I noticed differences only between two- and all-wheel drive. (All-wheel drive felt a little more sluggish on dry roads.)


The model’s “high-up” road view also made for good front, side, and rear sightlines. Backing up was also fairly easy, especially since my test model featured a great HD Surround Vision camera. Part of the Driver Confidence II package, this camera offered multiple views — what’s behind you, in front, on the ground or even a look from the top of the vehicle down to the roof. Additionally, Chevrolet rates the Blazer RS’ trailing-hauling ability at 4,500 pounds when properly equipped. 


As for fuel efficiency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists the Blazer RS at 19 mpg/city, 26 mpg/highway, and 21 mpg/combined. During a weeklong test drive, I rang up 18.3 mpg combined, although I spent a lot of time in all-wheel drive, which cuts into efficiency.


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Pricing
Jerry Kronenberg

Pricing

As noted, base Blazers start at a modest $29,995 MSRP that stacks up well against competitors such as the Hyundai Palisade ($33,700), Honda Passport ($33,710), Kia Sorrento ($30,560), Kia Telluride ($33,160), and the Mazda CX-9 ($35,060). The Chevy’s price can rise quickly if you move to higher trim lines or add in options. While the RS starts at $43,700, my test car’s options took that all the way to $47,185 plus a $1,195 destination charge for a hefty $48,380 total sticker price. Fortunately, large U.S.-branded vehicles such as the Blazer typically offer plenty of incentives and negotiating room. As of this writing, General Motors was offering $3,250 in customer cash or a zero percent six-year loan and $1,400 cash to well-qualified borrowers on all but the entry-level Blazer L.


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