Auto123 reviews the 2022 Chevrolet Blazer.
Interest in the “new” Chevy Blazer can be expected to pick up in the next few months, as the changes it gets for this model-year will be complemented by more improvements in 2023. Most of all, though, the crossover is headed for electrification; as of now, that’s supposed to happen for 2024. Obviously, that’S when the big changes will happen.
But in the meantime, there’s the tweaked 2022 Blazer, the middle-child SUV in the Chevrolet lineup. We got to drive the model’s LT edition beautified with the optional Redline package.
Far removed from Blazers of old
In case you didn’t already know it, good old 4x4s, though they may be all the rage with a very specific subset of motorists, aren’t quite so in demand among the majority of consumers today who prefer big-sedan-level comfort in their SUV. That’s why virtually all current SUVs on the market are not designed or built to follow a Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco off beaten paths and into bumpier terrain.
Hence the re-launched 2019 Blazer came built on a platform – the C1XX, conceived for mid-sized SUVs - borrowed from its big brother the Chevrolet Traverse. Just look at the SUV’s six-nut wheels and you can see the link. However, unlike the Traverse, or several of its segment rivals for that matter, the Blazer is a model focused on delivering at least a certain level of sportiness. And so you have the impression it takes itself for a Camaro on stilts.
All of this means that while the new Blazer took its name from one of the brand’s most mythic past models, it bears no real relation to it. And you ain’t seen nothing yet – or rather, you might have, if you’ve seen the shared images of what the future Blazer EV will look like.
An appropriate V6
While the Blazer can be had with a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine, there is a more-muscular option in the offering that does better in moving the 1,929-kg weight of the current Blazer. The naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 with direct injection is a perfect match for a vehicle with unibody chassis that sees itself as a Sport SUV. With 308 hp and270 lb-ft of torque to play with, the Blazer with V6 delivers satisfying accelerations, particularly for a two-row, mid-size crossover with a mission that is more family- than performance-oriented.
We did find that this variant was missing that je-ne-sais-quoi of sportiness that you feel aboard the RS edition we’ve tried in years past. It’s a small difference, but it is noticeable.
Equipped with dual-clutch all-wheel traction that allows drivers to toggle between two- and four-wheel drive at the push of an AWD button, the Blazer is good for a reassuring drive even when you push it into dirt-covered corners, a commonplace road condition in the Canadian spring. That button is also good for helping you save a little bit on gas use when you’re just cruising on the highway – and these days, who doesn’t appreciate that kind of help?
Fun to drive?
This second encounter with the revived Blazer did not require, like last time, a longer road trip to really get a handle on what makes it tick. My impressions of Round One largely held: while the seats won’t win in any Comfort Level contests, the right driving position is easily found, and with the V6 under the hood, the crossover can, as mentioned, deliver pretty healthy accelerations. The 9-speed auto transmission did its work discretely and without hiccup, like it has elsewhere since its debut in General Motors products.
And while performance-wise the Blazer is not able to compete with the more-premium sporty SUVs out there, we were surprised once again by its poise on the road, even riding on the winter tires it hadn’t yet shed for the spring. We repeat our wish to see paddle shifters attached to the steering wheel, but that’s a wish unlikely to be granted before the switch to electrification happens. We would like the steering to be a little heavier and precise in the hand, but that’s not unforgivable in a people-mover like the Blazer.