Chevrolet’s Blazer has been snoozing in mothballs for almost the past 15 years, but the nameplate still has a cult following, thanks to the simple, tough-as-nails format and boxy, unpretentious styling of the original (K5) version, which was discontinued in 1999.
Recognising it has a gold nugget on its hands, GM is now reviving the model name on an all-new crossover that will slot bang in the middle of its expansive SUV line-up when it launches next year. But you’re going to be sorely disappointed if you were expecting retro-inspired styling that trades off the iconic original Blazer.
There’s not a square edge in sight on the 2019 Blazer, and the profile is all sculpted and tapered in the manner that most crossover SUVs are these days. There’s obviously a reason for this — modern-day buyers of such vehicles are family-toting urban warriors rather than bush-bashing, dune-hopping adventurers, and hence the slick wannabe-coupe styling.
Blazer fanboys may also be outraged to learn the newbie’s sleek bodywork (which has certain similarities to the Mazda CX-3 and Jeep Cherokee) is underpinned by a car-like monocoque chassis, rather than the robust body-on-frame construction of the original. Once again, this is in view of the model’s target market, which is more oriented towards comfort, refinement and on-road dynamics than barnstorming off-road prowess.
The new-gen Blazer will be offered with a choice of 193bhp 2.5-litre four-pot and 305bhp 3.6-litre V6 power, with both engines hooked up to a nine-speed automatic. There’s seating for five, and Chevrolet says there’s 1,818 litres of luggage capacity with the rear seats folded flat. Base models are front-wheel drive, but a twin-clutch AWD system will also be available, making it possible to tackle at least mild off-road sorties. A Middle East launch date is yet to be announced.
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