5 Ways the Blazer Competes Outside Its Class
When you think about it, Chevrolet is a producer of cheap, mass-produced cars. Its cars aren’t exactly something we’d call premium, however, some names under the Chevrolet umbrella definitely have that premium feel to them - most notably the Camaro and the Corvette. Have you ever witness someone comparing these two with the likes of BMW M cars or even Ferrari cars (in the case of the ZR1, for example). I am sure you have.
So, yes, these are Chevrolet’s halo cars- those which can, unlike the Trax or the Cruze, compare outside their imaginable segments. What if Chevy plans to do the same with the Blazer? To transform it from a classic cheap crossover to something one may even consider comparable to certain premium cars. The Blazer definitely has the right name and, probably, the right looks on top of that.
In this article, I will explore five ways the Blazer could compete outside its class. Maybe with cars such as the Jaguar F-Pace, the Infiniti QX50, or the Acura RDX. These are all five-seat, luxury, midsize crossovers, just like the Chevy Blazer. So, for the sake of this article, let’s forget about its true competitors - the Ford Edge, the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Nissan Murano, and the Subaru Outback.
In a surprising turn of events, Chevrolet revived the Blazer after a 13-year hiatus. Granted, it wasn’t totally unexpected as there were rumors about a revival, but the new Blazer came out of the blue, with no warning in the form of leaked photos or spy shots. And the revival also brought a lot of drama, as the new Blazer isn’t the rugged, body-on-frame SUV that everyone was hoping for.
Instead, Chevy reintroduced the iconic nameplate for a unibody crossover that slots between the Equinox and the Traverse and mixes styling cues from the Camaro and other Chevy vehicles. It’s definitely confusing for such a big revival and gearheads the world over are debating whether GM made the right move here. As we usually do when an important vehicle is launched, we’re joining the discussion with opinions from the TopSpeed staff. Read them below.
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Will There Be a Performance Chevy Blazer or an Off-Road Capable Chevy Blazer ZR2?
In the world of today where SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne or the Alfa Romeo Stelvio act more like sports cars than utility vehicles, we Americans have to keep up. We have been doing so with the likes of the insane Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk or some “spirited” versions of other large SUVs. Yet, it seems that manufacturers here lack the conviction of the Audi S division, or the Mercedes-AMG division to make high-performance versions of basically every car they sell, SUVs included. With the introduction of the new Chevrolet Blazer, I was curious about the possible prospects of a performance version, or a “soft, off-road” knockoff. Not that the Blazer name is entirely dissociated from that kind of thing. Looking back in past, we have the Blazer Xtreme Sport or the Blazer ZR2. One of these was a sporty version, while the other a rather interesting, off-road-focused machine. Can Chevrolet bring any of these back?
While dramatic in design and dominant in appearance, the new Chevrolet Blazer is, in fact, a rather sensible machine adapted for family use. No, it does not have seven seats inside, but that does not stop it from having all the imaginable functionality one could expect only from a new crossover.
Alan Batey, President of GM North America and Global Chevrolet brand Chief, said at the reveal that GM is bringing “one all-new SUV to the Chevrolet showroom. One that will have exceptional functionality and truly dramatic design.”
Chevrolet really went out of its own way to craft a fascinatingly practical car. This list of five reasons why you will love the new Chevy Blazer will show you exactly what Mr. Batey meant by “exceptional functionality.”
Pops’ Rants: Your complaints about the new Chevrolet Blazer are invalid
2019 Chevrolet Blazer
Introduced in 1969, the Chevrolet Blazer survived in many forms until 2005, when the iconic nameplate was retired for good. Come 2018, and Chevy finally revived the name for a new midsize crossover. This time around, the Blazer rides on a unibody platform and boasts a sporty, modern design based on the Camaro sports car.
It may have sounded ludicrous a few years ago, but the Blazer is no longer the boxy SUV that dominated the market back in the day. Instead of rolling yet another conventional crossover that would cannibalize the Traverse, Chevy designed the new Blazer with younger customers in mind and looked at the Camaro muscle car for inspiration. The new Blazer comes to take on the Ford Edge and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and it looks like Chevy’s Detroit rivals have plenty to worry about.
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Five Surprising Facts About The New Chevrolet Blazer
Of course, we have known for quite some time now that the new Blazer won’t be a rugged, off-road eager machine with two doors. The first mention of GM resurrecting the name was in 2015 when it registered the Blazer name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Soon after, some heavily camouflaged SUV-looking thing with a Chevy crest started roaming the roads. It was the Blazer.
Before you start hating GM for “ruining” the Blazer name, stop and think for a second. People simply don’t buy all that body-on-frame stuff in huge numbers anymore. Chevy revealing the new, 2019 Blazer based on top of what is basically car architecture is a pure necessity sprouted from economic feasibility. While some of us may be a bit disappointed that one of the most famous names ended up on something less than unique, the paths of profit are more than obvious. This car will sell. Regardless, moving the Blazer to a new platform shared with the rest of GM city CUVs introduced us a to a few interesting traits.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS
Introduced for the 2018 model year, the second-generation Chevrolet Traverse is a significant departure from its predecessor, boasting a sportier look, state-of-the-art technology, and offering best-in-class maximum cargo room. The old 3.6-liter V-6 was also replaced with a brand-new unit, but Chevy also announced plans to fit a turbocharged four-cylinder in the SUV. The new engine was unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Motor Show in the Traverse RS, the first-ever Traverse to sport a turbocharged powerplant.
Alongside forced induction, this model also gets a few visual upgrades inside and out. It’s pretty much the SUV version of the Sonic RS. It also gets quite a few extra standard features. It’s not the fanciest trim available, but it’s very similar to the Premier model in terms of equipment and price. You can always go with the High Country model if you’re into a more luxurious cabin, but if you’re looking for a sporty appearance, the new RS is the best choice you have. Let’s see what set it apart in the review below.
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Chevy Traverse RS Looks Like The Better Daily Driver In Chicago
The 2018 Chicago Auto Show is now in full swing, bringing with it a fresh batch of debuts to ogle and pick apart. Chevrolet is showing up to the party with a new RS version of its Traverse mid-size SUV, and as you might have guessed from the addition of the two letters to the tail, it’s a more aggressive iteration of the high-riding utility vehicle. However, despite the sporty connotations, the Traverse RS isn’t really all that impressive when it comes to its performance. Rather, we think the extra torque, new styling bits, and fancy tech in the cabin make it better suited for the rigors of daily driving.
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The Chevrolet Traverse is all-new for 2018, and it’s a big improvement over its predecessor.
It sports an all-new design inside and out, and it offers more space for up to eight passengers and their stuff. Going nose-to-nose with the new VW Atlas and other midsize, three-row crossovers, it makes a pretty solid case for itself.
That was the main impression the new Chevrolet Traverse gave me during a week-long test drive. Is this the right crossover for your family? Read on.
Remember the Crazy Chevy SSR? Doug Does
Chevrolet has made some interesting things over its 100 years, but none compete with the 2003-2006 SSR. This contraption defied classification and spawned during a troubled time during “Old GM’s” heyday and right before its collapse in 2009. The SSR is a hardtop convertible pickup with a semi-permanent tonneau cover over its composite bed, powered by a small-block V-8 and wrapped in retro styling that harks back to the late 1940s Advance design pickups. Oh, and it shares its hydro-formed ladder frame and suspension system with the Chevy Trailblazer.
On the inside, the SSR was a hodgepodge of mid-2000s GM infamy. Green digital readouts, a chunky steering wheel, a hundred-button stereo face, and odd proportion everywhere. But for all its weirdness, the SSR’s interior had some redeeming qualities. The center console and door panels featured body-colored paint; there were aluminum bits to brighten things up, and heated seats.
The small-block V-8 was the third-generation 5.3-liter making 300 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic was the only choice. Then for its final year in 2006, Chevy dropped in the 390-horsepower 6.0-liter V-8 with 405 pound-feet of torque. The extra power really woke up the SSR, but the best improvement was the available six-speed manual transmission. Power was only sent to the rear wheels.
Despite its quirks, the SSR’s greatest downfall was its price. In 2003 it started at $41,995 and could be optioned up to $47,000. By 2006, the base price had grown to $43,180 and its topped out around $50,000. That was rather expensive for the time, especially considering the competition that shared that price bracket.
Still, the Chevy SSR was a unicorn that will forever lurk in the halls of GM oddities. Give it 40 years, and these things will command big money on the auction block. For now, you’ll just catch glares and stares as you drive the SSR down the road.
2018 Chevrolet Equinox Turbodiesel – Driven
The Chevrolet Equinox underwent a complete transformation for the 2018 model year. It received a handsome new exterior, a vastly improve and more tech-savvy interior, and a few new choices under the hood. The most surprising engine inclusion is GM’s 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder. It’s the same turbodiesel available in the Chevy Cruze sedan and comes with the same 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. In the Cruze, the engine returns an impressive 47 mpg highway when mated to the nine-speed automatic transmission. The question now, though, is how well the turbodiesel performs in the larger Equinox.
To find out, I spent a week behind the wheel of a 2018 Equinox in the mid-range LT trim and the standard front-wheel drive.
Now, I’ve already tested the new 2018 Equinox in its range-topping Premier trim and found it to be a fantastic two-row crossover with plenty of room for four people and their belongings. Its swanky interior offered features like an 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotpot. Dual zone climate controls with heated and vented front seats kept me comfortable while its large greenhouse provided great views outside. All told, the Equinox was great, but I still wondered how it would behave with the turbodiesel. Thankfully, I don’t have to wonder any longer. Here are my thoughts on the turbodiesel-equipped 2018 Chevy Equinox.
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The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado
The current Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has been around since the 2014 model year and has only received a minor facelift in 2016. But, this truck won’t be around much longer. Chevy is bringing an all-new Silverado for the 2019 model year, and with it, some big changes. It’s hard to know for sure what Chevy has up its sleeve at this point, but rumor suggests the pickup’s body will be aluminum while its bed remains steel. The fame will be new, too, lending to better ride comfort and strength for doing truck stuff. The rest is still a mystery.
So, in the darkness of the unknown, we have four ways Chevrolet could make the 2019 Silverado a better truck. Ranging from minor to major, these updated would also help the Bowtie compete against Ford’s ever-hot F-150, which just went under the knife in 2018 for a mid-cycle refresh. Ram is also debuting its next-generation 1500 for 2019, so the competition is certainly getting tense. Let’s hope Chevy (along with GMC and its Sierra) make these and other much-needed updates. And don’t forget to leave your ideas for updates in the comments below.
Continue reading for the top four things Chevy needs to change about the 2019 Silverado
2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition
Chevrolet is now offering two new special editions for the high-performance off-road Colorado ZR2 mid-size pickup. The Midnight Edition brings an all-black theme with tons of dark accents and a ZR2-branded sports bar with LED off-road lights. The Dusk Edition brings all the same black accents and the sports bar but allows customers to choose any of the eight other paint colors available on the standard Colorado ZR2. Both the Midnight and Dusk Editions come with new five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels painted in black.
The Colorado ZR2 is one of the hottest trucks on the market right now, and Chevy is hoping the added special editions will pour gasoline on the ZR2 fire. Obviously, special edition models tend to sell roughly twice as quickly as standard pickups, so it’s no doubt why Chevys bean counters are happy to offer the blacked-out packages.
According to Jim Campbell, Chevy’s U.S. VP of truck strategy, performance vehicles, and motorsports, “The Colorado ZR2 Midnight and Dusk Edition models offer customers even more personalization choices from the only company with three distinct trucks: midsize, full-size and full-size heavy-duty. Chevrolet offers more choices because the truck market is too diverse for a ‘one size fits most’ strategy.” Basically, it boils down to customers feeling exclusive when they buy and drive a special edition truck.
So what makes these special editions so… special? Keep reading for the details.
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Chevy Rumored To Revive Blazer name on 2019 Crossover
Our friends over at Truck Trend say Chevrolet is preparing a mid-size, two-row crossover to compete against the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano for the 2019 model year. What will Chevy call it? Industry rumors say Blazer. Adding fuel to the (dumpster) fire are spy photos of such a vehicle trolling around public roads while covered in heavy camouflage. Naturally, the news comes as a huge disappointment – not because Chevy is developing a new crossover, but because it will carry the iconic Blazer name.
The resurrection of bygone vehicle names is in heavy swing these days. Ford is bringing back the Ranger pickup to the U.S. and dusting off the Bronco name for the first time since the mid-1990s. It’s almost common knowledge Ford’s upcoming Bronco will be based on the T6 Ranger pickup platform and use a ladder frame and a solid rear axle. It’s expected to offer an excellent compromise between on-road civility and off-road capability while honoring its nameplate that traces its roots to the 1960s when Ford needed an SUV to compete with the Jeep CJ. Yet here we are, with Chevy about to slap the equally iconic Blazer name onto an assumably forgettable family hauler that couldn’t wheel its way over a parking stop. Why, Chevy? Of course, we should take these rumors with a huge grain of salt. No sources were listed and not even the vehicle in the spy photos show any discernable Chevy characteristics. Still, it’s hard not to criticize GM for not directly competing against the Bronco with a Colorado-based SUV wearing a Blazer badge. Chevy already has such an SUV in markets around the world. It’s even called the Trailblazer. Why not fight Ford at its own game? After all, SUV and pickup sales are booming thanks to cheap fuel and a growing economy.
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2017 Chevrolet Equinox Redline Edition
Chevrolet first introduced the mid-size Equinox crossover in 2004, rolling out a variety of additional trim levels and even a special Winter Olympic Games-themed model throughout the course of the first generation’s lifecycle. In 2009, the second-generation Equinox debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine as standard and an available 3.0-liter V-6. Finally, the latest third generation was introduced on September 22nd of last year with three engine choices, forward collision warning, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the infotainment system. At the moment, the Equinox is Chevy’s second best-selling model, which means it was shoe-in for the recent rash of Redline special editions introduced at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. Upgrades include just a few tweaks here and there for the styling, while the rest of the car’s mechanicals and interior remain unaltered.
The 2018 Equinox Redline Edition takes inspiration from the Redline product preview first shown in Las Vegas for the 2015 SEMA Show. All the upgrades can be found on the exterior, including in the nose, where a new grille with a diamond-pattern insert and black finish sits front and center. Moving to the sides, you’ll also find the black-out treatment added to the side-view mirror covers, while in the corners sit large 19-inch wheels, also with a black finish. The rear windows continue the theme with an inky black tint, while the various Chevy bowtie badges are also blacked out.
The Equinox Redline package is offered with the mid-grade LT trim level. Joining the model in Chicago are equal treatments for the Cruze, Malibu, Camaro, Trax, Traverse, Colorado, and Silverado.
Each of the new Redline models will be available by the end of the year, with the Equinox Redline Edition slated to hit dealerships by October.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Equinox Redline Edition.
2017 Chevrolet Malibu Redline Edition
Chevrolet launched the ninth-generation Malibu in 2015, discontinuing the previous model after only five years on the market. Redesigned from the ground up and bolted onto a new platform (E2XX), the new Malibu also gained three new drivetrains, including a 1.5-liter four-cylinder and a 1.8-liter hybrid. In 2017, Chevrolet launched the Redline Edition, a limited-edition model based on the Malibu LT trim, at the Chicago Auto Show.
The first special-edition to provide some customization for the new Malibu, the Redline Edition isn’t actually new. The package was first showcased at the 2015 SEMA Show, where it was displayed as the Red Line Series concept. At last year’s edition of the same show, Chevy rolled out a similar concept, this time around called the Malibu Blue Line and fitted with blue accents instead of red.
The production Redline Edition follows in the footsteps of the Red Line Series concept, featuring similar enhancements on the outside. Although not all elements seen on the concept were retained for production, the blacked-out details and the red accents are still there.
“Redline is another example of Chevrolet bringing SEMA concepts to showrooms,” said Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet. “The SEMA show has proven to be a great way to identify customization trends in the industry, and quickly apply those trends to our most popular Chevrolet models. Based on the strong interest Redline attracted at the show, we believe they will be very popular with customers looking for standout cars, trucks, and crossovers.”
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2018 Chevrolet Equinox
The second-generation Chevy Equinox hit showrooms for the 2010 model year and went through a refresh for the 2016 model year. Despite the refresh, the second-gen model is due to be replaced for 2018 and GM has finally spilled the beans. The next-gen model sports a revised exterior to go with a new engine line-up that also includes the only diesel engine available in the in compact SUV segment in North America. On top of this, it’s the first member of the Chevy family to get an all-turbocharged, multi-engine lineup. A handful of safety features are available, there’s a new surround camera to talk about, and interior cargo space has increased to 63.5 cubic-feet with the rear seats folded down. It should also be noted that through 2016, the Equinox was a midsize SUV, but for 2017 it has been classified as a compact.
With the Equinox being Chevy’s second best seller, only beat by the Chevy Silverado, it’s not too surprising that Chevy is ushering in a new generation just one year after the face-lifted model made its debut. Of course, because of this, there aren’t as many exterior changes as we’re used to seeing with generational shifts. And, while GM is calling this a 2018 model, it will go on sale in the first few months of 2017. With that said, let’s hurry up and take a good look at this model before Chevy announces a 2019 model.
Updated 09/23/2016: Chevrolet dropped the official details on the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox.
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GM, Isuzu Part Ways On Midsize Pickup Development
General Motors and Isuzu Motor Company have parted ways on developing midsize pickups. The two automakers came to the mutual agreement as GM focuses on higher-spec models, while Isuzu continues to cater to commercial markets. This ends a deal penned in 2014 for building midsized pickups as part of a joint product development arrangement struck in 2006.
An Isuzu spokesman told Reuters, “The direction each company wanted to take for the vehicles was changing.” A GM statement regarding the split echoed Isuzu’s, saying, "Both GM and Isuzu agree that due to unique requirements for each company, joint development of the next-generation midsize pick-up truck for (GM) markets is no longer the optimal model for this project."
Currently the automakers produce several models together. The Chevrolet Colorado (the global truck, not the U.S.-spec truck GM built on its own) and Isuzu D-Max are nearly clones of each other, with Chevy selling in Australia and the Middle East, while Isuzu is sold in Asia and other countries. Chevy also builds an SUV based off the Colorado and the Trailblazer, which also sold in Asia and Australia.
What’s more, the break-up allows for Isuzu’s partnership with Mazda – a joint venture announced in July 2016. Details are still scarce, but it’s likely the Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max will be replaced with a single pickup, badge-engineered for each automaker. We don’t expect either truck to be offered inside the U.S.
Nevertheless, GM and Isuzu will continue their partnership of building medium-duty commercial trucks. This partnership is only a year old, having been struck in June of 2015, but is reminiscent of the pair’s past partnership in the medium-duty segment, which ended in 2009.
The deal allows Chevrolet to badge-engineer Isuzu’s N-Series Low Cab Forward trucks as its own, while Isuzu benefits from having access to GM’s 6.0-liter gasoline V-8 for both Isuzu and Chevy versions of the N-Series. Overseas versions of the N-Series will come with a variety of Isuzu-built diesel engines.
GM’s next global midsize pickup will be developed in-house, allowing the automaker full control of its product. Expect to see a more luxurious and comfortable Colorado pickup debut in the next few years.
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