Why I Like the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS
The special and even the mundane combine to add up to a winner in my book.
During the week I spent with the new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS, the new crossover garnered plenty of devotees. Curious onlookers, friends, and family applauded the Blazer's sleek design, Camaro-like features, glossy black 21-inch wheels, and its so-very-red, Hot Cheetos-esque paint color. People seemed to be smitten—at least until I let slip its not-inconsequential as-tested price of $50,765, which is high for the segment and indicates Chevy places a premium on standout styling.
But most of the Blazer's inherent goodness—if not the RS's particular aesthetic or its V-6 engine—can be had for much less: It starts at $29,995. That includes an unanticipated amount of room, as this sporty-leaning crossover definitely puts an emphasis on style over function. But I was doing some home renovations and needed a 30x80 exterior door for my garage. To my surprise, with the front passenger seat fully reclined, the rear seats folded down, and the door loaded diagonally, it fit—with the liftgate fully closed.
But even more than that, I enjoyed its responsive handling, powerful engine, and eye-catching style. To the latter point, this Blazer revival—it's technically the fifth-gen model—has adapted design elements from the Camaro, particularly in RS spec, but it manages to pull it off and avoid looking like some sort of genetic experiment gone wrong. The eight-speaker Bose audio system sounds great, and I found the steering to be precise and the body motions very nicely controlled at both lower and higher speeds. The responses of the 308-hp, naturally aspirated V-6 are linear and predictable, and it can be juiced even more by putting the powertrain in Sport mode. Outward visibility is a bit compromised, but fashion rarely comes without a price, right?
Although fitting a door in an SUV is nothing to get excited about—one of the letters in SUV stands for "utility," after all—it was the cherry on top of a great week with this new Chevy. Read on for a few more details and features that also scored points with me.
Chevrolet Bowtie Logo
Many manufacturers are branding their lighting elements these days, and the trend has hit Chevy: Both the head- and taillamps have tiny bowtie logos in them, and the one in back even illuminates.
It's a small thing, but we all have to reach into the glovebox from the driver's seat every so often. In the Blazer, a button to open it is conveniently located about an inch from the infotainment screen and next to the traction-control button. In addition, the Blazer's glovebox can be electronically locked to double down on protection from evildoers.
Hands-Free Liftgate Projection Light
While there's nothing extraordinary about a hands-free liftgate nowadays, finding the right spot to wiggle your foot can be frustrating. The Blazer RS has a projection-light feature to point your foot in the right direction.
Cargo Management System
When the road gets rough or twisty, the floor-mounted rail system is a useful feature, as it can help prevent your groceries or gear from sliding all over the place.
Side-Mirror Collision Warning Lights
On the side mirrors, a small car with a "BANG!" symbol illuminates to warn you of a possible collision when another vehicle is in your blind-spot. This GM design is one of the best and more whimsical I've seen, and it's pretty hard to misinterpret.
21-Inch Gloss Black Wheels
Got the cash to spring for the RS and want to look like a boss? The stylish, optional 21-inch blacked-out wheels are the way to go. They're exclusive to the RS and are bundled in a package with the panoramic sunroof.