Ford Bronco Team Unfazed by Chevy’s Blazer Reveal
Instead of throwing down the off-road gauntlet, Chevy dropped the ball.
When news of a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer started making the rounds, I got excited. Of course, I’m really looking forward to the new Ford Bronco, but a little competition is always a good thing. The Chevy Blazer nameplate is historic, and it’d be fun to see Chevy throw their hat into the ring with Bronco and Jeep Wrangler.
Then I saw the new Blazer.
The Ford Bronco team (and the Wrangler team for that matter) need not to be worried by this watered-down Blazer. This is not a badass off-roading machine. It is a funky-looking crossover designed for the masses.
This watered-down Blazer is not a badass off-roading machine. It is a funky-looking crossover designed for the masses.
The new Blazer is a unibody-design, front-wheel-drive crossover with optional all-wheel-drive. It uses GM’s 9-speed automatic, and there’ll be two engines available: 2.5L 4-cylinder and 3.6L V6. So, all in all, it’s fine — if the aim is to elicit a “meh.”
Interestingly, as Ford gets more off-road focused with the Bronco and the new crossover that’ll sit between the Escape and the Bronco, it seems Chevrolet is heading in the other direction. Taking its cues from the Camaro, both inside and out, the car is clearly designed for street use. The 2019 Blazer would feel out of place at even the easiest of trails on the way to a camping site. It is a far cry from the classic Blazers that once ruled on and off the road.
Maybe that’s what Blazer customers want? Maybe there’s a ton of money in creating yet another crossover to add to the lineup, and failing to equip it with the off-road chops that make the Bronco or Wrangler so desirable? This SUV feels awfully light on both sportiness and utility.
It’ll go on sale in January, which will beat the Bronco to the showrooms. But that really won’t matter. If we thought that Chevrolet was going to bring competition for the new Bronco, we thought wrong. The Bronco won’t stand alone, of course, the Wrangler exists and is an off-road legend. But instead of a three horse race for your off-road dollars, it’ll be just down to the tried-and-true Wrangler and the Bronco fighting it out.
Perhaps it’s best that way. Isn’t it better to go out fighting than just fade away with a whimper?
What do you think of the new Chevrolet Blazer? Let us know in the comments and on the forums!