Here’s a name that my generation’s parents will recognize: Blazer or perhaps Jimmy is the more recognizable nomenclature. However, the original Blazer first emerged in 1969, and I am happy to say I was not even a thought at that time! The Jimmy of that time was based on a pickup chassis, and existed in both a 2-door and 4-door model, with a few other names attached to it over the years. But the Blazer name went by the wayside in 2005.
Fast-forward 50 years from its first appearance to 2019, and Chevrolet brings the Blazer name back to the forefront.
- Also: Chevrolet Working on Affordable Equinox EV, Blazer EV
- Also: 2023 Chevrolet Blazer Gets Fresh Looks, Bigger Display
There’s always a risk when bringing back a nostalgic name and model - especially for a vehicle like the Chevrolet Blazer that came to fruition during a time when 2-door SUVs like the Bronco were just starting to gain popularity. Anyone in their teens during the late ‘60s early ‘70s will have a special spot in their memory for these rides.
So, does the new 2022 Chevy Blazer live up to the nostalgia?
Forged from a Different Fire
Let’s get something out of the way immediately: This is NOT the Blazer of the ‘70s. Not in the least. Where it was once a truck chassis is now a crossover (which means it is car-based and actually riding on the GM Lambda platform shared with the Chevrolet Malibu, GM Acadia, and a few others. It is not a body-on-frame like the original, which is actually a good thing as it means a smoother ride (less truck-like), however, it doesn’t help gather in those who fell in love with the original and everything that it came with.
So, what has Chevrolet done to the Blazer to bring it into the 21st Century fully? Well, for starters they ditched the square, boxy exterior look. And that’s a-OK with us! There was obviously an appeal for that look back in the day, but not in 2022. Thankfully, Chevrolet designers really took a moment to understand their demographic and buyers and create a vehicle look that is both modernized without being polarizing.
Now, we have to say that this does kind of hinder its long-term appeal. While the Blazer looks good right now, it doesn’t feel like it will age well.
Of note, this particular model featured is the True North Redline edition, which adds fancy blacked-out lettering (with red trim) for all badging, as well as red stripes on the side mirrors (that say “redline” in them), along with red accents inside.
Not so Blazing Under the Hood
Now, when it comes to power under the hood of the 2022 Chevy Blazer, we were a little less than impressed. While there is an available 2.0L turbocharged engine, this particular model came equipped with a 3.6L V6 mill that produces 308 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. The 9-speed automatic transmission is tolerable, but not the best. There’s something heavy and slow about the Blazer’s performance, which is totally normal for the type of vehicle that it is.
However, what was less than desirable was the fuel consumption. We had hoped to get closer to the 9L/100km mark but instead hovered between 10-11L/100km all week. Considering it has direct competition with the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe (which offers a hybrid version) and Toyota Venza, these numbers are not quite where they might hope them to be. Of course, that speaks to the V6 which is hefty and sounds cool, but not when it comes to filling up at the pumps.
Of course, the below-average temperatures didn’t help, and neither did the need to keep the Blazer in 4WD as opposed to 2WD for most of the drives, as well.
The engine was also surprisingly loud, as was road noise on the highway. A lack of sound insulation in the cabin makes the Chevy Blazer feel cheaper than it should.
Alight with Northern Pride
Well, not exactly. But it lined up nicely that we were behind the wheel of the True North edition of the Blazer the week the 2022 Beijing Olympics began, so we felt a certain sort of pride driving this particular edition of the Blazer.
What does the True North add to the Chevy Blazer? Well, basically it comes with larger 18” wheels as well as a blacked-out Chevy front grill. And with the True North trim, you can then select the Redline in addition which then bumps it up to 20” rims, as well as the black lettering for decals with red outline accents. All aesthetics.
Inside, there are subtle red accents throughout but it is generally the same as any other Blazer. The onboard entertainment system is easy enough to use, though we did wish for a larger screen, as it can be difficult to manipulate at times. The simplicity of the entire centre stack, on a vehicle that costs close to $50k, is comforting as well as a bit disconcerting. One of the oddest design elements for the HVAC is the fact that you have to turn a dial AROUND the vents to change the temperature. Whereas most vehicles have that set up to either close or open the vents, the Blazer uses that movement to cool or heat the air.
Does it Spark Enough Interest?
I am almost done with the fire puns - I promise.
The most difficult thing here is justifying the Blazer’s spot in the Chevrolet lineup. Slotted between the much larger Traverse and the Equinox that is, fundamentally, exactly the same vehicle, it’s hard to reason with Chevy for wanting to bring it back the way that it has. Perhaps they would have been better off bringing it back as a truck-chassis, 2-door, boxy off-roader that really stood out from the pack.
As it is here, anyone interested in the Blazer will gladly take the Equinox for less and be just as satisfied. And those who remember the Blazer name and check it out for nostalgia will only leave disappointed.