2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS: Electric Do-It-All

Strong points
  • Very comfortable
  • Extraordinary versatility
  • Great range
Weak points
  • Insufficient power (AWD)
  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
  • Lacks driving dynamics
Full report

Aside from a few hiccups with battery recalls and other minor snags, Chevrolet did well with its small Bolt EV electric car. Affordable, efficient and supported by an extensive dealer network, it has been a sensible electric vehicle choice for a while now.

Alas, as utility vehicles are more profitable for any manufacturer, only the larger EUV version of the Bolt will remain in its next generation. And to round out the range of bow-tied electric SUVs, the long-awaited Equinox and Blazer were announced some time ago, making use of the Ultium platform hitherto used exclusively by GM's expensive members, such as the Cadillac Lyriq and Hummer EV.

The Car Guide was given the opportunity to test drive the RS version of the Blazer EV during its launch in California.

Something For Everyone

Chevrolet gave the Blazer EV an impressive range of versions and configurations, including the basic LT and more racy RS models, which come in front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. A more potent SS version delivering up to 557 hp will also be introduced next year.

In terms of power supply, rear-wheel drive models are motivated by a rear-mounted electric motor and a 102 kWh battery. The power output is rated at 340 hp. In the all-wheel-drive models, an 85 kWh battery is in charge of  powering the front and rear motors for a combined output of 288 horsepower. This is indeed a curious strategy, since all-wheel-drive EVs with two motors are normally more powerful than their single-motor counterparts.

In terms of range, the all-wheel-drive models boast a range of 449 kilometres, while the rear-wheel-drive version promises up to 521 kilometres. Towing capacity is 3,500 lb on rear-wheel-drive models, but only 1,500 lb on the all-wheel-drive models. The Blazer EV RS RWD has a charger power of 190 kW at a Level 3 charging station, giving it a range of 125 kilometres in 10 minutes if the right conditions are met. The charging port is hidden under a motorized door that includes a complicated an array of hinges. We have a feeling that, if the conditions got coarse in the wintertime, this mechanism could fill up with snow and ice and make operation of the door more complicated than it should.

The difference of almost 50 horsepower is quite noticeable between the single-engine and twin-engine variants, with the more interesting AWD variant running out of breath more quickly. On the road, the Blazer feels heavy, regardless of the variant chosen, and this impedes on driving dynamics. This family vehicle isn’t made to be thrown around vigorously.

On the other hand, ride comfort is beyond reproach. Engineers have calibrated the suspension and chassis components to offer occupants a supple, smooth ride, no matter where you sit in the cabin, even with the 21-inch wheels that our RS tester was wearing.

A Comfortable Cabin, Without Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Inside, the Blazer uses an amalgam of digital and analog elements, surrounded by a sporty feel coherent with the exterior of the vehicle. A dual-screen setup make sure the driver gets informed and entertained. The one in front of the driver's eyes measures 11 inches and delivers instrumentation data, while the 17.7-inch infotainment system screen to its right dominates the dashboard. Designers also included a series of manual controls under that screen, as well as a large rotary volume knob positioned between the two screens.

Those accustomed to the smartphone-dependent Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software suites will be disappointed: the Blazer EV doesn't offer them. Instead, Chevrolet has chosen to integrate the Google Built-in system, which manages navigation and infotainment, but also several vehicle-related systems. For example, the driving mode selector is hidden inside several menus - a feature that should be more easily accessible in the dashboard.

Bonus points go to the roominess of this cabin, not only for passengers, but with its cargo hold that delivers 1693 liters behind its large, practical tailgate.

Generally, an all-in-one does a little bit of everything, but excels at nothing in particular. The Blazer EV, however, stands out for its range, comfort and habitability. But performance (AWD) and driving dynamics left us wanting more. But this compromise is well aligned with the segment's priorities and values. The absence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software suites has its advantages and disadvantages, and it will be up to users to judge whether they are necessary according to their needs.

With its 21-inch wheels and distinguished look, the Blazer EV RS is a head-turner. But with a starting price of $69,999 CAD/$61,790 USD, it makes the 2LT all-wheel-drive model financially attractive depending on incentives in your province/state. This one starts at $59,999/$56,715 USD.

Manufacturers traditionally recognized for their reliability and good products, such as Toyota and Honda, are gasping for air in this electric revolution, while those whose reputation was iffy, like Kia and Hyundai, are faring much better. Chevrolet, which has been floating in the middle of all this, could come out on top with the Blazer (and the eventual Equinox), as long as they are reliable. And that remains to be proven.

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