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2022 Chevrolet Blazer LT Redline Edition Review

Dubbed as the Camaro of SUVs, the Chevrolet Blazer is arguably GM’s best kept secret.

By William Clavey Wheels.ca

May 6, 2022 6 min. read

Article was updated 9 days ago

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I remember being at the product launch for the current-generation Chevrolet Blazer back in 2019. During the press conference, the one question that journalists had on their minds was its name. Because, no, this Blazer has absolutely nothing in common with the Blazers that came before it.

Many were expecting the return of the blocky, off-road-dedicated machine of the past, a true contender to the Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco. Plus, Chevrolet was bringing back the Blazer nameplate before Ford reincarnated the Bronco. So, we (the automotive press) had huge expectations.

Perhaps the made-up hype was unfair for GM. At the time, the General was more focused on repositioning its SUV offerings on the Chevrolet side. The decision was therefore final: the Blazer’s return would not happen wearing a trail-blazing suite (excuse the pun) but rather as a stylish two-row midsize SUV designed to take on equally quirky vehicles like the Ford Edge, the Nissan Murano, the Honda Passport, the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, and the Kia Sorento/Hyundai Santa Fe twins.

Looking back at the Blazer three years in makes me realize how much we all underestimated it. Collectively, we’ve been so obsessed with its name, that we’ve mostly ignored the product itself. And that’s a shame because this is the vehicle that best represents the segment.

2022 Chevrolet Blazer LT Redline Edition

For the SUV buyer who doesn’t want an SUV

The two-row midsize SUV category was created for consumers who desire an SUV, but also want something that’s not like a traditional utility vehicle. Indeed, it’s odd, but it’s nothing more than an evolution of the times we currently live in.

Said consumers look for the high ride height of an SUV as well as cargo space and all-wheel drive capability, but also want something that looks and drives more like a sports car. They don’t exactly need seven-or eight-passenger seating but would appreciate a machine that could tow a small boat or a camper trailer.

In that respect, the Blazer slides right into the target demographic like a fresh pair of gloves. Riding on a platform that’s shared with the GMC Acadia, the Blazer doesn’t borrow any design cues from larger GM SUVs. This front fascia is only slightly mimicked on the smaller Trailblazer. The Blazer was however the first to incorporate this design.

Taking much of its inspiration from the Camaro due to its angular edges and hunkered down front end, the Blazer also takes some design cues from South-Korean designs, notably the split headlight treatment that reminds us of a Hyundai Kona, but somehow better. That’s because the Blazer was designed by South-Korean designer Jawook Koo.

That design particularly pops when the Blazer is fitted with larger wheels and brighter colors. Our tester had a neat package to do this. Called Redline Edition, the $1,495 kit, which adds larger and meaner-looking 20-inch darkened wheels and subtle red accents, can be grafted onto an entry level Blazer LT AWD like the one we tested. This prevents it from inflating the final sticker price. Our Blazer sold for a reasonable $44,653.

A Good Heart

Our press unit also had the more potent V6 engine. While entry-level models can be had with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, the optional 3.6-liter V6 is the proper way to enjoy a Blazer. Relying on no turbo or superchargers, it develops a stout 308 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and, in our case, a selectable all-wheel drive system.

That engine also allows the Blazer to tow up to 4,500 pounds when properly equipped. It’s not the class-leading 5,000-pound rating you’ll get from a Passport or an Atlas Cross Sport, but it’s still ahead of a Kia Sorento (3,500 pounds).

Smash the accelerator pedal in a Blazer V6 and the transmission immediately hands you over a lower gear as the engine shoots up through the rev counter. It’s a vocal engine, a sound that’s slowly disappearing in the age of turbocharging and hybridization. Not the most potent down low, this engine makes most of its horsepower and torque up high in the revs, adding to the pleasure of pushing it to its limits.

2022 Chevrolet Blazer LT Redline Edition

The Blazer isn’t just a stylish SUV with a cool engine. It also has the handling and the braking capability to back it up. Each time I drive this thing, I’m reminded of its well-sorted chassis and suspension tuning. No SUV has the right to turn in so quickly and generate this much grip in the corners, but we’re not complaining. The Blazer is fun and engaging to drive, qualities no other vehicle in this class manage to convey.

More Camaro resemblance inside

The Camaro-inspired theme doesn’t end with the sheetmetal. Inside, the large circular air vents appear to have been taken straight out of the iconic sports car. Except for familiar switchgear like the gauges, infotainment system and gear lever, the Blazer looks like no other GM SUV inside.

The entire dashboard is set low in the cabin to improve forward visibility, while the circular air vents and two-tier layout remind us of some sports cars.

In typical GM fashion, the Blazer’s ergonomics are class leading. The fact that most of the vehicle’s controls are physically operated simplifies their ease of operation versus the current screen-extensive stuff currently on sale.

The infotainment screen, while small by today’s standards at 8 inches, is nevertheless easy to grasp, quick to respond, and incorporates all the latest toys like onboard Wi-Fi, the Spotify music app, and a Teen Driver feature in the event your adolescent borrows the keys.

2022 Chevrolet Blazer LT Redline Edition

The Blazer’s shape does affect rear egress and ingress, but once inside, even tall passengers will find comfort due to more than sufficient leg and head clearance.

From a cargo capacity perspective, the Blazer sits mid-pack. Fold the rear seatbacks down, and you’ll end up with 1,818 liters of total space. Chevrolet’s midsizer is therefore less spacious than the segment-leading Honda Passport (2,854 liters). Even a Nissan Murano (1,897 liters) offers more cargo space.

But since this segment tends to be aimed at empty nesters or young affluent professionals who don’t have children, we feel the Blazer offers more than enough cargo space to satisfy the target demographic.

Add to that a reliability record that’s been, so far, frankly impressive, and we’ll go as far as saying the Chevrolet Blazer is currently GM’s best kept secret. Its just too bad consumers aren’t taking notice. Blazer sales have only been fine for Chevrolet. Would the Blazer have made a larger ripple if it wore another name?

2022 Chevrolet Blazer LT Redline Edition

BODY STYLE: Midsize SUV

CONFIGURATION: Front-engine, all-wheel drive

ENGINE: 3.-liter V6 (308 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm / 270 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm).

TRANSMISSION: Nine-speed automatic

FUEL ECONOMY: 12.3L/100 km (city) / 8.8L/100 (highway) / 10.7L/100 km (combined).

OBSERVED FUEL ECONOMY: 11.2L/100 km

CARGO CAPACITY: 864 liters (1,818 liters total).

PRICE: $44,653 (as tested)

WEBSITE: www.chevrolet.ca

The vehicle was provided to the writer by the automaker. Content and vehicle evaluations were not subject to approval.

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