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Review: The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier is priced too high to compete at $50,000

Key Points
  • The Blazer, formally an iconic off-roader, is back as a sleek crossover.
  • It drives well enough and gets a lot of attention on the road.
  • With an as-tested price of $49,290, it's not nearly good enough to justify its cost.
The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier
Mack Hogan | CNBC

After a 14-year hiatus, General Motors brought the Chevy Blazer back for 2019. No longer an old-school truck, the new Blazer is a sleek crossover designed to take on the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano.

But after a week with the $49,290 Blazer Premier, we're worried that Chevy priced the Blazer too high to be competitive.

The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier
Mack Hogan | CNBC

The good

Now that the Blazer is a crossover rather than an old-school SUV, it rides and handles well for its size. The suspension is softly sprung on the luxury-focused Premier model, while the RS trim aims for a more sporty ride.

The Blazer also shares more with Chevy cars than trucks when it comes to styling. The sharp creases and aggressive lines are clearly Camaro-inspired, giving the Blazer a more athletic look than porky competitors like the ironically named Ford Edge.

As a result of the aggressive styling and revived Blazer name, a surprising amount of people stopped us at gas stations, in the park and outside of rest stops to ask about the new Blazer. It got more attention than any other mainstream crossover we've driven by a large margin.

The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier
Mack Hogan | CNBC

In addition to the exterior design, you'll also see Camaro inspiration inside. The circular vents with integrated climate control knobs are ripped straight from Chevy's pony car, while the overall design is the best Chevy's done in a crossover.

You also get the newest generation of GM's MyLink infotainment system. It's crisp and easy to use, with the new home screen able to show your navigation, multimedia and phone information simultaneously. Chevy also still includes physical controls for frequently used things, like climate control or the heated and cooled seats.

The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier
Mack Hogan | CNBC

Finally, the powertrain is smooth and refined. Our Blazer had the more powerful engine option, with a 3.6-liter V-6 making 308 horsepower. It was plenty quick for daily driving and, because the engine wasn't overtaxed, the Blazer was quiet under acceleration.

The bad

It's really hard to see $49,290 of value in the Blazer. It rides well and is relatively quiet, but the same could be said of just about any competitor. The problem is that despite the high price tag, our Blazer still wasn't fully optioned.

The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier
Mack Hogan | CNBC

Adaptive cruise control, which is standard on competitors like the Honda Passport, would require another $2,165 package. Active safety equipment, in general, is largely limited to the top two trims, which is disappointing given that this is a family crossover.

That means that a truly loaded Blazer would cost well over $50,000. The loaded Honda Passport Elite we tested recently, with adaptive cruise control, cooled seats and almost everything the Blazer has, was $44,725. The most expensive Hyundai Santa Fe is $39,895.

The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier
Mack Hogan | CNBC

So the price difference doesn't come down to equipment. And it doesn't come down to on-road performance, as the Honda Passport was more engaging to drive and equally as comfortable as the Blazer. It's also got 50.5 cubic feet of cargo room with all of the seats in place to the Blazer's 30.5 cubic feet. And while the interior looks stylish, it's let down by cheap materials that make it feel behind the rest of the class.

It's also not the sporty option, as you can get a Ford Edge ST for the same price.

The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier
Mack Hogan | CNBC

Final thoughts

The Ford Edge ST we tested had more power, more cargo space, better handling and more equipment. Even still, we said it was "impossible to recommend" at $49,430.

The Blazer, then, is a head-scratcher. Without thousands in discounts, it's hard to make any logical case for it being ahead of the pack. With the right price, it looks good and drives well enough to be desirable. But as it stands, we can't recommend it.

The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier
Mack Hogan | CNBC

Rating:

Exterior: 3.5

Interior: 2.5

Driving Experience: 3

Value: 1

Overall: 2.5

*Ratings out of 5.

The 2019 Chevy Blazer Premier
Mack Hogan | CNBC