Today is the era of the crossover SUV and for a good reason. These versatile vehicles combine many of the best features of cars and trucks into a stylish and comfortable package that is equal at home, picking up the groceries, or exploring the wilderness. With a roomy interior, high seating for good visibility, plenty of passenger and cargo space, reasonable gas mileage, and the ability to easily handle inclement weather and bad roads, it is difficult to find a more practical class of vehicle. One of the newer offerings in this segment is the 2020 Chevy Blazer, and it may be Chevrolet’s best crossover yet.
2020 is only the second model year for the Chevy Blazer, which was first introduced in 2019 to fill the gap left in Chevrolet’s lineup after the Chevy Equinox was downsized in 2018 for its third generation. Although both the Blazer and the Equinox are five-seat crossover SUVs, the Blazer offers a roomier interior, more powerful engine options, and a wider selection of trims.
The next step up from the Blazer in Chevrolet’s lineup is the Traverse. However, the Traverse is a three-row vehicle that seats seven. This means that despite being smaller than the Traverse, the Blazer actually offers a more usable interior room as long as you do not need to seat more than five people. With all seats in place, the 2020 Blazer has 30.5 cu.ft. of cargo space against the 23.0 cu.ft. of the Traverse, and with one row folded down, the Blazer has 64.2 cu.ft. against 57.8 cu.ft. for the Traverse. Further, the second row on the Blazer has over an inch more legroom than the second row on the Traverse.
A New Engine for 2020
Beginning in late 2020, the Chevy Blazer now offers three engine options. The base engine is a 2.5L four-cylinder generating 193 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. This is honestly something of an underwhelming choice in a vehicle that starts out with a curb weight of over 3,700 pounds. However, the 2.5L is only found on the lowest L and 1LT trims, and it is still more powerful than the base 170 hp engine on the Chevy Equinox.
What makes the 2020 Chevy Blazer stand out is its new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 230 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This engine provides enough power to make the Blazer an enjoyable ride while being more fuel-efficient than the 3.6L V6 that was the only real option on the 2019 Blazer. In some ways, the 2.0L even outperforms the V6, as the turbocharger means its peak torque (which is nearly as high as that of the larger engine) is delivered earlier, making it more usable. And to top it off, the 2.0L engine actually gets slightly better gas mileage (21 MPG city and 28 MPG highway) than the less powerful 2.5L engine (21 MPG city and 27 MPG highway). The efficiency of this engine is another advantage the 2020 Blazer has over the Chevy Traverse, as that vehicle is only offered with a V6.
However, if you truly want the most powerful engine available, the 3.6L V6 remains the king with its 308 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. This is a particularly good choice if you need to be able to pull a trailer, as a 2020 Chevy Blazer with the V6 and AWD is rated to tow up to 4,500 pounds. And the fuel efficiency on this powerful engine is nothing to be afraid of either, since it averages 18 MPG and reaches up to 25 MPG on the highway.
No matter which engine you chose on the 2020 Chevy Blazer, it will come with a modern nine-speed automatic transmission. With this transmission’s “Traction Select System,” you can manually choose between multiple modes such as “Sport,” “Off-Road,” or “Tow/Haul” to optimize the performance of your vehicle for the task at hand. And as with any good crossover, an AWD option is available, albeit only on the 2LT trim and above. However, if you chose AWD on the top RS and Premier trims, you will get a more advanced twin-clutch system (not to be confused with a dual-clutch transmission), that allows the vehicle to switch power between the left and right wheels as needed to get maximum traction.
A Comfortable Modern Interior
Inside the cabin of the 2020 Chevy Blazer, you will find a host of standard features to make your drive more convenient and enjoyable. Foremost among these is an eight-inch touchscreen loaded with Chevrolet’s Infotainment system. This system is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing your phone to be seamlessly connected via Bluetooth or USB no matter which operating system you prefer. And if passengers in the second row need to recharge their electronic devices, all trims on the 2020 Chevy Blazer include additional charging-only USB ports for the rear seats. Entertainment is rounded off with a standard 4G LTE wireless hotspot, allowing you to catch up on work or just browse the web from the comfort of your vehicle.
The electronics on the 2020 Chevy Blazer are not restricted to entertainment. All trims come standard with keyless open and start, which permits you to unlock and start your vehicle without needing to remove your key fob from your pocket or purse. Chevrolet has also done away with the traditional valet key by enabling you to electronically lock and unlock the glovebox by entering a code into the infotainment system––a solution that can also be used to secure valuable or dangerous objects from any children in the vehicle.
As a final touch, all trims on the 2020 Chevy Blazer come standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, an electronic parking brake that will automatically engage when the vehicle is parked on a hill, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
However, if you are willing to spend a little more on optional features, the long list of standard features on the 2020 Chevy Blazer is just the beginning. Perhaps the most valuable option is the Driver Confidence II package available on higher trims. This adds a multitude of driver aids, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, HD surround vision for maneuvering in tight spaces, and LED IntelliBeam automatic headlights.
The Sound and Technology package is another good option. It replaces the standard six-speaker audio system with a Bose eight-speaker setup and upgrades the infotainment system with an HD color screen and built-in navigation. On the RS trim, these two packages are combined into a single Enhanced Convenience and Driver Confidence II package.
The 2020 Chevy Blazer MSRP starts at $28,800 for the base trim. However, to get past the base 2.5L engine, you will have to upgrade to the 2LT trim, which has an MSRP of $32,800 for the 2.0L turbocharged engine. Adding AWD costs about $2,000 for the 2.0L but only $1,500 for the V6 (not including dealership fees). Therefore, it makes sense to either get the 2.0L with FWD to maximize fuel economy and savings, or to pair the V6 with AWD to get the most out of its power and off-road capability.