It seems like new EV announcements are a daily occurrence this year, and the latest news is the new Chevy Blazer EV. This sporty midsize SUV joins the Chevy Silverado EV and the Chevy Equinox EV in bringing GM’s self-proclaimed revolutionary Ultium platform to the masses. Unfortunately, all three of these models are not scheduled to arrive until the 2024 model year. Until then, Chevy fans will have to make do with the aging Chevy Bolt EV and Chevy Bolt EUV compact cars. On paper, the new 2024 Chevy Blazer EV offers some relatively impressive specs, headlined by the 557 hp of the SS trim. However, it remains to be seen whether the Blazer EV will be able to rise above what is already a fairly crowded market segment when it finally arrives at Chevy dealers over a year from now.
Putting the Sport in Sporty
When Chevy decided to bring back the Blazer name for a Camaro-inspired crossover in 2019, it was greeted with mixed reactions. Fans of the old K5 Blazer and S10 Blazer were disappointed in the lack of off-road capability, but less nostalgic drivers appreciated the sporty styling of the new model. The new 2024 Blazer EV will pick up where the gasoline-powered Blazer left off, adding far more power and performance in what remains a practical and comfortable SUV. In fact, the decision to add Chevy’s storied SS designation to the top-trim Blazer EV may hint that this Camaro-inspired model might replace the Camaro entirely if the rumors of the pony car’s imminent demise prove accurate.
With 557 hp and 648 lb-ft of torque, the all-wheel drive Blazer EV SS will be able to launch from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds, giving the midsize SUV initial acceleration comparable to a 2022 Camaro ZL1 with its supercharged 6.2L V8 engine. The new SS trim even comes with a flat-bottom steering wheel and Brembo brakes to complete the performance-oriented image. Of course, it remains to be seen if the electric SUV will be able to match the 11.5-second quarter-mile time of the fire-breathing sports car, and it is highly unlikely that it will have the same supple handling of the latest Camaro generation. The planned $65,995 price tag is also slightly higher than the top-of-the-line Camaro.
Looking Beyond the SS
If you aren’t up to the neck-breaking acceleration or wallet-breaking price tag of the Blazer EV SS, there are three other trims available. The base 1LT trim comes standard with front-wheel drive and 247 miles of range, while the 2LT trim offers either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and has 293 miles of range. Finally, the RS trim can be optioned in front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or rear-wheel drive––a unique design choice we haven’t seen in any other EV. Maximum range is 320 miles, most likely in the rear-wheel drive version. The starting price of the 2024 Blazer EV is $44,995, putting it squarely in the bracket occupied by the other electric SUVs on the market. And this is the Achilles Heel of Chevy’s latest model.
When GM revealed the Ultium platform back in March 2020, the electric SUV scene was virtually non-existent. The Tesla Model Y was just entering production, and the only electric models from traditional manufacturers were the Nissan Leaf and Chevy’s own Bolt EV. Fast forward to today, the electric SUV segment is booming. The Tesla Model Y is selling in triple digits, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and VW ID.4 are engaged in a ferocious battle for second place, and even more models, from the Nissan Ariya to the Rivian R1S are preparing to enter the fight. That leaves the 2024 Blazer EV a latecomer to the game that will face an uphill battle to establish itself with specs and prices that aren’t all that impressive.
Should You Buy the Blazer EV?
If you are a fan of the bowtie brand and desire an electric SUV, then the 2024 Blazer EV is shaping up to be a competitive offering. With a good selection of trims and features at a reasonable price, this SUV will be the standard bearer for Chevy’s Ultium lineup and should acquit itself well. However, if you aren’t a Chevy die-hard, it is difficult to see why you should hold out a year or more for the Blazer EV when there are so many equally, if not more compelling, offerings available today. The Ford Mustang Mach-E, in particular, offers extremely similar specs and prices in a now-proven platform, while the Tesla Model Y continues to offer its class-leading performance if you are willing to pay the Tesla premium. Ultimately, the Blazer EV and the Ultium platform may just be too little too late for Chevy.