Future Cars

Chevy Blazer revival will reportedly beat Ford Bronco to market

New report suggests legendary GM nameplate will be reborn soon... as a crossover.

Chevrolet

Remember the Chevrolet Blazer? General Motors' rugged, body-on-frame SUV roamed America's roads in various guises from the late '60s on through the mid-2000s. Now, according to a new report from Automotive News, it's on the cusp of returning, and we've got some early details.

When the Blazer comes back, it probably won't look like the lumbering, square-rigged sport utility you have in your memory — it's tipped to be an upscalish crossover in the mold of Ford's Edge and Nissan's Murano. That suggests that it'll be a midsize unibody, near-luxury soft-roader that focuses on creature comforts and on-road manners instead of rock crawling and trailer-towing capabilities. The new model will slide into the gap between Chevrolet's newly downsized Equinox and its family oriented, full-size Traverse.

Given its target rivals, word that it may be offered with an optional third row is interesting, as despite being relatively large, neither Nissan nor Ford offer that feature in their models. Word is that the new range will be powered by GM's 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder or optionally, a 3.6-liter V6. Both normally aspirated power plants are available in today's GMC Acadia, where they make 193 horsepower and 271 hp, respectively.

Expect the coming Blazer to bigger, softer and far more luxurious than this 1983 model.

Chevrolet

According to the report, the new Blazer is expected to go on sale next year as a 2019 model, which means Chevy could beat another old-is-new-again nameplate, the Ford Bronco, to market. The latter is expected to hew more closely to its trucky roots than Chevrolet's returning Blazer when it resurfaces for 2020. 

Not incidentally, Automotive News also notes Honda is readying a similar-sized crossover rival, suggesting this segment is poised for growth. Despite America's booming love affair with crossover SUVs, the road to success for new entrants in this not-quite-premium niche isn't guaranteed -- Toyota's Venza never sold in particularly huge numbers, and it checked out in 2015 without so much as a significant facelift.