Despite sharing a name with one of Chevy’s most famous 4x4s, the 2021 Blazer is a mostly ordinary crossover with exaggerated styling. With an aggressive front end and rakish bodywork, this two-row mid-sizer definitely stands out, even compared with its diverse competitors. The Blazer supports its sporty looks with engaging driving dynamics, especially when equipped with the 308-hp V-6 and the RS model’s torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. Inside, there’s a spacious back seat and generous cargo space, but some of the interior materials are lackluster and outward visibility is compromised. Those who want the most desirable features and the top driver assists will have to shell out for the most expensive models, which diminishes the Chevy’s value versus rivals. Still, shoppers looking for a stylish and fun-to-drive crossover will appreciate what the 2021 Blazer has on offer.
What’s New for 2021?
For 2021, the Blazer lineup benefits from several minor updates. The Safety Assist package that includes automated emergency braking, automatic high-beams, front pedestrian detection, and lane-keeping assist is now standard on the 2LT, 3LT, RS, and Premier trim levels. Blazers with the V-6 engine and front-wheel drive can now be equipped with a trailering package that allows this configuration to tow up to 4500 pounds versus the standard 1500 pound limit. A set of new paint colors are also now available and include Pewter, Iron Gray, Cayenne Orange, and Cherry Red.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While we enjoy the RS model’s enhanced handling traits and more aggressive exterior styling, it’s not the best value. In fact, the Blazer is more expensive than most competitors, especially when optioned with the most desirable features, which are only available on the RS and Premier. Instead, we’d recommend the 2LT trim level. Not only does this unlock the more powerful V-6 engine and all-wheel-drive options, but this combination can tow 4500 pounds when equipped with the trailering package. We’d also add the Convenience and Driver Confidence package that includes heated front seats, remote start, power liftgate, and loads of driver-assistance tech.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Blazer features a standard 193-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a 230-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and an optional 308-hp 3.6-liter V-6. All three pair with a nine-speed automatic transmission, but only the turbo-four and the V-6 are available with all-wheel drive. The front-drive version has sufficient power for getting around town and highway duty. However, the V-6 delivers impressive acceleration and provides added confidence when passing on the highway. Quick as the last Blazer RS we tested was, the automatic transmission was slow to downshift when we wanted a quick burst of acceleration. Four-cylinder models can tow up to 1500 pounds, while the V-6 versions can handle up to 4500 pounds. With steady composure and accurate steering, the Blazer is easily the best-driving crossover to wear the Chevrolet bow tie. It was confident and responsive on twisty sections of road, especially the RS model, which has exclusive steering and suspension tuning. Still, even the four-cylinder version we drove was more engaging than many competitors. Its 18-inch wheels provided a smoother and quieter ride than the RS model that wore large 21-inchers, which thudded over bumpy roads. Thankfully, both models remained hushed on even surfaces and at highway speed. The steering’s precise feedback was satisfying during spirited sessions yet fluid at low speed. The firm brake pedal immediately responded to our inputs, and the brakes brought our Blazer RS test vehicle to a stop from 70 mph in an impressive 165 feet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder Blazer will earn up to 21 mpg city and 27 highway. The turbo-four is rated at up to 22 mpg city and 29 highway, and the V-6 version is slightly thirstier than both at up to 20 mpg city and 27 highway. The Blazer we tested with the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder earned 26 mpg on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which simulates real-world mpg and is part of our extensive testing regimen. The all-wheel-drive V-6 version earned 24 mpg on the same test. However, we haven’t tested the highway fuel economy of the turbo-four model.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Blazer design is heavily inspired by the Chevy Camaro, with an intuitive climate-control system that features round air vents below the center stack. These vents can be twisted to adjust the temperature settings. The visual flourishes include soft-touch plastics and a two-tone color scheme. While the fancier models receive leather surfaces and flashier materials, our mid-level test car had several cheap pieces and mostly grayscale colors. The Blazer also offers desirable content, such as ambient interior lighting, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. The front seats on our test vehicle had small cushions that lacked support, but the back seat had plenty of stretch-out space that should comfort everyone on long trips. With 31 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 64 with the seats folded, we were able to fit 11 and 26 carry-on suitcases, respectively. There are several storage solutions for small items, including ledges on the front-door panels that are perfect for smartphones. There’s a decent-size cubby at the front of the center console, too, and the bin has good space, albeit without organization. The back seat is less remarkable, with a bin at the back of the center console and small door pockets.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Blazer comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The system’s interface is attractive and easy to operate, but a rotary controller would be helpful to reduce distractions. A pair of USB ports located at the front and on the back of the center console are standard; a 120-volt outlet is also available on certain models. The Blazer also can be equipped with a Wi-Fi hotspot, eight-speaker Bose audio system, built-in navigation, and wireless charging for phones.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2021 Blazer earned a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but the last version that was evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) was not named a Top Safety Pick. While base models miss out on driver assists, the other models are available with a plethora of driver-assistance technology. Unfortunately, only the RS and Premier get the most advanced assists. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Blazer has the typical Chevrolet warranty plan that includes competitive limited and powertrain coverage as well as one complimentary maintenance visit. It also has five years or 60,000 miles of roadside assistance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first year
More Features and Specs