If you call the 2020 Chevy Blazer RS something else, it makes more sense.
The 2020 Chevrolet Blazer RS is a great daily driver, one that caused controversy when it came out. It wasn’t just the name of the Blazer that was an issue to some fans. It was the timing of the announcement of the name that caused issues for GM. You see, it was around the time the buzz was kicking in for the long-awaited return of the Ford Bronco. A vehicle that’s based on a truck and meant to do battle with the Jeep Wrangler.
When it came out that a crossover with no off-road intentions named “Blazer” hit the road after the excitement of the Bronco’s resurrection, many were displeased. Even now, our comment sections of our videos and websites are full of complaints.
That’s kind of a shame for GM, because the 2020 Chevy Blazer RS is pretty damn good. If you call it anything else, and drive it around on the streets (where a huge percentage of owners drive daily) it’s downright great. While it’s not at the very top of the heap, it is a well rounded, fun to drive commuter that has a lot going for it.
Our RS came with a 308 Horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that makes 270 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission available is a smooth, if slow to downshift nine-speed automatic. Power off the line and passing is great and the driving character is on the sportier side. A four-cylinder and four-cylinder turbo are available with other trims, but only the beefy V6 can tow 4,500-lbs.
Unfortunately, it is thirsty. Combined, it gets 21 mpg. While that’s not the worst in class, it’s mediocre for a 4,300 lbs vehicle. I averaged a better-than-expected 26 mpg on a mostly highway commute.
Aside from unique RS trim and 21-inch on painted wheels, the 2020 Chevrolet Blazer RS has sportier steering and suspension tuning. It makes a difference in (mostly) positive ways. I love the heft of the steering, the flat cornering and outstanding brakes. It truly is a fun car to drive. Unfortunately, those massive wheels and thin rubber transmit a lot more noise and harshness than the lower-end models with smaller wheels.
Still, if you’re looking for a sporty family mover, the B-Lazer RS is mighty compelling.
Comfort and cargo
The seats look great and, for large people, I felt the front seats were fairly comfortable. Backseat legroom is good, but headroom isn’t. We had the optional sunroof and that may have caused additional headroom issues. I’m about 6’1″ with a tall torso. Normally, I have a sliver of space between my head and the roof. Not this time. I bumped my head on the roof and hand to recline the back seat to find a comfortable seating position.
Cargo spaces is good. There’s 31 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 64 with the back seats folded. I found the sliding gate in the trunk section to be more of a hindrance or a gimmick. Still, it can be useful for certain types of cargo.
Along with performance, the overall design of the B-Lazer RS is great – IF you understand what its mission truly is. You see, they built this crossover to have a resemblance to the Chevy Camaro. It does, indeed it should have been called a Camaro-Cross or something like that. Yes, that name would cause problems too. My point is, that’s what they wanted to impart to the consumer, a vehicle that more than hints that it’s related to the fun pony car.
The interior is well designed for those who like novelty. I love the Camaro-inspired vents and most of the layout. The eight-inch infotainment screen is on the small side, but its easy to use. Especially with the towing camera setup which is remarkably cool (it’s right out of GM’s pickup truck camera system). It helps with parking as well.
Aside from its name and gas mileage, the MSRP was a bit too dear for my taste. Our tester came in at just over $51,000. That’s fully loaded, but that also means it has over $6,000 in options. Sorry, but that’s too pricey for this bracket. A fully loaded Ford Edge ST (which is WAY more powerful and better handling) costs about the same.
Still, I like the B-Lazer RS and find it to be a rewarding ride. Hell, it was a better car than I expected. If you keep the options to a minimum, it could be a compelling buy. Remember: it competes in a massive segment. The Nissan Murano, Honda Passport, Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport and Ford Edge are all capable alternatives (among others).
Would I buy one?
Nope. It’s good, but I enjoy camping and heading off the pavement from time to time. I like my crossovers a little more rugged. The ground clearance and front overhang alone would be an issue. That’s where the B-Lazer doesn’t work for me. At the same time, I know a ton of people who would love on of these. This is an excellent urban ride.
This is Tommy’s quick take on the B-Lazer, more videos are coming soon!