Daring model alone can’t muscle Chevy’s new Blazer EV to the pinnacle of its class


Front three quarter view of a 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Tendencies

They are saying good issues come to those that wait. Normal Motors is hoping prospects will take that maxim to coronary heart.

The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, an electrical crossover SUV sharing the identify of a equally sized gasoline mannequin, however nothing else, was first proven in the summertime of 2022 and quietly entered manufacturing just a few months in the past. However few vehicles have made it to prospects on account of manufacturing points which have plagued not simply the Blazer, however all of GM’s new EVs, which use a shared part set branded Ultium that’s proving difficult to scale up.

Chevy is already late to the sport, as rival crossovers just like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Kia EV6 have been in showrooms for a while. The Blazer EV will at the least be obtainable in a big selection of configurations, ultimately, however for now we’re trying out the Blazer EV RS — the primary model to enter manufacturing. Whereas Chevy has mentioned the Blazer EV could have a base worth as little as $44,995, the variations we drove had been within the $60,000 vary.

Design and inside

Interior of a 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Tendencies

The Blazer identify originated with boxy off-roaders, however Chevy used the trendy gasoline Blazer — a mall crawler with no off-road pretensions — as a design start line for the Blazer EV. The electrical mannequin takes the present gasoline Blazer’s smooth styling parts and stretches them over a devoted EV platform. Whereas the EV seems longer and decrease than the gasoline Blazer — typically an excellent factor in automotive styling — it has considerably odd proportions. And whereas distinctive, some design touches just like the curvaceous fenders and angry-looking entrance fascia may not be to everybody’s liking.

The Blazer EV seems a bit extra SUV-like than the rival Ford Mustang Mach-E and Kia EV6 — and that is perhaps its biggest design asset. The Ford and Kia’s SUV-ness is essentially all the way down to advertising, however the Blazer EV really has the SUV look. It’s additionally for much longer and wider than the Ford and Kia, giving it extra visible presence.

With the outside and inside, Chevy took a special design method in comparison with rivals.

The Chevy additionally seems like a real SUV from behind the wheel, though not essentially in a great way. It feels huge, partially as a result of the motive force is seated very far again behind a deep dashboard and beneath excessive sills. The bigger footprint additionally doesn’t actually translate to extra inside house. Headroom and legroom in each rows are fairly near that of the Mach-E and EV6. With its rear seats in place, the Chevy has barely extra cargo house than the Kia, however lower than the Ford. The 2 American EVs have about the identical quantity of cargo house with their rear seats folded, however the Ford additionally has a considerable frunk.

Like the outside, the inside design takes a special method in comparison with rivals. The Mach-E and EV6 interiors provide pleasing, however restrained minimalism. The Blazer EV takes issues much less critically, with large spherical air vents and lightning bolt-like slashes within the doorways. RS fashions like our take a look at vehicles are additionally obtainable with riotous pink leather-based upholstery. Some components, significantly the limp stalk that serves as shifter, didn’t really feel worthy of the Blazer EV RS’ roughly $60,000 asking worth. However that was greater than made up for by a enjoyable and characterful aesthetic that basically stands out.

Tech, infotainment, and driver help

Dashboard of a 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Tendencies

The Blazer EV debuts Chevy’s next-generation infotainment system, constructed round a regular 17.7-inch touchscreen and 11.0-inch digital instrument cluster with Google Constructed-in options. Controversially, GM is phasing out Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, so drivers shall be locked into utilizing the default interface. That can grow to be the norm for all future GM EVs. Different manufacturers, akin to Polestar and Volvo, have additionally gone the Google route, however are persevering with to supply Apple CarPlay as an possibility as effectively.

Not that there’s something flawed with the Google-based interface. As a result of the central touchscreen is so huge, it’s nearly like utilizing Google Maps or different apps on a laptop computer or pill. Besides, in fact, you’re sitting off-center and attempting to press on-screen icons in a shifting car. The display screen is tilted towards the motive force, which doesn’t make it a lot simpler to make use of whereas driving, however does make issues extra awkward for the entrance passenger, who has to succeed in over additional. Google Assistant voice recognition and a few bodily buttons and knobs for local weather management and audio quantity assist, although.

The Google-based interface is nearly like utilizing a laptop computer or pill.

Past the screens, Chevy goals for a extra Tesla-like expertise with new options that shall be added over time through over-the-air (OTA) updates. The brand new infotainment system additionally permits for extra elaborate route planning that comes with charging stops and automated preconditioning of the battery to make sure most charging energy if you arrive. These options may show helpful to Blazer EV homeowners, however they’re past the scope of this primary drive. We skilled a fairly good infotainment system, however one which isn’t vastly completely different from the assorted different screen-centric interfaces already on the market.

Commonplace driver-assist options embody automated emergency braking (with a pedestrian-detection function), ahead collision warning, a following distance indicator, lane preserve help, lane departure warning, and automated excessive beams. Reverse automated braking and park help are non-obligatory, as is GM’s Tremendous Cruise hands-free freeway driving system. Our take a look at vehicles weren’t geared up with Tremendous Cruise, which may management steering, acceleration, and braking on premapped stretches of freeway, however previous expertise in different GM autos has proven it to be a really succesful driver-assist system.

Driving expertise

Rear three quarter view of a 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Tendencies

The Blazer EV’s spec sheet has extra choices than the menu at Chipotle. Manufacturing began with a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain rated at 288 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque, and that possibility comes with an 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack. By the point you learn this, Chevy must be on the verge of beginning deliveries of single-motor rear-wheel drive fashions, which, unusually, have extra energy (340 hp and 325 lb-ft) and a bigger 102-kilowatt-hour pack.

However that’s not all. Chevy plans to bracket these two powertrains, which can be found on the LT and RS trim ranges, with two extra very completely different choices. A single-motor front-wheel drive model of the LT will arrive for the 2025 mannequin yr at what Chevy claims shall be a lower cost level than the rear-wheel drive LT.

The Blazer EV RS can hold with rivals in terms of the driving expertise.

And in spring 2024, Chevy will launch a Blazer EV SS (brief for Tremendous Sport) efficiency mannequin boasting 557 hp and 648 lb-ft of torque. It should do zero to 60 mph in lower than 4.0 seconds courtesy of the Broad Open Watts (WOW) launch mode shared with the Silverado EV pickup truck. That would put the SS in the identical efficiency vary because the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Efficiency Version and Kia EV6 GT, which do zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and three.4 seconds, respectively. The SS additionally will get some chassis upgrades, together with sportier suspension tuning and upgraded brakes.

For now, the Blazer EV RS can hold with rivals just like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Kia EV6 in terms of the driving expertise. Each the rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive fashions felt fairly fast, though they lacked the explosive acceleration that’s grow to be a typical EV social gathering trick. The all-wheel drive mannequin we examined greater than made up for its relative lack of energy with superior traction, pulling extra strongly off the road. The rear-wheel drive mannequin, however, appeared to have hassle managing its energy.

Regardless of its appreciable dimension and weight, the Blazer EV additionally felt at residence on tight, twisty roads — extra so than an arguably sportier Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV we drove on related roads just a few months earlier than our Blazer drive. The Chevy was capable of stream from nook to nook with as a lot grace as a giant, heavy electrical SUV can muster. That’s primarily all the way down to well-tuned steering that responded shortly to inputs. Chevy’s trademark regenerative braking paddle — which you’ll pull for an instantaneous little bit of deceleration — additionally helped.

The Blazer EV was additionally remarkably quiet at freeway speeds, evaluating favorably to its extra luxurious cousin, the Cadillac Lyriq, when it comes to cabin noise ranges. Trip high quality is decidedly un-Cadillac, nevertheless. Whereas not harsh sufficient to ship passengers working to a chiropractor, the suspension is certainly on the agency facet. You’ll really feel each street imperfection.

Vary, charging, and security

A 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS charge port.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Tendencies

Chevy estimates 324 miles of vary with the bigger 102-kWh battery pack obtainable in rear-wheel drive fashions and 279 miles with the 85-kWh pack that comes with all-wheel drive fashions. These numbers are respectable, however not game-changing. Take into account {that a} rear-wheel drive Kia EV6 will get almost the identical vary (310 miles) from a a lot smaller 77.4-kWh pack.

And whereas Kia affords 350-kilowatt DC quick charging, the Blazer EV maxes out at 190 kW. That’s nonetheless sufficient so as to add 78 miles of vary to vehicles with the larger battery pack in simply 10 minutes of charging. Vehicles with the smaller pack quick cost at 150 kW, sufficient for 69 miles in 10 minutes. The Blazer EV additionally has an 11.5-kW AC charger for residence charging, however Chevy gained’t say how lengthy a full recharge takes.

The Blazer EV is simply too new to have obtained security rankings from the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS), however we do know that Chevy is providing a aggressive battery guarantee of eight years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first). That’s along with Chevy’s commonplace three-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper restricted guarantee.

How DT would configure this automobile

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS grille.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Tendencies

At press time, the Blazer EV is just obtainable to order in three configurations. The bottom LT mannequin is offered solely with dual-motor all-wheel drive and begins at $53,195. The RS grade we drove begins at $61,610 with all-wheel drive and $63,185 with rear-wheel drive. So, unusually, Chevy provides consumers the selection of all-wheel drive traction and a lower cost, or extra energy and vary for extra money with rear-wheel drive.

Regardless of what number of wheels are pushed, the Blazer EV RS seems cool inside and outside. It additionally will get few extra options than the LT, like a head-up show and dual-zone automated local weather management. But it surely’s arduous to justify the value premium. The LT and RS are mechanically equivalent, and the RS’ pricing is pushing the bounds of credibility for a mainstream model. The RS prices barely greater than a base Cadillac Lyriq, a luxurious mannequin that ostensibly sits increased within the GM hierarchy, and we are able to’t determine why.

The Lyriq set a brand new commonplace for electrical luxurious SUVs, however the identical Ultium parts didn’t produce the identical alchemy within the Blazer EV. The Chevy is competently executed, however so are rivals just like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Kia EV6. Ford additionally has its personal equal to GM’s Tremendous Cruise within the BlueCruise system, whereas the Kia can cost lots sooner. Each additionally strike a greater stability between trip and dealing with than the Blazer EV, which is able to please drivers, however annoy passengers. And no matter GM’s product planners assume, iPhone-using prospects will nonetheless miss Apple CarPlay.

The Blazer EV remains to be a worthy addition to the EV discipline, and it is perhaps extra compelling as soon as GM begins constructing cheaper variations, or if the Blazer EV SS can outmuscle different efficiency electrical SUVs. For now, the Blazer EV is extra vital to Chevy than it’s to automobile buyers.

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