Chevrolet Blazer Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

3.71/5 Average
872 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

The Chevrolet Blazer was one of the most popular SUVs for five consecutive decades, though its name was shared by two completely unrelated model lines. Chevrolet first started affixing the "K5 Blazer" designation to two-door convertible SUV versions of its big trucks starting in 1969.

Today, most of the old-school K5 Blazers have long since rusted away or have otherwise been reclaimed by off-roading enthusiasts. Chevy continued to produce full-size, two-door Blazers through 1994, after which it rechristened these vehicles with the now-current Tahoe name.

In the early 1980s, however, Chevrolet started to call another one of its products the Blazer. And in actuality, the other Chevy Blazer -- the "S-10 Blazer" -- is the one consumers are most likely to come across in the used-car market due to its greater popularity and more recent place in history.

Born as a variant of Chevrolet's S-10 compact pickup in 1983, this S-10 Blazer was a pioneer of the modern small-SUV segment. Though initially limited in terms of body styles and often underpowered, it did eventually receive four doors and better engines. A redesigned second-generation model (without the S-10 moniker) arrived in 1995 with improvements in performance, styling and interior room.

As an inexpensive choice for a small or midsize SUV, a second-generation Chevy Blazer might be worth a look. However, compared to other vehicles of the time, this Blazer was let down by average driving dynamics, middling comfort and poor crash test scores.

Most Recent Chevrolet Blazer

The second-generation Chevrolet Blazer was produced from 1995 to 2005. In terms of size, it was bigger than its predecessor but smaller than competing midsize SUVs like the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The two-door version was sold throughout the model run, but the four-door was discontinued after 2004, with fleet sales continuing through '05. If you encounter an '05 four-door Blazer on the used market, chances are it used to be a rental car. (Consumers should note that four-door Blazers from this era are unrelated to the superseding TrailBlazer that arrived for '02.)

The second-gen Chevy Blazer's mechanicals were largely consistent throughout its lifetime. Under the hood was a 4.3-liter V6 producing 190 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. It was typically connected to a smooth-shifting four-speed automatic, though a five-speed manual transmission was available on two-door models. Rear-wheel drive (2WD) and four-wheel drive were offered.

The Blazer initially came in three trim lines: base, LS and LT. The base model started with little more than a radio, air-conditioning and antilock brakes, but the LS added the features most consumers expected: power windows and locks, a tilt steering wheel, a folding rear seat and cruise control. The luxurious four-door-only LT upgraded to leather upholstery, a power driver seat, a more deluxe stereo and an overhead console. A "TrailBlazer" trim line with two-tone leather and unique styling became the new range-topper in 1999. Chevrolet realigned the trim levels in 2000, dropping the base model and de-contenting the LT (leather seats became optional). In model year 2001 the Blazer Xtreme arrived. This 2WD, two-door model had a low-riding sport suspension, deep-dish wheels, a monochromatic exterior and tinted windows.

In our initial reviews of the Chevrolet Blazer, we found it quick (thanks to its robust V6), fun to drive around town, comfortable to ride in and decently capable off-road. However, as better competitors emerged, the Blazer's handling seemed sloppy and vague and its turning circle wide. We also found that rear-seat comfort was lacking due to a low bench and inadequate foot room. Other faults included spotty build quality and low-grade interior plastics.

Of the few changes to affect the Chevy Blazer during its long life, the most crucial came in 1998 when it gained revised inner and outer styling, four-wheel antilock disc brakes and a passenger-side front airbag. The addition of a second airbag is especially important in light of the Blazer's very poor NHTSA one-star frontal crash test score for the passenger in prior years. After the revision, the score jumped to four. Another major change came for the 1999 model year when Chevrolet introduced a new AutoTrac four-wheel-drive system that could automatically sense wheel slippage and send power to the axle with the most traction.

Past Chevrolet Blazer models

The original Chevrolet S-10 Blazer was produced from 1983 to 1994. Through much of the 1980s, it relied on a variety of four-cylinder and V6 engines, all with meager outputs. The S-10 Blazer's first big improvement came in 1988 when it gained an optional 4.3-liter V6 with 160 hp. That V6 finally became standard in 1990.

The Chevrolet S-10 Blazer's second major improvement came in 1991 when Chevy introduced a four-door version based on a slightly longer body. This certainly helped improve the vehicle's appeal, as did an optional "Enhanced" version of the V6 engine that brought horsepower to 200.

Though popular, the S-10 Blazer was increasingly outclassed as the 1990s came about. In particular, the Blazer's sloppy handling, harsh ride, cramped backseat and poorly designed controls made it look crude compared to newer designs like the the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Pathfinder of the time.

As for the full-size Chevrolet Blazer, the best models from the early '90s to look at would be those built from 1992 to 1994. These redesigned models were built using GM's then-new full-size truck platform. A 200-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 powered nearly all Blazers of this generation, though a 6.5-liter turbodiesel V8 with 180 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque was optional for '94. Four-wheel drive was standard across the board. In 1995, Chevy changed this model's name to Tahoe and introduced a four-door body, which in short time proved to be far more popular than the two-door.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 872.00
  • 1998 Chevy Blazer LS 4WD 2 door (4.3L) - 1998 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    Its not that bad of a truck. I haven't had the best experience with this truck because of the lack of maintenance by the previous owner. I know most of the blazers don't have my problems. But a common problem for the blazers has happened to mine which would be the levers on the seats. Truck is like a beater truck. Engages into 4WD and works great but has problems coming out. Engine is pretty strong. Takes off pretty quick for a 6 cylinder. Makes all kinds of squeaking noises and rear is ready to go. Had to put a new A/C system in the truck including a right-rear axle seal bearing. Like i said the previous owner did not take care of it and abused it. So most blazers most likely will not have this problem. If this truck wasn't abused like it was i would feel strong about the truck. But any vehicle that you abuse will be messed up.

  • Little SUV tank! - 2005 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    Gone places that blazer should have never went. Its a little mountain climber, Sand hills, mud, and snow. all around the blazers gas MPG isnt to bad for a SUV. had to fix a water pump but that was my fault. it got clogged and water couldn't move to the pump. Other then the water pump. This vehicle is a tank for having 151000 miles on her. Its perfect for fitting sub-woofers in the back and easy to find places to install the wires. Just off the battery im running 1200 watts for two 12's. and the volts stand strong. Still have stock alternator. Really loud. This SUV is worth it. Love my Blazer.

  • BLAZER XTREME - 2001 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    I purchased a 2001 blazer xtreme in 2005 with 55,000 miles which i still own (176,000 miles now). I loved my blazer since day 1 and have to say it, I took my brother's 2013 honda civic to Santa Cruz and is this thing as fun to drive as my xtreme, NOT even close. For a chassis used for decades by GM on their blazer it is a outstanding small sporty SUV. Ones again, super fun to drive.

  • My sweet little OJ - 2000 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    I bought a white 2dr 2000 Chevy Blazer (yes called OJ because my mom thought it was a bronco) with 148k on it and it's been pretty great. It's very responsive to turning, acceleration is a little slow sometimes but once it gets warmed up it shifts really smoothly. No problems with the engine although we did find out later that we were driving without brakepads for almost nine months and the car still managed to not kill us. It's very spacious with the seats down in the back. The car is pretty comfortable and a great size, I tend to think of it as a lifted sedan. Pretty much a gas guzzler, averaging around 20 mpg. Sometimes it won't shift out of 4 wheel drive and the CD player doesn't work half the time, which are apparently common problems with the car. Otherwise no issues. I love it to death and would recommend it for anyone who needs a car with some cargo space or as aa starter car. They are really cheap so believe me it's a steal.

  • Best vehicle ever owned - still love it! - 2001 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    We purchased this 2001 Blazer with the special Trailblazer trim package in 2004 (as the 2nd owner) with 40,000 miles on it and have had it ever since. For our other vehicle, we've gone through many other vehicles but can't part with this one because of how dependable and reliable it has been. With only routine maintenance expenses, it has 212,000 miles and is still going strong. I hear so many horror stories about the newer vehicles and am thankful I've stayed with my trustworthy Blazer. The leather still looks great for it's age and I've never had a crack in the dash or anywhere else for that matter. Can't say enough good things about what a workhorse it has been over the years.

  • Still going strong! - 1996 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    I purchased this Blazer new in 1996. I now have 275,000 miles on it. I still do not burn oil and I get 25 mpg. I've had very few problems with it. Replaced the AC Compressor etc at about 125,000 miles. Replaced the heater core around the same time. Other than normal stuff like front end parts etc, I have not spent much money on this car at all. I use aftermarket beefy front end parts. One persistent problem is an oil leak. I've replaced the rear main seal twice and it never seems to fix it. It's a very small leak and more of a nuisance than anything else. I've had the 4.3L engine in an Astro Van too and it ran forever. I might keep this thing forever just to see how far it goes.

  • Love my truck - 2001 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    This truck is amazing. My family first bought it in 2007, and I am the third person within my family to own it. 14 years old, 114k on it and not many major problems. We had to replace the radiator a few years back, and I recently had to fix the rear axle seal (leaking), however that's it over 8 years of ownership. The handling of this truck is amazing, so much fun to drive around in. Great in the snow, comes with electronic shifter for 4 wheel drive, HI and LO options. Gas mileage is actually not that bad, I can get about 20 mph highway, but city is probably around 14. 2 door is more attractive than 4 door. I'd recommend this truck to anyone.

  • I've fallen in love with this work horse - 2004 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    I bought this car cheap roughly 6 years ago with the intention of just using it for the snow. Now I don't think I ever want to trade it in. It's got 140k miles on it and the engine still purrs like a kitten. The interior is comfortable and the controls are simple (perfect!). Best of all: this thing is a god in the snow. For people looking for a great snow vehicle, you can't beat this suv. Nothing scares me while I'm driving this. I abuse this car massively - driving over curbs, off-roading, putting the "top heavy" feature to the test on these curvy roads, and treating it like my own personal toboggan in the snow. Did I mention it also has tons of space for hauling? Love love love it.

  • 275,000 miles and still running strong. - 1996 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    I've had my Blazer since it was new in 1996. First, the standard mileage charts are way low. In my experience, my car got 25 mpg highway from the first day. And it still gets that same mpg. With the exception of repairing the AC at about 125K and the stereo at 200K, all I've ever done to this car is change the oil and do basic maintenance. Obviously eventually you have to do a little front end work. Parts wear out. It can still pull a UHaul trailer full of stuff. It's not pretty, I've never been able to garage the car. Paint fine, Interior still looks great with no holes etc. At this point, the dash is cracking a bit. But overall, it's the most dependable car I've ever owned.

  • best vehicle ive ever own - 2001 Chevrolet Blazer
    By -

    I bought my 2001 Chevrolet blazer Lt fully loaded last year with income taxes and have yet to regret buying the truck only problem i have had out of it was the alternator went out last winter. the blazer is a good safe dependable truck that is fun comfortable easy to get in and out can fit friends that are 6'3" and my father that was 5"11" 250+ with plenty of comfort room for them. the specs say i should average roughly 19 mpg's but I've never seen less than averaging roughly 20 mpg with it except for moving 300+ miles with a loaded down u haul trailer that made the back end drop 2" in pouring down rain handled the ice that we had last year without a problem on the highway and in town.

Chevrolet Blazer Reviews By Year:
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