The Chevy Blazer and the Nissan Murano are arguably two of the best-looking midsize SUVs on the market at the moment. You could almost make an argument that their striking visual features are as aesthetically captivating as some of the most recognized supercars on the market, which is a massive amount of praise for multi-passenger vehicles. When it comes to the looks, there isn’t just a measure of visually stunning qualities being exuded by the Murano and Blazer; it’s also about how well these vehicles seem to mirror each other in certain design concepts. This makes for a good way for us to segue into comparing these two midsize SUVs in a battle of style. So who does it better between the 2021 Nissan Murano vs 2021 Chevy Blazer? Well, let’s find out.
Influence and Design Concepts
The Murano’s design concept is no hidden secret. You don’t have to search far and wide to find out that influential senior creative manager at Nissan Design America, Ken Lee, took a lot of inspiration from his love of classic Japanese cars that he witnessed on the streets every day while growing up in Hong Kong. This played a huge part in how he viewed what makes a car attractive, how the lines should capture the attention of those who see the vehicle, and how the airline business abstractly played a role in the concept of the Murano’s ability to set trends. Nissan’s work with NASA on the zero-gravity seats also helped with infusing the third-generation Murano with a strong sense of futurism.
For the 2021 model year, it’s a completely refined version of the generational concept that came out so many years ago. But even with all the minor adjustments over the years, the design language is still the same. It’s often referred to as being sculpted based on Nissan’s V-Motion concept. This includes gracefully flowing lines, and an almost romantic synergy between feminine and masculine curvature, which helps define the Murano’s invitingly futuristic look. Senior Vice President and the Chief Creative Officer for Nissan’s design and brand management, Shiro Nakamura, explained to Complex that the idea was to have a very “waving, dynamic motion” with a “floating roof” to make the SUV stand out as a dynamic and dramatic vehicle. It should go without saying that the engineers certainly achieved that look with model years from the third generation, which includes the 2021 Nissan Murano.
Unlike the Nissan Murano, the Chevy Blazer doesn’t have multiple generations from which to draw its design influence or platform aesthetic. It’s a revitalized nameplate with a fresh new coat of paint as of the 2019 model year, where it was reintroduced to the market as one of the coolest looking midsize SUVs to launch within the segment. GM obviously knew that the Blazer name would recall certain kinds of parallels to the previous run from the 1960s up through the 1990s, but the design of the new midsize SUV goes in a completely different direction than what the SUV used to look like. The two-door, truck-like approach has been completely done away with. The larger utility aspects of the Trailblazer spin-off were also axed for something sportier, more compact, and certainly a heck of a lot more stylish.
The design language of this generation’s Blazer, which includes the 2021 model year, borrows a lot of inspiration from the sports car segment, not entirely unlike the way the Murano borrowed from Japanese sedans and other classic cars to create something entirely new. More specifically, you can see the inspiration of the newer Chevy Camaro in the front design of the latest Blazer, which helps reinforce the idea that it embraces more of the “Sport” aspect rather than the “Utility” in the SUV acronym. Unlike Nissan, though, GM hasn’t been the most forthcoming about every stylistic angle of the new Blazer’s design, but it certainly resonates well thanks to a lot of people taking to its futuristic looks and appropriately angular lines.
Who Wears it Better?
When it comes to the exterior body design, it’s impossible not to fawn over the 2021 Nissan Murano. Even though it has some luxurious lines and visually accommodating curves, it also knows when to be subtle and exercise restraint. The front fascia goes for a non-traditional look. A separated grille with an elevated bumper molding that has a glossy black intersection and side indentations helps elevate the design to accommodate a sense of luxury and futurism. This is especially highlighted with the angular arrowhead headlights that start at a pointed angle and move outward along the edge of the hood; a true embodiment of Nissan’s V-Motion design concept in action.
There is a subtlety of curvature along the body, with a wave-like motion that’s accented by the angular roofline to tie it all together with the rear fascia. The 2021 Murano features more black moldings along the rear quarter panel that highlight the sharp lines of the C-pillar. This ties into a rather unique-looking rear fascia, where the taillights have a hooking V-design that starts at the rear of the side panel and then connects into the tailgate. More black molding underneath the bumper and the side panels helps tie together the design language used with the front fascia. There’s a flowing symmetry to the overall aesthetic, and it looks stunning, stylish, and casually luxurious. It works, and it works well.
There’s no doubt that the 2021 Blazer wears its coolness on its sleeve. You can’t help but note how awesome this midsize SUV looks at first glance. In fact, most of the people who bought the Blazer are brand new to the brand. More specifically, 45% of the people who purchased the revitalized 2019 Blazer had never purchased a Chevrolet before. A lot of that has to do with the appeal of the Blazer’s design; it stands out thanks to the bold grille, the glossy paint job, and the aggressively menacing headlights. You can tell it’s definitely designed with a lot of strong inspiration from the Camaro in the form factor of an SUV.
Much like the Murano, there’s a focused roofline and an angular C-pillar that highlights the side profile. Also, much like the Murano, there are glossy black moldings along the lower portion of the vehicle that run along from the front bumper to the side panels and into the rear bumper. Unlike the Murano, though, the Blazer has a tighter, high-angle rear windshield and less stylized headlights. But the shark fin antenna and roof lip spoiler make up for it. The tailgate goes for more hard-edges and straight angle lines compared to the flowing nature of the Murano’s rear fascia. But it keeps in line with the Blazer’s aggressively modern design language, which helps maintain consistency with its appearance.
Winner: 2021 Nissan Murano… By a Hair
There’s no doubt the 2021 Blazer looks amazing. The sharp lines and the architecture speak to a young, hip audience, and sales are quite clearly reflective of that. However, the less traditional design approach taken by the 2021 Murano, with its unique and individualized approach to elements like the front headlights and the rear taillights, as well as the wavy ebb-and-flow of its body lines, gives it more than just a hip, sports-car vibe. You can tell the Murano is artistically saying something with its design, a mix of different influences and goals, and this helps make it stand out just a bit more when compared to the 2021 Blazer.
Also, it’s some of the subtle design philosophies that give the Murano that second-glance quality. Like the smooth roof lip spoiler that connects to the black molding of the D-pillar. It’s not something that immediately jumps out at you, but that’s because it flows so well with the rest of the rear fascia and the symmetry of the roof that it feels like a real true work of art. This doesn’t take anything away from the 2021 Chevy Blazer, but the Murano’s design aesthetic is almost as close to perfectly unique as you can get. And for that reason, the Murano wins our battle of style, even if only by a hair.