With the birth of the Ford Bronco in 1966, Chevy needed to throw down something amazing to compete; the result was the Blazer, which hit dealerships in 1969. Although the Blazer was in many ways very similar to the Bronco, it was clearly bigger, offering more interior space for passengers and cargo. The downside was the trade-off between size and off-road readiness. Nevertheless, off-road fanatics were somehow drawn to the Blazer, and it quickly gained popularity. Since then, the Blazer has gone through an enormous amount of changes over the years. The refreshed 2022 Chevy Blazer promises to be a popular choice, and it has a lot going for it. As with any new model, there will be choices you have to make when shopping for one for your personal use. For example, there are color choices, trim choices, and you have to decide if you want the four-cylinder engine or the V6.
Are Four-Cylinders Bad?
As Americans, we always want the best for ourselves, which often means choosing things that are bigger and more powerful. We are all too eager to choose the air conditioner with 10,000 BTUs over the AC unit with 5,000 BTUs. The problem is that sometimes the smaller choice is the smart choice. You see, you will be spending more money on the more robust AC unit, which you might not even need. On the other hand, if you are cooling 700 square feet of space, the 5,000 BTU option is plenty. Not only will you save money on the upfront purchase, but you will also save money on your utility bills every month.
When choosing between the four-cylinder and V6 when shopping for your Blazer, you need to avoid the bigger is better pitfall. Long ago, when engines were labeled by cubic inches, the phrase “there is no replacement for displacement” was thrown around by muscle car fanatics. That is, the 350 cubic inch engine was bigger and better than the 327. But if you really wanted to go for broke, you would certainly opt for the big block 454 cubic inch gas guzzler offered in such models as the Nova and Chevelle.
That logic makes sense on the surface, but a bigger engine doesn’t always mean more power. Although the 327 was smaller than the 350 engine, it also is the most powerful small-block engine ever produced. The L84 boasted 375 horsepower and would beat out many of the big-block 350s head to head. But we digress; we are here to help you choose between a four or six-cylinder engine, not dream about the days of 454s and 327s.
What is the Difference?
Obviously, a four-cylinder engine has four cylinders while a V6 has six cylinders, but it goes beyond that. The larger engine option in the Blazer is a 3.6L LGX engine. Simple and reliable, this is your typical modern V6 with a lightweight aluminum block and efficient double overhead cam design. The four-cylinder option is something different. A 2.0L LSY Ecotec engine, the Blazer’s four-cylinder is a bit more modern, and more importantly, sports a turbocharger.
While back in the day it was fairly true that there was no replacement for displacement, efficient and reliable modern turbochargers have largely rendered that saying a thing of the past. A turbocharger is a form of forced induction – effectively using a large fan (the “turbo”) to push even more air into the engine than the nominal displacement would allow for and evening the playing field between the two engine options.
Now, the 2022 Blazer’s V6 is still more powerful, offering 308 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque against 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque for the four-cylinder, but the difference is smaller than you might imagine. It will feel even smaller out in the real world since turbocharged engines deliver their power lower in the rev range than naturally aspirated options. While the Blazer’s four-cylinder hits peak torque at just 1500 rpm – barely above idle, you won’t get all the muscle out of the V6 until you are up at 5000 rpm.
In the end, the V6 is still the more capable engine, but don’t discount the four-cylinder out of hand. Choosing a V6 means you will have more power, but that comes at the expense of a higher sticker price and lower fuel efficiency. And when making a decision, keep in mind that modern four-cylinder engines are still more powerful than older V6 engines. In fact, the big 350 cubic inch V8 offered in the final model year of the K5 Blazer only produced 210 hp! That is something to consider if you haven’t been in the market for a new vehicle for an extended period of time.
Which is Right for You?
A decade or so ago, many people thought that driving an SUV with a four-cylinder wasn’t an intelligent choice. But as technology marches on, it is the V6 and V8 that have become almost extinct in many of these rides. So when choosing between four and six cylinders, it comes down to application. That is, what will you be using your Blazer for?
A four-cylinder engine is a good choice if you will be using your Blazer for your daily commute and running errands on the weekend. It is also a good choice if you will be on a lot of road trips and logging a ton of miles. The reasons are apparent, the four-cylinder is fuel-efficient and will save you money in the long run. And since the four-cylinder is turbocharged, you still enjoy 228 horsepower.
Now, if you are going to buy a Blazer for recreational purposes, then it makes sense to go ahead and get the V6. The 3.6-liter V6 boasts a healthy 306 horsepower and is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. This is sufficient power for light off-road applications, and the added horsepower is definitely needed if you will be doing any towing. Unfortunately, the four-cylinder isn’t offered with a tow package and can only tow 1,500 pounds, while a properly equipped V6 Blazer can tow 4,500 pounds, which is quite a difference.
Two Good Options
There are drivers out there who will make the argument that the V6 is a better choice, even if the Blazer will be utilized for commuting purposes and daily driving. We will concur to a point. That extra gusto will give you a lot more confidence when merging into interstate traffic at speed or passing a semi on a two-lane highway. And we cannot tell a lie; sometimes, a driver needs to feel that impressive acceleration when the gas pedal is plunged to the floor.
As far as reliability is concerned, it is difficult to assess which engine choice will wind up being more reliable in the long run. All modern engines are pretty reliable, and you can expect to get a lot of miles without any significant issues or breakdowns. However, there are several factors that will affect how reliable your engine is, including how you drive and where you go.
If you are going to spend a lot of time on the highways, you will rack up mileage rather quickly, but highway miles are less stressful on the engine. If you are commuting and using your Blazer for daily purposes and running errands in the city, the engine will do just fine. But if you are going to drive your Blazer across rough terrain, you are going to have to take extra care of the engine.
When it comes to choosing your features and options when shopping for your 2022 Chevy Blazer, there is a lot to consider. And while it might be easy enough to select the color you want and the safety features that are important to you, there are also more difficult choices. So when it comes to choosing the right engine for you, it is best if you sit down and determine your desires and needs.