As we look into the future of the automotive world, it’s populated with pickup trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. Sedans are a thing of the past, as we see its replacement in the five-seater SUV. The question is, though: In a market as overcrowded and seemingly endless as the SUV market, are there any standouts that are unique-looking and fun to drive? We may have an answer in the 2023 Chevrolet Blazer.
Set to be released this summer, the 2023 Blazer is getting an updated look all around for the new model year. This includes a facelift, new colors, new special editions, and new tech. A best-seller for Chevrolet, with 70,000 sold over the last year, the Blazer has become an icon unto itself since the nameplate was reintroduced in 2019.
Despite having a crossover frame instead of the body-on-frame as the Blazers of old, there is still plenty of off-road pep to this vehicle. We’ll go over what’s new for 2023, along with some of the features that made the Blazer a hit for Chevrolet.
The chief update for 2023 is the updated front fascia. While it’s not a complete redesign, there are going to be some noticeable differences between the 2022 and 2023 editions. The headlights are slimmer and more squinted to make room for the expanded grille. The headlamps are LED across all trim levels, providing ample illumination on dark surfaces. The grille, at least on the RS, has a honeycomb look to it—though the combs are a bit stretched to accommodate the wider grille. In the back, the rear tail lamps are LED as well, though the shape remains the same as it does on the 2022.
The Midnight/Sport edition will be available on the 2LT and 3LT trim levels, making specialization an option for the lowest trims. The Midnight sees an upgrade with a gloss black grille bar and nameplate, black Chevrolet bowtie emblems on the front and rear, and sleek black mirrors.
Additionally, the Midnight is adorned with 18” black aluminum wheels—each with painted spokes and the signature bowtie. It’s a hallmark of Chevrolet’s egalitarian, working-class history that this package is only available on the lower-trim models.
The other optional, special edition for 2LT and 3LT trims is the Redline. As the name suggests, red is the theme of this edition—but it’s classy, not overbearing. Red and black play off each other with perfect balance as accents to the whole vehicle. The 20” gloss black-painted aluminum wheels have a red accent in the wells. As on the Midnight, the Chevrolet bowtie emblem is blacked out, as are the grille, header bar, grille, and door mirrors. The Blazer logo itself is lettered in black, but is outlined in red to give it more of a pop.
This red-on-black theme makes its way into the interior, with red stitching against black leather on the seats, door armrests, center armrest, steering wheel, and gear shift (which thankfully remains an actual shifter). A black leather strip with red stitching stretches across the center console, while red accents abound in the climate vents and gauge cluster. It’s a sophisticated look, giving the lower trims a specialized feel that certainly makes drivers feel like they’re driving a more luxurious vehicle.
Two engine options exist for the 2023 Blazer. The first, standard on 2LT, 3LT, and Premier, is a 2.0-L Turbo, which makes approximately 29 mpg with FWD, 228 hp, and 258 lb-ft of torque. The second, standard on RS but available on 3LT and Premier, is a 3.6-L V6. This more potent powertrain earns an estimated 27 mpg with FWD, 308 hp, and 270 lb-ft of torque.
Either engine can be mated to an AWD system, though mpg will suffer—but only mildly. Both engines provide more than enough power for daily driving, and are mated to a smooth, 9-speed automatic transmission. Even better, 2023 Blazers can tow up to 4,500 lbs with the V6, and can also engage in some mild off-roading.
Speaking of off-roading, Chevrolet hasn’t forgotten the lineage of the Blazer name, which is why they’ve equipped the Blazer with a total of 6 available drive modes. Engaged via the Drive Mode Selector, you have the following options to choose from:
- x2 Tour: FWD or 2WD only, but the engine and suspension are loosened up to allow for a smooth road feel and gentle acceleration. This is the drive mode where you’ll find those fuel efficiency numbers we mentioned earlier.
- x4 Available AWD: This is as it sounds, offering available AWD for off-roading or tougher road conditions. On the RS models, the AWD system is a twin clutch advanced system, which is more sensitive and geared the most toward off-roading.
- Available Off-Road: This requires that you have AWD. The off-roading system on the Blazer is no slouch, allowing for more grip where it’s needed through intelligent communication between the onboard computers and the chassis. It also optimizes throttle control.
- Sport: This one’s pretty simple. Sport mode provides an extra boost to the engine, adding a bit of thrill and excitement when the situation calls for it—trying to impress your date for example, or speeding up to get out of a tricky traffic situation. It’s not a sports car, but the added boost is more than enough to bring a smile to your face.
- Tow/Haul: Provides extra power and balance to the rear differential, allowing for more towing force to pull heavy loads. Again, this only comes with AWD.
- Snow/Ice: New for 2023 and only available on FWD vehicles, this drive mode allows for increased traction and braking power on slippery road conditions. When mated with all-terrain tires, this mode’s extra security will make you feel like you’re driving with AWD, while maintaining the fuel efficiency of FWD. Win-win.
Color is also important when it comes to personalizing your vehicle. Two new standard colors have been added to the 2023 Blazer lineup: Sterling Gray Metallic and Copper Bronze Metallic. The Gray is much more understated, probably best for those drivers looking for a commuter vehicle. The Bronze, along with the extra-cost Radiant Red Tintcoat, begs to be noticed. These are standout colors suitable for those with a more exuberant driving style.
Interior and Tech
The interior of the 2023 Blazer is much the same as it’s been for the last few years, but with some mild upgrades. This is still a 5-passenger SUV, with enough space for people and their cargo. The maximum storage volume for the Blazer is a generous 64.2 cu.ft.
On the tech front, a 10.2” full-color touchscreen is available. It’s integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth connectivity, and features a wireless charging pad beneath the instrument cluster.
Safety-wise, the Blazer is equipped with Adaptive Automatic Cruise Control with Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, as well as Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Automatic High Beams, and a Front Following Distance indicator. This is the standard across all Chevrolet vehicles, indicating their commitment to driver safety.
Overall, there is plenty to be excited about from the 2023 Blazer. Chevrolet is hoping to capitalize on the current SUV trend, and the Blazer is likely going to continue to be a bestseller for them in the years to come. While they haven’t fully committed to ditching sedans as Ford has, Chevrolet is still putting considerable energy into building attractive, fun, capable vehicles at an affordable price. The Blazer offers all this and more.