With The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, GM May Score Another Win Over Toyota11
The world’s second-largest automaker by volume, Toyota dominates General Motors in most every vehicle segment with the exception of full-size pickup trucks, and full-size SUVs. When it comes to rugged, ladder-frame vehicles, it seems, buyers simply trust America’s Big Three more than than they do a Japanese carmaker; for everything else, Toyota’s penchant for reasonable sticker prices and its legendary reputation for reliability will do.
Now, there’s a category outside of trucks and truck-based SUVs in which General Motors might score a significant win over Toyota: midsize crossovers. That’s because, where the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is well-positioned to perform quite well in the segment, Toyota pulled the plug on its own midsize Venza crossover after the 2015 model year, citing shifts in consumer preference, steep competition in the segment, and declining North American sales. Case in point: where the Toyota Venza peaked at over 54k U.S. sales during 2009, its first full year of sales, it quickly dropped below 30k by 2014, and a mid-cycle refresh for 2013 did little to reverse its downward trajectory.
More minivan-looking in appearance than most, the Toyota Venza was a midsize unibody crossover with standard front-wheel or available all-wheel drive, a standard six-speed automatic transmission, and a choice of either a 2.7L I4 or a 3.5L V6. Equipped with the four-cylinder, the Venza was capable of a respectable 29 mpg on the highway, and at $25,975, the starting MSRP was pretty reasonable, albeit perhaps a tad steep for a market still covering from the effects of a devastating recession.
The all-new, 2019 Chevrolet Blazer has about the same starting MSRP as the Venza had, once inflation is accounted for, costing $29,995 with destination – about $25,500 in 2009 dollars. Yet despite the close proximity in price tag, we believe the Chevrolet Blazer could thrive where the Toyota struggled. For one thing, the crossover craze is at more of a fever pitch than at any prior point in history, meaning the market has more room than ever before for brand-new entrants – even though there is a bit of redundancy between the Blazer and the Traverse.
And for another, the new CUV’s name – “Blazer” – is a callback to the beloved, rugged body-on-frame Chevrolet Blazers of yore, and nostalgia is hot right now. While there are surely plenty of diehard truck fans that are disappointed to see the name pulled out of retirement in order to adorn a unibody vehicle, they’re likely in the minority. Plus, whatever the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer’s unibody construction surrenders in off-roadability should be made up for by the new model’s fuel economy and comfortable, car-like ride.
Add to that the Blazer’s aggressive, sporty styling, and perhaps you start to see how the new Blazer might be in a position to take flight once it hits showrooms early next year.
Stay tuned for the latest 2019 Chevrolet Blazer news and commentary, right here on GM Authority.
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I saw the new Blazer at the Miami auto show and it is a looker. It is the nicest styled CUV to come from GM, and better looking then the majority of CUV’s on the road.
Unfortunately it is made in Mexico so it is no-go for me and many others that would rather support our country.
And if Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, and BMW (all “foreign” car companies) can invest in the U.S. and produce their award-winning and successful SUVs/ CUVs in the U.S., then so can GM….No more excuses.
Isn’t it amazing how Toyota and Honda are now more American and supporting American jobs and communities than our own companies are?
Not to get Political at all here but you do realize those companies that you just stated are completely against Unions correct?
In my humble opinion they are taking advantage of Southern States that need jobs. If you build a car in the USA you should be part of the UAW. It is that simple. So since that is not the case, why does it matter where the car is built?
GM, Ford, and Chrysler are at a complete disadvantage right in their back yard and not a single Politician cares about that but watch out if GM like any other company builds something in Mexico or Canada. It’s either we care as a country for the UAW and we stand up for them united or we do not, Cannot have it both ways in my mind.
Easy Tokyo Rose, you may want to lay off the sake. Honda and Toyota will never be any more than what they are now. Foreign car companies!
Chevrolet broke some rules with the design of the 2019 Blazer as it looks nothing like it’s namesake of yesteryear and appears to borrow some design cues of the Camaro; the Blazer should appeal to buyers of both gender which means Chevy having another winner.
Except GMA seems so bent on trying to promote this vehicle, almost in a used-car-salesman sort of way. And never shows the lower priced models, only the top tier, most expensive version that most people cant afford and wont buy.
The more I see Photos of the new Blazer, the more I see how it fits between the Traverse and Equinox, but with styling pointed toward much more sport and performance than all other GM crossovers.
I’d bet that some higher output engines and suspension options from GM will follow this key vehicle.
Looks like a glorified Equinox. No, thank you.
Are we looking at the same picture above?
I think the make or break decisions will be with the interior: is the quality as good as the Japanese or German models? I’ve been disappointed with the level of refinement and sophistication of direct competitors. GM unfortunately seems a step behind in many cases. Yes I know Chevrolet is the entry level, but then so is Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc. and they do a beautiful job.
I agree 100% with you. When will GM realize it is the interior, interior, interior, and technology that sell cars today.