Saturday, June 3, 2023

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Cars in the City

Chevy Blazer


Nostalgia sells. In the past few years, old model cars, or rather their model names, have made a comeback. The Ford Bronco is back, the Ford Mustang is an electric, and the Chevy Blazer returned in 2019.

Like the other comeback vehicles, this Blazer is far from its original 1969 version. Today, this model is a crossover SUV and family car instead of its iconic off-road status.

The model driven was the 2023 Blazer RS-AWD, with a price tag of $53,415. This is the mid-range of three models, and you can pay a little less or more depending on the features. Gas mileage is average for an SUV with 21 miles to the gallon combined city/highway.

The Blazer is a solid ride with a 3.6 liter, V-6 engine and 9-speed automatic. Car enthusiasts know performance is a big selling point. 

But some of us don’t kick tires and look under the hood. All we care about is how it looks. This Blazer, with its iridescent pearl body and black trim, along with high gloss black aluminum wheels, looks sporty and modern.

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Add the red interior accents, and the color scheme doesn’t get any better. The interior styling lends to another Chevy model — the Camaro. They’ve taken the elements such as the big grill, a wide stance and rounded air vents from the Camaro.

Standard on all models are the Chevy Safety Assist with lane departure warning, front pedestrian braking, lane keep and more.

Got teenagers? Then let them drive this car. The Blazer offers teen driver technology, which is built in the system. It helps you coach your new driver — even when you’re not there. Worried that junior will floor it as soon as he rounds the corner? Just set the speed limit alert and volume limit in the car. It tracks if the car had any forward collision alerts, and it can mute audio until passengers are buckled in. 

At the end of the drive, the car puts out a “report card” detailing the driver, which indicates how far he or she drove, the maximum speeds and the overspeed warnings. Just enter a PIN number to enable it. But remember not to enter the same number you use for your garage door opener or your savvy teen can disable it. 

Of course, connectivity is key in any new vehicle. A 10.2-inch touch screen with wireless Apple CarPlay means the cord of your phone no longer gets tangled up with your coffee thermos. Just set your phone down for charging ease.

Critics say the new style is not like the original model, which debuted in 1969. Ford came out with the Bronco in 1966, and Chevy needed to compete. Originally called the K5 Blazer, it was more of an off-road vehicle with only two doors. With its rugged exterior and removable fiberglass top, the Blazer became a best seller in the off road, adventure market.

Since 1969, five generations of Blazers evolved, and they ceased production in 2005. Since 2019, the Blazer continues to blaze trails, albeit now the trail may be to the supermarket rather than an off-road adventure. ♦

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Summer Stir (June 2023)