Chevrolet Blazer EV 2024 review
- The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV offers a spacious interior, tight handling, and can range up to 324 miles on a charge.
- Three trim levels include LT, RS, and SS, with rear- or all-wheel-drive versions available depending on model.
- Prices start at $44,995. Some models are in showrooms now.
Will electric cars take over the planet, or have all these electric vehicles plateaued, or even faded away? We’ll know that by 2035, or maybe 2050. Right now, some manufacturers are using this technology more than others. Chevrolet, for example, just introduced what could be the best-selling electric vehicle since the Bolt: the 2024 Blazer EV.
GM estimates that of all future electric vehicle sales, SUVs will account for more than two-thirds, or 64%; Cars will make up 30% and trucks only 6%. Hence, the Blazer EV.
Aside from the name, this midsize crossover has nothing else in common with the internal-combustion-powered Blazer of the same name (which will continue to be built for the foreseeable future, BTW). The Blazer EV is based on GM’s popular Ultium platform, a setup that, in this application, accommodates 85- and 102-kilowatt-hour battery packs. It comes in three models: LT, RS, and SS. It’s the first Chevrolet EV to get an SS model.
What it’s like to drive
Last week, I drove two mid-level RS models, RWD and eAWD. The rear-wheel drive system has a single permanent magnet motor driving the rear wheels and generating 250 kilowatts or 335 horsepower. This engine is shared with the stylish Cadillac Lyriq.
eAWD takes that big motor, retunes it a bit, moves it to the front axle, and then adds a small induction motor to the rear axle that only kicks in when you get stuck in the snow or lose your grip.
The Blazer EV RS AWD I drove was rated at 279 miles of EPA-certified range while its power was listed by Chevy at 288 hp and 333 lb-ft. Chevy’s listed price for this RS AWD model as tested was $60,215.
On a few driving loops in the greater San Diego area, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two for most of the trip. Since the rear induction motor only works when there’s slip, and since there was no slip on the sunny SoCal streets, this superficial similarity was understandable.
If you really push it, like out of a tight corner, you’ll start to feel the difference. But it takes either a cross path or reckless abandon to really exploit it, and I had neither that day. For the most part, the power output of the two RS drivetrains is about the same.
Now, if you can hold out until sometime in 2024, you can get two additional engines: entry-level FWD 1LT and 2LT Blazers EVs with 288 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque; The mighty and powerful SS. I haven’t driven either but there’s no doubt the SS will be the leader of the line with 557 hp and 648 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 mph time of “sub-4 seconds” in the SS model’s special WOW mode, which temporarily adds 129% more power .
The SS will get pAWD, where the p stands for permanent, unlike eAWD where the small induction motor in the rear only kicks in when needed. The SS gets two large permanent magnet motors. It also gets a larger 102 kWh battery, although range isn’t listed yet, nor is price.
As always, there are a range of ranges. All-wheel-drive models with 85-kilowatt-hour batteries get an EPA-certified range of 279 miles, while the rear-wheel-drive model with a 102-kilowatt-hour battery gets 324 miles.
Shipping is also very fast. On Level 3 DC fast charging connections, the 85 kWh battery can be charged with up to 150 kW, good for 69 miles in 10 minutes in the RS AWD. The 102 kWh battery can be charged at 190 kW, or a range of 78 miles in 10 minutes. This is all assuming you can find a charger that works, haha. Meanwhile, Level 2 home charging at 240V can handle 11 kilowatts.
How do they stack up?
By coincidence, I was driving a Kia EV6 GT that week. The Kia felt smaller and a little more agile behind the wheel. The jacket was wider in the gait and felt tighter all around. Chevy has listed competitors for the Blazer EV as the Ford Mustang Mach-e, Tesla Model Y, and Hyundai Ioniq 5. It’s probably best to test drive them all, but I’d give the nod to the Blazer.
One of the reasons you’ll love this Chevy is the large, horizontal 17.7-inch infotainment screen. This looked very similar to the one from Kia but seemed to be designed a little better, with Google Assistant, Google Maps and everything else. Voice recognition seemed to work better than the Kia’s, and the icon layout was easier to maneuver.
You can customize the screen very easily. Go anywhere with the Blazer EV that easily integrates charging stations. Google Navigation shows you your route as well as the best charging stations to use en route and when and where you need them. You can choose which stations you want to prioritize in your search as well, so if you like Electrify America, you can choose all EA stations, etc.
The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV 2LT and RS will go on sale in the summer of 2023, starting at about $47,595 and $51,995, respectively. The SS model will follow later in 2023, starting at around $65,995, followed by the 1LT and a PPV (police pursuit vehicle!) fleet model in the first quarter of 2024. The 1LT will start at around $44,995. I’d get the 1LT, especially considering almost all of them will be used in quiet suburbs.
Will the future be all electric? Who do you know? Get one of these Blazer EVs and be the influencer in your decision making.
Mark Vaughn grew up in a Ford family and spent many hours holding a trouble light over a straight-six car miraculously fed by a single-cylinder carburetor while his father cursed Ford, all of its products, and everyone who ever worked there. This was the introduction to objective criticism of automobiles. He began writing for the City News Service in Los Angeles, then moved to Europe and became editor of an automobile magazine called, creatively, Auto. He decided that Auto should cover Formula 1, sports models and touring cars, and no one stopped him! From there he gave an interview to Autoweek at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show and has been with us ever since.