Chevrolet got off to an early start in the long-range battery-electric vehicle market with the 2016 launch of the Bolt EV. But it’s been slow to follow up, at least until now.
The bow-tie brand has three electrified models coming to market in relatively short order, starting with the Silverado EV pickup. A new entry-level EV model, a version of the Equinox crossover, lands later in 2024. But, it’s the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV that next lands in U.S. showrooms.
Like the conventional, gas-powered Blazer, the all-electric model puts a premium on a sporty design, while taking advantage of the skateboard-style layout of its drivetrain to offer an appealingly roomy cabin. Depending upon the package, there are plenty of features, starting with a large infotainment touchscreen and a head-up display, as well as the hands-free Super Cruise system.
In short: Few brands are making a bigger commitment to battery-electric vehicles than Chevrolet, which is rolling out an assortment of electrified models, including versions of its Silverado pickup and Equinox CUV. But it’s the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV generating real buzz for a variety of reasons. Among other things, it’s the first EV to offer buyers a choice of front, rear, and all-wheel-drive. I was invited to test drive two of those versions and here’s what I learned.
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV
- Blazer EV LT eAWD 288 hp/333 lb.-ft. torque, 2 electric motors, 85 kWh battery, 279 mile range
- Blazer EV LT FWD single motor, specs TBA
- Blazer EV RS RWD 340 hp/326 lb.-ft., 1 electric motor, 102 kWh battery, 324 mile range
- Blazer EV RS eAWD 288 hp/333 lb.-ft., two electric motors, 88 kWh battery, 279 mile range
- Blaser EV SS pAWD 557 hp/648 lb.-ft., two electric motors, 102 kwh battery, range TBA
- Cargo 25.6 cf with sunroof, 26.2 cf with sunroof; up to 59.8 cubic feet, second row folded. No frunk.
- Towing 1,500 lbs. AWD; 3,500 lbs. RWD; FWD TBA
- Roomy interior, flat load floor
- Attractive design, inside and out
- One-pedal function
- Unexpectedly quiet
- Large touchscreen
- No frunk
- Steep learning curve for many touch-based controls
- Ride a bit rough
- High cost
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV Review
A Radical Powertrain Strategy
The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV also takes advantage of parent General Motors’ Ultium technology to do something quite novel: offering buyers a choice of front, rear, or all-wheel-drive. The automotive historians I spoke with all debated whether this combination has ever been offered before. It’s certainly odd, if not unique. Chevy officials explain that this provides an option for pretty much every buyer, whether they live in the Sunbelt or Snowbelt, and whatever their budget might be.
Chevy engineers came up with a mix-and-match set of electric motors to permit this unusual approach. While Chevy hasn’t released specs for the base Blazer EV LT front-drive package yet, the rest of the line-up delivers reasonably sporty numbers.
The LT and RS eAWD models rely on twin motors to make a combined 288 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of essentially instant torque. The rear-drive RS pushes out 340 horsepower and 326 pound-feet using a beefed-up, single rear motor.
And, the SS “pAWD,” performance package coming next year delivers 557 horsepower and 648 pound-feet under normal conditions. But, you can fire up its Wide Open Watts, or WOW, mode for an even bigger thrill expected to get you from 0-60 MPH in well under four seconds.
Blazer EV on the Road
During a two-day visit to San Diego, I had the opportunity to drive two of the various Blazer EV configurations. These are the ones expected to dominate the order bank, starting with the RS rear-wheel drive (RWD) and then the RS eAWD.
Of the two, the RWD boasted the overall sportiest feel, with a nicely aggressive turn-in on the tight and twisty roads zig-zagging across the foothills of the Peninsular Range east of San Diego, and then down to the city’s northern suburbs. But the eAWD model also put a premium on the fun-to-drive factor, as I discovered climbing further into the mountains.
I found myself gaining confidence with each mile, charging into each new corner a bit faster. Steering was predictable and both versions of the RS went where you pointed with little complaint. The downside: a bit of harshness on rough road surfaces.
Another modest complaint: Considering the specs, neither RS package was quite as peppy as I’d expected, though they’re far from slow.
Like all EVs, the Blazer uses regenerative brakes to recapture energy normally lost during braking and coasting. It adds several different levels of regen, with the light setting the most efficient on straight and level highways.
Out in the backcountry, however, I opted for the High setting. It’s not only more effective at recapturing power going into corners and downhill, but it also acts much like downshifting a gas engine several gears to reduce brake wear and give you more control. In this “One-Pedal” setting, the Blazer EV would scrub up speed simply by easing back on the throttle.
And, it adds a novel feature: a paddle on the left side of the steering wheel which amps up this regenerative braking even more. I was able to handle much of my driving through the mountains without flip-flopping from throttle to brake and back again.
When the first all-electric vehicles came to market a dozen years ago, they could barely muster 100 miles before their batteries were drained. Tesla rewrote the rules and surveys suggest buyers now expect numbers pushing closer to 300 miles per charge.
Depending on the package, the new Blazer EV gets up to 270 miles EPA-estimated range with the 88kWh battery pack and 324 miles with the 102kWh pack.
I spent only about an hour driving the Blazer EV RS rear-drive model, nowhere near enough to get a real sense of whether it lived up to the promised range spec. But, I was impressed by what I calculated after driving about 150 miles in the all-wheel-drive model — most of it in battery-draining Sport mode.
At the end of the drive, I still had 40% of the charge left, the digital gauge cluster suggesting I still could travel another 114 miles. Measured another way, I got an average of 3.1 miles per kilowatt-hour, working out to just slightly less than what I’d need to make the promised 279 miles. But my route took me up from sea level to nearly 6,000 feet in altitude as I wound my way to the old gold mining town of Julian, and back again. And, let’s just say, I wasn’t hypermiling. Coming as close as I did to Chevy’s published number was impressive.
General Motors claims that rapid charging is a key advantage of its Ultium battery technology. It’s not benchmark — the comparably sized Kia EV6 is quicker — but it is reasonably impressive.
Blazer’s smaller battery pack can handle up to 150 kilowatts from a public charger — an increasingly common output — which will allow it to add about 69 miles in 10 minutes, according to Chevy. The 102 kWh pack can handle 190 kilowatts and boost that to 78 miles in 10 minutes.
Chevy hasn’t yet released full charging specs, but we can make some deductions based on the 100 kWh battery in the Cadillac Lyriq. It can go from a 20% to 80% state-of-charge in as little as 40 minutes. Lyriq’s pack — essentially the same as in the Blazer EV RWD model — also can go from 0 to 100% in 10 hours using a home 240V Level 2 charger.
You’ll see just about everything on the roads around San Diego, so it takes a good design to stand out. And I found the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV to be a real head-turner.
It boasts a more aggressively sporty design than the current gas model, and that reflects the need to maximize the crossover’s aerodynamics, a key contributor to its impressive range. That starts with a sealed grille, which is slightly different with each trim package. There’s no need to push air into an engine compartment with your electric motors and battery pack mounted below the load floor.
Wind-cheating details can be found everywhere you look. This includes the front air curtains reducing turbulence around the front wheels as well as the distinctively shaped spoiler atop the cargo hatch.
As has become the norm among EVs, the Blazer gets a lightbar with a backlit version of the Chevy bowtie just below the hood. With the RS and SS models, it puts on a light show when you approach the EV — or power down at the end of a drive. It also has a more functional purpose, indicating the SUV’s state of charge when plugged into a charger.
Roomy, Well-Appointed Interior
There’s a lot more space in the all-electric Blazer, as one should expect. The cabin has been moved a bit forward, and the EV gets a flat load floor which proves particularly beneficial to backseat passengers.
The horizontal layout of the instrument panel accentuates the cabin’s feeling of width. But it also adds a much more luxurious feel than you might expect from a traditional Chevrolet SUV. Especially in the RS trim, there are notably upscale details in the seating fabric and other materials, with lots of soft-touch points of contact.
There’s also plenty of storage space in the cabin, with a dedicated place to hold your smartphone. And the Blazer EV can store nearly 60 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seat down.
The one disappointment: a lack of a frunk, or front trunk.
Tech, Tech, and More Tech
There are plenty of other welcome features, depending upon the trim and options you might select. But, all versions of the Blazer EV feature an 11-inch digital gauge cluster as well as a 17.7-inch touchscreen.
There’s an available head-up display, a rear camera mirror, HD Surround Vision, and an AutoSense rear liftgate. The list of advanced driver-assistance systems is extensive, including automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane-keeping assist, and rear-park assist, among other features.
As with so many other new vehicles — EVs in particular — the tech push can be a bit overwhelming. I’m a serious techie but still found it challenging to locate some of the controls I needed. This included the headlights as well as seat heaters. On the plus side, Chevy did build in some manual climate controls.
2024 Blazer EV Pricing, Availability
With EV sales up almost 800% since 2019 the technology is moving from niche to mainstream. But it’s also running into some resistance.
Concerns about range and the availability of public charging are clearly factors — so is price. EVs tend to run substantially more than comparable gas models — and the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV is no exception. The RS trim starts at $60,215 for the rear-wheel-drive model — before factoring in delivery fees.
While final numbers haven’t been released, the base LT front-wheel-drive package should be a bit more affordable, in the low $50,000 range, but that’s still well above what many owners of the gas-model Blazer might be willing to shell out for. And, a well-equipped Blazer EV SS will push well into the $70,000 range.
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV Review: Last Words
Is it worth it? That’s likely to generate plenty of debate, especially if you’re talking to someone not quite ready to plug into an electric vehicle.
But there’s a lot to like about the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, starting with the low and sporty design, as well as all the ways you can spec it out to meet your particular needs and desires. Add the electric SUV’s solid range and reasonably quick charging and it stands up well in an extremely crowded segment of battery models.
Build out your own 2024 Chevy Blazer EV and find a local dealer for a test drive HERE.