2023 Chevrolet Blazer RS: Review

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceWhat Is It?
The Blazer name has been around for more than 50 years, although the current iteration has changed considerably from the first rendition as a full-size 2-door SUV. The new Chevrolet Blazer arrived for the 2020 model year as a 5-passenger crossover available in a range of trim levels including the sporty RS. WE drove the 2023 Chevrolet Blazer RS for this review.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceTest Vehicle
Chevrolet provided us with a 2023 Chevrolet Blazer RS AWD painted in Sterling Gray Metallic. The test vehicle had additional options including a Driver Confidence Package, an Enhanced Convenience Package, a two-tone roof, 21-inch high-gloss black wheels, and a Storage Optimization Package for a total MSRP of $50,865. Competitors to the Blazer RS include the Honda Passport, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano, Ford Edge and Toyota Highlander.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceWhat’s New
For the 2023 model year, Chevrolet refreshed the Blazer with a new front fascia, updated grille design, and new LED headlights and taillights. All variants get a larger 10.2-inch center display screen, wireless charging and new available wheel designs.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRS Styling
The RS stands out from the rest of the Blazer lineup via a high-gloss black grille with a hexagonal design, black header bar, and black bowtie emblems in front and back. Lower body side molding is also painted black, and red RS badges adorn the grille and tailgate. Our test vehicle took the bold look further with an optional black roof and 21-inch high-gloss black wheels.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceInner Space
Chevrolet gives the Blazer RS an attractive interior that has an upscale feeling. The dashboard’s clean lines seem to wrap around the integrated touchscreen display. Controls have an intuitive layout, with climate controls separate from the touchscreen for easy access. The test vehicle also had optional Nightshift Blue trim, which adds a lovely splash of color to the cabin. The seats feature blue stitching and piping, and large round vents carry the same color.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceInnovative Temperature Controls
One of our favorite features of the 2023 Chevrolet Blazer RS — two center vents that double as dual-zone temperature control knobs – an excellent use of space and functionality.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHigh Tech
The infotainment system in the Blazer is one of the better ones on the market. Large icons make menu navigation easy, and dedicated menu shortcuts remain static at the bottom of the display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect wirelessly. We were able to sync our Android Galaxy S21 quickly and easily, and it reconnected every time we restarted the Blazer. We appreciate the physical home button below the display — an easy way back to the main screen even when using Android Auto.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceFront Seats
The front seats of the 2023 Chevrolet Blazer RS are comfortable with decent support and soft surfaces. Multiple adjustments make it simple to find the best driving position. A cubby between the seats provides some storage space, and pockets on the side of the center console are handy for additional storage. A wireless device charger and dual USB ports sit directly below the climate controls for convenient access.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRear Seat
Passengers relegated to the rear seat of the 2023 Chevrolet Blazer RS will find plenty of legroom and headroom, and seats get the same stylish blue treatment as up in front. Multiple USB ports are available, as is a 120-volt household outlet. The flat floor provides a bit more space for the middle seat; however, the seatback in the middle is quite stiff and not all that comfortable.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceCargo Space
Without the need to create space for a third seating row, the Blazer boasts a relatively vast cargo area with more than 30 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. This more than doubles when the rear seats are folded flat.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceUnder the Hood
The 2023 Chevrolet Blazer RS is motivated by a 3.6-liter V6 engine producing a plentiful 308 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, teamed with a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission. According to the U.S. EPA, the Blazer RS AWD gets rated at 19 mpg city / 26 mpg hwy / 21 mpg combined. During our drive, which included city and highway driving, the trip computer indicated 20 mpg— close to what we expected.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAWD
Unlike most of its competitors, the Blazer does not automatically engage all-wheel drive when needed. The driver must select AWD; otherwise, the SUV defaults to front-wheel drive. Fuel economy dropped noticeably when we left the Blazer in AWD. Adding to its sporty nature, the RS gets a special advanced twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system unique in the Blazer lineup. This system can split torque at the rear wheels, directing power right or left to optimize traction and performance.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceOn the Road
With 300 horsepower on tap, the Blazer RS is quick off the line and never seems to lack power. The 9-speed automatic transmission operates smoothly with almost imperceptible shifts. Except for a bit of road noise on rougher surfaces, the Blazer’s cabin remains pleasingly quiet. Cruising on the highway is smooth and comfortable, making the Blazer an excellent choice for a lengthy road trip.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceCommendable Handling
Granted, most Blazer owners will not be driving their SUVs like sports cars. That said we did head out to our favorite backroads in the Pacific Northwest and discovered the RS quite competent on winding roads. The steering provides ample feedback and brakes are strong and predictable; however, we the front wheels tend to spin easily under acceleration, especially in wet conditions. Selecting AWD solves this issue.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSport Mode
The Blazer has multiple drive modes that adjust steering, transmission and throttle response for particular situations. We like that Sport mode automatically put the Blazer in AWD, which helps take advantage of the engine’s power.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRating: 8.5
After spending a week with the 2023 Chevrolet Blazer RS, we think it’s a great option in the competitive 5-passenger crossover market. The modern look of the RS helps set the Blazer apart from the competition, and the cabin is comfortable and roomy and has an excellent mix of technology and luxury. With a powerful and efficient engine, commendable handling and the latest advanced safety features, the Blazer RS is certainly worthy of consideration for those shopping for a 5-passenger crossover.

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