Excited about the 2019 Chevy Blazer for $29,995? Read this first
CarsDirect does the MSRP math, doesn't find much of a bargain
About a month ago, Chevrolet dropped the MSRP bomb for the 2019 Blazer crossover: $29,995 for the Blazer L model, and that's after destination fee. The big talk around that number was the space created between it and the 2019 Ford Edge at $30,990 and the 2018 Nissan Murano at $31,795, after destination. At the time, we didn't have information on trim pricing, so there was no way to examine the ostensible value proposition. CarsDirect got hold of an order guide and put numbers to the Blazer's flavors, coming to the conclusion that not only is "the Blazer's $30k base price ... mainly for advertising purposes," but that the new crossover "will in fact be considerably more expensive than competitors." First, let's clarify the arcane divisions among Blazer trims. The entry-level model is called the Blazer L. Next up comes the Blazer, sans additional identification, which is considered the base model has three subdivisions: 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT. Next comes the Blazer RS, and finally the Blazer Premier. Once you get past the Blazer L, the Blazer 1LT also comes with the 2.5-liter inline-four with 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque, and cloth seats, for $33,495. At that point you're $2,505 above the Edge, and $1,700 beyond the Murano S. The Ford and the Nissan are more powerful, and can be optioned with all-wheel drive. The Blazer L and Blazer 1LT cannot be had in AWD guise. The Blazer 2LT adopts the 3.6-liter V6 that powers the rest of the range and makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, and starts at $34,495. Every Blazer comes FWD by default, but here is where all-wheel drive joins the options sheet, for $2,700. To put AWD on the Edge costs $1,995, on the Murano, $1,600. CarsDirect didn't break out separate pricing for the 3LT trim, the first that gets leather seating standard. The Blazer RS commands $41,795, which is $1,555 less dear than the new Ford Edge ST at $43,350. However, the Edge ST comes with AWD, whereas the Blazer RS AWD costs $44,695. According to these numbers, putting AWD on the RS costs $2,900, making it $1,345 more than Edge ST. The FWD Blazer RS is $1,430 less than the 2018 Murano Platinum FWD that retails for $43,225, and $130 less than the 2018 Murano Platinum AWD that retails for $44,825. You can't add advanced driver assistance features until you get to the Blazer RS. Yet even with the Enhanced Convenience and Driver Confidence II Package that brings adaptive cruise control and front collision warning for $3,575, you don't get autonomous emergency braking. AEB is reserved for the Premier trim, which starts at $43,895, and requires the Driver Confidence II package for $2,165. As CarsDirect notes, every Ford Edge comes with the Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assistance features that includes AEB, and all Muranos come with AEB. So going back to the Murano Platinum comparison, we pitted the Blazer RS trim against the top-level Murano. If the Blazer Premier doesn't come with adaptive cruise control, that means that after starting with the $43,895 MSRP, we'd need to add $5,740 for both convenience packages. That puts us at $49,635, and we're still dealing with a front-wheel-drive crossover. Assuming AWD costs $2,900 here, too, that's $52,535 before any other option. Re-running the comparison, the Murano Platinum AWD is $7,710 less out of the gate. And Nissan's site doesn't offer optional packages for Murano trims, but almost all the tech is included on the Platinum; a bundle of driver assistance systems are baked into the price, so you can only mop up a few small a la carte items such as Nissan Wi-Fi and apps for $450. Admittedly, we're still missing details, so we'll need to wait for the Blazer configurator to know for certain what goes where and how much those whats will cost. But from here, it looks like Chevy wants us to know the Blazer's pony car looks won't come cheap.