Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 2-door wagon
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $6,100*


1995 Chevrolet Blazer 4-door wagon


1996 Chevrolet Blazer LS 4WD 2-door wagon


1996 Chevrolet Blazer LS 4WD 4-door wagon


1996 Chevrolet Blazer LT 4WD 4-door wagon


1997 Chevrolet Blazer 2-door wagon w/Wide Stance Pkg.

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Antilock brakes
  • 4WD traction
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat comfort

Blazers are competitive with the Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee in most areas, and beat them on price when new. Good buys also can be found in the secondhand market.

Overview

Chevrolet redesigned its compact sport utility for 1995, giving it new sheetmetal and a driver-side airbag. Overall length increased more than four inches; width by 2.4 inches. Instead of S10 Blazer, the name became Blazer. Similar to the GMC Jimmy, Blazers came in 2- and 4-door wagon body styles with either rear-wheel drive or on-demand, part-time 4-wheel drive. This 4WD setup is not intended for use on dry pavement. Permanently engaged 4WD became available in mid-1995, optional on the LT edition only. Both body styles came in base and LS price levels, but top-of-the-line LT trim was reserved for the 4-door. A 195-horsepower 4.3-liter V6 was the sole engine at first, hooked to a standard 4-speed automatic transmission. Full-time 4-wheel antilock brakes returned as standard.

Yearly Updates

1996 Blazer
The Blazer’s initial engine was replaced by a same-size Vortec V6 with five fewer horses for ’96. Daytime running lights and a 5-speed manual-transmission option for 2-door Blazers became available later in the model year.
1997 Blazer
New items for ’97 included an available one-piece liftgate, a floor-mounted gearshift for the automatic transmission in models with bucket seats, and an optional power sunroof. The permanently engaged 4WD system, optional on the LT model, gained 4-wheel disc brakes. A special off-road edition of the 2-door 4WD became available. Called the Wide-Stance Sport Performance Package, it offered higher ground clearance, firmer shock absorbers, a wider stance, and larger tires.
1998 Blazer
A revised interior with Blazer’s first passenger-side airbag and the addition of standard antilock 4-wheel disc brakes highlight the changes to the 1998 Blazer.
1999 Blazer
Autotrac was a newly available full-time 4WD system. It could be used on any surface. Chevy also added the 4-door TrailBlazer model in both 2- and 4WD. TrailBlazers had gold-accented exterior trim, alloy wheels, 2-tone leather interior, and, on 4WD models, Autotrac.
2000 Blazer
Blazer dropped its base-trim models, leaving 2-door wagons in LS form and 4-doors in LS, LT, and top-line TrailBlazer trim. Chevrolet claimed that internal changes made the Blazer’s V6 engine quieter and smoother than before. The Premium Ride suspension with its gas-charged shock absorbers was standard on all 2000 models. No-cost options now included the softer Smooth Ride setup for 4-doors and the tauter Solid Smooth Ride for 2-doors. An in-dash CD player was added to the Blazer’s uplevel audio options.
2001 Blazer
The Xtreme, a 2WD 2-dr with low-riding sport suspension, unique 5-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels, and special trim and cladding, was added for 2001.
2002 Blazer
There were no significant changes for 2002.
2003 Blazer
Two-and four-door models continue alongside the new Trailblazer. In midyear, 2WD versions got rear drum brakes in a cost-cutting move.
2004 Blazer
There were no significant changes in ’04.
2005 Blazer
Chevy consigns 4-dr Blazers to the fleet market for 2005, leaving retail buyers with an unchanged 2-dr model. 2005 is Blazer’s last year.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

A 195-horsepower 4.3-liter V6 was the sole engine at first, driving a 4-speed automatic transmission. The Vortec V6 introduced in 1996 developed five fewer horsepower and 10 fewer pound-feet of torque (peaking at lower rpm than before). Not until late in the 1996 model year did a 5-speed manual transmission become available, in 2-door models, as a credit option.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.3/262
Engine HP 190-195
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 250-260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
17/22
16/21
15.2

Road Test

Acceleration is above average for a sport utility, livelier than a V6 Explorer from a standstill, with stronger passing power. Unfortunately, the automatic transmission pauses a moment before downshifting. Naturally, too, the Blazer’s V6 cannot hope to match an Explorer’s V8 when hitting the gas pedal hard.

Fuel economy wins no prizes. A long-term test of a 4-door 4WD Blazer averaged 15.2 mpg.

A variety of suspension choices have been offered, tailoring the ride from off-road firm to suburban-street soft. Of all the suspension packages available, we prefer the “premium ride” version, which absorbs most bumps easily and produces a comfortable, stable highway ride. In fact, that Blazer rides more like a car than a truck.

Blazers actually steer and handle much like a midsize sedan. Body lean is moderate in tight corners. Steering feels more precise than on the old S10 Blazer. Stopping power is adequate, though our test vehicle suffered a mushy brake-pedal feel, as well as substantial nosedive in quick stops. Things improved with the 4-wheel disc brakes on the ’98 model.

Passenger space is about the same as before. That translates to good room for four adults in both body styles. In a pinch, five or even six can fit into the bigger 4-door. However, the rear seat has a short, hard backrest–bolt upright and uncomfortable. Cargo room is ample, improved in the 4-door by mounting the spare tire beneath the rear end. Visibility is fine in the 4-door, but obstructed by the 3-door’s sloped roof pillars as well as the spare tire.

The modern-looking dashboard has clear gauges and easy-to-use controls. Power window and lock buttons are large and helpfully backlit. The climate system uses rotary switches for selecting mode and temperature.

Some engine roar remains in hard acceleration, but road and wind noise now are well-muffled, ranking as moderate.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2002 Chevrolet Blazer 4WD 4-door

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 3
30%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 7
70%

Other

Value - 3
30%

Total: 43

Specifications

2-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
100.5 174.7 67.8 66.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
66.9 20.0 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 38.2 42.5 36.3
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.0 181.2 67.8 67.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
74.1 19.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 38.2 42.5 36.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Blazer 2-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 104
Injury 85
Theft 114

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The HVAC system mode switch gets stuck in the vent position as oil gets into the control head as a result of a leaking vacuum switch on the transfer case and a redesigned switch is available. (2001-03)
Engine misfire
Description: The powertrain control module may cause a lack of power, early upshifts, late shifting in the 4WD-Low range. (1996)
Engine noise
Description: Exhaust valves may not get enough lubrication causing a variety of noises. Usually, the same engine consumes excess oil because the valve-guide seals on the exhaust valves are bad. (1996)
Engine noise
Description: Engine knock at startup is usually eliminated by using an oil filter with a check valve. However, GM has revised PROMs and may even replace the main bearings if no other solution is found. (1995)
Engine temperature
Description: Overheating and coolant loss may be due to rough surface on radiator filler neck. Neck should be sanded smooth and cap replaced. (1999-2000)
Transmission leak
Description: Fluid may leak from the pump body on 4L60-E transmissions due to the pump bushing walking out of the valve body. (1995-96)

Recall History

1995
Description: Brake-pedal bolt on some vehicles might disengage, causing loss of braking.
1995 w/4WD
Description: A few upper ball-joint nuts were undertorqued; stud can loosen and fracture, resulting in loss of steering control.
1995 w/air conditioning
Description: Fan-blade rivets can break and allow blade to separate from hub.
1995 Blazer
Description: The multifunction switch could develop an open circuit condition that results in the stop lamps and the rear hazard lamps becoming inoperative. The center high-mounted stop lamp and turn-signal functions are not affected. Dealers will replace the hazard-switch carrier.
1995-96 w/AWD/4WD
Description: During development testing, prop shaft contacted inboard side of fuel tank, rupturing the tank; fuel leakage was beyond permissible level.
1995-96
Description: Windshield wipers may work intermittently.
1995-96 w/4WD and ABS
Description: Under certain conditions, stopping distances in 2WD mode could be excessive.
1995-96 w/4WD and ABS
Description: Increased stopping distances can occur during ABS stops while in 2WD mode.
1996-97 2-door w/manual-locking recliner bucket seats
Description: Outboard seatbelt webbing can separate during frontal impact.
1996-97
Description: Failure of an upper and lower control-arm ball-joint assembly could occur due to corrosion, resulting in impaired steering or steering loss, or a partial or complete collapse of the front suspension.
1996-97
Description: The windshield wiper motor may fail on certain vehicles. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
1997
Description: On certain vehicles, the outside rearview mirror switch may short circuit. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
1998
Description: Daytime running lights do not meet FMVSS No. 108 requirements.
1998
Description: Fatigue fracture of rear-axle brake pipe can occur, causing slow fluid leak and resulting in soft brake pedal; if pipe breaks, driver would face sudden loss of rear-brake performance.
1998 w/4WD or AWD
Description: On a few vehicles, one or both attaching nuts for lower control arm could separate from frame, resulting in loss of control.
2000 w/2WD
Description: On certain vehicles, right-hand ABS module feed pipe and/or brake crossover pipe tube nuts could have been tightened improperly; seal could have been broken, causing leakage and increasing stopping distance.
2000-01
Description: Some seatbelt assemblies were not properly heat treated and do not pass the load-bearing requirement.
2000-02
Description: Brake lights and rear hazard flashers may fail if the multifunction switch develops an open-circuit condition.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.