Holden has to do something to increase sales in its now exclusive SUV and ute lineup. Will the new Blazer be its SUV hero?

THIS IS GENERAL MOTOR’S relaunched Chevrolet Blazer, a mid-size SUV built on the same platform as the Holden Acadia and assembled at the same plant as the Holden Equinox.

It launched in North America last year and has been updated for 2020 with a key addition – it now gets the same ‘I-4 LSY’ 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine as the Equinox. It’s a pretty energetic engine and a highlight of the Holden SUV.

Before the Blazer’s MY20 update, it was available only with a mild 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol and the same 3.6-litre V6 as found in the large seven-seat Acadia. Of course, that engine is a bit of a fuel guzzler and only fitted to the top-spec Blazer variants.

So the introduction of the 2.0-litre turbo brings a more powerful 172kW and 350Nm mill available for what could be Blazer grades in Australia. That’s if the SUV were to be produced in right-hand drive.

Built on the same C1XX platform (the crossover version of the E2XX) as the Holden Acadia, the Chevrolet Blazer rolls off the same assembly line in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico as the Equinox. Is it feasible GM might see that the Blazer make its way to Australia?

Holden Chevrolet Blazer turbo
The new Chevrolet Blazer… sans the bow tie badge.

Holden is currently losing ground on the sales chart. Reacting to poor sales, the Lion brand recently announced a ‘new’ lineup, exclusively comprised of SUVs and utes, axing the once-famous Commodore and Astra nameplates. That leaves it with Acadia, Trailblazer, Equinox, Trax and Colorado; the latter the only model having much impact on sales.

It needs an SUV hero.

As Holden said in its announcement when down-sizing its model lineup, “Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments.” It added that changes coming to Holden showrooms include the MY20 Equinox, but as far as anything else, there doesn’t seem to be much to excite SUV buyers.

But that could change with the Blazer, a new model from Chevrolet which has a full safety suite available, the latest GM in-car technology and now a solid engine lineup for Australian tastes.

A spokesperson for Holden told Practical Motoring that it couldn’t comment on future product, but agreed there was logic in our speculation… We also think this is the sort of model GM Holden needs if it’s to take on the raft of sharp SUV rivals on the market.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax, Carsales.com.au, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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