Let’s face it, mid-size SUVs are about as interesting as going to a dentist’s appointment. But the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Edge are trying to spice things up with Camaro inspired styling and a sporty ST-Line trim level. So which of these two direct competitors is best?
Engine – Starting with the Chevy first, this is not the Blazer that you may remember from the 1980’s and 1990’s… or earlier. This is a completely new model that was introduced in 2019. It is available with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or an optional 3.6L V6 engine. This demo vehicle has the latter and this V6 produces 308 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque (230 kW & 366 Nm). Because this is a good-‘ol fashioned naturally aspirated V6, the response is quick and the power delivery is gradual. You can expect the 0-100 km/h time to be around the 6.5 second mark which is pretty good for an SUV weighing 1,922 kg (4,237 lbs).
The 2022 Ford Edge ST-Line is only available with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This engine produces 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque (186 kW & 380 Nm). However, that’s only if you put premium fuel in the gas tank. At least, that’s how Ford advertises the power figures of this engine. It can run on regular fuel but of course, it’ll be producing less power. If you do spend money for the more expensive go juice, the engine feels strong enough to pull the 1,869 kg (4,120 lbs) body without any effort. But the little engine does need to rev a bit in order to get the most out of it. Despite it being turbocharged, the peak torque figure is unusually high at around 3,000 rpms. Most turbocharged engines produce peak torque at under 2,000 rpms. It doesn’t feel as though it’s huffing and puffing at rpms below that number but you do notice the feeling of getting pushed into the backrest as the rpms climb higher. Compared to the V6 Blazer, the Ford Edge ST-Line is a bit slower to 100 km/h by around half a second.
The Ford Edge can tow up to 3,500 lbs while the V6 powered Blazer can tow up to 4,500 lbs. As well, the Blazer comes with a 7-pin connector whereas the Edge only has a 4-pin connector.
Fuel Economy – With the V6 engine, the 2022 Chevrolet Blazer LT is rated for 12.6 L/100km (18.6 MPG) in a city and 9.2 L/100km (25.5 MPG) on a highway. This engine does not require premium fuel like the Edge. The 2022 Ford Edge ST-Line is rated for 11.6 L/100km (20.3 MPG) in a city and 8.5 L/100km (27.7 MPG) on a highway. So while the Ford Edge does get better fuel economy numbers, it does require premium fuel which could offset any fuel economy savings.
Transmission – The V6 engine in the Chevy Blazer is paired with a 9-speed automatic while the 2.0L turbo in the Edge ST-Line is paired with an 8-speed automatic. In everyday driving situations, both transmissions are smooth to change gears. When driving with a bit more gusto, both transmissions are noticeably slow to react to the driver’s inputs via the paddle shifters in the Ford or button controls in the Chevy. But the difference is that the shifts in the Chevy Blazer feel a little bit more crisp than those in the Edge. It’s subtle but you could notice it if you drive the cars back-to-back.
Braking – A not so subtle difference between these SUVs is the way they stop. The brake pedal feels firm and confidence inspiring in the Chevy while in the Ford, the brake pedal has a bit more travel and doesn’t feel quite as firm. Both SUVs are equipped with automatic emergency braking as standard.
Handling – The differences continue when you drive these mid-size SUVs around twisty roads. The Chevrolet Blazer drives around corners with more athleticism than the Edge. The steering has a bit more heft to it, though it’s lacking any real feedback. But it does feel more connected than the light steering of the Ford Edge.
The suspension also feels more taught in the Blazer than in the Ford Edge. There’s less body roll which gives you a better planted feeling. Furthermore, if you opt for the RS trim of the Chevy Blazer, it is available with a twin-clutch AWD system that allows for real torque vectoring without the use of brakes. For those looking for a more enjoyable driving experience, the Blazer is the clear choice.
Ride Comfort – Due to the softer tuned suspension of the Ford Edge, it provides a smoother ride than the Blazer. The Chevrolet Blazer is not bad per se, but it is noticeably firmer than that of the Ford Edge.
Interior Space – Sitting inside these SUVs, they are larger than compact SUVs such as the Chevrolet Equinox and the Ford Escape. But they are smaller than three-row SUVs such as the Explorer or Traverse.
At 6’4”, I have plenty of legroom and headroom in the front seats of both SUVs. If anything, I feel as though I have a bit more space in the Ford Edge than the Chevrolet Blazer. In the back seats, it’s again the Ford Edge that has a little bit more space. However, the Chevy Blazer has not only reclining rear seats like the Edge but also sliding unlike the Edge.
In the trunk, it’s again the Ford Edge that wins the competition. It has 1,110 L (39.2 cu-ft) with the rear seats up and 2,078 L (73.4 cu-ft) with the rear seats folded. The Chevrolet Blazer has 864 L (30.5 cu-ft) with the back seats up and 1,818 L (64.2 cu-ft) with the rear seats folded. But there are a few differences between the two. The Blazer has a big storage compartment underneath the floor and it has rails that can allow for storage separation. As well, the rear seats fold completely flat. The rear seats in the Edge have a little bit of an incline.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Both SUVs are generally quiet vehicles but it’s the Ford Edge that is a little bit quieter inside the cabin. There’s a bit less road noise from the tires and although you do hear the engine when accelerating, it is noticeably quieter than the V6 in the Blazer. Squeaks and rattles are non-existent in both vehicles.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – Both SUVs have similar starting prices but the Edge has standard AWD across all trim levels. The base SE trim of the 2022 Ford Edge can be had for $37,779 CAD ($36,145 USD) while this mid-range ST-Line trim came equipped at $46,799 CAD ($45,820 USD). The 2022 Chevrolet Blazer 2.0L FWD starts at $37,498 CAD ($34,595 USD) with this LT V6 AWD trim costing $44,463 CAD ($42,980 USD) as equipped.
Gadgets – Between these two SUVs, it’s the Edge that is a little bit more equipped with features. However, the Blazer can be similarly equipped. As equipped, both of these SUVs have power liftgates, heated seats, wireless Apple CarPlay & wireless Android Auto, parking sensors, automatic climate control, and remote start with keyless entry to name a few. But they can also be equipped with panoramic sunroofs, ventilated front seats, surround view cameras (although it should be noted that on the Edge, it’s only a front camera and not side cameras), heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery and so on.
The Blazer comes standard with an 8” touchscreen that display’s Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 system. It is a robust and easy to use infotainment system which allows for over the air updates and use of two Bluetooth phones simultaneously. The Ford Edge has a new 12” portrait touchscreen as standard which operates Ford’s Sync4 infotainment system. It too is fairly simple to use but it takes a bit more getting used to than the Chevy system.
Safety – On the safety side of things, both vehicles come standard with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keep, auto high beams, and front pedestrian braking. The Edge also has blind spot sensors as standard. Both SUVs can also be equipped with adaptive cruise control. The only major difference between these two SUVs when it comes to safety is that the Blazer’s available enhanced automatic emergency braking system can work up to 160 km/h and the blind spot sensors work when the SUV is stationary.
The other difference is that the Ford Edge received a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS whereas the Chevrolet Blazer did not. Both SUVs performed well in the crash tests but it was the headlights that made the difference. The Blazer received Marginal and Poor marks (depending on trim) while the Edge received Acceptable and Poor ratings for the headlights (depending on trim level).
Interior Design – The Chevy Blazer’s interior is inspired a little bit by the Chevy Camaro sports car. It has the same climate controls, the same air vents, and a similar touchscreen placement. However, the infotainment screen looks tiny compared to the Edge’s 12-inch portrait screen. My only complaint about the interior design of the Ford Edge is the integration of the climate controls into the touchscreen. They’ll always be visible regardless of which menu or submenu you’re on but they’re not as easy to use as the physical buttons in the Blazer. Thankfully, you can change the temperature via voice controls in the Edge but can’t turn on the heated seats or heated steering wheel. Between the two, it is the Blazer that has a nicer looking interior despite the smaller screen.
Exterior Design – Just like the inside, the exterior of the Blazer has a little bit of inspiration from the Camaro. A lot of sharp angles and a very sporty front fascia. For the 2023 model year, it will receive some slight styling changes. The Ford Edge receives a few styling updates for this 2022 model year but it doesn’t quite look as sharp and as attractive as the Blazer. But looks are subjective.
Warranty – Both of these SUVs have identical warranties at 3 years / 60,000 km basic and 5 years / 100,000 km powertrain.
Conclusion – Before the end of this review, it should be mentioned that the Ford Edge will be discontinued after the 2023 model year in North America. However, Ford will be producing a similarly sized EV a couple of years after that. As well, an all-electric version of the Blazer is slated to arrive as a 2024 model. But Chevy has not said whether the gasoline Blazer will be discontinued or sold alongside the EV version.
So until then, we still have these two and although they are direct competitors, they are very different. The 2022 Ford Edge should appeal to those that take longer journeys and require more space. The 2022 Chevrolet Blazer is an SUV for those that want a more engaging driving experience. So it’s hard to pick a clear winner because they’re both good in specific and different areas.
Thank you to Ford Canada for providing the Edge. www.Ford.ca
Thank you to Chevrolet Canada for providing the Blazer. www.Chevrolet.ca