2019 Chevrolet Blazer vs. 2019 Toyota Highlander

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Blazer are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Highlander doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Compared to metal, the Blazer’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Highlander has a metal gas tank.

Both the Blazer and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Blazer’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Highlander’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 2 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Blazer’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Blazer’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (193 vs. 185) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (188 vs. 184) than the Highlander’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl. The Blazer’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 13 more horsepower (308 vs. 295) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 263) than the Highlander’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Blazer FWD 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander FWD 4 cyl. (22 city/27 hwy vs. 20 city/24 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Blazer V6’s fuel efficiency. The Highlander doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regardless of its engine, the Blazer’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Toyota only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Highlander LE Plus/XLE/Limited/Platinum.

The Blazer AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (21.7 vs. 19.2 gallons).

The Blazer has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Highlander doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Blazer, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Highlander.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Blazer RS/Premier’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander (265/45R21 vs. 245/60R18).

The Blazer RS/Premier’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander SE/Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Blazer RS/Premier offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Highlander’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Chevrolet Blazer’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Highlander only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Blazer has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Highlander doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Blazer has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Blazer’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Highlander (112.7 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Blazer is 2 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the Highlander.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Blazer may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander.

The front grille of the Blazer uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Highlander doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Blazer uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Highlander doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

The Blazer has a much larger cargo volume than the Highlander with its rear seat up (30.5 vs. 13.8 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Blazer’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Highlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Blazer RS/Premier’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Highlander doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The Blazer (except L) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Blazer’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Highlander’s standard power windows’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

On a hot day the Blazer’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Highlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Blazer offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Highlander offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Blazer has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Highlander.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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