2020 Chevrolet Blazer vs. 2019 Subaru Outback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Blazer are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Subaru Outback has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

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 Outback doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Blazer LT/RS/Premier offers an optional HD Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Outback only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Blazer and the Outback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

There are almost 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Blazer’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

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The Blazer has more powerful engines than the Outback:

Horsepower

Torque

Blazer 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

193 HP

188 lbs.-ft.

Blazer 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

230 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Blazer 3.6 DOHC V6

308 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Outback 2.5i 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

175 HP

174 lbs.-ft.

Outback 3.6R 3.6 DOHC 6-cylinder

256 HP

247 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Blazer 2.5 4-cylinder is faster than the Outback 2.5i:

Blazer

Outback

Zero to 60 MPH

8.1 sec

9.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

24.2 sec

26.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.3 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

84 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Blazer’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outback doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Blazer FWD’s standard fuel tank has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Outback (19.4 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Blazer AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outback (21.7 vs. 18.5 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 Outback doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Blazer’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outback:

Blazer

Outback

Front Rotors

12.64 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.8 inches

The Blazer stops much shorter than the Outback:

Blazer

Outback

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Blazer has larger standard tires than the Outback (235/65R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Blazer RS/Premier’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outback (265/45R21 vs. 225/65R17).

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 Outback Limited/Touring’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Blazer has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium. The Blazer RS/Premier’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Outback Limited/Touring.

The Chevrolet Blazer’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Subaru Outback 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 Outback doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Blazer’s wheelbase is 4.6 inches longer than on the Outback (112.7 inches vs. 108.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Blazer is 4.6 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than on the Outback.

The Blazer RS 4x4 handles at .87 G’s, while the Outback 3.6R Limited pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Blazer RS 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Outback 2.5i Limited (27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis

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

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Blazer RS 4x4 is quieter than the Outback 3.6R Limited:

Blazer

Outback

At idle

38 dB

42 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Blazer has .1 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Outback.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Blazer’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Outback 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 Outback doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Outback is limited to 2700 pounds. The Blazer 4x4 offers up to a 4500 lbs. towing capacity.

The Blazer can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Blazer can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Outback can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Blazer (except L/LT)’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Blazer’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Outback does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Blazer and the Outback have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Blazer is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outback prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Outback’s standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.

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

The Blazer’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring.

When the Blazer with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Outback’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Blazer (except L/LT) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Outback doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 is only available on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring.

Both the Blazer and the Outback offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Blazer has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Outback Base/Premium doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Blazer RS/Premier offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Outback doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Blazer (except L) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Outback doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Blazer is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Outback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Blazer first among midsize SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Outback isn’t in the top three.

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

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