Like the Blue Oval with its plans to relaunch the Ford Bronco in North America after more than two decades, GM’s Chevrolet brand, too, is poised to bring back a beloved legacy SUV nameplate: Blazer. At face value, it seems as though the reborn Chevrolet Blazer might give Ford something to fear; like the Bronco, the Blazer was a rugged, truck-based utility vehicle with available four-wheel drive, perfectly capable of getting along off-road.
But upon further inspection, for enthusiasts, there’s at least one big reason the Ford Bronco will most likely prove the superior choice: the platform.
As our sister site GM Authority reports, the all-new Chevrolet Blazer is shaping up to be essentially a restyled, rebadged GMC Acadia, meaning it’ll likely be based on GM’s transverse FWD/AWD C1 platform, and utilize unibody construction. The Ford Bronco, meanwhile, will ride on the 2019 Ford Ranger‘s longitudinal truck platform, making it a true body-on-frame SUV like the Broncos of yesteryear.
Such full frames are preferred for serious towing/hauling and off-roading as they’re more resistant to twisting, and they’re easier to work with when lifting the vehicle and/or fitting bigger tires. The Bronco will thus also have the superior drivetrain, likely sporting the same rugged, solid rear axle from Dana as the Ranger has, and on 4WD/AWD models, an honest-to-goodness transfer case rather than a center differential or a clutch coupling.
Ultimately, where the 2020 Ford Bronco is shaping up to be a truly capable, rugged, truck-based SUV that can live up to its name, and maybe even encroach upon Jeep’s ever-popular Wrangler, the Chevrolet Blazer is shaping up to be something less: an ordinary, FWD, car-based crossover of the sort that’s fast becoming ubiquitous on America’s roads. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; crossovers tend to be lighter, more streetable, and more efficient than their traditional, trucky counterparts. Partly because of this, they represent an ever-growing segment in the American and European auto sectors.
But we know which we’d rather have.