Buyers likely assume that the most popular vehicles are also the best ones. That isn’t necessarily the case though. Consumer Reports points out that certain vehicles could end up being popular just because they have a good price or memorable marketing. Consumer Reports recently named the 2021 Chevy Blazer as a midsized SUV to avoid. It recommends the 2021 Ford Edge and 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe as better ones to buy. Here’s a look at how the three compare.
The 2021 Chevrolet Blazer
Consumer Reports ranked the 2021 Chevy Blazer No. 12 out of 21 midsized SUVs, with an overall rating of 67. Its predicted reliability is two out of five, and its predicted owner satisfaction is three out of five. The Blazer is big on style and luxury, according to Consumer Reports, but not as great for “utility.” It seats five people.
There are three engine options on the 2021 Blazer: the standard 193-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a 230-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and a 308-hp 3.6-liter V6. Front-wheel drive is standard, and the turbocharged four-cylinder and the V6 engines are available with all-wheel drive. All three engines are mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The fuel efficiency of the V6 isn’t great, getting 13 MPG in the city, 27 MPG on the highway, and 19 MPG overall. The Blazer has good handling and is quiet as well.
An 8-inch touchscreen is standard in the 2021 Blazer as are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. An eight-speaker audio system, Wi-Fi hotspot, navigation, and wireless charging are available features.
Car and Driver points out that the base trim doesn’t include advanced safety features, but other trims have available features. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are only available on higher trim levels though, which are more expensive. Blind-spot warning is available on all the trims except the base one. The 2021 Chevy Blazer is priced between $28,800 and $44,700.
The 2021 Ford Edge ranks higher than the Chevy Blazer
Consumer Reports ranked the 2021 Ford Edge much higher than the Chevy Blazer, putting it No. 5 out of 21 midsized SUVs. It got an overall rating of 83. Its predicted reliability is four out of five, while its predicted owner satisfaction is three out of five. The Edge is also a two-row SUV that seats five people. Car and Driver feels the interior design is starting to look a bit dated.
A 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is standard. The fuel efficiency is improved over what past years were able to get. The 2021 Edge is rated for 15 MPG in the city, 31 MPG on the highway, and 22 MPG overall. The optional engine is a 335-hp twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6, that comes standard with all-wheel drive. Consumer Reports found the 2021 Edge to be “a pleasant, well-rounded vehicle.” It has nice handling and a quiet cabin.
The new Ford Sync 4 infotainment system is standard and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The 12-inch touchscreen is standard as well. A Wi-Fi hotspot is included, but built-in navigation is optional.
The biggest change for the 2021 Edge is the newly standard advanced safety features. The Co-Pilot 360 suite of features includes forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, plus blind-spot warning. The price range is between $31,250 and $43,100.
How the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe stacks up
Consumer Reports picked out the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe as its “under the radar” alternative to the 2021 Chevy Blazer. It ranked No. 7 out of 21 midsized SUVs, with an overall rating of 80. Both its predicted reliability and its predicted owner satisfaction received a four out of five rating. The Santa Fe gets a design refresh for 2021, so Consumer Reports suggests there might be good deals on a 2020 Santa Fe.
According to U.S. News, the standard engine is a 185-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, and the optional one is a 235-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Both are matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Consumer Reports found that the turbocharged engine got 15 MPG in the city, 31 MPG on the highway, and 21 MPG overall. The 2.4-liter engine did a bit better. Consumer Reports feels the Santa Fe has “composed, tied-down” handling plus a generally quiet interior.
The 2020 Santa Fe has an 8-inch touchscreen and comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A 12-speaker audio system and wireless charging are available.
The Hyundai Santa Fe has lots of standard advanced safety features. It comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind-spot warning. A warning system is available to prevent forgetting kids or pets in the car. The 2020 Santa Fe is priced between $26,275 and $39,575. Consumer Reports says that’s lower priced than most midsized SUVs, and the Santa Fe offers lots of value.
While some people may feel the 2021 Chevy Blazer is pretty stylish, Consumer Reports recommends considering the 2021 Ford Edge or 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe instead. Those two SUVs have better predicted reliability, more standard safety features, and better overall ratings.