The Specifications of a Chevy Blazer ZR2by Michael G. Sanchez
While most SUVs are marketed to evoke a sense of ruggedness and off-road capability, manufacturers know that few of them will see significant time away from paved surfaces. Consequently, modern sport utility vehicles tend to look more truck-like and adventure-ready than they actually are.
There are exceptions, though. One example of an SUV that "walked the walk," so to speak, was the Chevrolet Blazer ZR2. The ZR2 package took Chevy's long-running compact SUV and transformed it into an exciting and genuinely capable off-road machine.
Although it disappeared along with the rest of the second-generation Blazer line following the 2005 model year, the ZR2 Blazer remains an enduring favorite of many off-road SUV enthusiasts.
Interior & Exterior Dimensions
The 2005 Blazer was available exclusively as a two-door. While GM continued to produce the larger four-door bodystyle through 2005, it was available only to government and fleet buyers. The two-door Blazer was 177.3 inches long, 67.8 inches wide and 64.7 inches high. It rode on a 100.5-inch wheelbase and had a base curb weight of 3,885 pounds. The SUV's front row of seats offered 39.6 inches of headroom, 57.7 inches of shoulder room, 52.1 of hip room and 42.4 inches of legroom. The back seat provided 38.2 inches of headroom, 55.6 of shoulder room, 40.5 inches of hip room and 35.6 inches of legroom. The Blazer offered 29.8 cubic feet of space for gear and supplies behind the rear seats. With the seats folded down, maximum storage capacity increased to 60.6 cubic feet.
Like all 2005 Blazers, the ZR2 was powered by GM's stalwart Vortec 4300 V-6. A 4.3-liter unit, it featured a traditional overhead-valve design with two valves per cylinder. The engine produced 190 horsepower at 4,400 rpm and 250 foot-pounds of torque at 2,800 rpm. Buyers could choose between a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission. While four-wheel drive seems like a natural fit for the off-road-oriented ZR2, rear-wheel drive came standard. A part-time four-wheel-drive system with low-range was offered, though, and was a popular option.
The ZR2 Package
The ZR2 package was designed to give the Blazer the ability to tackle off-road trails. It included under-body skidplates to protect against rocks, broken tree limbs and other debris, heavy-duty, gas-pressurized Bilstein shocks to soak up impacts and smooth rough surfaces, and knobby P205/75R-15 all-terrain tires for improved traction on unstable surfaces. Additional ZR2 features included a rear-axle track bar, larger rear wheel bearings, a longer axle shaft and an optional locking rear differential. The ZR2's pumped-up suspension and off-road tires gave it an impressive 8.6 inches of ground clearance, which came in handy when fording shallow streams and climbing over obstacles.
In terms of fuel economy, the Blazer was about average for an SUV of its era. The rear-wheel-drive model was EPA-rated at 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway when equipped with the automatic transmission, and 14-20 when equipped with the manual. The four-wheel-drive Blazer received a 14-18 rating with the automatic and a 13-17 rating with the manual. The 2005 Blazer had a starting price of $21,305 back when it was new. As of 2014, Kelley Blue Book reports that a used example in good condition is worth between approximately $5,265 and $6,400.