Chevrolet’s iconic Blazer returns for 2019, this time as a midsize SUV with strong engine choices and an expansive, comfortable cabin. If you were expecting the Blazer would be back on a truck platform with the Silverado as its sibling, that’s not what Chevrolet did.

What Chevy did do was create a highly-styled, well-thought-out family hauler with a wide, stable stance and a premium look. While the exterior of the new Blazer is easy on the eyes, the interior is easy on the rest of your body. It’s roomy and comfortable, an ideal way to get you and your crew over to the beaches in Alabama and Florida. If you want to pull your water toys, some versions of the Blazer can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

And the Blazer starts under $30k, although the upper trims add a lot of the bells and whistles you’ll want. The Blazer is offered in base L, Blazer, RS and Premier trims. Gerry Lane Chevrolet delivered this week’s test car, a Jet Black Premier model that promised to take me 26 miles down the highway on a single gallon of regular unleaded fuel.

My test Blazer had the larger of two engines offered, a 3.6-liter V6 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The big V6 is capable of 308 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. The 4-cylinder engine is a 2.5-liter Inline Four that kicks out 193 horses and 188 lb.-ft. of torque. AWD is available, and the 9-speed transmission was smooth as butter. For my money, though, I’d go for the more powerful V6 engine in an RS or Premium trim.

Standard wheels on the base and Blazer models are 18 inches, while the RS and Premier trims get standard 20-inchers. The larger wheels are an option on the mid-level Blazer trim. If you want to go all out, you can get massive 21-inch wheels as options on the RS and Premier trims.

I was impressed by the Blazer’s road-hugging tendencies when the 4,017-pound SUV remained relatively flat as I pressed through hard corners. The V6 responded instantly when my right foot hit the throttle, zipping past lumbering big rigs on two-lane roads up in the Felicianas.

Inside the cabin, I found the new Blazer far roomier than I had expected. Officially, the Blazer has 30.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. Fold down Row 2 and the space balloons to 64.2 cubic feet. Headroom in the front row is 39.8 inches and in Row 2 it’s 38.6 inches. Headroom is a bit lower with the fabulous power panoramic sunroof that stretches back past the second row.

The Blazer’s infotainment system includes a standard 8-inch touchscreen on all models, with navigation standard on RS and Premier trims. The Blazer’s dash is clean and uncluttered, with a narrow row of climate control buttons below the touchscreen, which governs most other vehicle functions. USB ports are conveniently located on the center console as well as inside the console box along with a 12v port.

With our sweltering summers, you’ll appreciate the Blazer’s huge air-conditioning vents and available ventilated front seats. Leather trim on the dash had nice contrast stitching, and soft touch materials were in all the right places. The perforated leather seats were also heated and comfortable. Even the rear seats in the Premium trim are heated.

Neither the government nor the insurance industry has yet completed crash tests on the Blazer. In fact, the last time the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested a Blazer was in 2004. It was tested only in the moderate overlap crash test and it didn’t do so well.

But you should expect the Blazer to score much higher this time around, thanks to a full complement of airbags, including side impact curtains and a knee airbag for the driver. A high-definition rear camera is standard on all Blazers, while Blazers with the V6 also get a surround vision view. Standard on RS and Premium, and available on Blazer, are lane change alert with side blind zone warning, rear cross traffic alert and rear park assist.

More sophisticated safety systems like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, and GM’s Safety Alert Seat are available on RS and Premier trims. The test Blazer had all the above safety features.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier FWD

Engine: 3.6-liter V6

Horsepower/Torque: 308/270 lb.-ft.

Transmission: 9-speed automatic

Price: $42,700 ($48,880 with options & freight)

EPA Mileage Estimates: 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway/22 mpg combined

Estimated Highway Range: 504 miles