The first 4x4 Chevy SUV was the Blazer. In 1969, the Blazer hit showroom floors and was only available as a four wheel drive. It was introduced to compete with the Ford Bronco and International Harvester Scout. At this point in history, the pickup truck was not really seen as an offroad vehicle, and the Blazer successfully combined pickup type luxuries such as air conditioning and an automatic transmission with the offroad capability of a vehicle like the Scout. Not only that, but the idea of sacrificing the bed in favor of extra interior space proved to be a popular one. Before everything was said and done, even Jeep, whose CJ was the original target of all three vehicles, had released trucks such as the Cherokee with similar ideas of marrying off road capability with luxury.
It's successor, the K5 Blazer, just may be the most popular 4x4 SUV of all time. My father actually owned one of these for over ten years. His was black with the 350 V8, a two inch lift, and tires just big enough to fit the wheel wells. Luckily for me, he owned it until after I was old enough to drive, and I got to play with the monster. Compared to my Grand Am, which was the only thing I had driven at that time, it was enormous. Amazingly, it still tracked straight and managed to stay between the lines of the tiny Dallas roads. Maybe they weren't that tiny, but it sure felt like it. It has insane amounts of power on tap. Towing things like a trailer or a boat were a joke – it was as if there was nothing there.
1983 saw the introduction of the S-10 Blazer, or “baby” Blazer, which most people are convinced was GM doing their best to confuse everyone involved. Basically, at this point, there were two Blazers, and they really were nothing alike besides being SUVs that offered two and four wheel drive configurations. The S-10 Blazer was based off the smaller S-10 platform, and the Blazer was based off the Chevrolet Full-size, or 1500 series pickup. Since both were available in four wheel drive, they both have been seen on the 4x4 scene, though the smaller Blazer is a bit rarer and harder to find parts for. The Blazers of 1992 to 1999 had a Z71 option that included upgraded tires, shocks, skidplates, and other beefier items to make the truck more offroad worthy. Despite what some may say, though, the Z71 badge never appeared on any Blazer straight off the assembly line.
In 1995, the Blazer name was dropped from the full-size truck, and it was now called the Tahoe. The S-10 Blazer retained the Blazer name until it was phased out in 2005. So, basically, the word “Blazer” could refer to the full size SUV from 1969 to 1995, or the small SUV from 1995 to 2005, but not the small SUV from 1983 to 1995 because even though it is badged as “Blazer”, that would be an S-10 Blazer. Geez.
The Tahoe is still Chevy's current SUV offering, and four wheel drive versions have been available from its introduction. Since both the motors and the suspension components all have long histories, there are lots of 4x4 parts available for pretty much every generation of Blazer and Tahoe.
4x4 Chevy SUV Articles
|4×4 Chevy Blazer
If you’re looking for a smallish, relatively inexpensive 4x4 for some decent off-road driving you might want to consider GM’s second generation Chevy Blazer that the company built between 1995 and 2005. Born as a variant of GM’s older S-10 pick-up truck, the Blazer is often considered a pioneer of the small-SUV segment and offers enough muscle to satiate temperate off-road enthusiasts without busting their wallets in the process.
|4×4 Chevy Suburban
When it comes to tough, capable four-wheel drive vehicles, it's hard to find one that has as much capability as the Chevy Suburban. When you are looking for an SUV with a lot of room and a lot of power, you have plenty of different choices. The market today is full of vehicles that will give you these things. But few of them have the type of power, towing capability, and the sleek look that a Suburban has. There are quite a few things that I have seen about this car that make it a good choice, most having to do with its power.
|4x4 Chevy Tahoe
If you are looking to buy a 4x4 you may want to consider a Chevy Tahoe. There are many great features about this vehicle. First of all, if you are looking for a family SUV, this is the car for you. The best part about this particular make and model is that you could get a Hybrid. In fact, this is the first full size family hybrid SUV in America. It is like driving in the future. If you were thinking about going green, saving some money in your pocket from gas, and getting a great size 4x4, than the Tahoe is the one for you. If you get the 4x4 Chevy Tahoe in the Hybrid model you are not only investing in a great vehicle, but you will be getting great gas mileage.
|4x4 Chevy Trailblazer
The Chevy Trailblazer was intended to be an upscale version of the Chevrolet Blazer, and both models were sold side by side until 2005. Every model of the Chevrolet Trailblazer had a 4x4 option, and was one of the few on the market at the time that had the traditional 4H and 4L gearbox. The SS was an exception, as it came with a true all wheel drive system as an option. Although an excellent people hauler that is capable of running the quarter mile in under 14 seconds, its performance brakes and suspension are probably not worth the extra cost to someone who is intending to convert it to use as a true offroader.