Pros: Extremely Sporty Looking, Dark Tinted Windows
Cons: ZR2 Suspension is too rough of an off-road ride, fuel pumping problems with ZR2 suspension
We bought our 2-door 4 wheel drive 1999 Chevy Blazer ZR2 new in July of 1999. It had 20,000 miles on it when we traded it in. Chevrolet offered two types of suspension for the 2-door 1999 Chevy Blazer: touring and the ZR2 suspension. The ZR2 suspension is not offered on the 4-door Chevy Blazers. The ZR2 suspension makes the Blazer sit higher because you have larger tires than the touring suspension. We were told when we bought it that it had more of an "aggressive" ride than the touring suspension. If you are researching for a used sport utility vehicle, I am sure you are wanting to find out about the reliability, repairs, gas mileage, and what you can expect for overall performance from buying a used 1999 Chevy Blazer.
Automatic transmission with overdrive
Vortec 6 cylinder engine 190 hp (tune-ups at 100,000 miles)
Instra-trac 4x4 transfer case (pushbuttons on the dashboard)
Driver and passenger air bag
AM/FM stereo with CD player and 4 speakers
19-gallon fuel tank
Front tow recovery hooks (very useful)
Four wheel anti-lock brakes
ZR2 suspension (rough ride)
Deep tinted glass (really dark on rear sides and hatch for privacy)
LS trim consisting of: tilt steering wheel, cruise control, power windows and door locks
Heated outside mirrors
Driver's seat 6-way power adjuster
Rear defroster and wiper
Remote keyless entry with alarm and panic alarm
Overhead console consisting of LED outside temperature display and directional heading
Sliding electric sunroof
Outside spare wheel and tire carrier mounted on rear with cover
Underbody shield package
Tires 31 x 10.5
The 1999 Chevy Blazer ZR2 drives and rides as smooth as a car as long as you are on a paved highway. Taking this rig off-road is another story and if you don't have a headache before going off road, you might afterwards. It takes the bumps extremely hard and it sounds like everything inside the vehicle is going to fall apart. It did not outperform off road any better than a Blazer with the touring suspension yet the ZR2 suspension cost $2000 more.
The turning radius is excellent in this vehicle, which makes it very easy to park and make u-turns. However, due to the ZR2 suspension requiring larger tires, it is extremely difficult to see to back this rig up, since your spare tire is mounted on the rear and the front seats have high non-adjustable headrests. I always had to inch my way out hoping another vehicle was not there.
The engine was powerful enough to yank out our 1999 Chevy Tahoe stuck in the ditch of snow using the recovery (front tow hooks). The Blazer climbs up steep terrain with ease as we live on top of a mountain. The steering is tight and it handles curvy roads easily.
The 1999 Chevy Blazer ZR2 uses regular unleaded fuel and averages about 16 mpg in city driving and about 19 mpg on the highway. The ZR2 gets worse gas mileage than a Chevy Blazer with touring suspension.
Comparing Touring Suspension with the ZR2 Suspension
The touring suspension on a 1999 Chevy Blazer is going to be a much more comfortable and smoother off road than the ZR2 suspension. The ZR2 suspension is a wider stance with strengthened front differential gears and drive axles. The rear suspension has revised multi-leaf springs and added rear axle track bar with a larger front stabilizer bar than the touring suspension. It has 46mm Bilstein shock absorbers. The ZR2 suspension makes the Blazer sit three inches higher than a touring suspension.
Even though when you see a ZR2 Blazer, you will love the sporty looks of it and will receive a lot of compliments on it, you would need to be prepared for an extremely rough ride off road. Getting the ZR2 suspension was a major mistake for us. I would recommend if you go on off roads to buy a used 1999 Chevy Blazer with the touring suspension unless you don?t mind being jostled around.
The gas gauge on the instrument panel was always a problem with the ZR2 from the beginning. When I would get fuel, the gas station pump shut off before the ZR2 was full. I took the ZR2 in several types to Chevy and they replaced the instrument panel cluster twice and the fuel-sending unit. However, this did not solve the problem. So, when I had to stop for gas, I was the only one pumping manually after it automatically shut off, running to my gas gauge to see if it was full, pump more, run again to check the gauge since the majority of the time it was too noisy to hear the gas gurgle up to the top as you are pumping. Apparently this was a design flaw with the ZR2 Blazers.
Explanation on Recommendation
Our family really loves Chevy Blazers and highly recommend the 1999 Chevy Blazer with the touring suspension but not the ZR2 suspension. We have a 1997 Chevy Blazer and also a 2002 Chevy Blazer both with the touring suspension.
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Thanks for reading my review and I hope you have found this helpful in your decision-making.