New SUV Alternative? 1990 Chevrolet K5 Blazer

Sometimes you find an immaculate survivor but it is an odd color or low option vehicle. This 1990 Chevrolet K5 Blazer is anything but that. It has a striking color combination and is loaded with options. The truck is located in Decatur, Illinois and is listed here on eBay for Buy It Now price of $18,995.

The Blazer is equipped with a 350 cubic inch V8 engine that is fed by a throttle body fuel injection system. In 1990, this engine was delivered with 210 horsepower and a surprising 300 lb ft of torque from the factory. The Blazer is designated K5 which means it is equipped with 4 wheel drive and an automatic transmission. The Blazer is loaded with almost every option including tilt, power windows, power locks and air conditioning.

1991 was the last year of the square body for the Blazer. The last year for the square body pickup truck was 1987. The title check shows that is has had two owners and the odometer reflects 93,000 miles. The paint is said to be mostly original and shines very well. The interior is also original and has GM floor mats. I love the original aluminum wheels and the new tires are mounted on all four corners.

In 1990, Chevrolet introduced standard rear wheel anti-lock braking system and electronic speedometer system with an odometer that could read over 100,000 miles. A neat feature of the K5 Blazer is that the top is removable. It is said to run and drive well. I always wanted to buy one of these when I graduated but they were just too expensive. This one isn’t cheap now but it seems like a bargain compared to what a brand new SUV would cost. Would any of you pick it over today’s rigs?

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  1. 8thNote 8thNote Member

    I would definitely drive this over a new SUV. They don’t make ’em like this anymore. Of course my daily driver now is 94 Chevy C1500 ECSB pickup with this same TBI 350. Its Torquey and reliable, but not fast. And its a little on the thirsty side. Everything in life is a compromise though.

    Like 11
  2. Angrymike

    I’ve owned 2 of these in the 90’s, loved them ! I now drive a 2004 Dodge Dakota 4×4, my third Dakota. Of course I’d drive this, it’s my favorite Chevy-GMC truck.

    Like 4
  3. 7speed

    Well of course not OVER a new SUV, but definitely in addition to…

    Like 3
  4. Arthell64 Member

    A set of 33 12.50’s would improve the looks of this k5. These are hard to find in this condition.

    Like 8
    • Angrymike

      Exactly, I had 33’s on both of my blazers, if it wasn’t for rust in my state, these would be indestructible !

      Like 3
  5. JOHN Member

    Sweet. My last Suburban, also a ’90, was the same color combo. Only a few minor deviations from stock, but nothing horrible. I almost wish I was in the market for another vehicle…

  6. Clark

    I don’t understand why the lower two-tone doesn’t carry through on the front fenders? Was the truck repainted? Were the fenders replaced? It sure doesn’t look factory.

    Like 2
    • wwilme

      “Mostly original paint” is in the description….guess that means ‘except the front fenders’

    • JOHN Member

      Can’t say if the fenders have been repainted or not, but the paint is in the original factory configuration for this truck. The 1988 and older had the main body color at the bottoms, they changed to this style in 1989-1991.

      Like 1
    • PJH

      That’s the first thing I saw and also wondered!!
      Good eye dude!
      Who can answer this question?

      • Poison

        its not an error on the front fender if i could post a pic i would. I have a 90 GMC Jimmy with the exact same color combo sitting in my driveway right now loaded with the rally wheels and 33×12.5’s on it and its a twin to this truck besides the GMC grill. I also have a 87 pickup 3/4 4×4 W/C6P chassis black and silver that i special ordered from GM and its loaded $17,280 new i’m the only owner these trucks have had and i still drive the Jimmy daily!

  7. local_sheriff

    If it wasn’t for salty winter roads I’d never hesitate to choose this one over a modern SUV! Actually I’d prefer an even older K5 as they have far less complex electronics. I’ve owned a ’77 K5 but as most of us know rust was the only thing that would kill these.

    While this face is somewhat OK (obviously an attempt to mimic the GMT400 face) I still think the ’80down face fits this body much better. I remember that around the ’00s it was very common to upgrade the ’73-’80 but also the ’81-’87 faces to this style on squarebodies and there were even companies advertizing complete packages to modernize the looks of your aging rig. Today there should be complete kits to do the opposite! Plus; when are we going to see full convertible windshield frame kits…?

  8. Bob C.

    210 horsepower was killer by 1990 standards.Throttle body was nice and simple too.

    Like 2
  9. Vin_in_NJ

    Now THIS is a Blazer. Not the re-badged overpriced Equinox Chevy released and called it a Blazer.

    Like 7
  10. wwilme

    Sharp looking Blazer. A co-worker had the same, I believe last year model, in brown/beige and I always admired it.

    Interestingly it has rear shoulder belts, apparently attached to the removable roof. Never noticed that when perusing listings for older year models. What if you take the top off? Must have been some legalese in the manual saying not use the rear seats if the roof is removed. Or maybe by that late in the model run the manual directed the owner not to take the top off!

  11. Joe Haska

    For me dumb question. Simple answer ,Hell Yes , I would rather have this and if it goes for under 20K ,it could be a third of the cost of a new one with the same bells and whistles.

    Like 1
  12. vintagehotrods

    I’d never own a “square body” again, especially for $20K. I had several 4WD Chevy Suburbans of this vintage, a 1989 that I bought used, and a 1990 that I bought new. Quality was a real problem in these years. Both were black, and the paint was a problem, with the color coat coming off the primer, and of course, rust liked to eat them up. Not long after I sold the ’89, the motor blew up for its new owner. The new 1990 went through two 700R4 transmissions, the first time while pulling a 1500 lb trailer and the second a few months later while just driving. An alternator failed (and started on fire!) in the middle of nowhere South Dakota (actually a ghost town called Okaton, population 43). I was able to call an auto parts store 33 miles away in Kadoka at closing time and the guy brought it to me and I installed it myself, South Dakota people are the best! Apparently the alternator bearings were too small and of poor quality and it was a common problem. All this was under the 3/36 warranty. It always pulled to the right and they never did figure that out. After I sold it, the new owner almost totaled it after the right wheel bearing locked up at highway speed. Those are just the big things I remember, so there is a good reason GM had a bad reputation for those years. I stuck with GM and had the next generation Chevy Suburban, a used 1994, a new Chevy 1996 4WD pickup and then a 1999 Chevy C2500 big block 454/4L80E crew cab short box. That was best truck I’ve ever owned. It pulled a 10,000 lb trailer for half of those 160,000 miles I put on it, and only let me down once, losing the fuel pump at 117,000 miles, probably because I ran the tank down to empty too much! Otherwise everything on the truck, and the engine and trans performed flawlessly and were never touched, except for replacing the starter once. I’ll take that generation over the rough riding square body any day because GM really stepped up their engineering and build quality.

  13. Douglas Threlfall Member

    The 1983-1991 basic body style (not including front sheet metal face lifts) were rock solid simple trucks. But poor build quality, non-existent corrosion protection & very poor paint/trim/component durability when new.
    But as memory fades and nostalgia kicks in,
    Hell yes! I’d rather buy a “known problem” then pay 4X or 5X for a new Tahoe with uncharted problems, no history on how to repair and super expensive. Take the “enemy” you know vs the friend you don’t…

    Like 1

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