The 2021 Chevy Blazer has received top marks in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s various crashworthiness evaluations, including the critical small overlap front test, but it missed out on the coveted Top Safety Pick+ distinction due to poor performing headlights.
The 2021 Chevy Blazer received the best-possible rating of Good in the IIHS’ driver-side and passenger-side small overlap front tests, as well as the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.
The Blazer’s two available front crash prevention systems, Forward Collision Alert and Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, also earned ‘Superior’ and ‘Advanced’ ratings in the Institute’s separate vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.
This performance was enough for the 2021 Chevy Blazer to earn a Top Safety Pick rating, but it was not deemed a Top Safety Pick+ due to its headlights. The Blazer is actually available with three different headlight configurations: HID projector headlights with and without high beam assist and LED projector headlights with high beam assist. The IIHS said the LED projectors “only earn a marginal rating because the high beams provide weak illumination on curves,” while the HID projectors received a poor rating “for the same reason in addition to excessive glare, with or without high-beam assist.”
“Though it meets those core requirements, the 2021 Blazer falls short of taking home a Top Safety Pick award due to its headlights,” the safety watchdog said. “To qualify, a vehicle must be available with good- or acceptable-rated headlights on at least one trim. For the higher-tier Top Safety Pick+, good or acceptable headlights must come standard across all trims.”
Some of the 2021 Chevy Blazer’s direct rivals already received the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ rating, including the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Palisade, Mazda CX-9 and Subaru Ascent. All is not lost for the Blazer, though, as GM can still make some adjustments to the vehicle’s headlights and receive a higher safety rating. GM already did this with the 2020 Cadillac XT6, going back to the drawing board to improve the vehicle’s passenger crash protection so it could qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ rating.
Watch the IIHS perform its driver-side small overlap front crash test evaluation on the Chevy Blazer in the video embedded below.