2021 Chevrolet Blazer Crash-test Ratings are Good, IIHS Says

Jack R. Nerad | Feb 10, 2021

One of a bevy of crossover SUVs launched in the past three years, the Chevrolet Blazer scored top marks for crashworthiness in its just-announced evaluation by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). But its headlights' performance prevented it from earning a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award.

2021 Chevrolet Blazer RS Red Front Quarter Action

A well-regarded Chevy utility vehicle in the 1970s, the Chevrolet Blazer returned for the 2019 model-year as a highly styled 5-passenger crossover. While the original Blazer was known for its rugged off-road abilities, the renewed Blazer skews toward on-road urban and suburban duty. 

In base trim, the Blazer is a front-drive vehicle with all-wheel drive (AWD) available on 2LT, 3LT, and Premier trim levels. A more sophisticated twin-clutch AWD is available on the sporty Blazer RS model (shown here).

New Chevy Blazer Crash Test Ratings - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

In the IIHS evaluations, the midsize SUV earned Good ratings for the driver and front passenger in the small-overlap, frontal-impact testing. In the moderate-overlap front, side, roof-strength, and head-restraint tests, the SUV earns the same Good rating. The vehicle's two available front crash-prevention systems also earned Superior and Advanced ratings in the Institute's vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations, respectively.

For front crash prevention, the Blazer's optional Driver Confidence II system includes automatic emergency braking. Another available system added for the 2021 model year, Chevy Safety Assist, includes automatic emergency braking and front pedestrian braking. 

The IIHS said both systems avoided collisions to earn Superior ratings in the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluations. Blazers equipped with the systems also avoided hitting the dummy or slowed substantially to mitigate the force of impact in the vehicle-to-pedestrian tests, earning Advanced ratings.

Blazer Headlight Performance is Poor, Marginal - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

Though the 2021 Chevy Blazer meets the IIHS core crash-protection standards, it does not earn Top Safety Pick honors due to its headlight performance. 

To qualify as a Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must be available with Good- or Acceptable-rated headlights on at least one trim level. For the higher-tier Top Safety Pick+ designation, Good or Acceptable headlights must be standard across all trims. 

In the midsize SUV segment, the 2020 model-year Ford Explorer, Hyundai Palisade, Mazda CX-9, Subaru Ascent, and Toyota Highlander meet the Top Safety Pick+ criteria. But none of the Blazer's three different headlight configurations meet the IIHS standards for a Good or Acceptable rating, preventing it from joining that elite group. 

The Blazer's LED projector headlights earned only a Marginal rating because the IIHS said the high beams provide weak illumination in curves. Both of the HID projector headlight systems (with and without automatic high-beam assistance) received Poor ratings for the same reason, in addition to casting "excessive glare" at oncoming motorists.

The six positive crashworthiness ratings apply to the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Blazer models. The headlight ratings apply to model years 2020 and 2021 since the LED headlights were not available on the 2019 model.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Chevrolet are the sources of information for this article. It was accurate on February 10, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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