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2021 Chevy Blazer almost snags IIHS' Top Safety Pick award

It would have gotten away with it too, had it not been for its marginal headlights.

So, the Chevrolet Blazer may not have been the retro-inspired off-roader we wanted it to be (thankfully, the Bronco has picked up that mantle) when it was introduced in 2019. Still, it is a reasonably attractive midsize SUV, with some redeeming qualities, even if it's not one of our favorites in the class.

It may not be brilliant to drive, but it is pretty darn good in a crash, according to a report published Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The crash-testing body gave the 2021 Blazer marks of Good in all of its crash tests and it only narrowly missed out on the IIHS' coveted Top Safety Pick award because of some less-than-stellar headlight performance.

The Blazer did better than Good in a couple of categories as well, receiving Superior and Advanced ratings for both its frontal-crash prevention systems for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crashes. Not bad, right?

The Blazer is available with three different kinds of headlights, depending on vehicle trim level. The LED headlights received a Marginal rating for offering poor corner illumination. IIHS says that were it not for that, it would have rated Acceptable and qualified for the Top Safety Pick award. The two HID headlight systems (with and without high-beam assist) scored Poor due to excess glare in addition to poor corner illumination.

If you're interested in a similarly sized SUV that managed to nail the Top Safety Pick + rating, you can check out the Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, Hyundai Palisade, Subaru Ascent and Ford Explorer (as long as you get one made after May of 2020).