The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is the latest new vehicle to earn a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, it does not earn the distinction of being a Top Safety Pick+ on account of its headlight performance.
Chevy was able to capture the Top Safety Pick designation this year because the vehicle received a new “Good” rating for the difficult-to-pass passenger-side small overlap test. Previously, the Traverse had no rating for this test, and therefore was ineligible for the IIHS award.
Since the Traverse is the same going back to the 2018 model year, the IIHS has applied the crash score to the few model year Traverses before 2021 that apply, as well. The IIHS says that Chevy made reinforcements to the passenger side A-pillar with the 2018 redesign that allows the Traverse to score well on this test. You can see video of the result at the top of this post. Now, if Chevy can up its base model headlights from a “Poor” to an “Acceptable” rating, the IIHS will award it with a TSP+.
Most of the above can also be applied to the 2021 GMC Acadia, since the two share a structure. However, it falls short of even earning a Top Safety Pick award, because even the best headlights available are given a “Marginal” rating. At least one of the headlight options must be rated “Acceptable” in order to be eligible for an award. That said, it’s at least good to know that the Acadia passes all of the IIHS crash tests — including the passenger-side small overlap — with flying colors if you have your sights set on buying one.