But it still misses out on the top award.
The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is one of the best all-around three-row crossovers on the market today, as is its GMC Acadia corporate cousin. Buyers who place safety at the top of their priorities will find themselves in a solid vehicle that's capable of withstanding some significant impacts. However, both vehicles have missed out on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's coveted Top Safety Pick+ awards.
The latest Traverse managed to score a Top Safety Pick designation after the latest testing round, receiving a "Good" rating in the passenger-side small overlap test. Up until now, the Traverse wasn't even rated in this category and, therefore, could not get the agency's award.
The IIHS says Chevy went back and beefed up the passenger side A-pillar following the crossover's 2018 redesign. The included video shows the crash test and how well the improved Traverse fared. But why did it miss out on being a Top Safety Pick+? Because of its headlights, specifically on the base trim which lacks LEDs. Once Chevy changes that then the Traverse's score moves up a notch.
As for the Acadia, it failed to achieve even a Top Safety Pick (forget the +) because its headlights only received a "Marginal" rating. And yes, these are the best headlights one can get on the vehicle.
In order to receive an IIHS award, a vehicle must offer a minimum of one headlight type that scores an "Acceptable" rating. But the good news is that the Acadia managed to pass all of the agency's crash tests without a problem. Still, it's surprising to learn that GMC, supposedly a more premium brand than Chevy, is lagging behind in such a relatively basic category.
Powerful LED headlights are nothing new and, as in the case of the Traverse, usually just the cheapest trims lack them. Hopefully, both Chevy and GMC will change this because those Top Safety Pick+ scores could bring in an even greater number of buyers.