The 2021-22 Chevrolet Trailblazer and the 2021-22 Buick Encore GX — both small SUVs from General Motors — have earned safety accolades from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Trailblazer captured the coveted Top Safety Pick+ while the Encore GX earned the Institute’s second tier award, a Top Safety Pick.
Both SUVs were put through the paces, undergoing six challenging crashworthiness evaluations. These included the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.
Both vehicles measured up, earning good scores across the board and putting each on the road to IIHS safety awards.
The Trailblazer and the Encore GX also did well in the front crash prevention evaluations. The Trailblazer’s standard front crash prevention system earns a superior rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle test and an advanced rating in the vehicle-to-pedestrian test, while the Encore GX’s standard front crash prevention system earns superior ratings in both evaluations.
To quality for the higher-tier Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must come with good or acceptable headlights across all trims. It was in this category that the Encore GX fell short. While its LED projector headlights available with the Essence trim are rated acceptable, a marginal rating for the halogen reflectors that come with the two other trims prevents it from earning the “plus.”
However, the Trailblazer offers two available headlight systems that earn acceptable and good ratings — giving it the final element it needed to take the title of Top Pick Safety+ winner. IIHS notes that for the Trailblazer, the award applies to vehicles built after July 2020.