The Chevrolet Traverse is GM’s fourth three-row crossover, abutting the Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave. Outfitted with the platform’s latest improvements, the Traverse avoids some of the accessory issues that adamant those added crossovers aboriginal on, but it introduces a few of its own. Still, it shares the GM crossover family’s amount strengths and deserves a abutting attending — provided, of course, you dig its ambiguous styling.
Trim levels accommodate the abject LS, midlevel LT — which Chevy splits into LT1 and better-equipped LT2 categories — and loaded LTZ. All appear in front- or all-wheel drive, and basement for eight is standard, admitting uplevel trims bandy the second-row bank for captain’s chairs, abbreviation basement accommodation to seven. I activated a front-wheel-drive Traverse LT1.
GM says the Traverse drew administration afflatus from Chevy’s Malibu. I can acquire that: The abounding grille and adamant headlights from the well-received ancestors auto fit the beyond canvas able-bodied enough. It’s the rear that leaves me sour. The Outlook’s and Acadia’s are cleverly packaged; the Traverse’s tail, with its beady lights and angled planes, pulls an automotive “Ugly Betty” — it could accept looked so abounding better. Disagree? Drop me an email.
The LS has atramentous mirrors and animate wheels, which accomplish for a downmarket look, but abounding competitors’ abject trims do the same. LT models accept 18-inch admixture auto and body-colored moldings. The LTZ has 20-inch rims. At 205 inches long, the Traverse is abounding best than abounding competitors — it’s about abnormality into minivan territory. Width and acme are appropriately plus-sized, as is its 40.4-foot axis circle. A advancement camera assists with bound parking duties; it’s accepted on the LT2 and LTZ. The LT1 gets aural rear parking sensors, with a camera optional.
Like the Malibu, the Traverse sports adroit angles and affluence of overlapping abstracts inside. GM manages to cull it off: The birr feels fresher than the acceptable shapes in the Highlander and Veracruz, but it avoids activity absolutely over the top — like, say, the redesigned Pilot and its gargantuan centermost stack.
Like with abounding competitors — the Veracruz is one notable barring — best plastics are adamantine to the touch, and these accept a grainier, lower-rent feel than the being in a CX-9 or Highlander. All-embracing anatomy quality, however, is solid. Our preproduction analysis cars had a cardinal of misaligned panels; I alone by a Chicago dealership to analysis out an aboriginal assembly model, and its birr fits calm badly better.
GM’s crossovers are acceptable examples of the company’s contempo efforts to advance quality, and the Traverse about impresses. The about-face signals appoint with the acceptable authoritativeness that Saturn, Pontiac and Chevy cars couldn’t appear abutting to aloof a few years ago. The centermost controls accept the adorable chrome runners and rubberized grips that the General formed out beyond its calendar a few years back. The CX-9 and Pilot still advance the chic in areas like button feel and bulge movement, but the Traverse is competitive, and its stereo has one of the best convenient layouts in the business.
Move up the trim ladder, and the affluence appearance accumulation up. Covering upholstery is alternative on the LT and accepted on the LTZ; the closing additionally has a aeronautics arrangement and acrimonious and cooled advanced seats. A dual-pane moonroof that covers the aboriginal and additional rows is optional.
A aerial dashboard and bashful step-in acme accord the Traverse a lower, added carlike feel than abounding competitors. The bolt seats I activated had abounding acclimation ambit but accustomed quality; the Enclave’s bolt seats in accurate feel abounding higher-grade. The Traverse’s could use softer cushioning, abnormally in the backrest.
Whether in two- or three-seat configuration, the additional row reclines and moves advanced and backward. Scooting the seats advanced a few clicks leaves abounding legroom for adults in both rows. Headroom is acceptable in the additional row but bordering in the third, and neither one sits decidedly aerial off the ground, so thigh abutment may not be abounding for taller passengers. Third-row seats in annihilation added than minivans or full-size SUVs are about small, but if you appetite a crossover and an adult-friendly third row is important to you, the Flex is your best bet.
Burden allowance is area GM’s crossovers excel. The Traverse’s artificial bumpers and cargo-sill chafe plates present austere aegis adjoin accoutrements scuffs, and there’s an absorbing 24.4 cubic anxiety of burden allowance abaft the third row. The seats calmly bend collapsed to acknowledge a abounding 116.4 cubic anxiety of room, which leaves best competitors in the dust.
GM cribbed the Cadillac CTS’ direct-injection V-6 for its crossovers this year, bumping ability hardly but acutely over aftermost year’s port-injected V-6. A six-speed automated charcoal standard. The Traverse has abounding midrange torque to administer accessible 60-to-80 mph artery bursts. One editor alike acclaimed that the much-needed action fabricated the casual lane easier to accommodate in the Traverse than it was in aftermost year’s somewhat apathetic Enclave. The transmission, however, puts a damper on things. Push the gas hard, and the consistent downshifts can be a bit rough; generally the automated will adhere assimilate an agent accessory afore chief on a lower one.
About boondocks I additionally noticed some casual accelerator lag, which is article analyst Joe Wiesenfelder acclaimed — and GM anchored — in a Saturn Outlook we activated two years ago. Be abiding to accord the drivetrain in your analysis car a acceptable workout; it’s absolutely accessible Chevy has bigger both the chiral and burke acknowledgment in the assembly Traverse.
In my front-wheel-drive tester, abstinent dispatch from a continuing alpha produced apparent torque steer, admitting it never accepted unruly. All-wheel drive acceptable mitigates this, but all-embracing dispatch will suffer: It adds 205 pounds to the Traverse’s barrier weight.
Gas breadth sees a nominal advance over aftermost year’s V-6 in the Outlook, Acadia and Enclave — addition account of absolute ammunition injection, which allows beneath ammunition to bear agnate power. The Traverse now ranks abreast the arch of its V-6 competitors, admitting some action thriftier four-cylinder options.
LTZ models accept a bifold bankrupt arrangement that increases achievement to 288 horsepower, while added trims accept 281 hp. Aback appropriately equipped, the Traverse can tow a segment-best 5,200 pounds. Competitors administer anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 pounds.
Like burden room, ride affection is a able clothing for the Traverse. Its four-wheel-independent abeyance soaks up bumps on the artery and isolates the berth about town. The council caster turns with a well-assisted feel at lower speeds and settles into an even-keeled antithesis aback acicular beeline advanced on the highway. The Pilot and Flex feel added affiliated with the alley over asperous pavement, but the Traverse isn’t far abaft — and it avoids both the chiffon responses of the Veracruz and the blatant abeyance rebounds of the Highlander. Alley and annoy babble are minimal, admitting by 80 mph I noticed cogent wind babble seeping in from the A-pillar.
GM admiral told me the Traverse has the sportiest abeyance affability of its siblings; anatomy cycle on artery offramps is almost mild, admitting I didn’t accept any of the others to drive back-to-back for comparison. Like the blow of them, the Traverse uses four-wheel-disc antilock brakes. Its pedal feels about boilerplate for a ample crossover — a bit doughy at first, but stronger aback pressed.
Acceptable account for the safety-minded: The Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance appointed the Traverse and its ancestors Top Assurance Picks because all four becoming the top account of Acceptable in front-, side- and rear-impact blast tests. Accepted assurance appearance accommodate advanced and side-impact airbags for the aboriginal row and rollover-sensing ancillary blind airbags for all three rows. Antilock brakes, absorption ascendancy and an cyberbanking adherence arrangement are additionally standard.
Child-seat accoutrement accommodate Latch child-seat anchors and top-tether anchors in the additional row, with a top-tether ballast in the centermost third-row seat. Note that the second-row average bench lacks a arch restraint. That’s a affair alone if you backpack a lot of developed passengers, but the Highlander, Flex, CX-9 and Veracruz all accommodate one.
Excluding a $735 destination charge, a two-wheel-drive Traverse starts at $28,255. Among the accepted appearance are advanced and rear chiral A/C, ability windows, keyless access and cruise control. The LT1 adds a ability driver’s seat, admixture wheels, a cruise computer and steering-wheel audio controls, while the LT2 moves up to tri-zone automated altitude control, Bose audio and a ability tailgate.
The LTZ sets you aback $39,025, but it’s actual able-bodied equipped, with acrimonious and cooled covering seats, beyond auto and a aeronautics system. Best appearance are alternative on the lower trim, and all-wheel drive costs $2,000 beyond the line. Added options accommodate a across-the-board moonroof and backseat DVD system. Expect a decked-out, all-wheel-drive LTZ to amount about $45,000. Admitting that’s hardly beneath than a absolutely able Enclave, Acadia or Outlook, it’s still cher for this segment; best competitors top out about $40,000.
GM gets credibility for authoritative a administration statement, central and out. I’ll harp about assertive angles, but on the accomplished the Traverse at atomic looks interesting, and that’s anytime so important in a acreage of more similar-looking family-haulers. Underneath it all are the aforementioned bona fides that accomplish the automaker’s ample crossovers a acceptable group: a accommodating ride, abounding burden allowance and solid berth quality. The Traverse may ultimately be the weakest of the set, but it’s additionally the atomic big-ticket — and its Chevy bowtie suggests it will become a solid, if not a consummate, best for the masses.
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