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- Highs Smooth highway ride, spacious interior, generous cargo room.
- Lows Outdated design, sluggish acceleration, underwhelming interior in the base model.
- Verdict The Traverse is spacious hauler that can be adapted to the needs of most families, but it's overdue for an update.
Launched for the 2009 model year, the Chevrolet Traverse is a three-row large-midsize SUV with an easy step-in thanks to an overall height of 69.9 inches. The Traverse takes on primary competitors Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot as a unibody sport-utility for growing and large families. The first-generation Traverse is on a long product cycle and had its mid-cycle update four years ago, so it's getting a bit long in the tooth. Luckily, it's scheduled for an update for the next model year.
What's New for 2017?
With an all-new 2018 Traverse on the way, the only change to the ’17 model is a limited-run Graphite Edition, available on the 2LT trim model. It adds 20-inch dark charcoal wheels, dual exhausts, black bowtie badges, an integrated step-assist, and four exterior paint choices: Metallic Black, Metallic Gray, Metallic Red, or Pearl White.
- 1SM: $29,595
- LS: $32,195
- 1LT: $34,995
- 2LT: $37,545
- Premier: $42,940
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Traverse has one engine choice, a 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 that comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and offers the option of front- or all-wheel-drive. The V-6 puts out 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque when equipped with a single exhaust or 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet with dual exhausts. The Traverse is up to a foot longer, and thus heavier, than most its competition, so acceleration is on the sluggish side, and even with sharp steering feel and response, handling isn’t terribly responsive. For many family-oriented consumers, however, this will be worth sacrificing for the Traverse's roomy interior space, as well as its smooth highway ride.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Chevrolet tossed out the Traverse's hard-plastic interior surfaces with the 2013 mid-cycle update and replaced them with soft-touch dashboard and upper door panel materials. The base model is value-priced with a matching cabin, but higher trims add such features as heated power seats, automatic climate control, ventilated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and upscale trim. The Traverse's vast interior space can be configured for seven passengers with second-row captains’ chairs, or eight passengers with the second-row bench seat. The third row is best reserved for kids, especially on long rides. Cargo space is generous for its class, with 24.1 cubic feet behind the third row, 70.3 cubic feet behind the second row, and 116.3 cubic feet behind the first row.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Standard tech for the Traverse includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, three USB ports, and a six-speaker stereo. Moving up through the trim levels adds such features as the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with navigation, rear-seat audio controls with headphone jacks, and a Bose 10-speaker surround-sound audio system with satellite radio.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.