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Chevy Traverse gets a makeover; still a great choice for a big family

G. Chambers Williams III, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Automotive News

The LT Leather has 20-inch machined-face aluminum wheels with Technical Gray pockets, front fog lights, heated/power body-color outside mirrors, roof rails and deep-tinted glass.

Inside, our tester came with the leather seats, eight-way power adjustable driver's and six-way power front passenger seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bose 10-speaker sound system, universal garage/gate opener, and a 120-volt power outlet.

MyLink is similar to systems such as Ford's SYNC and Toyota's Entune that allow for integration of the onboard audio system with smartphones for hands-free calling, Bluetooth audio streaming and connection to popular Internet sites.

Body fit and finish, including gaps between body panels, were designed to be comparable with those of premium vehicles from Lexus and BMW. Overall, the vehicle has a premium look and feel.

Because the Traverse is intended to be a family vehicle, strong emphasis was placed on safety, with features to protect occupants before, during and after a crash. Among these are electronic stability control and traction control; antilock brakes; and rollover mitigation, to help prevent one of the most dangerous of common SUV accidents.

There are seat-mounted side air bags for the front-seat passengers, and roof-mounted side-curtain air bags for all three rows, along with the standard front air bags.

To assist after a crash, the Traverse comes with GM's OnStar satellite-based communications system, which reports automatically to an OnStar operator if the vehicle is involved in an accident. Besides reporting when an air bag deploys, the system also tells the operator if the vehicle has rolled over, or been hit on the front, side or rear.

The OnStar operator attempts to talk to the occupants of the vehicle after receiving a crash notification, but if there is no response, will call out emergency responders to the scene. The GPS satellite location service built into the system allows the operator to pinpoint the crash site.

During routine driving, the OnStar system (with subscription) can provide such features as turn-by-turn navigation and directions to restaurants, hotels or other points of interest.

The optional all-wheel drive gives the Traverse great all-weather capabilities, along with limited off-road ability – allowing it to handle many of the dirt roads that might be found in national and state parks. But it has lower ground clearance than most traditional SUVs, and the all-wheel drive doesn't include low-range gearing for serious trail driving.

The all-wheel drive is intended to give the vehicle better traction on slippery roads, but it's also valuable on dry pavement at times, particularly during cornering. The system is fully automatic and no driver action is required to activate it.


The package: Large, five-door, seven- or eight-passenger, front- or all-wheel-drive, V-6 or four-cylinder, gasoline-powered crossover utility vehicle.

Highlights: The Traverse has been redesigned for 2018, and now enters its second generation. It's roomy and comfortable, has plenty of power and decent fuel economy, and comes with a wide variety of standard and optional features, depending on trim level.

Disadvantages: No low-range four-wheel-drive system offered for serious off-road use.

Engines: 3.6-liter V-6, normally aspirated; 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, turbocharged.

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic.

Power/torque: 310 HP/266 foot-pounds (3.6-liter); 257 HP. (2.0-liter).

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Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.

Length: 204.3 inches.

Curb weight (base): 4,362 pounds.

Cargo volume: 23 cubic feet (behind third seat); 58.1 cubic feet (behind second row, third row folded); 98.2 cubic feet (behind first row, all rear seats folded).

Electronic stability control: Standard.

Side air bags: Front seat-mounted; side-curtain, all three rows, standard.

Trailer-towing capacity: 5,000 pounds (3.6-liter); 1,500 pounds (2.0-liter).

Fuel capacity/type: 19.4 gallons/unleaded regular (front drive); 21.7 gallons/unleaded regular (AWD).

EPA fuel economy: 18 city/27 highway/21 combined (V-6, 2WD); 17/25/20 (V-6, AWD); 20/26/22 (I-4).

Major competitors: Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti QX60, Honda Pilot, Ford Flex, Toyota Highlander, Acura MDX, Mazda CX-9, Dodge Durango, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia.

Base price range: $29,930-$52,100, plus $995 freight.

Price as tested: $42,540, including freight and options (LT Leather model with front-wheel drive, premium paint).

On the Road rating: 9.3 (of a possible 10).

Prices shown are manufacturer's suggested retail; actual selling price may vary.

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