Chevrolet Traverse test drive

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The traverse is a petty impressive looking SUV in the flesh. It is only about 5 inches longer than the Mazda CX-5 or Nissan Pathfinder. But somehow is looks even larger.
The design is very nice and modern.
The version I drove was a loaded Premier model with the optionalRedLine Edition package. Which is not what I would personally pick. Since I really don’t like black wheels and the “no chrome” look.
But I have to admit, it gives the Traverse quite a boost of personality in real life.

The interior is also very nice. Most of the materials are of high quality. (While some of the hard plastic bits could still be better)
Again, I would actually prefer a lighter colored interior. And wouldn’t pick black with red stitching.
But that’s just a matter of taste.

The seats are really comfortable.

Apple Car play worked very well. The Bose system sounds great. And of course, there is tons of storage everywhere.

I drove it mostly with 2 people on board.
But took 6 people out one evening, and everyone had plenty of room. Even in the 3rd row seat.

The drive, of course, the Traverse is very similar to its Buick Enclave cousin I drove a while ago.
Everything is always smooth and quiet. The whole thing feels very solid.

The 9 speed Auto is one of the smoothest around. And also very eager to downshift.
Steering is nothing amazing, but above what you’d expect. (And miles ahead of the lumpy Nissan Pathfinder…)

The traverse 3.6 Liter is rated at 17/25MPG.
I did get around 16/17 around town. And 29/30 on the freeway.
Which is really good for this really big and roomy SUV.

I also noticed the Traverse gas mileage was only about a couple of MPGs worse than the VW Tiguan I was driving the week before.
The much smaller, rougher, noisier and slower 2.0 Liter Tiguan was almost as thirsty as the Travers’s 3.6 Liter V6 with 310HP…

I think the Chevrolet Traverse is a great choice if you are looking for a 3 row SUV.
It has a very comfortable ride,  plenty of power all the time. It feels really solid and looks quite nice inside and out.
But I also think that, at a bit over $50 000, the version I tested is pushing it a bit…
You can save almost $2000 but not getting the RedLine option. And maybe the same amount by getting the FWD version.
Or getting a pretty loaded LT leather model with the double sunroof option for about $44 000.

The Buick Enclave is actually the Traverse’s most serious competition.
It has all the good stuff of the Chevrolet, but in my opinion, wrapped up in a much nicer design and interior. And even rides a bit smoother.
Although a similar Enclave would be at least $3000 more, the more upscale interior and general feel is, I think, well worth it.

On the other side of the spectrum, the base Traverse starts at $31 000. Only about $2000 more than the VW Tiguan I drove last week.
I am just saying…

That super powerful and smooth V6.
The great 9 speed auto.
The much nicer interior.
The actually usable 3rd row.

All this is really well worth the $2000 extra over the poor Tiguan if you are driving more that 5 people around…

Here are all the details of the Chevrolet Traverse I was driving (Just click on the picture)

Conversation 6 comments

  1. I agree that it looks really nice. But, Vince, I think you have caught the "artsy photo" virus of taking outside shots either from weird angles or too close for comfort. Could you not take one full profile to see the freaking SUV?…Standing on your two feet….

  2. I know what you mean! I was supposed to take more pictures of the car on another day. But got very busy (forgot) and never did. I also didn't take pix of the roomy 3rd row seat….

  3. Not for nothing, but comparing the VW Tiguan's 3rd row to the Traverse borders on ridiculous. They're in different size classes, and no compact SUV's 3rd row is designed to ferry around normal-sized adults on cross-country jaunts. That was never the idea. You might as well throw in the Honda HR-V while you're at it and complain that it has less cargo space than the Traverse. Or that a Subaru Crosstrek has less headroom. A better size comparison would be with the VW Atlas.

  4. I just though about comparing them because they use almost the same amount of gas. And while I do know they are in different classes, some versions with similar equipment, are surprisingly close in price.
    (I didn't do it to piss you off)

    I think people are looking into the Tiguan because it does offer 3 rows. But you quickly find out that 3rd row is unusable for anyone over 5 or 6 years old.
    While for almost the same price, you can get a "real" 3 row SUV. Like the Traverse and many others.
    I was not comparing actual sizes.

    And yes, if you really need a 3rd row, and must have a VW, just get a low end Atlas for, again, not that much more than the Tiguan…

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