Road Trip: Chevy Traverse Evaluation


The Traverse from Chevrolet initial appeared in 2009 and was overhauled to its second generation for the 2018 model year. And if you have been turned off by the styling of the original, it is worth providing the new version a appear. It feels like a tiny Suburban as it falls in the broader Basic Motors lineup as a Crossover or Midsize SUV along with the Enclave and Envision by Buick, the Cadillac XT5 and GMC’s Acadia. The Traverse is only slightly smaller sized than the Chevrolet Tahoe. Each are 204 inches extended, but the Traverse is two inches narrower at 78.six inches and three.five inches shorter at 70.7 inches (interestingly, the Tahoe wheelbase is 5 inches shorter than the Traverse). Having said that the Traverse begins at about $20K significantly less than the Tahoe. It begins at $30,875 and this is the second version we have tested. Initially it was the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse FWD Premier with a three.6L priced out to $46,265, and far more lately the 2019 AWD RS priced at $47,290.

To place the Traverse to the test the initial time we loaded our household of 4 (an eight month old and a four year old) and all the gear we necessary for a week extended ski trip and drove from Boulder, Colorado to Park City, Utah—about 500 miles every single way. Our 2019 test was in the summer season and way longer, Boulder to Seattle—1,300 miles every single way. We blew proper previous Park City.


The Traverse is constructed on GM’s Lambda platform—along with the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave—and is smooth and straightforward to drive. Outward visibility via the windshield and forward side windows is great but like with so lots of modern day automobiles these days seeking towards the rear to see any hazards although backing up is fairly poor—hence the heavy relyance now on rear-view and surround-view (referred to as Surround Vision by Chevy) cameras. The turning radius of the Traverse is 39 feet—pretty typical for SUVs—which proved to be fine for most of the in-town maneuvering on our trip. GM’s suspension is great and the ride was normally smooth from the extended, higher-speed hauls on the highway to plowing more than washboard dirt roads and berms of snow in the ski region parking lots located on our initial test. Also for the duration of that initial test, the only complaint we had—specifically from my wife in the passenger seat—was this was the only vehicle we’ve been exactly where she’s gotten a small woozy. She couldn’t pretty peg what it was, but our standing theory is that given that her seat necessary to be moved pretty far forward to accommodate our eight month old’s rear-facing vehicle seat, her sightlines out of the automobile may possibly have been compromised just sufficient to throw her equilibrium. Having said that, for our 2019 test, a thing shifted and she didn’t have any complaints like this whatsoever. Now our son’s seat was forward facing alternatively of rear facing, so perhaps that changed exactly where the passenger seat was placed.


Cargo space is awesome, even for a 204-inch SUV. The 23 cubic feet of volume behind the third row is spacious to start out with. And in the configuration we have been employing it with the third row down we had 58.1 cubic feet. If we didn’t have to take the youngsters and could drop the second row we’d have a luxurious 98.two cubic feet—but that wasn’t going to occur.

1 terrific function is how the second row captain chair on the passenger side moves forward to enable access to the third row even if there’s a kid seat strapped in.

On our winter trip we strapped our skis to the leading alternatively of attempting to match them inside. I utilised a pair of Thule universal towers and square bars to mount a pair of RockyMounts LiftOp ski racks—both great procuts if you are seeking into rooftop hauling. 

For the summer season trip, we didn’t require to place something on the leading, but we did have 1 of Thule’s new HideAway awnings to deliver a small additional shade when necessary. We didn’t pull a trailer on either trip but the Traverse comes with two engine choices, therefore two towing capacities. The three.6L with the trailering package hauls five,000 pounds and the two.0L (which will be discontinued right after 2019) with the trailering package hauls 1,500.

The three.6L with the trailering package hauls five,000 pounds and the two.0L with the trailering package hauls 1,500. A important distinction worth contemplating if you program to haul.


FWD Premier


The Forward Wheel Drive (FWD) version of the Traverse we tested in 2018 was rated by the EPA to get a combined 21 MPG (18 city/27 highway). Immediately after 1,300 miles our complete load and driving more than mountain passes, the Traverse’s computer system reported 21.two MPG. Our personal calculation of mileage showed that to be a small generous, but we uncover vehicle computer systems generally are compared to the old college technique of dividing the miles on the trip meter by the quantity of gallons place into the vehicle at the pump. Nonetheless, for the automobile size, that is nonetheless fairly great mileage.

The AWD version we drove to Seattle requires a tiny hit and drops the combined rating to 20 MPG (17 city/25 highway). Nonetheless, the 21.7 gallon gas tank could deliver up to 500 miles of variety which proved to outlast our bladders and the require to cease for the youngsters along the way.


As is prevalent with media test automobiles we initial had the Premier trim package, the second highest trim readily available for the Traverse in 2018 then the RS trim in 2019. The RS is comparable to the Premium as a variation on their luxury trim package. That is to say each have been loaded with a bunch of additional capabilities like some collision avoidance security capabilities, chrome trim and such. But what created the greatest distinction to us in each trims have been points like nicely placed USB charge ports, ergonomic (straightforward to attain) cup holders, integrated 110v AC energy port (even if it was only on the back of the center console facing the second row), and a 12v DC port in the rear cargo region exactly where we have been capable to plug in our transportable fridge. The downside to the 12v placement in the cargo region on either trip is it is pointing into the key space—meaning when we plug a thing into it, the plug sticks out into the cargo region and products can not be pushed up against the sides. Some automobiles remedy this by putting the 12v plug on a horizontal surface like along the window or back side of the wheel nicely.

There is also a terrific small non-carpeted storage space beneath the floor of the rear compartment. It seemed perfect for an emergency kit that just would just reside in the automobile (even though, ironically, it would then be beneath what ever was in the rear cargo space based on the urgency of the emergency). Up front, there’s a secret storage space with a USB-A plug hiding behind the center console screen, which for us only getting in the automobile for a brief period seemed like a great spot to shed a thing due to the fact we may possibly entirely overlook about that space. But perhaps right after owning the vehicle, it would turn out to be commonplace to use it. Then there’s the constructed in WiFi hotspot which is a thing we normally like about the most up-to-date versions of GM automobiles. As freelancers who primarily require to be capable to function from anyplace, this saved us from needing to tether to our telephone for information and given that the information antenna is constructed into the automobile, it is placed greater and is larger it gets far better reception than our phones on the exact same network, AT&ampT. Missing nevertheless is the new USB-C style plug. I’ve noticed these on uncommon occasion in some other automobiles and consider all makers require to start out incorporating them.


The Traverse is hailed for getting a marvel of engineering to make it really feel so spacious on the interior. Certainly, it does and I in no way felt cramped sitting in the driver’s seat. The seats themselves are quite comfy. In the Premier and RS trims we had leather seats which have been good and the shape of them have been accommodating and in no way felt cramped.

The kiddos had sufficient space.

They have great adjustment controls and for the winter trip, the seat warmers have been appreciated for that additional bit of coziness. We have no concept how the second row of captain seats or the third bench row felt, but they all had USB-A ports readily available to them to preserve passengers charged up.

Loved ones Friendly

Autos this size are perfect for families—at least, households of 4 like ours on the types of adventures we do. The third row brings in terrific versatility. If we owned this automobile, the third row would almost certainly reside most of its life folded down and only be brought into service on the uncommon occasion we necessary to bring a person beyond the household along. As described earlier, the function of getting capable to tip the second row passenger side seat forward to enable access to the third row, even with a kid’s seat strapped in is fairly great. Often to our surprise, specially at this trim, there have been no constructed in window shades to safeguard the kiddos from extended hauls of shining sun from finding in the back. But the rear windows have been tinted which did assistance some, but as lots of of you know, although on extended road trips—especially ones traveling mainly east or west—whoever is sitting on the south side of the vehicle is in the hot seat and any additional shade doable is generally hugely appreciated.


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