The latest generation of the Chevrolet Traverse combines no-nonsense features and room with a decent drive. It’s an easy choice to make.
Sometimes, overthinking something is pointless. I do it far too often, especially with two small kids. This could considered part of the curse of parenting but thinking about what they’ll wear, eat, do at the park, how they’ll do in school, what they’ll do as living and wondering if I’ll ever meet my grand-children when my oldest is three is overkill. Sometimes simple, the now and to the point are what’s best.
And this is why the Chevrolet Traverse works. I must take a moment here and point out that our regional GM PR rep did a brilliant job of spec’ing out the fleet vehicle. As an LT, with AWD, he opted to put a volume seller on the road for media to evaluate instead of a loaded $62,000 Premier, which is what we’d normally get.
An actual Traverse you might buy!
So, let’s start it off this way. The base FWD LS starts at $35,900 and this is a no-no for the lack of AWD (despite an issue…) and for a likely lower resale value. The least expensive AWD Traverse goes for $39,395, smack in the middle of the competitive set.
The next trim up is the LT and with AWD retails for $43,695. With included features like 7-passenger seating with second-row captain’s chairs, an 8-inch screen and Chevy’s excellent Infotainment system, power tailgate, remote start and more, it’s just about perfect. As tested, my truck included the Hit The Road and Blackout packages, black 20-inch wheels and rear entertainment, and more, it sported a $49,000 price tag.
I say just about perfect except for one lingering issue I could not shake all week: even if this had been a $62,000 two-tone leather-laden Premier, the cabin still feels like it belongs to a rental vehicle. There’s something about the dashboard, the layout, that is so familiar and “not-special” that haunted me. By the way, as much as I loved the Chevy Blazer, it too will eventually suffer this fate. I feel terribly guilty saying this but I call it as I see it.
Huge on space and comfort
Most importantly though, it does not affect in any way, shape or form how the huge cabin performs as a tool to keep the family safe, entertained and comfortable. The LT’s 2nd row captain seats are brilliant for all involved, from kids to adults. The amount of room for all appendages is superb. The 3rd row is acceptable for adults but they’ll obviously be happiest up front. The cloth seats are cozy, there’s plenty of storage within reach (including the hidden compartment behind the screen) and the driving position is good.
When space is a must, the Chevy Traverse delivers with plenty to spare. Behind the 3rd, boot space is a generous 651 litres. When stored, the trunk’s volume swells to 1,637 litre or more than enough for your life’s activities.
Styling-wise, GM went semi-conservative with the redesign a couple of years ago. The silver and black contrast on my tester does the vehicle some good however without the blacked out trim, it would look fairly commonplace.
It drives like it should
And this is the general theme with the Traverse. I attended the launch even two years ago. It was held in the Maritimes and although I remember the hotel, oddly enough, I could not recall anything from the driving experience. As a drove away from the press car pick-up point, nothing came back. In a way, I take this as a good thing as nothing, as it turns out, was especially bad.
The Chevrolet Traverse is powered by GM’s heavily used 3.6-litre V6. With 310-horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,800 rpm, it provides plenty of get-up-and-go for the large midsize SUV. The standard 9-speed automatic is a proper tool for economy and the occasional kick-down. My returned average hovered just over 11L/100 km.
There’s still little to report from having now spent a week at the wheel of the Chevrolet Traverse other than the fact that it’s a perfectly fine mode of transportation. Steering is good, brakes are up to the task, the cabin remains quiet enough at highway speeds and the power is more than adequate.
It’s funny because I can think back to a time not that long ago where I would have praised the Traverse for its compliant yet steady handling. I would have indulged in the V6’s power and essentially have loved the vehicle. This demonstrates two things: The vehicles in this segment have evolved tremendously, raising the yardstick to a very high level and, by the same token, this means that the Traverse is a very good option, if not ordinary, option.