The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is a mid-size SUV with three rows of seats
This is its last year in its current form
The current Traverse still has some appeal in a crowded segment, namely value
Priced at $30,995 in the US and not priced just yet in Canada (the 2020 model started at $36,198), the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse gets a few visual and tech upgrades, but nothing really changed at its core.
That’s to be expected as a new generation is expected in the fall as a 2022 model. A revised front fascia and new adaptive cruise control system are part of the 2021 Traverse’s light refresh.
The 2021 model offers just one engine, a 3.6-litre V6 with 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque paired with a modern 9-speed automatic. The Traverse offers space for up to 8 passengers and can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Fuel economy is rated at 13.6 litres per 100 kilometers in the city and 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway with all-wheel drive (18/27 mpg). Front-wheel drive is standard while all-wheel drive is optional in both the US and Canada.
Knowing that a brand-new Traverse is coming next year, is there any reason to opt for a 2021 Traverse, or even a 2020 given that there may still be a few on the lots? Well, yes, if your expectations are set properly.
What The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse Does Well
1. It’s still one of the most spacious mid-size SUVs you can buy. Seven passengers will be fine for a few hours and the 8-passenger versions are welcoming as well. The cockpit feels wide open in the first two rows.
2. The comfort level is impressive in the Chevrolet Traverse. Spending hours on the highway isn’t a problem and the seats, while not all that good at keeping you place in curves, offer plenty of support otherwise. Chevy designed the Traverse for families on the go and who take their family vehicle everywhere, and it shows. It’s still one of the most comfortable mid-size SUVs you can buy.
3. The infotainment system is one of the best in the segment. American automakers know how to design simple, straightforward multimedia technology and the Traverse is a prime example.
4. Performance from the 311-horsepower V6 isn’t bad at all. There’s more standard power in the 2021 Traverse than just about any mid-size SUV in this segment, and it shows when you floor the accelerator or want to pass.
5. The 5,000-pound towing capacity isn’t higher than other models in the segment, but the engine’s added power and great 9-speed gearbox make towing in a Traverse more enjoyable than in some rivals.
6. The OnStar system and built-in 4G Wi-Fi system are tailored to families. Despite its age, the Traverse doesn’t feel like it’s lacking any important technology.
What The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse Doesn’t Do So Well
1. The fuel economy of the 3.6-litre V6 is bad. Among the worst if not the worst in the segment.
2. Obviously, a new model coming in won’t help the Traverse’s already bad depreciation. It’s one of the cheapest models in its class, but it significantly drops in value after purchase.
3. Handling and overall driving feel is far from dynamic. There’s nothing sporty about the Traverse and buyers looking for a bit of fun in their family hauler will want to check out the Volkswagen Atlas, Mazda CX-9, Subaru Ascent, Kia Telluride or just about any other mid-size SUV.
What We Tell Our Friends About The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse
As far as spacious SUVs go, the Traverse is one of the best. It’s also incredibly comfortable and has the tech your family wants. The engine is powerful and the Traverse feels like it’s alive when you press down on the right pedal. The best thing it has going for it, however, is the value it offers. On a lease that is. There are sure to be some great deals on 2021 Chevy Traverse models in the next few months. Just don’t buy one. Again, lease it.