You will like the new Chevy Traverse if you enjoyed last year’s model. Unfortunately, a planned remake was moved to 2022 due to facility issues inherent with Covid-19 so the Traverse is mostly a carryover.
What is new is a sleeker headlight and tail lamp design and gussied up 18-20-inch alloys. The Traverse excels as a three row SUV that offers comfort and awesome cargo space compared with rivals.
Seats up to eight
Gets pricey in a hurry
Emergency braking not standard
We like its V6 power at a time when some rivals have switched to turbo 4’s. Its smooth shifting nine-speed transmission is also a plus. Front or all-wheel drive control is available through a dated console mounted rotary dial.
On the road, the Traverse offers a quiet ride with independent suspension, precise handling and firm braking. Most road imperfections go unnoticed and passing maneuvers are easily accomplished.
The sprint to 60 miles per hour from a dead stop was recorded at 7.3 clicks, about average for this segment.
Our biggest gripe with the Traverse exterior is its minivan looking front end compared with Kia Telluride and parent company Hyundai Palisade, Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.
There are seven trim levels to choose from this year with base L, LS, LT Cloth, LT leather, RS, Premier and High Country. Prices range from base $30s to mid $50s. With latter pricing, the Traverse offers less overall than rivals’ Telluride, Palisade and Highlander in reliability and resale value.
Our High Country tester provided a rich looking interior. A seven-seat configuration with available second row Captain’s chairs is preferred over a bench seat although if you are car-pooling you may prefer the eight-seat configuration.
We think the mid $30s price of the LT Cloth offers buyers a good value with adaptive cruise, Teen driver technology, eight-inch screen, blind-spot monitors, parking sensors and power adjustable seats up front for $20,000 less than the High Country.
The Traverse does offer segment leading cargo space with 23 cubic feet with third row upright, expandable to 58 cubes with second row lowered and nearly 100 cubes with both rows folded.
We’d like to see more safety gear included as standard equipment on all Traverse models. Some rivals include rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist with departure warning, emergency braking, safety locking rear doors, brake hold, rear park assist and front pedestrian braking.
The Traverse offer lots of unique storage areas inside. We were taken with an available power operated display screen that lifts upward for better screen vantage as well as a secure place to hold valuables out of sight in its closed position. It also includes USB ports in all three rows to keep everyone connected.
Liftgate storage holds four golf bags front to back with room for a load of groceries on top without impacting rear visibility.
The Traverse has seen brisk sales the past two years. Buyers in this segment should also test drive Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Honda Pilot, Telluride and Palisade before deciding.
2021 Chevrolet Traverse AWD High Country
Engine: 3.6-liter V6, 310 horsepower
EPA mileage: 17 city, 25 highway, 20 combined
Assembled: The Traverse is assembled at General Motors facilities in Lansing, MI. U.S. / Canadian parts content – 49 percent; major source of foreign parts, Mexico – 25 percent; country of origin; engine – Mexico, transmission – U.S.
Crash test ratings: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Traverse a “Good” rating, its highest, in driver side small and moderate front overlap, side impact, roof strength protection and for head restraints and seats in rear end collision. Headlight illumination received an “Acceptable” to “Poor” rating. Passenger side front small overlap received a “Marginal” rating. Front crash protection received a “Superior” rating when equipped with optional equipment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the Traverse an overall five-star rating, its highest score with five stars in frontal crash and side crash tests. A four-star rating was received in rollover protection and for front passenger protection in frontal crash.
Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile basic; 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain; first scheduled maintenance visit.
Contact independent automotive columnist Len Ingrassia at firstname.lastname@example.org