2018 Chevrolet Traverse High Country mid-size SUV drives onto
the stage Monday, January 9, 2017 during its unveiling at the
North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich
are fairly fat.
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American
man is 5’9", weighs 195.5 pounds and has a waist size of
nearly 40 inches. The average femme fatale is 5’4", weighs
166 pounds and has a waist slightly more than 37 inches. Clearly,
the only weight watching we’re doing is watching it grow.
that the small, front-wheel-drive cars that the EPA would prefer
that you drive don’t provide the space, comfort and utility that
we need. And with climate change providing weather scenarios that
seem out of the norm, is it any wonder that Americans now prefer
crossovers to compact or midsize sedans?
That said, the
redesigned 2018 Traverse offers the space for those who live large.
With slightly more than 157 cubic feet of space, this cavernous
three-row crossover can carry up to eight passengers and 23 cubic
feet of lifestyle debris. Legroom in the first two rows is generous,
while the third row proves to be adequate for those limber enough to
reach it. That shouldn’t come as a surprise; its 204.3-inch length
is longer than almost any sedan. And the dual sunroofs lend the
cabin an even more spacious feel.
second row passengers get climate controls, seat heaters and
manually operated side shades. But it’s only the beginning of the
little touches that make the Traverse easy to live with. Up front,
you’ll find the instrument panel is logically designed, with
controls clustered by function. Chevrolet’s easy-to-use MyLink
infotainment system comes with standard Apple CarPlay and Android
Auto. The screen moves at the touch of a button, revealing a hidden
storage compartment with built-in USB port. There’s a 10-speaker
Bose audio system, USB and audio input ports, and an integrated WiFi
hot spot. In the center console, you’ll find a wireless charging
pad for your smartphone. And the front seats are ventilated and
heated. There’s even a heated steering wheel and three-zone
automatic climate control.
Offered in L,
LS, LT, RS, Premier and High Country models, the front-wheel-drive
Traverse can be fitted with optional all-wheel drive, although it’s
standard on the top-of-the-line High Country model.
All models are
powered by a standard 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 and nine-speed
automatic transmission except on the RS, which gets a 257-horsepower
2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Given the Traverse’s
two-ton curb weight, the turbo engine’s rating seems meager,
although there wasn’t a chance to test one. On the other hand, the
V-6 provided the power necessary to move with some authority. Power
delivery was strong and steady, with the transmission providing
timely, seamless shifts. A stop/start system, which shuts off the
engine when stopped for traffic lights to save fuel, works
imperceptibly. However, fuel economy was disappointing on the
all-wheel drive Premier test vehicle. Although EPA rated at 18 mpg
city, 27 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 17 city, 25 highway
with all-wheel drive, the Traverse’s fuel economy never broke 20
mpg, with an overall fuel economy rating of 18.8 mpg in an even mix
of suburban parkway and highway driving.
disappoint was this crossover’s dynamics. The Traverse remains
poised no matter what you throw at it, with a comfortably compliant
ride balanced with an agility that’s surprising for such a big
beast. Body lean is evident in corners, but comes on gradually.
Despite its size, it never feels unwieldy or clumsy, something that
can’t be said of the Tahoe, which is nearly as long and almost two
inches wider than the Traverse.
expect on a family vehicle, the Traverse can be fitted with forward
automatic braking, forward collision alert, and lane keep assist
with lane departure warning, however they’re only offered in
option packages on higher trim levels.
the Traverse makes a strong case as an ideal mobile family room, one
wrapped in sophisticated, handsome sheet metal and fitted with the
many options that make family hauling more pleasant.
And it has the
space to handle the average American’s ever expanding waistlines
— and expectations.
3.6-liter DOHC V6
economy (city/highway): 18/27 (FWD), 17/25 (AWD)
capacity: 23-98.3 cubic feet
capacity: 5,000 pounds
rating: 5 stars