2018 Chevy Traverse is designed to look more like the
full-size utilitarian giants known as the Suburban and Tahoe.
haters, SUV lovers, take heart: The redesigned 2018 Chevy Traverse
is one of the few three-row crossovers as convenient as the minivan
with the looks of something like an SUV.
With its first
full redesign since it was introduced nine years ago, the new
Traverse grows into its role as midsize crossover while trimming 350
pounds. Itís designed to look more like the full-size utilitarian
giants known as the Suburban and Tahoe. The rounded, pod-like edges
of the old Traverse, which bore many minivan comparisons, have been
swapped out for boxier ends and a broader, wider grille for an
overall more rugged character. Itís more than half a foot longer
than its most spacious competitors in the new Volkswagen Atlas and
the 2017 Honda Pilot.
where the carís personality shines. The added length gives second
row passengers more space, the third row can actually fit two adults
and the cargo space in back is functionally large. Reports of the
Traverse shrinking in volume are misreported, Chevy says: The SAE
recommended a new way of measuring cargo volume behind the front
seats that if compared with the 2017 would result in 7 percent
greater interior volume. Whatever the case, it feels like one of the
largest in its class. The minivan generally has more vertical space
back there, but thatís also why it looks like a turd on wheels.
We fit our
hockey bag, basketball bag and hauled half a team without having to
reconfigure seats or put gear in their laps. We canít say the same
for some full-size or luxury SUVs. Third-row seats fold down with a
simple two-action process: pull the strap, push the seat. Headrests
In the second
row, safety meets minivan-type convenience. Sensing that sliding
doors canít be sexy, Chevy made a sliding seat that tilts forward
so a front-facing child seat can stay put as third-row passengers
slide easily in and out. The opening feels as big as a minivan. The
tilting seat is only available on the passenger side for curbside
drop-off safety. Pulling the truck-like latch and sliding the seat
forward will take both hands for most kids; an adult can one-hand
technology convenience abounds as well. There are up to seven USB
ports, an available wireless charger, 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for unlimited
data at $20/month and a power liftgate button on the driverís door
to open the gate at various heights. Simple, subtle, convenient.
infotainment system is the best of mainstream makes. The dynamic
dash display being accessible by steering wheel controls and
high-fidelity voice commands means the touchscreen doesnít need
much touching. The cabin in top-of-the-line Premier trim is
cushioned with black, soft-touch materials. Itís modest and
understated, like the exterior.
is powered by an efficient 310-horsepower V-6 engine mated to a
smooth 9-speed automatic transmission. Itís responsive, capable
and quiet, even with the panoramic sunroof as equipped in the
tester. While other 9-speeds have gotten off to shaky starts, Chevyís
does the job without whine or hesitation, almost as unnoticeable as
an automatic can be.
The big knock
on the new Traverse is the price tag. Starting out reasonable at
just over $30,000, the near top-of-the-line Premier trim in
front-wheel drive is $44,450, about six to seven percent more than
the Atlas, Explorer and Pilot in similar configurations. For minivan
function in SUV form, the new Traverse may be worth the price if a
little more legroom and extra cargo room hits your sweet spot.
TRAVERSE PREMIER AT A GLANCE
3-row midsize SUV
EPA MPG: 18
city, 27 highway