2018 Chevrolet Traverse AWD Review & Changes – After experiencing driven a Saturday brunch’s really worth of soft-boiled SUVs and crossovers dainty as a French éclair in 2018, the Chevrolet Traverse proved a literally squarer, more gratifying dish. Set Chevy’s re-designed SUV on the checklist of the year’s greatest, finest shocks. I seriously wasn’t expecting all that much from the new version of the Traverse. Released back in 2009, as General Motors was tumbling into individual bankruptcy, this three-row family hauler smacked me as completely capable‚ but duller than suburban yard treatment. The Traverse was the most bus-like and utilitarian of a GM family that also included the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia.
But whereby the all-new Acadia and Enclave have already been downsized, the Michigan-built Traverse actually increases a bit for the latest version, such as a two-inch wheelbase stretch to 120.9 inches-just 10 inches scared of the original Canyonero, the Chevy Suburban. This new package carves out far more passenger and cargo space than anything at all in the class-a long roster of minivan choices than involves the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and Mazda CX-9. Interior space squeaks prior even the enormous Volkswagen Atlas, whether you’re chatting space powering the third row, second row, or with all seats folded. The greater delight is that the Traverse pushes a lot more like a smaller, nimbler SUV than the seven- or eight-passenger truckster it is. Its excellent chassis tuning persuaded me that the technicians received their overtime, or at least required creativity from the Camaro team. Dropping up to 360 pounds versus the earlier model, such as a 111-pound lessening for the chassis by yourself, the Traverse mixes a relaxing ride with good managing that defies its girth. Of individuals competitors I just reported, only the CX-9 can feel a lot more sprightly and car-like-and that Mazda is a reasonably scrawny SUV, with decisively much less cargo space and a third row that should really be explained as row 2.5.
Chalk up an additional win for the restyled body. This Traverse is one big, fine lug. Unsurprisingly, the Traverse’s Coke-bottle account, with its nipped waist and crisply flared fenders, came out of Chevy’s truck design studio, and it previews styling cues you will be seeing on one of GM’s most critical models: A re-designed Silverado pickup for the 2019 model year, followed by a new Tahoe all around 2020. Exactly where countless minivan alternatives, especially the insipid Asian selection-the Pilot, Highlander, and Pathfinder-appear like culprits for the nation’s low-testosterone sensation, the brawnier Chevy would seem sure to draw in dads who’d like to carry their head up on the way to college, music band process, or an efficiency-retail store run for Huggies. Yet the Traverse is not a macho Mack Truck comic (not a Dodge, in simple terms), so mommies will not imagination using the wheel and appreciating individuals muscle groups as effectively. I believe it is the very best-looking Chevy truck in years. And the styling bodes well for models to can come, such as the Silverado (in Z71 off-road trim) that Chevy dropped a couple of days ago at Texas Motor Speedway preceding to its January auto show debut in Detroit.
There’s also valuable muscle right behind the Chevy’s big chrome grill (or the blacked-out version on the RS trim level). GM’s direct-injection, “high feature” 3.6-liter V-6 becomes a 10-pct bump to 310 horsepower (up from a base 281 horsepower), having an identical 266 pound-feet of torque. That’s followed by an efficient nine-speed transmission that’s as impressively tuned as the suspension. It swithces GM’s slow old six-speed-or even more precisely, makes it out of date. Toss in the Traverse’s considerable weight-loss, and this Chevy can spike from 0-60 mph in a fleet 6.7 seconds, a full second more rapidly than prior to. After years, nay decades, of sub-par GM automatics, this Hydra-Matic nine-speed, co-produced with Ford for transverse-engine apps, is a keeper. The three added cogs fit into the same space as the previous six-speed, and the complete unit weighs just 22 pounds far more. There is nothing of the obtrusive equipment seeking or indecision that plagues some rival nine-speeds, including from Chrysler and Honda. Squash the throttle delicately, and the tranny eases down one gear. Hammer it, and it may downshift three or four gears at a go, but without long slowdowns or clunky engagements. The combo tends to make this big beast very good at completing, in a position to squirt by means of holes in traffic in snappy fashion.
As with a lot of SUV competitors, the transmission nonetheless enjoys to get you into greater equipment swiftly, in the interest of fuel economy. I’d actually value a match of paddle shifters, or a Sports mode to maintain lower equipment in specific situations. Chevy’s answer is a switch that lets you choose the shortest gear the transmission will shift to, helpful for downhill towing of up to 5,000 pounds. But the Traverse by no means lugged or denied a downshift. The transmission’s two overdrive gears, eighth and 9th, spend off with a nice reward in fuel economy: 18 city/27 highway miles per gallon for front-drive versions, and 17/25 mpg with non-obligatory AWD. A turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder model creates 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque; that’s great for a 2-mpg acquire in the city at the cost of a 1-mpg highway penalty, at 20/26 mpg.
Some consumers will surely be anxious that the fuel-preserving, engine quit/start system can’t be defeated via a change. But my own, personal problems turned out groundless: This is one of the smoothest, minimum-obtrusive solutions close to, which include a motorized pinion that “re-energizes” the beginner to match up to its rpm with the engine flywheel. The redesigned interior echoes to efficiency as effectively, with seating for seven or eight, 23 cubic feet of luggage space associated with the next row, and a large 98.2 cubic feet with all seats folded away. How roomy is that? A Cadillac Escalade keeps significantly less, at a maxed-out 94 cubic feet. With the Chevy’s decks cleared and its no-hands and wrists tailgate opened up with the waggle of a foot, you can actually place four-by-eight sheets of drywall or plywood flat, as you could in a big pickup or professional van. Up front, the wide, deep middle gaming console is big sufficient to take a laptop or file folders. You’ll get 20 distinct storage cubbies, including a wise magic formula stash area behind the non-obligatory, 8-inch touchscreen. There’s a lot more hidden underfloor storage in the rear, with cupholders galore and up to seven USB ports.
Whereby a front-drive Traverse starts off at $30,875, my test car flaunted the High Country treatment-the top-shelf analog to GMC’s Denali models at a price of $52,995. Now, for more than several years, several GM manufacturers have had a misbegotten enjoy matter with two-tone, black-and-suntan interiors, whose poorly preferred materials and colorings manufactured them appear like an irradiated dachshund. This one fares better, with swaths of dark chocolate-colored leather and imitation-suede inserts for the wraparound dash and doors, and much more leather for the seats and console. Chevy’s MyLink infotainment unit is smartly framework in that dash, but the system is actually showing its era, with a crowded 8-inch screen, homely graphics, and some clumsy functions. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto hookups, as well as available 4G LTE WiFi, help kitchen counter some of the obsolescence.
Together with a gamut of safety gear-including a 360-degree surround view camera system, automated walking braking, and a lane-maintaining system-High Country treats include wireless phone recharging, tech-y “D-Optic” LED headlamps, onboard 4G LTE wi-fi, a power-foldable next row, a panoramic sunroof and 20-inch brilliant alloy wheels. There’s nevertheless some price range plastic in the Chevy’s nether locations, but that’s real of almost any model in this (rather) cost-effective class. The Chevy’s one key stinginess entails the rear captain’s chair that tilts and glides with a one-touch handle to open access to the third row, even if a youngster seat is in place. Of course, the single form is correct: Some Scrooge in Chevy’s checking home decided the Traverse should offer a single, proper-hands “SmartSlide” seat, on the hypothesis that children and other residents might still climb aboard from the curbside of parking. This supposition falters to consider proprietors who playground in driveways, garages or local mall parking loads, and may possibly favor loading little ones or equipment from the driver’s side. Additionally, it forgets that a great many towns, from New York to Boston, feature one-way roads that enable you recreation area on the still left-side curb as nicely. In GM’s safeguard, riders can easily walk between the captain’s chairs to get to the way-back. But seriously, just how much additional would it have cost to set the convenient seats on both sides?
Regardless, users can skip the case completely skip the captain’s chairs totally in favor of a recommended second-row counter that ups the Traverse to an eight-seat complete. For its part, the 3rd row features divide-bench seating for three, though the heart placement is confined. Most men and women could tolerate 1 hour or two in the way-back, even with a somewhat knees-up seating place. Nevertheless, VW’s Atlas gives the largest, least complicated entry to the segment’s most comfortable next-row. So give the Atlas is the winner for its near-mystical next row, and a fresher infotainment system: Virtually any other class demonstrates a win in the Chevy’s ledger: The Traverse’s appealing body helps make the mundane Atlas seem like a classic transport pot; the Chevy is more than a second more rapidly to 60 mph than the pokey, six-cylinder VW, at 6.7 seconds versus 7.9 seconds; the AWD Traverse delivers a 1-mpg edge in city fuel economy, and does two mpg much better on the highway. And countertop to the typical performance hierarchy-Euros on top, others listed below-the Chevy is a decidedly sharper-coping with, more dynamic machine than the Atlas, or any competitor shy of the Mazda.
The balance involving a cushy ride and confident handling is executed especially well. The Chevy will get MacPherson struts up front, which include hydraulic ride-control mounts; and a five-website link rear with hydraulic mounts, a remote cradle, and a clever hit end formed from two sorts of urethane that cushions coil springs and eliminates bottoming out. ZF shocks at all four sides implement pre-jam-packed valve (PLV) technology, which will help twin-tube shocks carry out much more like the high priced, innovative monotube selection. The dampers smooth the ride without having to sacrifice body control, and reduce disturbance and shake in the approach. So equipped, the Chevy transferred one key local test, soaking up each and every hit on my small cobblestoned Brooklyn street-whose Belgian Block construction comes about to be a common test feature at automakers’ proving reasons. Heading north in the direction of the Catskills, the Chevy proved evenly adept on a muddy, snowy two-track, with one ergonomic glitch: The multi-mode AWD’s console controller is awkwardly positioned near the driver’s correct elbow.
What I didn’t count on-but perhaps should have, considering data like the Camaro, Corvette and even the Volt and Bolt-was how smartly the Chevy steered and dealt with. Despite having its lightened body, the AWD Traverse can top 4,600 pounds. However, the handling could pretty be defined as “sporty,” no less than by sumo-wrestler terminology. The Traverse’s body keeps amazingly flat by way of curves, with not one of the wallow or roll you may assume in these kinds of a big beast. Brakes are powerful, with good pedal feedback. I’d basically enjoy to check this out Chevy handle an autocross training course-okay, another-wide autocross program-from haughtier three-row competition, this kind of as the Land Rover Discovery or Mercedes GLS-Class. Because I feel the Chevy would win. Relocate to general public roads, and the Traverse helps keep pace with smaller, sportier SUVs. On the speedy-paced, serpentine Discovered Mill Parkway north of Manhattan, a guy shot past me in a BMW X5, most likely figuring he’d observed the last of me. Practically nothing carrying out: Up and over a sightless uphill contour, I went close to his X5 at almost triple-digit speed. [If someone from the Westchester County Sheriff’s Division is looking at this, he’s absolutely exaggerating. And while the BMW driver absolutely blinked, the Chevy never ever bobbled. Baseline: The Chevrolet Traverse would seem to shrink around its driver, even as it carves out a lot more room than the previous version. Throw in looks and performance that surpass the modest requirements of this typically-uninteresting class, and the Traverse provides people with all the lame excuses they require to not acquire a minivan.