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Chevy Traverse still a great choice for a big family

Chevy Traverse still a great choice for a big family

Chevy Traverse still a great choice for a big family

The Traverse, Chevrolet’s eight-passenger crossover, enters its second generation for 2018 with a complete restyling designed to make an already great vehicle even better.

With the makeover, prices for 2018 begin at $29,930 (plus $995 freight) for the base L model with front-wheel drive, and run as high as $52,100 for the High Country model with all-wheel drive.

In between are the LS ($32,100), LT Cloth ($34,600), LT Leather ($41,200), RS ($42,100) and Premier ($44,500) front-wheel-drive models. All-wheel drive is available on all but the L and RS models, and is standard on the High Country. The RS and High Country models are two new trim levels added for 2018.

Our test vehicle for this report was the LT Leather with front drive, with a list price of $41,200 and total delivered price of $42,540, including freight and $395 in options — the cost of the premium Cajun Red Tintcoat exterior paint.

Arguably one of the best of its class, the Traverse is a large crossover with lots of room for the family and their stuff.

Chevy calls the new Traverse’s exterior styling “bold and refined.” It’s not as rounded as its predecessor, but it still very much looks like a Traverse, which is a good thing. This is one of Chevrolet’s best vehicles of the past decade, and it didn’t need an entirely new look. The rear end has a squared-off look, which is probably the biggest styling change.

Some of the Traverse’s exterior styling was “inspired” by the big Chevrolet sport utility vehicles — the Tahoe and Suburban, Chevy says. Those include premium features such as chrome accents, LED signature lighting and available D-Optic LED headlights.

One thing that was retained in the new generation is the generous third-row space, particularly the legroom, which makes that seat just as comfortable for adults as for children. This is one of the few big crossovers that can achieve that. There also is ample cargo room and overall interior space.

As there is a host of new, improved and impressive new active safety technology on the market in general now, it’s essential that most of that also be standard or available on the new Traverse, and it is.

There are also a new split/folding second-row seat and second-row captain’s chairs that improve on the original Smart Slide feature for that row. That includes the curbside seat’s ability to tip up and slide forward, even with a forward-facing child seat in place, to provide easy access to the third row.

With the captain’s chairs in the middle row, included on our test vehicle, the Traverse seats seven, but access to the third row is easier because of the gap between the two middle-row seats.

A new Traction Mode Select system is standard across the line. It lets the driver choose driving modes to match road conditions

The standard engine is the 3.6-liter V-6, cranking out 310 horsepower and 266 foot-pounds of torque. It’s connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission. This was the engine on our tester, and we had plenty of power for both routine interstate highway driving and some mountain roads we encountered during our weeklong test.

The new RS model comes with a 257-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, also paired with a nine-speed automatic.

Special RS features include 20-inch wheels and blacked-out exterior cues, including a black chrome grille and black bowtie emblem.

Chevrolet’s Teen Driver feature is included on all models

While a rearview camera system is standard on all models, we had Surround Vision with rear camera mirror on our LT Leather model; these are also standard on RS, Premier and High Country trims.

During routine driving, the OnStar system (with subscription) can provide such features as turn-by-turn navigation and directions to restaurants, hotels or other points of interest.

The optional all-wheel drive gives the Traverse great all-weather capabilities, along with limited off-road ability — allowing it to handle many of the dirt roads that might be found in national and state parks. But it has lower ground clearance than most traditional SUVs, and the all-wheel drive doesn’t include low-range gearing for serious trail driving.

The all-wheel drive is intended to give the vehicle better traction on slippery roads, but it’s also valuable on dry pavement at times, particularly during cornering. The system is fully automatic and no driver action is required to activate it.

2018 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE

The package: Large, five-door, seven- or eight-passenger, front- or all-wheel-drive, V-6 or four-cylinder, gasoline-powered crossover utility vehicle.

Highlights: The Traverse has been redesigned for 2018, and now enters its second generation. It’s roomy and comfortable, has plenty of power and decent fuel economy, and comes with a wide variety of standard and optional features, depending on trim level.

Disadvantages: No low-range four-wheel-drive system offered for serious off-road use.

Engines: 3.6-liter V-6, normally aspirated; 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, turbocharged.

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic.

Power/torque: 310 HP/266 foot-pounds (3.6-liter); 257 HP. (2.0-liter).

Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.

Length: 204.3 inches.

Curb weight (base): 4,362 pounds.

Cargo volume: 23 cubic feet (behind third seat); 58.1 cubic feet (behind second row, third row folded); 98.2 cubic feet (behind first row, all rear seats folded).

Electronic stability control: Standard.

Side air bags: Front seat-mounted; side-curtain, all three rows, standard.

Trailer-towing capacity: 5,000 pounds (3.6-liter); 1,500 pounds (2.0-liter).

Fuel capacity/type: 19.4 gallons/unleaded regular (front drive); 21.7 gallons/unleaded regular (AWD).

EPA fuel economy: 18 city/27 highway/21 combined (V-6, 2WD); 17/25/20 (V-6, AWD); 20/26/22 (I-4).

Published at Sat, 10 Mar 2018 06:21:43 +0000

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