Chevrolet’s largest crossover SUV can hold as many as seven or eight occupants, depending on its second-row seating configuration: bucket seats or a bench. Space is abundant for both people and luggage. Cargo room exceeds that of Traverse’s class competitors, and even approaches the available volume of some minivans.
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2016 Chevrolet Traverse Overview
What's New for 2016
OnStar 4G LTE connectivity is new for 2016, with a wi-fi hotspot. Complementing Chevrolet MyLink, it provides a mobile hub that’s active whenever the vehicle in turned on. Leather and Driver Confidence Packages are available for the LT trim level, with leather-appointed seating, eight-way power front seats, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a power-folding auto-dimming driver’s mirror with integrated turn-signal indicator. Aluminum 20-inch wheels have new designs.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Traverse
Each Traverse holds a 3.6-liter V6, mating with a six-speed automatic transmission. Output is 281 horsepower in LS and LT trim, but the LTZ adds a dual exhaust system for 288 horsepower. All-wheel drive is offered in each trim level. Fuel economy is estimated at 17 mpg city/24 mpg city with front-wheel drive, or 16/23 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Should you pick a Traverse, or go with the closely-related GMC Acadia? Identical in size and similar in details, both use the same single powertrain, but GMC promotes its crossover as more upscale. So, differences come down to standard equipment trim levels, and the higher price of GMC’s versions.
Traverse comes in four trim levels:
Such options as a panoramic sunroof, rear entertainment, and a Bose surround-system are available for LT and LTZ models.
Considering that even the base LS is nicely trimmed and amply equipped, Traverse qualifies as a provider of considerable utility, space and comfort for a fairly moderate sum. LT models add some welcome extras, without raising the price too far. That’s not the case with the top-rung LTZ, which can send the total cost well past the $40,000 mark.
2016 Chevrolet Traverse Review
The family-friendly 2016 Chevy Traverse midsize crossover offers seating for up to eight and best-in-class cargo space.
Pricing and Equipment
All 2016 Chevy Traverse are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that creates 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. An optional dual exhaust system adds an additional 7 horsepower and 4 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard whether you choose front- or all-wheel drive.
The 2016 Traverse is available in four trim levels:
- The nicely equipped eight-passenger LS models start at $31,205. All-wheel-drive LS models start at $33,205.
- The $34,005 eight-passenger 1LT trim adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, rear park assist, a front center airbag, remote start, a body color side molding and more. Adding All-wheel-drive raises the 1LT’s base price to $36,005.
- The $36,505 2LT adds second-row captain’s chairs, resulting in roomier seating for seven. The 2LT also includes heated side mirrors, Chevy MyLink radio with CD player and a premium 10-speaker BOSE speaker system. Rear passengers get their own audio controls and headphone jacks. The 2LT also comes with a power rear lift gate and universal home remote. All-wheel-drive 2LT’s command $38,505.
- Highlights from the $42,175 LTZ model include 20-inch aluminum wheels, a dual exhaust system and a touch of chrome to the exterior. Heated and ventilated front seats, navigation, and an advanced variable effort steering system are just a few of the luxury extras found in Chevy’s the top-of-the-line trim package. The all-wheel-drive LTZ starts at $44,145.
Prices do not include a $895 destination charge.
Built upon a unibody shared with the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, the Traverse prioritizes “car-like” driving characteristics over off-road capability. The resultant comfortable ride and balanced handling are in tune what most people are looking for in a vehicle that seats seven or eight and provides generous cargo space.
Chevy’s choice of the 281-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic as the sole powertrain for the midsize SUV seems fitting. While not a performance standout, the power is sufficient for large family cross-country journeys, even with a decent size boat in tow.
- In an era of potent V8 powered SUV's, the 2016 Traverse feels a little underpowered and overweight.
- While average for the segment, the 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway (16/23 for all-wheel drive variants) means that you won't be cruising past too many gas stations during that cross country trek. Recent releases from competitors boast more efficient numbers from similar powertrains.
The 2016 Traverse allows families to have the grown-up interior space of a minivan while retaining the youthful perception of an SUV owner. Chevy’s well designed interior is full of soft-touch surfaces and quality materials. The LTZ models shine, especially with upscale interior packages that can easily be dubbed “luxurious.”
Seating is comfortable and supportive, and unlike many three-row vehicles, the Traverse actually has room for seven or eight adults while still offering generous cargo space.
Although the Traverse is as minivan-like as they come, we think owners will miss the deep and low cargo-absorbing floor that is typically associated with the type.
Most Pleasant Surprise
Families with teenagers will want to skip the $2,035 rear seat DVD system and opt for a subscription to Chevy’s OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Chevy offers a three-month trial.
Chevy also provides an optional factory-installed trailer hitch and heavy-duty cooling system free of charge.
Least Pleasant Surprise
The lack of a pushbutton start, especially in the higher trim levels, strikes us as particularly dated.
The 2016 Chevy Traverse is an award-winning people mover that offers the practicality and convenience of a minivan with the attractive looks associated with Chevy’s current line up of SUVs. While it could have better fuel economy and performance, the Traverse is a viable option for families who value space, comfort and convenience. If you own a boat, the Traverse looks even better.
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