As Chevrolet's largest crossover, the Traverse has always been a vehicle that walks the tightrope between having the same seating capacity as a large SUV, being able to carry as much cargo as a minivan, and sporting all of the latest technology. And now, with the 2018 model, the Traverse is better than ever.
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2018 Chevrolet Traverse Overview
What's New for 2018
Featuring a completely redesigned exterior, the Traverse's looks now match that of Chevrolet's newer offerings, which include the Malibu, Cruze, and Equinox, as the automaker shifts towards a harmonious design throughout its entire range. The crossover's design has moved upstream, as well, with more chrome pieces, LED lighting, and nifty LED running lights.
In addition to the new look, the Traverse's wheelbase has been stretched by two inches, resulting in even more interior space. Second-row captain's chairs are now available, as is a new split-folding second-row that is capable of tilting upwards and sliding forward to provide easy access to the vehicle's third row. The interior also benefits from a new multimedia system that comes with Andorid Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
A new host of safety features have been added to the Traverse, including a rear-view camera as standard, Surround Vision, a rear-seat reminder, Chevrolet's rear camera mirror, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control.
Other changes have been made underneath the Traverse's body, as well. A new 3.6-liter V6 engine provides a boost in output and now works alongside a nine-speed automatic. A new Traction Mode Select allows drivers to change the crossover's driving mode in differing road conditions. And two new trims have been added to the lineup with the sporty RS and luxurious High Country.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Traverse
The majority of Traverse models are equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The engine is matched to a new nine-speed automatic transmission that helps improve the large crossover's fuel economy. Front-wheel-drive models are rated to get 18 miles per gallon in the city, 27 highway, and 21 combined, while all-wheel-drive miles can get 17 mpg in the city, 25 highway, and 20 combined.
A new engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four is available only for the latest RS model, although it isn't immediately available at launch. The turbocharged engine generates 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and is paired to the same nine-speed automatic transmission.
As a large crossover, the new Traverse boasts 41 inches of front legroom, 39 inches for passengers in the second row, and 33.5 inches for individuals sitting in the third row. That means full-sized adults can sit all the way in the back of the vehicle comfortably. As far as cargo space goes, the Traverse provides owners with 23.5 cubic feet behind the third row and 58.1 cubic feet with the third row folded. That space is easy to access, too. The third row is easy to stow manually, although a power-folding option is available, while the second row slides fore and aft and can be pushed forward for easy access to the third row.
For 2018, the Traverse comes in seven different trims:
The LT Cloth represents the best value in the range, with plenty of standard equipment at a price that won't break the bank. That said, the LT Leather isn't a huge jump and certainly allows the Traverse to feel like a more premium offering.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse Review
After skipping the 2017 model year, the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse debuts, launching the second-generation of this three-row crossover SUV. New this year is an available turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission, offering more proof that Chevrolet intends to win your business.
The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse offers standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. Customer have a choice of seven trims: L, LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier, and High Country. A 3.6-liter V6 engine is standard; a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder is available. A nine-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available with either engine.
The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse LT Cloth with a starting price of $36,095 (including a $995 destination charge). We chose all-wheel drive, which offers enhanced handling on slippery roads and while towing. The LT Cloth trim, despite its name, is quite different from the LT Leather – aside from the leather upholstery, the LT Cloth misses out on navigation, a surround-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, 20-inch wheels, power liftgate, Bose audio system.
The LT Cloth does add fog lamps, power-operated and heated side mirrors, roof rails, and 18-inch aluminum wheels, a power-controlled driver’s seat with lumbar support, and seven-passenger seating with second-row captains chairs. That's in addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rear-view camera, and HID headlights that already come standard on the Traverse.
A Convenience and Driver Confidence Package is included on the Traverse LT Cloth, but only with all-wheel drive – go with the standard front-wheel drive and this packages requires $1,795. We recommend getting it, though, because it introduces remote start, navigation, a rear power liftgate, an eight-inch touchscreen, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.
- Model: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse LT Cloth
- Engine: 3.6-liter V6 engine
- Output: 310 hp/266 lb. ft
- Transmission: 9-speed automatic transmission
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 18 City / 27 Highway
- Options: All-wheel drive ($3,800)
- Base Price: $36,095 (plus $995 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $39,895
We like the Traverse’s 3.6-liter V6 engine, which we found lively off the line and an adequate supplier of power as it picks up speed. You’ll find passing maneuvers wholly sufficient, whether navigating local roads or on highways. The transmission is just as good, shifting unnoticeably in lower gears and capably finding the right gear under hard acceleration.
But the Traverse’s steering is flat, even lifeless at times. What has improved over the first-generation model is the Traverse’s handling, thanks to MacPherson struts in the front for nimbler control. Stout brakes bring this crossover to a smooth and controlled stop, something you’ll appreciate with the gang onboard or when towing.
Chevrolet is offering the Traverse with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, but under no circumstances should you consider it. Limited to the RS trim, the 257-hp 2.0-liter is less powerful, less efficient, more expensive than the LT Cloth, and is only available with front-wheel drive. Avoid at all costs.
Chevrolet’s styling direction with the 2018 Traverse seems surprising — it is about as conservative as you’ll find in this segment. The Traverse’s front fascia isn’t especially aggressive, despite its gaping lower intake. It's all a bit bland, especially considering how expressive the last-generation was when it debuted (to be fair, it didn't age well).
Inside, the look is much more inviting, with ample room in the first two rows, although it is tight for the third row. An assortment of soft-touch materials, some plastics and brightwork trim grace most models. The center console seems pickup truck inspired, ported perhaps from the Silverado with its high, wide layout. This isn’t a bad thing as it meshes well with the Traverse and is designed to hold up under the abuse of youngsters who might escape their second-row car seats and fiddle with the controls (when the Traverse is parked, of course).
The Best and Worst Things
Chevrolet offers a generous suite of technologies, including standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. You’ll also find six standard USB ports — with two in each row, and OnStar with built-in 4G LTE wifi.
On the other hand, the top safety technologies are reserved for the top-trim models only. This forces families to opt for pricier models to get the features they want or do without. This isn’t the sort of dilemma families should have to face.
Customers who visit yard sales. With nearly 100 cubic feet of available storage space, the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse can easily carry a dresser or most anything else that might fit in a truck bed.
The Bottom Line
Plain styling aside, the all-new Chevy Traverse is a clean and welcome departure from the first-generation model. Its strong V6 engine, advanced technologies and enormous cargo hold make this a strong contender in a highly competitive segment.
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