Still hot off a 2017 upgrade, the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse hits the road with style and plenty of substance. It’s a family hauler, built to carry up to eight passengers in comfort. Its workmanlike attitude is well placed in a competitive class, and while it’s not perfect, the Traverse isn’t hard to like.

Best Value

You won’t find many base-spec Traverses on dealership lots, and that’s not a bad thing. Given that nearly all models share the same heart – a willing 310-horsepower V6 – choosing a trim comes down to the right blend of features and value. In our opinion, even the LS trim is too spartan.

Instead, we’d skip up to the Traverse LT Cloth, which includes a few welcome creature comforts like an eight-way power driver’s seat, heated side mirrors, fog lights, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It still allows access to safety tech, but won’t inflate prices into luxury SUV territory. All-wheel drive is available, but it’s a primitive system that we wouldn’t recommend unless your climate requires it. Parking sensors, however, are all but a necessity with the Traverse’s bulk.

Ours would look like this:

  • Model: 2019 Chevrolet Traverse LT Cloth
  • Engine: 3.6-liter V6
  • Output: 310 hp / 266 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy
  • Options:Convenience and Driver Confidence Package ($1,795, eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, 4.2-inch driver information display, heated front seats, universal home remote, remote start, power liftgate, lane change alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking assist)
  • Base Price: $36,495 (including a $1,195 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price:$38,290

Performance

Chevrolet Traverse

Chevy technically offers two engines with the Traverse, but one is a bit of a mystery. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is only available on a single trim in front-wheel drive, and it’s no sportier and barely more efficient. Most buyers will get the V6, and that’s a good thing. It has power aplenty, and the nine-speed transmission is a willing companion. The ride matches the cabin’s comfort with a modern suspension that absorbs most turbulence.

On the downside, the two gas engines are the only options, without a plug-in, hybrid, or diesel in sight. Efficiency is poor, and the Traverse achieves a maximum of just 22 miles per gallon combined. Like the people-carrier it is, the Traverse also pitches heavily in the corners. It’s a comfortable drive, but not an exciting one.

Style

The Traverse shares plenty of design cues with Chevy’s line of trucks, lending a utilitarian edge to the SUV’s sharp but graceful shape. A newly taller grille is balanced by slim headlights and taillights, and the overall impression is a cut above most family crossovers. Inside, the cabin can be either leather-clad luxury or wash-ready plastic, but it’s always well put together. Best of all, there’s plenty of space for both passengers and cargo. All three rows will fit adults, and useful storage spaces abound. Behind the seats is a generous 23 cubic feet of space, which will expand up to a staggering 98 cubic feet with the rear rows removed.

Base trims of the Traverse are reasonably priced, but the options list gets pricey in a hurry. To make matters worse, some useful active safety features (like automatic emergency braking) are confined to the expensive upper trims. The Traverse has achieved good crash ratings so far, but other brands are more liberal with their safety technology, and we wish Chevy had followed their lead.

The Best and Worst Things

The Traverse checks all the right boxes for an all-around family vehicle...except for one: accessible modern safety tech.

Right For? Wrong For?

Chevrolet Traverse

The Traverse is great for big families with big needs. It has USB chargers for every row, more cupholders than a movie theater, and a third row fit for people over 13. Plenty of customizability means that most families can find a sweet spot.

The Traverse still suffers a little from its old-fashioned package. Many crossovers deliver more of a complete package nowadays, including better efficiency, technology, and driving dynamics. Buyers who don’t need quite so much space can find more sophisticated options elsewhere.

The Bottom Line

Aside from a few quibbles with the powertrain and the options list, the 2019 Chevy Traverse is a polished package. It’s not premium enough to compete with the luxury badges, but it has a sense of identity and utility. A strong engine, a stylish exterior, and a capacious cabin add up to a car the whole family can enjoy.