Light refresh with new tech. The three-row midsize SUV segment is hotter than ever. Having come out as a fully redesigned model in 2018, the Chevrolet Traverse isn’t the newest option on the road. For the 2022 model year, Chevrolet has given the Traverse a light refresh with updated styling and new tech features.

Changes to the Traverse’s exterior design are minor, but give the midsize SUV a bolder design that matches the automaker’s trucks. The front end sees the largest changes with narrower headlights, a reshaped front grille, and a new blacked-out section of the front bumper. The design is chunkier and does a lot to stop the Traverse from looking old. Things at the rear end don’t change that much, as the SUV receives new multi-element rear LED taillights.

On the inside, the Traverse continues to come with a seven-inch touchscreen, but wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are newly standard. On the optional front, the Traverse can be fitted with a newly available eight-inch digital gauge cluster.

These aren’t radical changes, but they do enough to keep the Traverse feeling fresh. In a segment that’s as popular and as competitive as the midsize SUV, going four years without a major change is like an eternity.

Spacious seating for eight. Few midsize SUVs offer seating for up to eight — a lot max out at seven seats. Furthermore, few SUVs in the class are actually comfortable for adults to sit in the third row. The Traverse is a real minivan alternative, offering generous seating for up to eight people.

The Traverse offers up to 33.5 inches of rear legroom, which is a generous amount for the class. Adults will be able to sit in the back on short drives, but the first two rows of seats are still the most spacious ones in the SUV. Higher trim levels come with seating for up to seven that makes access to the third row easier and the second row more comfortable.

When not carrying an entire family around town, the Traverse transforms into a capable cargo hauler. Behind the third row, the Traverse offers 23 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding the third row down opens cargo space up to 57.8 cubic feet of space and a total of 98.2 cubic feet of cargo space. With that kind of cargo space, the Traverse offers one of the larger cargo areas for the class.

Confident ride, powerful V6. Chevrolet only offers the Traverse with one powertrain, but it’s a good one. The 3.6-liter V6 engine is rated at 310 horsepower and is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The engine delivers enough grunt to get an SUV full of people down the road. The downside with the Traverse is that it’s only rated to get up to 21 mpg combined. That’s not nearly as efficient as other midsize SUVs, but the Traverse is ready to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

On the road, the Traverse has a quiet, compliant ride. It’s not the sportiest SUV, nor is it the most plush, but it does comfort well. The suspension handles bumps in stride, while the low steering effort makes the Traverse easy to drive at low speeds.

The Traverse is offered with all-wheel drive, but it feels like an outdated system because of its push-button design. Unlike other SUVs and vehicles that come with AWD that engage when they automatically detect slip, drivers have to tap a button to engage the system. It’s an old-school way to do things and it means that drivers may experience a scary moment in inclement weather before feeling the need to engage AWD.

Safety tech now standard. One of the most glaring issues with the 2021 Traverse was that it didn’t come with many advanced safety features as standard. Chevrolet, annoyingly, saved them for higher trim levels. Happily, that changes for 2022 as the Traverse now comes with more standard safety features.

The base LS trim comes standard with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, rear-seat alert, automatic high-beam assist, and a Teen Driver mode. This is a far more competitive list than last year. Chevrolet still offers blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, and rear cross-traffic alert as optional on the base LS trim for a reasonable price of $790.

Final thoughts. With the changes for 2022, the Chevrolet Traverse is more competitive than before. The midsize SUV is still a great minivan alternative with seating for up to eight and a spacious interior. But it now comes with improved tech features and more safety features on top of a stout V6 engine.

Even with the changes, the Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot may be more appealing to SUV shoppers. The Telluride has high-end styling, loads of tech features, a 291-hp V6 engine, and spacious seats. The Pilot isn’t the most exciting SUV on sale, but it has roomy seating for up to eight, 109.2 cubic feet of cargo space, and a 280-hp V6 engine.

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