Chevrolet Traverse vs. Toyota Highlander

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - February 6, 2019

Three-row crossovers have the incredible responsibility of hauling people and cargo all while delivering decent ride quality and respectable fuel economy. The Chevrolet Traverse and Toyota Highlander check many of these boxes for buyers, but which of these models is a better buy? Continue reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Traverse & Highlander »

What the Traverse Gets Right

With a base MSRP of $31,125, the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse is $1,300 cheaper than the base 2019 Toyota Highlander. While this isn't big money, every little bit helps in this competitive segment. The Traverse is also just one model year removed from a complete redesign that ushered in a new, sharper appearance that'll remain up to date for many years.

Inside, the Chevy Traverse offers loads of comfort, but the Highlander matches it there. Where the Traverse sets itself apart is its roominess, including its third row that offers up to 33.5 inches of leg room to the Highlander's 27.7 inches. In its cargo area, the Traverse can tote up to 23 cubic feet with all the seats up, 57.8 cubes with the third row folded, and 98.2 cubes with all three rows folded. These numbers beat the Highlander by 9.2 cubes with all the seats upright, 15.5 cubes with the third row folded, and 14.5 cubes with all the rear rows folded.

On the tech side of things, the Chevy Traverse comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The Highlander doesn't offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay in any trim level.

What the Highlander Gets Right

The Toyota Highlander rolls in boasting a more refined look than the Traverse. It forgoes any dab of sportiness in favor of a more adult-looking nose that caters to a broader set of buyers. Slip inside the cabin and enjoy the Highlander's peaceful cabin and high-quality ride.

Under its hood, the Highlander’s 295-horsepower V6 cannot hang with the Traverse’s 310-hp V6 engine, but the Highlander Hybrid adds a wrinkle the Traverse lacks. This battery-backed crossover delivers an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon city, 28 mpg highway, and 29 combined, beating the best-rated Traverse by 10 mpg city, two highway, and seven combined.

Toyota’s focus on safety puts the Highlander well ahead of the Traverse in this department with its standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and more. These are all expensive options on the Traverse.

Room for All in the Traverse

Got a ton of cargo or people to haul all the time? The Chevy Traverse is likely your best bet with its incredible passenger and cargo room.

Verdict: Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander takes out the Chevrolet Traverse by a hair, and that hair is its plethora of standard safety equipment. Sure, roominess is great, but you want the folks occupying that space to be safe, right? This is why we say the Highlander is the better buy.

Take a closer look at the Chevrolet Traverse »

Take a closer look at the Toyota Highlander »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

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