I was never a big fan of the Chevy Traverse, but it was a darn good ride to have through a solid foot of Michigan snow.
While others toiled to get going and to plow through the mess, the all-wheel-drive Traverse grunted and rolled on. I even ran through some of the unused, unplowed lanes to open them up for other drivers.
The roads here are getting bumpy and pockmarked with frozen and freezing ice, which leads to loud “bangs” in the cabin from the suspension. That was a little surprising considering that, overall, the Traverse feels like a sturdy beast.
I did appreciate the automatic start, especially after work and leaving home in the morning.
The V6 provides good power, though even with all-wheel drive, you can't put it all on the ground in this weather. It did allow me to make quick passes around the other slugs who couldn't handle slick conditions. The tail will kick out a bit when it gets real slippery. The six-speed is perfectly adequate.
I didn't get a chance to use all of the space in the back. But the seats were folded, so I assume someone did. It all combines for a flat loading surface, so that would surely come in handy.
I'd still choose a standard station wagon over this because it doesn't really offer a ton of height in the cargo area, anyway. It was also a pain at the pump, where I put in more than $50 for less than three-quarters of a tank.
ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: From the standpoint of a typical three-row crossover shopper, the Chevy Traverse is a perfectly adequate vehicle. There's a lot of room in there, with a third row that offers decent amount of space, cupholders galore, lots of space to stash stuff, and a rear-seat entertainment system to keep kids engaged.
However, when compared with other vehicles in its class, it lacks refinement and isn't the sharpest handler. I know it's a near-5,000-pound hunk of metal with a higher center of gravity, so it's not going to behave like a sports car. I get it, but other cars in the segment like the Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder feel better tied down from the behind the wheel. A few of the other editors in the office have made comments about other lambda vehicles driving like minivans, and I would have to agree. The Traverse behaves like a minivan. A couple of passengers even mentioned that it felt like they were riding in a minivan.
Ah, yes, but it's not a minivan. It's a three-row crossover, which is cooler than a minivan. Never mind crossovers lacking rear sliding doors that make getting in and out much easier, and cargo areas that are usually smaller than minivans. Some people will argue that crossovers offer all-wheel drive, which is needed for winter. If that's the case, then I'll counter them with the Toyota Sienna that is available with all-wheel drive. Maybe they need the higher ground clearance? I doubt it, as I'm guessing most crossovers running around don't venture off paved roads all that often.
Anyway, let's get back to our Traverse LTZ test vehicle. It leans around corners; steering feel is light with lazy response to inputs. The brake pedal feels a bit soft, but there's good stopping muscle available when you firmly jump on the pedal. The engine, while providing decent power, is loud with a lot of noise finding its way into the cabin. The drivetrains in the aforementioned Mazda, Honda and Nissan all sound smoother.
I will say that the Traverse rides nicely down the road with that soft suspension absorbing shocks from bumps and potholes well. It's an easy car to drive, with good sightlines, which is what I'm sure many shopping this class are looking for. And through the snowy mess that has been hammering this winter, the Traverse blazed through, staying surefooted.
The interior features materials that are OK, with a healthy dose of soft-touch surfaces throughout. The tiny buttons on the center infotainment screen take some time to get used to, and the front seats are flat and lacking in the side-support department.
And, like Jake points out above, this isn't the most fuel-efficient thing out there. Over the course of two weeks with this Traverse, we averaged 15.7 mpg, which is close to the EPA fuel economy rating for the city.
Still, the current Chevrolet Traverse is equipped to serve families well even in its old age.Then again, the CX-9 and Pilot are both now getting up there in age, too. That leaves the Pathfinder, which was all-new last year.
2014 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ
Base Price: $44,100
As-Tested Price: $48,740
Drivetrain: 3.6-liter V6; AWD, six-speed automatic
Output: 288 hp @ 6,300 rpm, 270 lb-ft @ 3,400 rpm
Curb Weight: 4,956 lb
Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 16/23/19 mpg
AW Observed Fuel Economy: 15.7 mpg
Options: Rear-seat entertainment ($1,445); power sunroof with second-row skylight ($1,400); color touch navigation system including XM NavTraffic ($575); crystal red tint coat paint ($395)
Article SOURCE: this factual content has not been modified from the source. This content is syndicated news that can be used for your research, and we hope that it can help your productivity. This content is strictly for educational purposes and is not made for any kind of commercial purposes of this blog.