2010 Chevrolet Traverse AWD LTZ Review


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SE ALSO: Chevrolet Buyers Guide

THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: 2010 Chevrolet Traverse AWD LTZ
Engine: 3.6-liter SIDI V6
Horsepower/Torque: 288 hp @ 6,300 rpm/270 lb.-ft. @ 3,400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 118.9 in.
Length/Width/Height: 205.0 x 78.4 x 72.8 in.
Tires: P255/55R20
Cargo volume: 24.4/68.8/116.4 cu. ft. (3rd row seats up, 3rd row seats down, 2nd and 3rd row seats down)
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway/14.3 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 22.0 gal.
Curb weight:4,925 lbs.
Sticker: $42,675 ( includes $775 destination charge and $1,915 total options ($1,445 rear seat entertainment, $395 red jewel tintcoat, $75 engine block heater))

The Bottom Line: The Chevy Traverse is a very nice package with multiple features and few flaws, if any. It will be one of the vehicles that will fuel Chevrolet’s resurgence.

For some time now, a family friend of my daughter’s in Ashland, Virginia, has been trying to convince her and her husband to purchase a Chevrolet Traverse. Ross Luck’s philosophy is that it would be an ideal vehicle for a family living miles out of town on a dirt road who needs reliable transportation and occasionally all-wheel drive. After a week behind the wheel of a Traverse, I must agree. Here is a solid sport utility vehicle that has a ton of features, decent power and good size. The only flaw I could find was that the economy could have been better. We only averaged 14.3 mpg in our test, even though the EPA estimates are 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.

I found the Traverse to be bigger than it seems. You never seem to run out of room to stow articles or people.

For example, it’s a true seven-seater, with captain’s chairs in the first and second rows and a three-person bench in the third. The front seats are comfortable with minimal side support. They’re power adjustable and heated and cooled. The second row captain’s chairs are the same as the front row and also offer good leg room. The third row has decent legroom, but I would relegate little people (children) back there.

Cargo capacity is enormous as well. There’s a solid 24.4 cubic feet behind the third row. But if you don’t need all that seating, you can drop the third row and have 68.8 cubic feet of cargo volume. The third row seats are easy to lower and raise.

We used the Traverse for the beginning of gardening season and it was superb for the use we needed. There’s also a power tailgate that can be triggered from inside the vehicle or from the outside with the key fob. The cargo area has hooks to tie things to, to secure any moveable cargo, as well as grocery bag hooks. There’s also an additional cargo area under the floor to hide things you don’t want prying eyes to see. I also like the small cargo/cubby located on top of the dash.

Power is excellent from the 3.6-liter V6 we had in our tester. This engine delivers 288 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. Of torque, more than enough for a vehicle that weighs 4,925 pounds. As I said earlier, I would have expected better fuel economy, but perhaps the numbers would have been more promising if we had put more highway miles on the Traverse.

The instrument panel is an interesting shape, with a large tachometer and speedometer and smaller water temperature and fuel gauges plus a battery voltage gauge in the middle. The center-mounted information center offers fuel economy, outside temperature, a compass, route timer, or nothing. The nicely laid-out intuitive dash doesn’t require a Ph.D. to understand.

Safety features abound, which would be important in a vehicle that might carry my daughter and grandchildren and, oh yes, my son-in-law. For example, the back-up camera has a “screen” located on the left side of the inside rearview mirror. There are also convex mirrors located in the outer top corners of the outside rearview mirrors to give a better view of what may be coming up on the side of the Traverse. This isn’t as good as a blind spot warning, but it’s a close as you can get.

As with any modern car, there are cup holders galore for passengers in all three rows.

To sum up, the Chevrolet Traverse is all the dealer promised it could be. While we didn’t put it to the ultimate test, we’d like to see how well it performs with car seats in the second and third rows and a couple of screaming kids on board. I feel it will pass that test as well.

2010 The Auto Page Syndicate

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