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2018 Chevrolet Traverse Review and Drive Report By Larry Nutson

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...from what I’ve learned, the new Chevrolet Traverse is moving out of the showrooms quite quickly, with a low days-supply on hand at dealers. Get yours while you can. It’s one of the best 3-row SUVs on the market today.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse
Comfort and Convenience

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

For 2018 Chevrolet has reinvented its Traverse midsize SUV. The reinvention has brought about more room, more power and less weight.

The all-new Traverse (pronounced trav-erse, not trav-ers.) has three-rows of seats making room for up to eight with a good amount of legroom in both the second and third rows. It also sits on a longer wheelbase and is a bit longer overall.

All this is good since the main reason for an SUV, after all, is to move a lot of people with all their stuff. Comfort and convenience are the main ideas here.

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The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse has models for everyone with L, LS, LT (in either cloth or leather trims), Premier and new-for-2018 RS and High Country as choices. The Traverse is front-wheel drive with all-wheel drive available on all models except the L and RS.

The standard engine for the Traverse is a 310-HP (a 29-HP increase from 2017) 3.6-liter V6 that develops 266 lb-ft of torque and is paired with Chevy's new nine-speed automatic transmission. The exception is the sporty RS that’s powered by a 255-HP 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder that is more torquey than the V6, developing 295 lb-ft. It’s also mated to a nine-speed auto.

A new Traction Mode Select feature is standard on all models. You can switch between a fuel-efficient FWD mode to a 4X4 snow mode to an off-road mode and to towing mode.

Prices start at $29,980 and go up to $52,100 plus the $945 destination charge.

I had a week’s worth of driving time in a 7-passenger, front-drive LT with leather priced at $41,150.

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Like every SUV you have to climb up to get in to it. But, once you’re up there the outward view is nice and wide. There’s plenty of room up front. I did spend time climbing around the two back rows and there’s indeed lots of legroom back there.

The second-row captain’s chairs have a Smart Slide easy-fold feature making getting into the third row much easier. The curbside seat can tip up and slide forward even with a forward-facing child seat in place. I always preferred captain’s chairs because they work well to separate the young ones, or give adult friends that you might be chauffeuring their own space.

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There’s lots of new tech on the 2018 Traverse with MyLink audio, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and USB ports in every row. Depending on model there’s heated seats, cooled seats, heated steering wheel, power liftgate, rear view camera, rear camera mirror, 360º surround view, and more. On the safety front there’s teen driver tech, rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.

On Premier and High Country models you can get the more advanced driver-assistance safety features namely, Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, Front Pedestrian Detection and IntelliBeam headlamps. We wish this equipment was on all models, but we will slowly see that happening in the coming years on all vehicles.

Niceties that I liked were the rear seat occupant reminder, the hidden storage behind the 8-inch touch screen, a phone charging mat that can charge a phone by simply setting it down, and the hands free liftgate. Some that I didn’t like were no height adjustment on the front seat belts; you can’t turn off the engine idle start/stop system; no power-fold feature on the outside mirrors which is almost a must-have on a vehicle this wide for tight city-street maneuvering.

The Traverse can tow up to 5000 pounds and has a really big 98.2 cuft of cargo carrying room behind the front row. Many 3-row SUV owners leave the third row folded and with that alone the Traverse gives you 58 cuft of space. Even with all seats up the Traverse has big space in the way-back.

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EPA test cycle ratings for the V6 all-wheel drive models are 17 city mpg and 25 highway. The front-drive models are rated at 18 city mpg and 27 highway mpg. You should be good for an all-day 500 mile road trip without stopping to refuel with the Traverse’s big fuel tank—19.7 gal. with FDW and 21.7gal. with AWD.

My Traverse drive had me traversing the city streets of Chicago as well as a few surrounding highways. With light loading consisting of just me and occasionally also my wife, the V6 provided good response and plenty of power for good acceleration from stop, and good highway merging as well as passing. The nine-speed trans worked well with smooth, crisp up-shifts and no ill-timed downshifts.

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Overall interior cabin noise from the drive train, tires and wind is well muffled and not at all disconcerting making for easy conversation and audio listening.

Although the Traverse is big and feels big it handles well. The ride is not at all harsh and very compliant with minimal body roll in turns and good road holding.

More details and information on the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse can be found at Take note that Chevrolet’s warranty on the Traverse includes two no-charge oil and filter changes as well as tire rotations. 

From what I’ve seen the new Traverse is moving out of the showrooms quickly with a low days-supply on hand at dealers. Get yours while you can. It’s one of the best 3-row SUVs on the market today.

© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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