When it entered the already crowded field of midsized SUVs in 2009, the Chevrolet Traverse was expected to provide a solid and stylish alternative for minivan owners; it can seat up to eight passengers, a significant difference from most other SUVs in its range, which can only seat a maximum of seven. The Traverse, however, quickly earned high marks from reviewers for outstanding fuel efficiency and overall value and was named a Consumer Reports Best Buy for 2009. That reputation for quality and value is expected to continue with the release later this year of the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, ensuring that demand for this versatile SUV will persist for the foreseeable future.
The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse is available in all-wheel and front-wheel drive and features a powerful 3.6L V6 direct-injection engine with an automatic transmission; while some automotive experts have speculated that the 2011 or 2012 Traverse line will include a hybrid model, Chevrolet has not yet announced any plans for such a move. Three trim levels are available; the LS and LT are available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, while the deluxe LTZ models offer all-wheel drive only. Base MSRP starts at $29,224 for the well-equipped Traverse LS, while the LTZ starts at $39,975 and up depending on options selected.
Pricing: MSRP ranges from $29,224 to $39,975.
Engine Specs: An energy-efficient 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 281-288 hp at 6300 rpm.
Transmission: Automatic on all models.
One of the best in the midsized SUV field, the Traverse offers 16 miles per gallon for city driving and 23 miles per gallon on the highway for its all-wheel drive models; Traverses with front-wheel drive do even better at 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
The Chevrolet Traverse boasts acceleration from 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds; while this is far below true performance vehicles, it is peppy enough to handle the acceleration needs of most drivers.
The StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System and Chevy’s own traction control system is standard on all Chevrolet Traverse models and provides outstanding balance and handling for the Traverse. Turns are crisp and steady, and the Traverse handles like a much smaller vehicle while providing exceptional suspension to keep passengers safe and comfortable.
Under the Hood
The Chevrolet Traverse features a 3.6 liter/220 cubic inch V6 engine. The direct injection system offers higher performance and better gas mileage than comparable models, and the electrical system boasts 730 battery cold cranking amps for fast starts.
The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse offers front and rear climate control on all models; dual-zone climate control is standard on the deluxe models. AM/FM stereo with CD player is standard on all models; three months of XM satellite radio is included with every Traverse purchase. Power steering and windows are standard on all models. Cloth and leather seats are available on most models, and deluxe options include a rearview camera, entertainment system, Bluetooth connections, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and heated seats. Some models include power driver and passenger seats and power tilt sunroof for an additional charge.
The 2011 Chevrolet Transverse comes standard with front and side driver and passenger air bags and, as in previous years, features the OnStar system to provide additional security for driver and passengers. Four-wheel ABS and disc brakes come standard, as does remote keyless entry; remote vehicle start and rear parking assist are available options on all but the LS and standard on the luxurious LTZ. The Chevrolet Traverse has achieved the highest possible crash safety rating for front and side-impact testing.
Since its introduction in 2009, the Chevrolet Traverse has announced four recalls affecting the electrical system, parking brake, power train, and rear seat belt buckles.
The sleek lines and aerodynamic design of the Chevrolet Traverse may not turn a lot of heads, but make it a favorite for families who want to avoid the minivan label. No major changes in overall design are expected for 2011.
The Chevrolet Traverse has retained about sixty percent of its original value after two years, a little below average for its price range and vehicle category.
The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse is a solid replacement for the family minivan; it seats eight and offers better gas mileage than most minivans or SUVs, making it a green choice as well as an economical one. The Traverse’s direct injection engine sets it apart from the bulk of the midsized SUVs on the market. The interior quality is a little weak compared to others in its price range, and the uninspired exterior styling may turn off some consumers. Its average consumer rating is four and a half out of five stars, making it one of the top performers in its category.
The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse goes head-to-head with the Ford Flex 4-door, the Toyota Highlander 4WD, and the Honda Pilot 4-door; these comparably-priced and equipped midsize SUVs offer roughly equivalent engine sizes, performance and fuel economy for consumers.