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The Ultimate Family Vehicle: 2013 Traverse

By Arv Voss, January 19th, 2013

What's looks like a minivan but is called a crossover? Hint: The Bow Tie crew says it's the ultimate family vehicle. Answer: Chevy Traverse.

Manufacturer photo: The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse offers families a new gathering space with greater style, refinement and safety
Manufacturer photo: The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse offers families a new gathering space with greater style, refinement and safety

This eight-passenger people-mover is more athletic appearing for 2013 with a new expressive frontal design clearly exhibiting new character. Up front the new look includes a power dome hood, horizontal grille; new headlamp treatment; and chrome trim accents with sculpted front corners. In the rear is a sporty new liftgate.

The exterior body lines are taut with minimal front and rear overhangs, conveying the feeling of a smaller vehicle, which is deceptive considering the spacious interior accommodations.

It also feels and drives smaller than one would expect. Upscale design elements include: Deep-set grille inserts with chrome-ringed trim, turn signals integrated in the outside mirrors, expressive taillamps, a rear spoiler integrated over the liftgate window, roof rails that enhance the sleek appearance, dual, bright exhaust outlets and a panoramic, power-operated sunroof.

Starting at $31,335, the 2013 Traverse is available in three trims: LS, LT and the flagship LTZ. There are two engine choices, which may seem a bit confusing at first, since both are 3.6-liter V-6 engines, featuring direct injection coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Manufacturer photo: The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse offers families a new gathering space with greater style, refinement and safety

The "single exhaust" version puts out 281 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. The "dual exhaust" V-6 version generates 7 more horsepower (288 hp) and 17 additional torque (270 lb.-ft.). FWD models deliver EPA mileage ratings of 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. The AWD version yields 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Traverse is capable of towing up to 5,200 pounds when properly equipped.

Specifications

Base price $37,405 (as tested: $44,135)
Curb weight 4,713 lbs.
Displacement 3.6-liter
Epa mileage rating 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 22.0 gal.
Horsepower (net) 288 at 6300 rpm
Motor type 24-valve DOHC V-6 w/DI
Overall length 203.7 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 270 at 3400 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Vehicle type 7/8-passenger FWD large CUV
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