My family couldn't make the trip with me to Traverse City, Mich., so I made one of my best friends an "honorary family" member to test-drive the 2018 Traverse, designed to carry families and oodles of gear.
Laurie was thrilled to travel with me to this picturesque area located on the shores of Lake Michigan to try out the completely redesigned 2018 Chevy Traverse.
The Traverse seats up to eight with best-in-class maximum cargo space and has an enhanced roster of standard convenience, storage, and comfort features -- like built-in connectivity and wireless charging, which was perfect for Laurie and me, since we are always "on-the-job" with professional work demands, plus each of us like to keep in touch with our grown children when traveling. USB ports are in every row as well.
The updated Traverse is a charming meld of crossover, SUV, and minivan/wagon styling that can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The new version starts at $30,875, including destination, with a lineup that offers more choices: L, LS, LT, and Premier trims can be ordered in the all-new sporty RS edition, a race-inspired Redline, or top-of-the line High Country.
We chose an AWD Traverse painted in Iridescent Pearl Tricoat, with the Redline package that comes on the Premier trim; it features black wheels with distinct red hash marks, black nameplates with a red outline, blacked-out grilles, and black Chevrolet bowtie logos. Its dual skyscape sunroof provided extra illumination into our seven-seater.
We were impressed with Traverse's long and impressive list of uplevel features and smart technologies. Some of our favorites included the Enhanced Smart Slide seat that provides easy access to the third row, even with an empty forward-facing child seat in place using the LATCH system; Teen Driver technology; USB ports in all three rows; 12-volt power outlet; heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors; and capless fuel fill.
We had luggage for nearly a week's worth of travel on the road, so we made note of the crossover's best-in-class max cargo volume of 98.2-cubic feet, the 3.2-cu.-ft. of hidden underfloor cargo storage, the "truck-sized" center console, along with the 23 storage spots onboard for passengers in all three rows. A clever feature is the hidden storage behind the articulating radio screen.
Our Traverse was powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 310 horsepower and 366 lb.-ft. of torque; it's matched to a nine-speed automatic transmission. An upgraded 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is also available that delivers 255 hp and 295 lb.-ft. Fuel economy is rated at 18/27 mpg for the V-6, while turbo-four is slightly better.
During our 700-mile-long drive, we found ample power and great driving manners, with an average fuel economy of 25 mpg. We appreciated the quiet cabin with active noise cancellation, the humidity sensor that detects moisture and diverts air to the windshield to help prevent fogging, and a cadre of the latest safety features, including a surround-view camera, lane keeping and lane departure warning, front pedestrian braking, and forward collision alert with low- and high-speed braking, among other technologies.
Of note is Chevrolet's Rear Seat Reminder feature that can be life-saving and is standard on all trim levels; it reminds the driver to check the back seat for children and as well as goods. Connectivity includes standard support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; Chevrolet MyLink infotainment systems provide a number of ways to keep passengers connected.
On our favorites list were the Surround Vision cameras that provide a bird's-eye view of the Traverse to help make reversing, parking, or trailering easier; the new, hands-free power liftgate that projects a Chevrolet bowtie emblem on the ground; as well as the heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front seats, heated second-row outboard seats, and heated steering wheel.
Copyright © 2017 Motor Matters
|Base price||$30,895 (as tested: $48,295)|
|Curb weight||4,362 lbs.|
|Engine type||24-valve V-6|
|Epa mileage rating||17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway|
|Fuel capacity||21.7 gal.|
|Horsepower (net)||310 at 6800 rpm|
|Overall length||204.3 in.|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||266 at 2800 rpm|
|Vehicle type||7/8-passenger AWD midsize SUV|
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