The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is all-new and rides on a new platform for midsize and large crossovers. It sports exterior styling that's less rounded than its predecessor.
The 2018 Traverse is a full-size three-row crossover that slots below that larger Tahoe and above the smaller Equinox, and can seat up to eight passengers. Front-wheel drive comes standard and all-wheel drive is optional on all trims except the range-topping High Country trim, where AWD is standard.
Traverse L: Well-equipped from the start, the base L trim comes standard with a rearview camera, Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, 18-inch alloy wheels, HID headlights, six USB ports, a 3.5-inch multi-information display, keyless entry/start, tri-zone climate control, and the Teen Driver feature that monitors your teenager's driving habits.
Traverse LS: The LS adds tinted glass on top of the L's long list of standard features.
Traverse LT Cloth: The LT Cloth trim adds fog lights, roof rails, second-row captain's chairs, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Bright Silver 18-inch alloy wheels.
Traverse LT Leather: Moving up to the more upscale LT Leather trim gets you rear parking sensors, a 360-degree view camera system, navigation, a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, heated front seats, leather upholstery, remote start, a programmable power liftgate, a Bose premium audio system, a 4.2-inch multi-information display, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Traverse RS: As the sportier trim of the Traverse, the RS adds dark 20-inch alloy wheels, black badges, black roof rails, and black window surrounds in addition to all the standard features found on the LT Leather grade. The Traverse RS also gets a powerful turbo-four instead of the V-6 on other trims.
Traverse Premier: One of two luxury-oriented trims, the Traverse Premier adds 20-inch metallic alloy wheels, a wireless device charger, LED headlights, a hands-free power liftgate, memory settings for the driver's seat, a heated steering wheel, perforated leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and heated second-row captain's chairs.
Traverse High Country: The range-topping High Country grade adds polished 20-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a power-folding third row, a heavy-duty cooling system, trailer hitch, and a two-tone black and brown leather upholstery.
The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is powered by either a 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque or a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 255 hp and 295 lb-ft. However, the four-cylinder is available exclusively on the RS trim and isn't available with all-wheel drive. Both engines are paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission that General Motors co-developed with Ford. EPA fuel economy ratings are 18/27 mpg city/highway for V-6-powered front-drive models and 17/25 mpg with all-wheel drive. The turbo-four is the most efficient at 20/26 mpg.
The NHTSA and IIHS haven't crash tested the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse. On the LT Cloth trim, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available as part of the Convenience and Driver Confidence package or standard on the LT Leather and higher grades. Low speed automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, IntelliBeam headlights, following distance indicator, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning are available on the Premier trim via the Driver Confidence II package, and they come as standard on the High Country model. Adaptive cruise control and an automatic emergency braking system that works at higher speeds is available exclusively on the High Country trim where they come as standard features.
When properly equipped, the 2018 Traverse can tow up to 5,000 pounds of payload. Cargo space is generous at 23 cubic feet behind the third row, 58.1 cubic feet behind the second row, and 98.2 cubic feet behind the front seats.
In a 2018 First Drive, we noted that the 3.6-liter V-6 moves the Traverse with ease and that the nine-speed automatic does its job without much drama. Despite its size, the 2018 Traverse possesses surprising good handling with minimal body roll. Interior space is generous, especially for cargo, thanks to the addition of underfloor storage. Passenger space in the third row, however, is cramped and forces occupants to sit with their knees up higher.
We noted in a 2018 First Test that despite its newfound handling prowess, the Traverse continues to offer a smooth ride thanks to its upgraded suspension with new shock absorbers. Although it has plenty of cargo space, the Traverse is still no match for a minivan, which offers more usable space.