The Chevrolet Traverse veers on the larger side of the three-row midsize SUV segment—and its size actually translates into interior space. Thanks to its boxy profile, the Traverse has presence; it especially stands out in the RS and High Country trims. There are lots of convenient touches, too, like second-row seats that slide out and tip up, a hands-free power liftgate with a height configuration, and an available 360-degree view parking camera system to help you park your massive box on wheels in any spot. For 2021, the available Driver Confidence II package has been renamed the Chevy Safety Assist package and is available on all but the L and LS grades of the Traverse.
The Traverse will benefit from a slightly updated design for the 2022 model year.
Size remains the Chevrolet Traverse's strongest feature. Unlike some of its competitors, this rig is big on the outside and inside. The third row fits adult passengers comfortably while still providing enough cargo space for a quick trip to the grocery store. Too bad the interior disappoints; there's excessive amounts of hard plastic on nearly every surface, even on higher trims. Further making the Traverse feel dated is the bland interior design, which is far from tasteful. At least the infotainment system is modern. However, its buttons could be better laid out with clear differentiation to improve user-friendliness.
As for the V-6 engine and nine-speed automatic, both operate well. The engine provides plenty of power and the transmission delivers smooth, timely shifts. The steering is accurate, too, which is helpful for maneuvering a big beast like the Traverse into tight spaces. We do wish body roll was better controlled, though.
The Traverse may be spacious, smooth, and easy to live with, but it lacks polish. Additionally, you're forced to get at least a midgrade trim in order to gain access to any active safety features, hurting the SUV's overall value equation (Chevy makes more safety features standard for 2022).
The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 with 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. With the standard nine-speed automatic transmission, the Traverse is EPA rated at 18/27 mpg city/highway in FWD guise or 17/25 mpg with AWD.
NHTSA: 5 stars (out of a possible five stars)
IIHS: The Traverse got a Good score in five crashworthiness tests. In headlight testing, the optional LED units got an Acceptable rating, and the standard HID units got a Poor (Good is the highest score). In the front crash prevention test, Traverse got a Superior rating for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests (Superior is the highest rating). However, the High Country trim only got an Advanced rating with its enhanced front automatic emergency braking system.
You must select the LT trim or higher to get any driver assistance technologies. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are part of the Convenience and Driver Confidence package. The Chevy Safety Assist package (formerly Driver Confidence II package) adds forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, front automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, following distance indicator, and automatic high-beams. Both packages are standard on the RS trim and up. Adaptive cruise control and an enhanced front automatic emergency braking system are standard only on the range-topping High Country trim.
Less expensive versions of the Chevrolet Traverse get a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a 3.5-inch instrument cluster display. LT Leather and higher trims get a 4.2-inch instrument cluster display and an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Built-in navigation and a 10-speaker Bose audio system are standard in the RS grade and higher.
The best versions of the Traverse are the RS and Premier trims, as both are generously equipped. These two get you all the active safety features that are missing or optional on the lower trims. Adaptive cruise control is the only assistance tech you'll be missing because that's exclusive to the High Country.
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