Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Traverse

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse FWD 3LT
  •  ENGINE: 3.6-liter V6
  •  TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automatic 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 310 hp @ 6,800 rpm/266 lb.-ft. @ 2,800 rpm
  • WHEELBASE: 120.9 in.
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 204.3 x 78.6 x 70.7 in. 
  • TIRES: P255/55R20
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 23/58.1/98.2 cu. ft. (behind 3rd row/2nd row/1st row)
  • ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway/15.6 mpg test
  • FUEL TANK: 19.4 gal.
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,362 lbs. #/HP: 14.1
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 5,000 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Expedition, Infiniti QX80, Lexus LX
  • STICKER: $42,785 (includes $945 destination, $690 options (trailering package, front license plate mount)
  • BOTTOM LINE: The new Chevrolet Traverse is a very smooth, responsive and quiet-riding SUV.

          Yes, I know that the Chevrolet Traverse is rated as a “standard SUV,” but there’s a part of my soul that also rates it as a van - not a minivan but a real van. There is so much about the Traverse that reminds me of our old Chevy van from the 1980s, primarily its practicality. 
          One feature the redesigned Traverse has that our old van didn’t have is a quiet ride and responsiveness. Our van was built on a truck chassis and at times felt like it. The Traverse apparently isn’t built on a truck chassis, and as such it offers a smooth, quiet ride. The long (120.9-inch) wheelbase helps in the ride quality department, but there is also a lot of sound deadening material to aid the Traverse along. The Traverse isn’t Chevy’s biggest SUV; that honor goes to the Suburban, which is about 20 inches longer on a 10-inch longer wheelbase. But baby, it is a bit more practical because of the smaller size.
          As with many large SUVs, there is three-row seating in the Traverse. Even with the third-row seats up, there is plenty of cargo capacity behind them, just like our van. The third-row seats lower and raise easily, for when you want to convert the passenger hauler into a cargo hauler. 
          Also, as with many Chevrolet vehicles these days, there is a “back seat reminder.” If the back doors are opened for any reason during your trip, when you turn the Traverse off, a reminder beep tells you to check the back seat for packages, children, gorillas, etc. This has saved us a lot of take-out from the restaurants we haunt.
          Front seats are comfortable in the Traverse. They have multiple power adjustments to make them conform to your body. Second row seats offer good leg room. There are individual HVAC controls for second row passengers. The wide aisle between the second-row bucket seats allows easy access to the third row bench, which also offers decent leg room. The second-row seats also fold and slide forward to provide third row access.
          The front passengers face a nice dash that is reminiscent of the Impala. The clear instrument panel has a large tachometer and speedometer with smaller fuel and water temperature gauges. The information panel in the center gives fuel economy among its choices, but we opted for a digital speedometer. 
          Behind the wheel are buttons to control the audio, with a select button on the left and volume control on the right, similar to Chrysler’s.  
          For internal storage there is a large cubby at the base of the center stack with two USB outlets an AUX and a 12-volt. The large center console/arm rest also has a tray inside for added practicality. The doors have multiple pockets, including door pulls that have bottoms. The rear doors have similar usefulness. 
          The infotainment screen has multiple choices for audio, phone, projection, navigation, settings, weather, text and OnStar. The weather screen, for example, gives local weather at three-hour intervals, as well as hourly, five-day, on route, etc. The infotainment screen raises to expose a small cubby behind it with a pair of USB outlets. 
          One problem I had with the Traverse is the same I have with other large vehicles. Parallel parking can be difficult, especially when there isn’t a lot of width to the space or the aisles are narrower than they should be. 
          With a huge 19.4-gallon fuel tank and fuel economy in the mid-teens, you might end up spending time at gas stations. To make life a little easier, the Traverse has a capless fuel filler. I have been dumb enough to actually lose fuel filler caps, so this is a huge advantage for me.
          The redesigned Chevrolet Traverse is a nice package, especially if you want or need a large, three-row vehicle that can also be used as a cargo carrier and don’t want to go all the way up to a Suburban. I was particularly impressed by the quality of the ride and the near silence of its performance.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

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