- Refined ride
- Responsive handling
- Smooth-shifting transmission
- Solid build quality
- Decent fuel efficiency
- Lackluster styling
- Unhurried acceleration
- High cargo floor
Strong, sturdy, and spacious, yet carlike in some ways, the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse offers a very appealing compromise.
To fill the void left by the departure of the long-running Chevrolet TrailBlazer SUV, GM introduced the Chevrolet Traverse crossover late last year. The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse is also related to the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, and it’s one of the more fuel-efficient vehicles in its class, thanks to its direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 engine.
The Traverse's styling may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s hardly what you would call offensive. The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse lacks the chunky, truck-inspired lines of the GMC Acadia or the flow of the Buick Enclave, but its simple design has an air of minimalistic elegance that we find charming. Inside, the low-key theme continues, but in a sea of overwrought luxury interiors, it's refreshing.
For those drivers looking to downsize their full-size truck or SUV for something nearly as capable and roomy, the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse proves to be a worthy contender. It provides much of what they need in a considerably more fuel-efficient package. Power comes from a direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 engine—the same unit found in the Cadillac CTS and STS. Peak output is rated at 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque for models equipped with a dual exhaust, or 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque for models with a single exhaust. With 90 percent of peak torque available from approximately 2,500 rpm to more than 6,000 rpm, there's enough punch to adequately move the Chevy's not inconsequential weight of up to 4,925 pounds. Compared to the most powerful of GM's full-size trucks and utilities, the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse accelerates at a leisurely pace, but never feels really slow or anemic. Where it shines is fuel economy, achieving 17/24 mpg (front-wheel drive) and 16/23 (all-wheel drive) while doing much of what a full-size SUV can do. This is helped by the vehicle’s brilliant six-speed automatic transmission, which shifts gears very smoothly.
All models get four-wheel independent suspension and StabiliTrak stability control, as well as wheel sizes measuring 17, 18, and 20 inches. Handling is surprisingly sharp for a vehicle of this size and weight, especially when equipped with the range-topping LTZ’s optional 20-inch wheel and suspension package. Chevrolet’s engineers manage to hit a sweet spot between secure handling and comfort. Steering response is quick, and body roll is present but not excessive. Furthermore, the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse handles bumps and other road imperfections with aplomb, coming close to matching some luxury passenger cars.
Build quality and switchgear in the 2010 Traverse is superb and equal to or better than most rival imports. Gauges are easy to see, and controls are easy to use. Splashes of chrome brighten things up. There’s space for eight occupants, with the seats divided into two front buckets and two 60/40-split benches. TheCarConnection.com likes the easy-to-use second-row seats that slide forward to provide access to the surprisingly comfortable third-row seats. However, it does take a high step up to enter that back row. Second-row captain’s chairs are also available, but carrying capacity is then reduced to seven.
The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse is also one of the safest vehicles in its class, scoring full marks in federal government testing. Additionally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names the 2010 model a Top Safety Pick for its good performance in front, side, and rear tests and standard electronic stability control. On top of that, this Chevy boasts lots of standard safety features, including front airbags, side airbags for the front seat, and side curtain airbags that help protect all three rows of seats. TheCarConnection.com advises opting for the rearview monitor, which makes those pesky reverse parking maneuvers a breeze.
The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse is available in three levels of trim, LS, LT, and LTZ, as well as either front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse offers all the bells and whistles that seem necessary to sell a vehicle today. For 2010, a USB port is now included with the premium radio option, as well as OnStar 8.2. Some of the vehicle’s options include a rearview camera, a power liftgate, a DVD player, XM Satellite Radio, and heated and cooled front seats. Up-spec models can also be fitted with a rear spoiler, 20-inch aluminum wheels, a dual-exhaust system, perforated leather, and a panoramic sunroof.