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- Excellent 9-speed automatic transmission
- Comfortable, spacious first and second row seats
- Enormous cargo hold
- Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HID headlights
- Conservative exterior styling
- Best safety equipment limited to high-end models
- Third row tight for adults
A new powertrain and crisp (but conservative) styling mean the Traverse is once again a contender in the three-row crossover race.
The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse walks a delicate line between being an affable, family-friendly crossover SUV and looking like something more rugged and capable.
Clean styling inside and out, an enjoyable standard powertrain, a comfortable, spacious cabin, and most of the equipment we expect in a modern family car help the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse score 7.2 out of 10 in our testing. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
For now, all Traverses use a new 3.6-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque that adds 20 hp over last year’s V-6. It’s the only available engine until a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-4 joins the lineup under the hood of the Traverse RS. Both engines work alongside a standard 9-speed automatic, but only the V-6 is available with all-wheel drive. At this point, we’ve only driven the V-6 and will update once we drive the RS.
The V-6 model improves on the first-generation crossover’s fuel economy despite the extra power. Thanks in part to the 9-speed automatic, the front-drive Traverse returns 18 mpg city, 27 highway, 21 combined. All-wheel drive lowers those figures to 17/25/20 mpg. Both are substantial increases on the last Traverse, which could only muster 15/22/18 mpg in its most efficient trim.
The 2018 Traverse is available in seven trims—L, LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier, and High Country are the others. Each comes with a HID headlights with LED running lights, rearview camera, 18-inch wheels, a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, Bluetooth, six USB ports, keyless ignition, and three-zone climate control. That means even the $34,995 (including a mandatory $945 destination charge) Traverse LS has a lot going for it.
The most advanced active safety equipment is, as is Chevrolet’s tendency, limited to the range-topping Premier and High Country—it’s only standard on the latter. Lesser trims, like the LT Cloth and LT Leather, are available with blind-spot monitors, while all trims come with GM’s Teen Driver and Family Link systems, as part of the OnStar suite.