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.