As large truck-based SUVs fall out of favor as family haulers, crossover SUVs have become an increasingly common replacement. When it came time for General Motors to build a large crossover for Chevrolet, it was unsurprising that GM would build the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse by using the same platform that underpins the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and at the time, the late Saturn Outlook.
The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse doesn't change much, and it's available with up to eight seats, and it offers both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive drivetrain configurations. There are three trim levels: LS, LT (LT models can be had in either 1LT or 2LT models), and LTZ. Power comes from a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 281 horsepower in LS and LT models and 288 in LTZ models. The sole transmission is a 6-speed automatic.
I had the chance to test a 2LT with front-wheel drive recently. Equipped with standard features like 18-inch wheels, ABS, traction control, an antiskid system, a power rear lift gate, heated sideview mirrors, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a USB port, and satellite radio, the base price came to $34,325.
Options included a DVD rear-seat entertainment package that also includes a navigation system, a rearview camera, surround sound, voice recognition, wireless headphones, a 115-volt power outlet, and XM nav traffic, all for $3,360; a leather seating package (leather seats in the first two rows, heated front seats, and a four-way power passenger seat, $1,775); the Personal Connectivity Package (wireless cell phone link, remote start, and universal home remote, $340); and the Trailering Package (heavy-duty cooling system, trailer hitch, $525). With the the $775 destination fee, the as-tested total came to $41,100.
That total price pushes the Traverse dangerously close to luxury territory, and for the most part, the Traverse feels like it's worth the money. The interior is handsome, the leather seats are comfortable even on long drives, and most of the features that one might expect in an upscale SUV are present.