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2011 Chevrolet Traverse Performance

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While the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse doesn't appear agile, this big crossover is, in fact, a competent performer in most situations. There's one issue, though: It's heavy.

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 nearly 5,000 pounds. Compared to the most powerful of GM's full-size trucks and utilities, the Traverse accelerates at a leisurely pace, but never feels really slow or anemic.

With a four-wheel independent suspension and crisp hydraulic-assist steering, handling is surprisingly good for a vehicle of this size and weight—especially when equipped with the range-topping LTZ's optional 20-inch wheel and suspension package, with which Chevrolet's engineers manage to hit a sweet spot between secure handling and comfort. Body roll is present but not excessive, given the Traverse's portliness, and brakes are strong, though the driving experience is, in a word, laden; you won't forget you're driving a very heavy vehicle.

The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse performs adequately all around, but you won’t forget you’re in a heavy, family- and comfort-oriented vehicle.

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