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STYLING | 7 out of 10
picks up styling cues from the Malibu sedan
strangely shaped, undersized rear window
Stylish interior design presents well at a distance.
The Traverse's styling is inoffensive. It suits the mission, we suppose, but there's not much excitement in the mildly contoured shape, nothing of the flair that you'd find in the chunky, trucklike GMC Acadia and flowing, curvilinear Buick Enclave that share the Traverse's platform.
There's clearly a lot of design influence shared with Chevrolet's cars—especially the Malibu—including the tall, horizontally divided grille. But next to the somewhat smaller Equinox, the Traverse is a little less adorned, a little more bland. The three Traverse models—LS, LT, and LTZ—are distinguished mainly by wheels, with top LTZ models available with especially flashy chrome 20-inchers. The lack of detail makes the rear end of the Traverse as forgettable as any minivan, however, no matter which trim.
The same holds true for the interior--it's functional, but not exciting, by any means, and the sheets of hard, dull plastic that wrap the dash and doors could use an upgrade. Take a step farther back, and the functional and simple theme can actually feel refreshing, in a sea of overwrought luxury interiors.
Don't look here for flair; the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse is simple and practical inside and out, and it suits the mission.