Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
tuned like a car and could be called a tall station wagon, if that wasn't as big a stigma as calling it a minivan or SUV
this front-drive version exhibited some notable torque steer, even at speed when the throttle is punched
What’s most unexpected about the overall size of the Traverse has nothing to do with the interior, but rather how it performs on the road.
surprisingly peppy for a 5000-pound vehicle
it handled like a much smaller car
The Chevrolet Traverse performs in a way that's quick enough for family use, but not at all sporty. Don't expect quickness or agility, as this is a vehicle that doesn't do much from behind the wheel to mask its roughly 5,000 pounds.
Power remains provided by a smooth 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 rated at 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet. In the past we've found the six-speed automatic transmission to be lumpy on light acceleration, and slow to downshift when the pedal's to the metal; but for 2013 it features new programming which Chevrolet says results in more confident highway passing power with quicker shifts.
Both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations are available, but we've noticed that AWD versions do sap a little more power from the experience; as such, the Traverse feels quick enough for its intended family-hauling purpose. Ride and handling have been improved with new rebound springs in the front which helps with roll control. The Traverse will be able to tow up to 5,200 pounds.
The Traverse has pretty well-tuned, old-style hydraulic power steering, and for 2013 Chevrolet has made some changes—rebound springs and low-velocity shock valving—to firm up the Traverse's response to quick handling manuevers, yet keep its ride smooth. While we haven't yet put the Traverse through the paces in this respect, it likely won't make major advances from its previously ponderous manners. Expect ride quality to be a bit better, in any case.
Identical drivetrains should provide the same performance as before.