A mid-cycle refresh brings a new sense of style plus a generous helping of feature enhancements to the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, which makes its debut in New York. Highlighting the list of exterior changes to this popular mid-size crossover utility is a new front end treatment that aligns it more closely with look of the automaker's current passenger car family, most specifically, with the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu.
The Traverse's recast front clip nets a new fascia treatment with a three-bar upper/two-bar lower grille design, redesigned head and fog lamps, a bit of extra brightwork accenting and a bolder "powerdome" hood. Changes to the Traverse's tastefully made-over rear end include more interesting Malibu-flavored taillamp lenses, a restyled fascia/lower apron and a liftgate that now features an integral license-plate pocket.
Available in LS/LT1/LT2/LTZ trims, the 2013 Chevy Traverse gains a more elegant appearance inside as well. Its spacious three-row cabin with seating for seven or eight is enhanced with a healthy measure of new soft-touch surfaces on the dash and door panels, contrast stitching on the seats, new chrome/silver accent elements and available blue ambient lighting. The LT and LTZ-spec models also add new wood trim while the interior color choices -- in cloth or leather -- include Ebony/Mojave, Light Titanium/Dark Titanium or a monochrome Ebony. Beyond a more refined and user-friendly design for the climate controls, the redone center stack design in the 2013 Traverse also boasts a new 6.5-inch color touch radio with the available Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system that seamlessly interfaces with various smartphones to allow for Bluetooth audio streaming of Pandora and Stitcher. In addition to maintaining all of its existing safety features, the 2013 Traverse also will introduce the industry's first front center airbag. This new inflatable restraint deploys from the inboard side of the driver's seat to provide an extra measure of protection for front-seat passengers in the case of a severe "far-side" impact.
While its 3.6-liter direct-injected V6 engine carries over intact from the 2012 Traverse and will continue to deliver 281 horsepower with a single-exhaust system and 288 ponies with the dual-exhaust setup, the six-speed automatic transmission its paired with in both front and all-wheel-drive models does receive a modest tweak to the electronic controls for 2013. It's a change that Chevy says will allow it to deliver quicker and more consistent shifts without impacting the Traverse's EPA numbers.
As a suitable finishing touch, the ride and handling of the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse also have been enhanced. Revised shock absorber valving improves both control and ride smoothness at low speeds while rebound springs have been added to the front suspension struts to increase roll control in corners. Headed to showrooms sometime later this year, Chevrolet has yet to reveal pricing or a specific on-sale date for the new Traverse.