By KBB.com Editors
Although the once-thriving SUV business is in a sales downturn, GM is keenly aware that many Americans still have a need for seven-passenger transportation. With this in mind, GM has created a new line of crossover SUVs offering maximum interior space, mid-level towing capability and fuel economy numbers that reach into the mid-twenties. The latest iteration of this well-conceived platform is the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, a vehicle that combines contemporary styling, one of the best accident-avoidance systems in the business and an interior worthy of a high-end luxury car – all at a Chevrolet price.
If you're looking for a big family vehicle with excellent safety ratings, the ability to tow 5,200 pounds and reasonably good fuel economy for its size, the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse may be the best game in town.
While closely related to the Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, the Traverse puts Chevrolet's own spin on the popular platform and represents the company's first foray into the full-size crossover segment. GM's most visible brand hopes to draw in loyalists as well as new customers looking for that unique Chevrolet combination of affordability, reliability and sportiness.
Driving Impressions As with the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia, the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse delivers a surprisingly smooth ride, has adept handling and offers strong acceleration with very respectable gas mileage. We...tested our Traverse on an enclosed track running a series of obstacle-avoidance tests. Driven back-to-back against the Toyota Highlander, the Traverse exhibited superior capabilities in almost every situation. In one test, we accelerated to 45 miles per hour and, without braking, executed a quick left-right maneuver on wet pavement around an orange pylon strategically placed to represent a sudden obstacle in the road. The StabiliTrak stability control system worked so efficiently it made small work of the test, allowing us to return immediately to our lane without any loss of control.
StabiliTrak Stability Control with Rollover Mitigation Technology
Although you'll never know it until you have to use it, this technology could very well save your life. It drastically improves the Traverse's ability to remain composed in even the most radical emergency maneuvers.
Smart Slide Second-row Seat
This easy and convenient feature allows the second-row seat bottom to flip up and the seat to slide forward, creating a wide pathway to the third-row seat.
Tasteful design, high-quality materials and one of the most accommodating interiors in the class are the hallmarks of GM's newest crossover SUV. Second-row seats that slide fore and aft improve leg room while permitting easy entry into the third-row seat. And, unlike many third-row seats, the Traverse's can actually accommodate two adults in comfort while affording them full side-curtain airbag protection. Storage bins and cup holders abound, and there is enough room behind the third-row seat to accommodate two golf bags. Chevrolet has also gone to great lengths to silence the Traverse's cabin, which is remarkable quiet, even at highway speeds.Exterior
The most noticeable difference between the Traverse and its sister vehicles can be found up front, where Chevrolet's new Malibu-inspired split-grille face is prominently displayed. The rear quarter window is also different, sharply angled upwards at its bottom edge. With its big wheels pushed to the outer edges, the Traverse presents an image of size and stability. Wide rear door openings make it easy for passengers to enter and exit the third-row seat, and an available electrically-powered rear hatch aids access to the cargo area. Available convex insets built into the upper corner of each side mirror help expose objects ordinarily masked by blind spots.
Every 2009 Chevrolet Traverse comes standard with six airbags, including full-length side-curtain airbags, front side-impact airbags and front-passenger airbags. Also standard are StabiliTrak stability control with rollover mitigation technology, a one-year subscription to OnStar with Turn-by-Turn navigation, AM/FM stereo with CD and XM Satellite Radio, power windows, mirrors and door locks, rear wiper/washer, cruise control, 17-inch wheels, Smart Slide second-row seat and flush-folding third-row seat.
Options vary by trim, which includes 1LT, 2LT and LTZ. Available features on most trims include remote start, a power rear liftgate (both standard on 2LT and LTZ), Bose 10-speaker Surround Sound audio system, DVD navigation, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, all-wheel drive, second-row captain's-chair seating, Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist, 110-volt three-prong outlet, two different rearview backup cameras (one for vehicles with navigation, the other for those without), heated windshield-wiper fluid, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, tri-zone climate control, HID headlamps, heated front seats (heated and cooled front seats standard on LTZ) and a dual-panel glass moonroof.
The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse is powered by a sophisticated 3.6-liter V6 engine with variable valve timing and direct injection technology for improved performance and fuel economy. While most owners will be just fine with the 281 horsepower found on the LS and LT trims, the LTZ features a dual exhaust which bumps the horsepower to 288. All trims feature a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode and can be equipped with Chevrolet's excellent intelligent all-wheel-drive system. Unlike many of GM's other vehicles, however, the Traverse is not E85-compatible.}
281 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
288 horsepower @ 6300 rpm (dual exhaust)
266 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5500 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm (dual exhaust)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/23 (AWD)
By Win Adams on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Love it. Gas mileage not very good, but expected that when knew that when we bought this size of vehicle. Safety belt fasteners in bad location and head rests are just plain terrible."
By Jake82 on Monday, March 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, smooth, AWD for beach/mountain driving"
Cons: "Add ons are expensive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Rides smoothe, dependable, great acoustics, roomy like a minivan on the inside, but a SUV on the outside. I get lots of compliments on my car. I recommend the 4 bucket seats, seats 7 instead of 8 but way worth it!!"
By NoMoreChevys4Me on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "size, price"
Cons: "badly made, no support from GM at all"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I’ve had 4 Chevy vehicles. All good experiences, until I bought the 2012 traverse for my wife and kids. It’s been problematic since day one. Problems include vibration noises from the exhaust (it took 3 tries to fix that), front speaker works sometimes (not fixed yet), air bag light comes on often (6 attempts, still not fixed), it’s had motor mounts replaced… etc. Its has been worked on by two different delerships many times. Tried to get some help from GM to get trade-in assistance to by another new chevy traverse, they offered ZERO dollars. Asked for to extend the warenty as it will expire at 36000 miles and I have 30,000… they said no to that too. Asked for a loaner while it in the shop… no to that too, only if it stays over night. The worst customer service I have ever had. They lost a loyal customer for life."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By caser on Sunday, March 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy, dependable, smooth ride, sturdy"
Cons: "purchase price, cost of new tires"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Roomy enough for extremely big and tall passengers in front and back and hauls a lot. Teenage children even like it and want to drive it. Really, my most dependable car ever. With the extreme weather (winter of 2014), I commute at least one hour daily. This vehicle never fails to get me to and from my destinations safely. Holds it's value, always have offers to buy it. Pretty decent on gas mileage. Only downside for buyers is cost, but in this case, you will get what you pay for. I highly recommend!"
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By crow on Friday, March 21, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: wife wants a mustang
Pros: "dependability,room,comfort,fuel milage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"it has served its purpose with dependability,comfort,and 24mpg.the grandkids enjoy watching their movies.the Bose system is great,its an attractive suv with more than enough power to do whatever you need,as a family vehicle.with remote start its nice to get in on those cold mornings with the heated seats and dual climate control.color is red jewel matallic with grey leather interior,with dual sunroofs."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By GrannyB944 on Monday, March 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "The safety features are the biggest selling point"
Cons: "New ones are getting more expensive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We got caught in our recent ice/snow event. We live atop a mountain and the road getting there is steep and curvy and I was terrified that we would not be able to get home. My husband has a multitude of health issues and we needed to be home. As we approached the first part of the climb, we noticed many cars parked and abandoned and we hadn't even gotten to the really hard part. People were walking and I could envision us trying to make that last 2 miles up the mountain on foot. Scary thought! My husband, however, dropped the transmission into low and we got up the first incline, crossed the very icy bridge and as we came to the second and steeper climb, cars were littered all over the side and the middle of the road. Not ever changing speed, he manoeuvered around a Mustang in the center of the road, got us up to the top of the mountain where the road leveled off. Dozens of people were walking and we stopped to pick up a mother and her two young children. Back moving again, we never lost traction even as we descended into our S/D and navigated a very sharp curve on the decline. We got to our house and our passengers made the trip to theirs two doors away on foot. I was so relieved that I was shaking. I attribute our successful journey not just to my husband's expert handling, but more to the AWD, stabili-trak/abs and weight of the vehicle. Most everyone who I have told this story to is in awe that while 4WD vehicles were stranded everywhere, our car got us home. It took us about 30 minutes from the time we got to the mountain base to home. I hope that AWD becomes a standard feature on your vehicles in the near future. This 'adventure' was nothing short of amazing. Our friends, OTOH, spent 8 hours trying to go 9 miles in their mini-van and finally had to walk the last mile to their house because of the icy roads. And they don't even live on the slightest hill."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful