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 LZ on Monday, March 16, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "roomy interior"
Cons: "many mechanical issues, cheap interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The car as had many mechanical issues and recalls since I purchased the car new. Many of the items were not covered under warranty. car has 60000 miles but I am getting rid of it."
2 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Duke fan on Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,250overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, My Link is easy to use, good mpg"
Cons: "Poor visibility backing, dash switches by screen"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I am enjoying our 2LT Traverse. It is nicely equipped with heated leather, quad seating,sunroof, and navigation. It is very comfortable and has great space throughout. I have over 2k on the car and never has the car gone under 16 mpg in the city. Some weeks it is over 17 mpg in mostly city driving. The My Link on a rare occasion can have an issue but overall it works fine. The dash lay out with the My Link screen and other controls needs to be redesigned. The radio stations are on the bottom of the screen. Directly under the screen on the dash are the info center controls and hazard warning switch. Several times while switching stations I have hit one of buttons and either turned on the hazards or activated the info panel. It is a poor layout to have them so close to the screen. The car heating system is strong and warms quickly. Outside mirror defogger works very fast. The rear view when backing is difficult. If you buy this car you absolutely need a rear view camera. We have one and cannot imagine backing up without one. The ride is comfortable but it would be nicer if it was just a little quieter. Certain road surfaces can cause the interior noise to be a little loud. Other reviewers thought it was quiet. I think it is not as quiet as it could be for the price. The daylight running lights need improvement. With all the other cars on the road including its sister Acadia and Enclave with LED day time Chevy still uses its headlights. This is really outdated and should be changed to make the car look as nice as its competitors."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By dena on Tuesday, March 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "value, styling, features when nicely equipped"
Cons: "third row seats are not comfortable."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"We purchased this car after having a minivan for close to 10 years. I did not want to go through another winter without AWD and I did not want another 5 or 10 years in a minivan. I wasnt even considering this car until my brother told me about it. I haven't driven an American car in 20 years. He and my SIL drive the other Lambda platform vehicles, the Acadia and the Enclave, respectively. I test drove all three and choose the Traverse 2LT leather fully loaded as the right compromise between value, styling, and features. I liked the handling and interior dash better than Acadia. The Enclave has a beautiful dash and a plush ride but my 2LT has all the features I really wanted and was a better value overall. Nothing can beat a minivan in terms of moving people and cargo but the Traverse has a roomy interior (we have the 2nd row bucket seats) and better than most rear storage. We took a long weekend trip with the 5 of us and had plenty of room. I regularly carpool with 4 teenagers in tow, including two 6 ft boys. It has an attractive dash, great safety features, and great technology. I love that I can remotely start it with my Onstar app from miles away and I love the diagnostics and the ability to get check my mileage, tire pressure, get maintenance reminders and schedule maintenance all through my app. Basic maintenance coverage is nice too. There are some blind spots but my vehicle has blind spot mirrors. I also have lane departure warnings and forward collision warnings. I basically can't live without the parking assistance. Things I don't like are the skinny steering wheel (I added a $20 aftermarket cover), the navi screen should be higher up in the dash, and the 3rd row seats are entirely too hard and flat. My kids are just now getting used to it. I'm going to get some sort of cushion for it. I'm hoping that I can keep this car for another 5 to 6 years. Here in my NE suburb, 5 years ago there were virtually no American cars anywhere. Now there are Acadias and Enclaves everywhere and Traverses are catching up. The only reason I'm not giving the car a 9 overall is that I haven't owned it long enough."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By JW on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"more cargo space than all the competition. we live on a dirt road, drives nice anywhere. very happy with the vehicle. i have heard that the interior in the subsequent model was less, very disappointing as I would most definitely buy another one."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By DB on Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Big, drives well, awd great in snow, loads of room"
Cons: "2nd row bench seat, rear visability,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Really like the car, but with only 11 3/4" in center of the 2nd row you cannot fit a child seat or even a child there. Seat buckles will not move. Try it before you buy it. Should of gotten the bucket seats. Really do not think this is an 8 passenger vehicle."
53 people out of 90 found this review helpful
By Chevy brat on Friday, December 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of cargo room."
Cons: "Traction is terrible."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"The vehicle rides smooth and has plenty of room but would not recommend the front wheel drive version at all in any climate. It seem like the vehicle is to heavy for the drive-train. We are constantly spinning the tires on any terrain wet, dry, or frozen. Would only consider an All Wheel Drive Traverse "IF" I were going to get another one."
34 people out of 60 found this review helpful