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 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."
43 people out of 73 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."
29 people out of 53 found this review helpful
By Bird on Wednesday, December 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Average car"
Cons: "Breaks down every 6 to 12 months"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"My Traverse has been a nightmare. I only have 85,000 miles on it and it has been the dealership 5 times for major repairs. Timing Belt replacement, transmission went out, engine cover leaking oil, etc. The latest nightmare is my power steering has locked up and I now need a new pump and gears to the tune of $1,200. Look online about the steering problems before you buy this lemon."
29 people out of 49 found this review helpful
By Limey62 on Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Just bought a loaded 2014 LTZ and love the car. I upgraded from a 2007 ford feestyle, and the difference is amazing. The engine is smooth and gutsy and the technology i great. I wish it had push button start but the remote start feature, and other features make up for it. I have 3 teenage kids and this is a perfect fit for us."
24 people out of 50 found this review helpful
By GoodByeChevy on Saturday, October 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "middle captains seats uncomfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We bought our 2012 Traverse LTZ in Aug of 2012. It had a few miles on it which we prefer so we don't take a huge hit right off the bat with depreciation [sic]. We have always bought our vehicles that way and drive them til they die. Little did we know it would only take a year for that to happen with the Traverse. Right away we had problems with the airbag light going off and had to bring it in 3 times until they actually figured out the problem and fixed it. Last Halloween 2013 I dropped my daughter off at a friends house and the battery light and some warning light came on. Come to find out the alternator was going out. ONE year after having it! Pay to get that fixed and then this spring the NAV/DVD quit working which, with 3 kids, was one of the reason we purchased this one.We can fix it though for $1500! Fast forward a couple months and NOW the engine light is on indicating another problem! We bought this car to avoid costly repairs and to have a nice vehicle. Beyond disappointed and no longer feel safe in it. Oh I fogot to mention the 3 recalls we received this summer for the airbags and seltbelts! We are bringing it back to where we bought it today and switching to a different comp. Oh and we are now driving our 2000 Tahoe which we purchased in 2001 and had little to no problems with."
18 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By Paul on Saturday, October 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable ride; roomy; easy access"
Cons: "Body style does not appeal to me"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"It does everything I want it to do, including the pulling of a small travel trailer. I would certainly consider buying a newer model."
15 people out of 22 found this review helpful