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 jr on Monday, October 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great ride"
Cons: "Lousy gas mileage, lousy performance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Traded a 2008 Tahoe LTZ, 4WD, 5.3L flex fuel for the 2014 Traverse LTZ with AWD. Surprisingly, gas mileage is almost the same, but the Traverse will barely pull a motorcycle trailer with 3 motorcycles on it up any significant hill even though it is equipped with the towing package that says it will pull a 5000 lb load. I guess it will if the road is flat. Although it is nice and it rides great, it is embarrassingly under powered. I wish I had kept the Tahoe."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By CapnKirk on Wednesday, October 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy and rides very well city & Highway"
Cons: "Went through the front tires by 36K but it is FWD"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is the 1st Chevy I have ever owned....It's been a great car...never stopped...needed just regular maintenance...no new battery...need some front tires...Drove this on 3 really long trips and performed like a champ...lots of room when you flip the 3rd row seat down..."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Wolf Doitsu on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "Too many issues..."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"My mother has owned this vehicle for a little under three years... We have had multiple issues with it, including but not limited to: Engine replacement, Main Oil Seal break, Washer Fluid Pumps not working, and multiple recalls for major safety defects. At this point I would not recommend this vehicle to anyone, even though my family and I are huge GM advocates..."
11 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By JMom on Sunday, August 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handles great in all weather"
Cons: "Difficult to manage DVD controls from front seat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great vehicle that meets all of our needs, and surpasses our expectations with quality and safety. Comfortably seats 7 passengers, but we primarily use it for our two kids, dog AND cargo."
15 people out of 27 found this review helpful
By Bobbie on Thursday, August 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy, comfortable, fun with the family."
Cons: "I can haul hay or dirt in this. Need chev truck."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"2011 Chev Traverse 2LT option package that is pearl white with Gray leather interior, fully carpeted auto transmission, full gauges on the dash, hand free Bluetooth phone connection, on star with turn by turn directions, XM premium radio with Bose speakers and CD player in the dash. Climate control, remote start, keyless entry, 20" chrome shells with Bridgestone tires. Third row seating. Love this car, but now have to have a hauler of other things for the ranch."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By beccalee3 on Thursday, August 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I needed a vehicle that had additional seating but did not want a minivan. After looking at several other makes/models I decided the Traverse was going to be the best value for what I wanted and needed. I'm not a huge fan of the exterior design but the inside is very nice and also roomy. It's a nice riding vehicle when compared to a Trail Blazer or Envoy but not as nice/smooth of a ride as with a Buick LaCross. Knock on wood - I haven't had a single issue with it. As far as fuel economy I would say it's pretty average. I do a lot of city stop and go driving and average about 18mpg."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful