By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
Despite a drop off in full-size SUV sales, American families are not getting any smaller. They still need the room and power of a big SUV, but with better fuel economy and handling. Keenly aware that many Americans have an inescapable need for seven-passenger transportation, Chevrolet created the Traverse, a crossover SUV offering maximum interior space, mid-level towing ability and fuel economy numbers that reach into the mid twenties. The Traverse combines contemporary styling, one of the best accident avoidance system 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 5,400 pounds and reasonably good fuel economy for its size, the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse may be the best game in town.
Changes for 2011 are limited to some new paint colors, a relocated USB port and the availability of heated cloth seats on LT models.
Driving Impressions The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse delivers a surprisingly smooth ride, has adept handling and offers strong acceleration with very respectable gas mileage. To push the envelope, 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 skills 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. To our great surprise (and relief) 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 Chevrolet's largest crossover SUV. Second-row seats that slide fore and aft improve leg room while permitting easy entry in to 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 remains remarkable quiet, even at highway speeds.Exterior
The most noticeable difference between the Traverse and its sister vehicles, the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, can be found up front, where Chevrolet's recently introduced 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 of the chassis, 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 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 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 roll mitigation technology, 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 (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, 115-volt three-prong outlet, two different rearview backup cameras (one for use with navigation, the other for vehicles without), Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist, heated windshield wiper fluid, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, dual-zone climate control, HID headlamps, heated front seats (heated and cooled front seats standard on LTZ) and a dual panel glass moonroof.
The 2011 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 engines, however, the Traverse is not E85 compatible.}
281 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
288 horsepower @ 6300 rpm (dual exhaust)
266 lb.-ft of torque @ 3400 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm (dual exhaust)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/23 (AWD)
By R. Wilson on Saturday, August 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,400overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Cons: "Headrests are very uncomfortable."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"We bought it Nov. 2013 with a tow package. We tow a light weight camper. While the gas mileage isn't that great while under tow (we expected that)it isn't to bad either. We have been very pleased with this vehicle. Our grandson (who is 6'7") can fit in it. Carries 8 easily and he is one of those 8."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Rob on Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,600overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I got zero percent financing and good trade value on my old car plus price was listed $4,000 below sticker, no brainer right? I'll start with the good since it is a short list. I thought the interior looked classy although the fit and finish is nowhere as good as my old Acura MDX. I needed a third row seat and liked that it offers the two captains chairs in the back for easy access to the third row especially with two car seats and a third older child. I like that there is still a decent amount of room behind the third row even with them upright. The hatch opening is a bit smaller than my old MDX and thus limits cargo size on the occasion that I have to move something big. Second row seats are very awkward and difficult to move into the full forward or down position. Ride is super quiet even at highway speeds and smooth too. Steering on the highway seems loose and I must constantly correct inputs to keep it pointed straight. Power is decent especially for a small V6 on a relatively heavy SUV although shifting still feels odd and seems as if there is a delay between romping the gas pedal and the reaction of the drive train. The touch screen requires a heavy touch to activate a control and causes a distraction while driving. Also, the moon roof only provides a mesh cover and fails to keep the sun from completely heating the interior. Stereo sounds great but XM is constantly losing the signal, don't know if it is satellite related or just poor antenna design. Also, navigation seems to be late call directions which can cause you to miss turns. Now the real problems. Oil low level sensor was faulty on delivery of the car. They had to drop the whole motor for a total of almost six days of labor to change a simple switch because GM didn't have seal to fit it. Power passenger mirror that is supposed to tilt down when in reverse fails to return to the upright position intermittently. Dealer says they could not duplicate the problem and has since not returned. After picking up vehicle the left hand turn signal and brake light does not work on my trailers, tried both trailers I own and both have same problem, problem is probably located in vehicle wiring. Then tonight, the front collision alert camera stopped working and the vehicle is telling me to service it. The driver's seat rocks back and forth and is getting progressively worse, another item to be serviced. I also noticed a small hole in the bottom of the primary muffler, I don't know if its supposed to be there but there is exhaust gas escaping from it under the center of the vehicle, this can't be good for occupants and to top it off the alignment has been off since day one. The build quality of this vehicle is atrocious, I wish I never bought it and will have to now bring it back for more warranty work. Chevy did pay for one months car payment but it will no way make up for this. They have forever left a bad taste in my mouth and will probably never buy another one again. Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere for a vehicle."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Driver on Friday, July 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great for large family, very comfortable, roomy"
Cons: "seat belts are hard to latch"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Large enough to seat 7 people..skinny people in back. Runs like a dream, Gas mileage not so great. Very good car."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Ash on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,400overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quiet, easy to drive, nice interior, etc."
Cons: "Uncomfortable for long trips"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We got our family's Chevy Traverse brand new in 2009. It was the first time either my husband or I had bought a car brand new, so we were skeptics. However, 5 years later and our traverse is good as new! Never once have had ANY problems. Runs smoothly, quietly, and is easy to handle. The only problem we have with it is minor and relates to the LS model, but the seats are not the most comfortable, and the seat belt buckles don't go down so squeezing 8 people can be painful! Other than that, we have not had a single problem. Other families even tell us how much they envy our SUV! LOVE IT! Would recommend to anyone!"
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By CT on Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"We purchased this vehicle because it does have what seems to be the largest interior space and we love how the 3rd row seating is so easy to put up and down. The interior is very cheap looking and does not wear well. We have had several problems with vehicle...air conditioning, timing chain, remote starter etc. Repairs on these vehicles seem to be more costly than others."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By jcoffee37 on Monday, July 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 121,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of room. OK on gas. Very easy on long drives"
Cons: "No Bluetooth."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We've driven this car around the US three times. Regular oil changes, tire rotations (replaced every 45,000 miles) plus recommended maintenance is all we've done. Entertainment system is great for grandchildren. With back two rows down, plenty of room for all we need for months of traveling. Still looks brand new. We really like this car and will get the new one in the fall."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful