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2011 Chevrolet Traverse

Overview
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2011 Chevrolet Traverse Review

By

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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who absolutely must have a V8 won't find one offered on the Traverse. Styling is a bit more contemporary than its stable mates at Buick and GMC, but resale values fall slightly below those held by the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.

What's New for 2011

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 the Traverse

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.

2011 Chevrolet Traverse Details
Interior

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.}

3.6-liter V6
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)

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 289 Ratings for the 2009 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Have owned my 2011 Traverse LTZ since March 2011

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Rides well"

Cons: "don't like how the AC buttons fade with time."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I traded in a 2007 Suburban for the Traverse. I picked it because it's the same seating arrangement as the suburban and I still needed the space but with better fuel economy. Overall, I really like the vehicle. The widebody and height give it stability. I have taken several long trips with it, and I am always impressed with the level of comfort and how safe it feels. I have no issues passing other cars even fully loaded. I have had no issues with it, other than the regular maintenance of it. My kids love the entertainment package and I love the sound quality. I miss my suburban, but the Traverse has been a very good replacement."

Chevy Traverse LTZ

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this vehicle. Only problem is that my husband died on July 3 and this vehicle is just too big for me."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Traverse is the Way to Go!

By on Monday, July 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Space for kids and your stuff, comfortable ride"

Cons: "Front seat could be roomier"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The 2012 Traverse provides the room that our family needs. With two teenage boys and grandparents often in tow, we are able to go places together in comfort. The captains chairs in the second row help make the third row more accessible when it is needed. My elderly grandmother is quite tall, and is able to easily get in the front passenger seat. I think it is easier for her than any car she rides in. There is plenty of storage room for groceries or luggage when traveling. We have had the vehicle for about a year and a half going from 18k to 32k with no issues other than the recalls. The seatbelt anchor was a very minor fix. My wife and I highly recommend this crossover for families."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Poor quality, many recalls

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Large cargo space"

Cons: "Numerous mechanical and electrical issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Go halfway between an Equinox and a Tahoe, and you get the Traverse. Unfortunately, the Traverse is neither an Equinox nor a Tahoe, and apparently the engineering and manufacturing processes are unique such that GM can't seem to "get it right." We have had recalls for seatbelts, faulty fuel gauge, and the car started blowing white smoke at about 20K miles - a problem that the dealer discredits. Additionally, there is a known problem with the StabiliTrak system causing stalls and bucking at speed (google for it) and just this week there's some persistent electrical problem that nobody can diagnose. We have spent about $2000 on rental cars to take long road trips because our Traverse was acting quirky, which is the purpose for us owning the Traverse in the first place. That said, if you get a good one, the features are really nice, and the cargo room is the best in class - larger than Highlander, Kia, Hyundai, etc."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love this vehicle

By on Saturday, July 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "What's not to love in this comfortable car."

Cons: "Seat cushions a bit stiff"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My model has the four captain seats. I can load up all the kids in carseats and teenagers and just go. I also have more room to carry cargo than most trucks (without kids that is). The seats are a bit stiff and could use a bit more padding. It is a pure joy on our many road trips and just across town. I highly recommend this suv over the bigger versions. They're just wasted of space in my opinion."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Drives great, but not reliable

By on Saturday, July 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "perfect size, great drive and pick up"

Cons: "not reliable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Was very happy with how the vehicle drove, nice pick up and great room. But as the miles increased, so did the problems. Blower for the heater, rear door, struts, transmission, you name it"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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