By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.2
The family vacation is an integral part of American life, which is why having a family vehicle that is big, comfortable, safe and fuel-efficient is paramount. The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse is such a vehicle, a 7-passenger CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) that embodies the best attributes of a car (ride, handling, fuel economy and safety), with a cavernous passenger compartment, all-wheel-drive ability and a large and versatile cargo hold of an SUV. And, while the Traverse can't tow a 9,000-pound trailer or go crawling over boulder-strewn washes, it can easily pull an average-size boat and triumph over the harshest winter road conditions. Pitted against such well-established CUVs as the Honda Pilot, Hyundai Veracruz and the Toyota Highlander, the Traverse can more than hold its own. With one of the largest cargo bays behind its third-row seat plus a host of electronic safety and security features provided by GM's OnStar division, the 2012 Traverse sets the standard other CUVs have yet to meet.
If you need a vehicle big enough to haul your family and a 5,400-pound trailer, but you don't want a big, gas-thirsty SUV, the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse is the perfect solution. Roomy yet manageably sized, the Traverse is the ideal family wagon.
If you need to tow really heavy stuff, you'll need the strength found only with a full-sized body-on-frame SUV attached to a powerful V8 engine.
The mirrors on the LTZ are now power folding, heated and have a driver's-side auto-dimming feature. The LT2 gets the same mirrors, only they must be folded manually.
Driving Impressions Of all the big CUVs we've tested, this is one of our favorites. The Traverse drives like a much smaller vehicle and exhibits impressive stability, a smooth and comfortable ride,...and remarkably quick reflexes. Acceleration both from a standing start and while passing is good, but not class-leading by any means; fuel economy, on the other hand, is slightly above average for this class. As part of our test drive we were able to take the Traverse onto an enclosed test track where. we could explore safely the full range of its traction and stability controls. In every test, be it hard cornering, braking or rapid left-right steering maneuvers on slick pavement, the Traverse performed at and in many cases above our expectations. In short, the 2012 Traverse scores well in the areas of comfort, control, safety and long-range cruising ability. It is truly one of the best CUVs on the market.
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.
The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse's interior is a study in the fine art of form meeting function. The dash, doors and console are covered in quality soft-touch plastics composed of eye-pleasing shapes and contrasting color. Second-row passengers will find their seats can be moved fore and aft, and the seats include a fold-and-tumble feature that makes access to the third-row seat so much easier than trying to wedge one's body between the seatback and the C-pillar. Once seated, passengers will discover the Traverse's third row is actually quite accommodating to full-size adults. And, unlike many of the Traverse's rivals, there is plenty of cargo space (enough to hold two golf bags) behind the third-row seat. Side-curtain airbags that extend the length of the vehicle ensure protection for all of the Traverse's occupants.Exterior
Although it shares a common platform with the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse's styling has a bit more European attitude. Differentiating the Traverse from its kissing cousins is a rear quarter window that angles sharply up at its bottom edge, clean side panels and a large, distinctive spilt grille bearing the Chevy bow-tie logo between the two halves. The Traverse's wheels are pushed to its furthermost corners, a design that both increases stability as well as provides maximum interior space. In a nod to less cumbersome entry and egress, Chevy designers gave the Traverse a set of long rear doors that make it easier for third-row passengers to get in and out. Other useful Traverse features include available convex mirror insets that help expose objects ordinarily obscured by the vehicle's blind spots, and a power liftgate for easy access to the cargo bay.
Every 2012 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 roll-mitigation technology, a 1-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 3-prong outlet, two different rearview 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 headlights, heated front seats (heated and cooled front seats standard on LTZ) and a dual-panel glass moonroof.
The 2012 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 that bumps the horsepower to 288. All trims feature a smooth-shifting 6-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 V6 is not E85 compatible.
281 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
288 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm (dual exhaust)
266 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm (dual exhaust)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/23 (AWD)
By Win Adams on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Love it. Gas mileage not very good, but expected that when knew that when we bought this size of vehicle. Safety belt fasteners in bad location and head rests are just plain terrible."
By Jake82 on Monday, March 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, smooth, AWD for beach/mountain driving"
Cons: "Add ons are expensive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Rides smoothe, dependable, great acoustics, roomy like a minivan on the inside, but a SUV on the outside. I get lots of compliments on my car. I recommend the 4 bucket seats, seats 7 instead of 8 but way worth it!!"
By NoMoreChevys4Me on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "size, price"
Cons: "badly made, no support from GM at all"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I’ve had 4 Chevy vehicles. All good experiences, until I bought the 2012 traverse for my wife and kids. It’s been problematic since day one. Problems include vibration noises from the exhaust (it took 3 tries to fix that), front speaker works sometimes (not fixed yet), air bag light comes on often (6 attempts, still not fixed), it’s had motor mounts replaced… etc. Its has been worked on by two different delerships many times. Tried to get some help from GM to get trade-in assistance to by another new chevy traverse, they offered ZERO dollars. Asked for to extend the warenty as it will expire at 36000 miles and I have 30,000… they said no to that too. Asked for a loaner while it in the shop… no to that too, only if it stays over night. The worst customer service I have ever had. They lost a loyal customer for life."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By caser on Sunday, March 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy, dependable, smooth ride, sturdy"
Cons: "purchase price, cost of new tires"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Roomy enough for extremely big and tall passengers in front and back and hauls a lot. Teenage children even like it and want to drive it. Really, my most dependable car ever. With the extreme weather (winter of 2014), I commute at least one hour daily. This vehicle never fails to get me to and from my destinations safely. Holds it's value, always have offers to buy it. Pretty decent on gas mileage. Only downside for buyers is cost, but in this case, you will get what you pay for. I highly recommend!"
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By crow on Friday, March 21, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: wife wants a mustang
Pros: "dependability,room,comfort,fuel milage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"it has served its purpose with dependability,comfort,and 24mpg.the grandkids enjoy watching their movies.the Bose system is great,its an attractive suv with more than enough power to do whatever you need,as a family vehicle.with remote start its nice to get in on those cold mornings with the heated seats and dual climate control.color is red jewel matallic with grey leather interior,with dual sunroofs."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By GrannyB944 on Monday, March 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "The safety features are the biggest selling point"
Cons: "New ones are getting more expensive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We got caught in our recent ice/snow event. We live atop a mountain and the road getting there is steep and curvy and I was terrified that we would not be able to get home. My husband has a multitude of health issues and we needed to be home. As we approached the first part of the climb, we noticed many cars parked and abandoned and we hadn't even gotten to the really hard part. People were walking and I could envision us trying to make that last 2 miles up the mountain on foot. Scary thought! My husband, however, dropped the transmission into low and we got up the first incline, crossed the very icy bridge and as we came to the second and steeper climb, cars were littered all over the side and the middle of the road. Not ever changing speed, he manoeuvered around a Mustang in the center of the road, got us up to the top of the mountain where the road leveled off. Dozens of people were walking and we stopped to pick up a mother and her two young children. Back moving again, we never lost traction even as we descended into our S/D and navigated a very sharp curve on the decline. We got to our house and our passengers made the trip to theirs two doors away on foot. I was so relieved that I was shaking. I attribute our successful journey not just to my husband's expert handling, but more to the AWD, stabili-trak/abs and weight of the vehicle. Most everyone who I have told this story to is in awe that while 4WD vehicles were stranded everywhere, our car got us home. It took us about 30 minutes from the time we got to the mountain base to home. I hope that AWD becomes a standard feature on your vehicles in the near future. This 'adventure' was nothing short of amazing. Our friends, OTOH, spent 8 hours trying to go 9 miles in their mini-van and finally had to walk the last mile to their house because of the icy roads. And they don't even live on the slightest hill."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful