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2012 Chevrolet Traverse

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2012 Chevrolet Traverse Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2012

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 the Traverse

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.

2012 Chevrolet Traverse Details
2012 Chevrolet Traverse photo Interior

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
2012 Chevrolet Traverse photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

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 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.

Under the Hood

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.


3.6-liter V6
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)


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2012 Chevrolet Traverse Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 276 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

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

Love it

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,650

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I have owned my Traverse for a little over a month now and I have no complaints. I really enjoy driving it whether I'm just driving through town or going long distance. It's a comfortable ride and comfortable seats. It has lots of storage and it's stylish. I'll be keeping my Traverse until it no longer runs!"

4 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Would not rebuy!

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "attractive, handles well"

Cons: "overstated MPGs, not carseat friendly, electical"

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

"I would not re-buy my Traverse. It handles well and has visual appeal, but that's where the positives end for me. The gas mileage is over stated, as we get 15/18mpg tops instead of the 16/23 that was stated for an AWD (We've never gotten 20mpg, even with interstate driving!) The front seats aren't bad in the comfort department, but the 2nd & 3rd row seats are pretty shallow & flat, which is not comfortable for adults and causes overhang issues with some carseats. Cargo space is useless if 3rd row is up. It won't even hold a weekly grocery trip for me. It might have been more user friendly if we had gotten 2nd row Captains chairs instead of the bench-when it comes to being car seat friendly as I imagine it would provide easier access to 3rd row. The 3rd row doesn't have good leg room though. It is a tight fit for even petite kids in the leg room department. My 4 year old can't sit in her carseat comfortably when it's in the 3rd row...it's just too tight of a fit and she complains about leg room. The 2nd row doesn't slide as easily as you'ld think. My son can't do it by himself and it requires me to use more force than it should. At very best-it is a snug 7 seater...for local traffic only. I laugh everytime I see it advertised as 8passenger. Maybe if you're transporting six 8 year olds across town....But they better not each have a bag needing to go with them. Booster can't be used in the middle seat of either row, as there is no headrest. We really didn't want to get a van and opted for a 3rd row SUV instead...but the 3rd row stays folded down 95% of the time out of necessity (groceries and kid gear) Buying the Traverse has been a regular inconvenience for us. We have had several electrical issues as well. One being-the reverse back up sensors frequently get stuck, causing me to have to put the vehicle in park, turn off the car and remove the key from the ignition to get it to stop. That's just plain annoying! We didn't realize alot of the user friendly issues of this vehicle when we only had 2 kids (we purchased when our 2nd child was 3 weeks old). But upon adding a 3rd kid to the mix-we immediately realized that this vehicle just doesn't meet our needs like we thought it would. Wish we would've just gotten over ourselves, and purchased a van instead. We sure would've been more comfortable, and would've saved money in gas alone."

17 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Worst car I ever owned

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
1/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "roomy interior"

Cons: "many mechanical issues, cheap interior"

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

"The car as had many mechanical issues and recalls since I purchased the car new. Many of the items were not covered under warranty. car has 60000 miles but I am getting rid of it."

6 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Happy so far

By on Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,250

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable, My Link is easy to use, good mpg"

Cons: "Poor visibility backing, dash switches by screen"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I am enjoying our 2LT Traverse. It is nicely equipped with heated leather, quad seating,sunroof, and navigation. It is very comfortable and has great space throughout. I have over 2k on the car and never has the car gone under 16 mpg in the city. Some weeks it is over 17 mpg in mostly city driving. The My Link on a rare occasion can have an issue but overall it works fine. The dash lay out with the My Link screen and other controls needs to be redesigned. The radio stations are on the bottom of the screen. Directly under the screen on the dash are the info center controls and hazard warning switch. Several times while switching stations I have hit one of buttons and either turned on the hazards or activated the info panel. It is a poor layout to have them so close to the screen. The car heating system is strong and warms quickly. Outside mirror defogger works very fast. The rear view when backing is difficult. If you buy this car you absolutely need a rear view camera. We have one and cannot imagine backing up without one. The ride is comfortable but it would be nicer if it was just a little quieter. Certain road surfaces can cause the interior noise to be a little loud. Other reviewers thought it was quiet. I think it is not as quiet as it could be for the price. The daylight running lights need improvement. With all the other cars on the road including its sister Acadia and Enclave with LED day time Chevy still uses its headlights. This is really outdated and should be changed to make the car look as nice as its competitors."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Very solid car - lots of bang for the buck

By on Tuesday, March 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,800

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "value, styling, features when nicely equipped"

Cons: "third row seats are not comfortable."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"We purchased this car after having a minivan for close to 10 years. I did not want to go through another winter without AWD and I did not want another 5 or 10 years in a minivan. I wasnt even considering this car until my brother told me about it. I haven't driven an American car in 20 years. He and my SIL drive the other Lambda platform vehicles, the Acadia and the Enclave, respectively. I test drove all three and choose the Traverse 2LT leather fully loaded as the right compromise between value, styling, and features. I liked the handling and interior dash better than Acadia. The Enclave has a beautiful dash and a plush ride but my 2LT has all the features I really wanted and was a better value overall. Nothing can beat a minivan in terms of moving people and cargo but the Traverse has a roomy interior (we have the 2nd row bucket seats) and better than most rear storage. We took a long weekend trip with the 5 of us and had plenty of room. I regularly carpool with 4 teenagers in tow, including two 6 ft boys. It has an attractive dash, great safety features, and great technology. I love that I can remotely start it with my Onstar app from miles away and I love the diagnostics and the ability to get check my mileage, tire pressure, get maintenance reminders and schedule maintenance all through my app. Basic maintenance coverage is nice too. There are some blind spots but my vehicle has blind spot mirrors. I also have lane departure warnings and forward collision warnings. I basically can't live without the parking assistance. Things I don't like are the skinny steering wheel (I added a $20 aftermarket cover), the navi screen should be higher up in the dash, and the 3rd row seats are entirely too hard and flat. My kids are just now getting used to it. I'm going to get some sort of cushion for it. I'm hoping that I can keep this car for another 5 to 6 years. Here in my NE suburb, 5 years ago there were virtually no American cars anywhere. Now there are Acadias and Enclaves everywhere and Traverses are catching up. The only reason I'm not giving the car a 9 overall is that I haven't owned it long enough."

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

good value, good vehicle

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
9/10

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

"more cargo space than all the competition. we live on a dirt road, drives nice anywhere. very happy with the vehicle. i have heard that the interior in the subsequent model was less, very disappointing as I would most definitely buy another one."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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