By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
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)
The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse LS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $30,000. All-wheel drive adds about another $2,000 to the bottom line. 1LT and 2LT trim push the price into the mid-$30,000 range, while a fully loaded LTZ with all-wheel drive is expected to top out around just over $45,000. Our Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price reflects real-world transaction prices, so be sure to check and see what others are paying before you begin negotiations. Competitors such as the 2012 Toyota Highlander and Ford Flex are priced similarly, while the Hyundai Veracruz generally lists for less. We expect the Traverse to hold better values than its sister-vehicle, the Buick Enclave, as well as the Ford Flex, but remain on par with the Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander.
By c-los (TX) on Monday, May 20, 2013
I own this car
Reason: Sales - My approximate mileage is 5
Pros: "great room, good gas milage, beautiful"
Cons: "dont have it in pink for the wife"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"love it love it love it love it love it love it love it love it love it love it love it..... you get the picture :D"
By tee (AZ) on Monday, May 13, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "driveability & power & inside space & looks good."
Cons: "worm air coming from air vents."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"when it is not hot enough to use the ac. with the heater controls complete off front and rear the air is hotter coming through the air vents than the outside air. And water pump failed and was replaced under a recall. Over all it is a very nice car. Inside features are handy and lots of cargo space when the seats are laid down."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Michelle (MI) on Tuesday, May 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought the vehicle in the summer. If I would have bought during the winter this would not have been a vehicle I would have purchased. The design of the defroster is a major issue. It is in the center of the dash and is very difficult for it to reach the drivers or passenger side of the vehicle. On most icy days I have to scrape the ice.I have taken the vehicle to service several times for this concern thinking there was an issue . Upon the completion of the service , each time the service department reported that this was the design of thr defroster. Other than this major defrost issue I love the vehicle. My sister sold her 2010 Traverse for the same reason after one winter season."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By materialman (LA) on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "room, comfort, ride, mpg"
Cons: "steering could be a tad better"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Traverse is a solid value and continues the tradition of Chevrolet of providing good value for money spent. The vehicle is quiet at highway speeds and will get you 24 mpg on the highway. All passengers have room and sit well. There is ample space for cargo. The V-6 does a good job of moving the vehicle when passing. I feel I got my money's worth and have had no issues of any kind so far."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Hoosier (IN) on Sunday, April 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "roomy, stylish, handles great, nice cargo area."
Cons: "the price :("
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We just bought this vehicle yesterday 4-21-13 and couldnt' be happier. It is a smooth, refined and sporty ride. Didn't really like the price tag but all the others are charging the same. Easy to get in and out of (unlike the explorer) and plenty of pep on take-off. We got the 2LT pkg. were going to get a 1LT but wanted leather & liftgate so it was several thousand more. So far we love it and look forward to many years of reliability and service from this pricey family coach."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Dukeydrew (PA) on Saturday, April 06, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: poor reliability - My approximate mileage is 51,200
Pros: "nice room, powerful engine, ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Bought a 2010 traverse used with 21000 miles on it. Clean Carfax history. Was nothing but trouble for the 2 years I owned it. These were all the things that needed replaced: 3 fuel injectors, computer module, transmission solenoid, catalytic converter, steering rack, transmission hose, brake pedal sensor, power steering hose and lumbar support in seat. My vehicle was in the shop for a total of 40 days in the 2 years I owned it. Forunately most of it occured during the warranty and was covered. I did file a used lemon law claim on it and got some money from GM. The final straw was a $1400 bill to get the steering and transmission and steering hoses fixed. Consumer reports rates the vehicle as a best buy but beware of faulty GM products!"
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful