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 DB on Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Big, drives well, awd great in snow, loads of room"
Cons: "2nd row bench seat, rear visability,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Really like the car, but with only 11 3/4" in center of the 2nd row you cannot fit a child seat or even a child there. Seat buckles will not move. Try it before you buy it. Should of gotten the bucket seats. Really do not think this is an 8 passenger vehicle."
43 people out of 72 found this review helpful
By Chevy brat on Friday, December 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of cargo room."
Cons: "Traction is terrible."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"The vehicle rides smooth and has plenty of room but would not recommend the front wheel drive version at all in any climate. It seem like the vehicle is to heavy for the drive-train. We are constantly spinning the tires on any terrain wet, dry, or frozen. Would only consider an All Wheel Drive Traverse "IF" I were going to get another one."
28 people out of 52 found this review helpful
By Bird on Wednesday, December 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Average car"
Cons: "Breaks down every 6 to 12 months"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"My Traverse has been a nightmare. I only have 85,000 miles on it and it has been the dealership 5 times for major repairs. Timing Belt replacement, transmission went out, engine cover leaking oil, etc. The latest nightmare is my power steering has locked up and I now need a new pump and gears to the tune of $1,200. Look online about the steering problems before you buy this lemon."
29 people out of 49 found this review helpful
By Limey62 on Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Just bought a loaded 2014 LTZ and love the car. I upgraded from a 2007 ford feestyle, and the difference is amazing. The engine is smooth and gutsy and the technology i great. I wish it had push button start but the remote start feature, and other features make up for it. I have 3 teenage kids and this is a perfect fit for us."
24 people out of 50 found this review helpful
By GoodByeChevy on Saturday, October 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "middle captains seats uncomfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We bought our 2012 Traverse LTZ in Aug of 2012. It had a few miles on it which we prefer so we don't take a huge hit right off the bat with depreciation [sic]. We have always bought our vehicles that way and drive them til they die. Little did we know it would only take a year for that to happen with the Traverse. Right away we had problems with the airbag light going off and had to bring it in 3 times until they actually figured out the problem and fixed it. Last Halloween 2013 I dropped my daughter off at a friends house and the battery light and some warning light came on. Come to find out the alternator was going out. ONE year after having it! Pay to get that fixed and then this spring the NAV/DVD quit working which, with 3 kids, was one of the reason we purchased this one.We can fix it though for $1500! Fast forward a couple months and NOW the engine light is on indicating another problem! We bought this car to avoid costly repairs and to have a nice vehicle. Beyond disappointed and no longer feel safe in it. Oh I fogot to mention the 3 recalls we received this summer for the airbags and seltbelts! We are bringing it back to where we bought it today and switching to a different comp. Oh and we are now driving our 2000 Tahoe which we purchased in 2001 and had little to no problems with."
17 people out of 27 found this review helpful
By Paul on Saturday, October 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable ride; roomy; easy access"
Cons: "Body style does not appeal to me"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"It does everything I want it to do, including the pulling of a small travel trailer. I would certainly consider buying a newer model."
14 people out of 21 found this review helpful