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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
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 248 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Perfect Car in Every Aspect!

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,400

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
7/10

Pros: "Quiet, easy to drive, nice interior, etc."

Cons: "Uncomfortable for long trips"

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

"We got our family's Chevy Traverse brand new in 2009. It was the first time either my husband or I had bought a car brand new, so we were skeptics. However, 5 years later and our traverse is good as new! Never once have had ANY problems. Runs smoothly, quietly, and is easy to handle. The only problem we have with it is minor and relates to the LS model, but the seats are not the most comfortable, and the seat belt buckles don't go down so squeezing 8 people can be painful! Other than that, we have not had a single problem. Other families even tell us how much they envy our SUV! LOVE IT! Would recommend to anyone!"

Not a great SUV

By on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"We purchased this vehicle because it does have what seems to be the largest interior space and we love how the 3rd row seating is so easy to put up and down. The interior is very cheap looking and does not wear well. We have had several problems with vehicle...air conditioning, timing chain, remote starter etc. Repairs on these vehicles seem to be more costly than others."

Great car for extended traveling.

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 121,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Lots of room. OK on gas. Very easy on long drives"

Cons: "No Bluetooth."

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

"We've driven this car around the US three times. Regular oil changes, tire rotations (replaced every 45,000 miles) plus recommended maintenance is all we've done. Entertainment system is great for grandchildren. With back two rows down, plenty of room for all we need for months of traveling. Still looks brand new. We really like this car and will get the new one in the fall."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

great car

By on Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfortable"

Cons: "the financing bank"

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

"love the car .we are trading it to get away from ally..the worst service EVER. I really LOVE this car.It's comfortable, nice looking, love the back up alert, the DVD, the seats, the dual air..all except the finance bank"

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

LOVE my Traverse!

By on Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,150

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Lots of power"

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

"My car has 4 bucket seats and can fit 7 people. The inside is spacious like a mini van, but it looks like a sporty and classy SUV. I get lots of compliments when friends drive with me. They always ask what kind of car it is. I have had it for a few years now and still completely love it. No regrets - has everything i need including heated seats and Onstar. Lots of space for luggage."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Solid, comfortable & reliable

By on Monday, June 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "solid, big capacity, good looks"

Cons: "not great on snowy inclines, more cup holders"

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

"My first impression of this car when I test drove it, was how solid it felt and how connected to the road it handled. My husband had the same impression. Now 4 years and 48,000 miles later, I still like this car. I think it's my favorite car of any I've had, and I'm 63, so that's covering quite a few vehicles. I would have preferred a few different options than I currently have, but I'll be sure to include them when I ever trade mine in."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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