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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 289 Ratings for the 2009 - 2016 models.

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

Have owned my 2011 Traverse LTZ since March 2011

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Rides well"

Cons: "don't like how the AC buttons fade with time."

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

"I traded in a 2007 Suburban for the Traverse. I picked it because it's the same seating arrangement as the suburban and I still needed the space but with better fuel economy. Overall, I really like the vehicle. The widebody and height give it stability. I have taken several long trips with it, and I am always impressed with the level of comfort and how safe it feels. I have no issues passing other cars even fully loaded. I have had no issues with it, other than the regular maintenance of it. My kids love the entertainment package and I love the sound quality. I miss my suburban, but the Traverse has been a very good replacement."

Chevy Traverse LTZ

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I love this vehicle. Only problem is that my husband died on July 3 and this vehicle is just too big for me."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Traverse is the Way to Go!

By on Monday, July 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Space for kids and your stuff, comfortable ride"

Cons: "Front seat could be roomier"

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

"The 2012 Traverse provides the room that our family needs. With two teenage boys and grandparents often in tow, we are able to go places together in comfort. The captains chairs in the second row help make the third row more accessible when it is needed. My elderly grandmother is quite tall, and is able to easily get in the front passenger seat. I think it is easier for her than any car she rides in. There is plenty of storage room for groceries or luggage when traveling. We have had the vehicle for about a year and a half going from 18k to 32k with no issues other than the recalls. The seatbelt anchor was a very minor fix. My wife and I highly recommend this crossover for families."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Poor quality, many recalls

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Large cargo space"

Cons: "Numerous mechanical and electrical issues"

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

"Go halfway between an Equinox and a Tahoe, and you get the Traverse. Unfortunately, the Traverse is neither an Equinox nor a Tahoe, and apparently the engineering and manufacturing processes are unique such that GM can't seem to "get it right." We have had recalls for seatbelts, faulty fuel gauge, and the car started blowing white smoke at about 20K miles - a problem that the dealer discredits. Additionally, there is a known problem with the StabiliTrak system causing stalls and bucking at speed (google for it) and just this week there's some persistent electrical problem that nobody can diagnose. We have spent about $2000 on rental cars to take long road trips because our Traverse was acting quirky, which is the purpose for us owning the Traverse in the first place. That said, if you get a good one, the features are really nice, and the cargo room is the best in class - larger than Highlander, Kia, Hyundai, etc."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love this vehicle

By on Saturday, July 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,500

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
8/10

Pros: "What's not to love in this comfortable car."

Cons: "Seat cushions a bit stiff"

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

"My model has the four captain seats. I can load up all the kids in carseats and teenagers and just go. I also have more room to carry cargo than most trucks (without kids that is). The seats are a bit stiff and could use a bit more padding. It is a pure joy on our many road trips and just across town. I highly recommend this suv over the bigger versions. They're just wasted of space in my opinion."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Drives great, but not reliable

By on Saturday, July 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "perfect size, great drive and pick up"

Cons: "not reliable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Was very happy with how the vehicle drove, nice pick up and great room. But as the miles increased, so did the problems. Blower for the heater, rear door, struts, transmission, you name it"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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