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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
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 312 Ratings for the 2009 - 2017 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

horrible gas mileage

By on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Cons: "no power under the hood and horrible gas mileage"

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

"leased this turned in our 09 suburban which got 22 mpg this thing gets 18 mpg and you can watch the gas gauge move not enough power to get out of it's own way can't wait for the 3 years to be up so we can get rid of this thing"

LOVE MY TRAVERSE

By on Monday, July 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

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

Pros: "great features, comfort and style."

Cons: "less than 20 mpg"

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

"I love everything about this 2014 Chevy Traverse. I have the front bucket seats, middle bucket seats and the 3rd row seats with running boards, luggage rack, DVD player, etc. I love the weight of the car, makes me feel secure, the handling is exceptional and everything works great. I take care of my SUV, $20,000 miles and going strong. Although someone decided to hit my drivers side front fender, I felt safe that my Traverse handled it well. It's back now and just as good as ever. I can't tell you how scared I was when the stupid lady hit me (her fault) but my SUV took it and protected me. I really enjoy the size on the inside as it is quite roomy, the outside is deceiving, it's larger on the inside than the outside. It's not a tank, it's perfect. I traded my Trailblazer for this and not disappointed. I enjoy all the "toys" that it offers and it is easy to maintain, I haven't had but one recall so I haven't had any issues. It rides smooth, others comment how smooth and much they like it also. Well worth a look into."

Buyer Beware

By on Sunday, June 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

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

"I like this car from a standpoint that it has a lot of inside room and drives nicely. But at 70,000 car started to have major problems. I had to replace the brakes and the engine. Seems these cars have lots of issues."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Not suitable for short drivers/bad back

By on Monday, May 9, 2016

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "loads of cargo space, huge back seat"

Cons: "seats offer little support, no short drivers"

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

"We purchased this vehicle in a hurry and honestly did not do our research before purchasing. I really do like this vehicle overall but there are just a few things wrong that are deal breakers for me. 1. Seats- not meant for a short driver. I am 5'1, the way the lumbar support and the head support hit I feel hunched over. . .The lumbar is too high and the headrest pushes my head and shoulders forward. Essentially I am hunched over. Also, I have degenerative disk disease so posture & support are #1 for me. 2. There is no torque at all! I come from a family that likes "to go", I am often referred to as the lead foot at work. So this was a huge disappointment for me. I do LOVE the amount of space this vehicle has. I am able to actually stand up (bent over) in the back seat and help my toddler get in their car seat. With the 3nd row seats folded down I can load up 3 dogs & a stroller to go to the park."

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Love this vehicle

By on Thursday, April 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Priced well, comfortable ride, good gas mileage"

Cons: "Have not found any"

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

"Owned a Suburban before the Traverse LT, wanted something not so large but needed something with good room. The Traverse hit all of my needs, along with one of the quietest rides of any SUV in the market for the price. I test drove just about everything and chose the Traverse for it's exceptional comfort. Took a long road trip from Missouri to Spearfish Canyon South Dakota and hauled the trail bikes, fishing gear, hiking gear, case of wine and just about everything else for our creature comforts and could not have been happier with how this vehicle performed."

15 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Beautiful and comfortable - still like brand new!

By on Sunday, April 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

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

Pros: "Looks/paint, effeciency, functionality, & quality"

Cons: "soft-feel accelerator pedal, V-6 noise"

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

"After 33K miles, still feels/drives/handles like a brand new vehicle. LTZ model has everything and we enjoy it immensely. Great Chevrolet quality to date. Other than recalls, only had to have the original battery replaced (by Dealer at no cost - bought 2012 model in 2013 off dealer lot). Only one real problem - one of the key fobs doesn't seem to be able to kick in the automatic air conditioning/fan when remote-started, yet the other key fob seems to work just fine. Will replace the key fob battery and if that doesn't work will pursue 3 year/36K mile bumper-to-bumper warranty route. Pretty minor, though. Had to replace all 4 tires when I recently had an unrepairable flat on one of the original tires because it is an AWD model vehicle. Tire Dealer said tires looked like new - no wheel alignment needed! Traverse runs smoother and quieter now! Best car I have ever owned."

12 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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