Go

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

2012 Chevrolet Traverse Review

By

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)


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

Buying this car?

2012 Chevrolet Traverse Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 303 Ratings for the 2009 - 2016 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

Very reliable vehicle, best I have ever owned

By on Saturday, January 09, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliability, flexibility"

Cons: "Bumpy ride (minor), road noise (minor)."

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

"I am reviewing a 2011 Traverse LTZ. I bought it new in September, 2010. It has been a great vehicle overall. No major mechanical problems. I had to replace one of the wheel tire pressure sensors, that's all. It is off warranty which is no big deal to me .... it is that good of a vehicle. I like the flexibility of the seating and cargo arrangements. The mileage has been as advertised, 24 on the highway and 19.5 combined. The ride is a little rough over bumps (not like my previous 4 Suburbans) and a little loud. I am really digging to find faults here. Overall, the best vehicle I have ever owned. I would recommend one to a friend without reservation."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Very poor gas on gas.

By on Thursday, January 07, 2016

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "nice looking"

Cons: "horrible on gas, slow and sluggish"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I was very disappointed with the 2016 Traverse. I traded in an older 2004 GMC Yukon XL with many years of both livery service and personal use that got much better MPG and overall durability. My second row seat stopped functioning one week after I brought it home. Then I noticedI was always at half a tank with barely 150 miles. When fuel light goes on its at around 250 miles. I asked dealer about and service tech said there are many factors blah, blah, blah. My problem is I know my driving habits very well having been a livery driver for years. I never leave car idling, I do most my driving on highway coasting around 60mph. I am don't use the traverse around town much so their is no reason I shouldn't easily get 300 miles a tank. I wish I had bought a Honda."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

2016 has TERRIBLE 2nd row seats

By on Sunday, December 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "the leather seats are nice"

Cons: "the 2nd row seat belts are terrible"

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

"If I had only sat in the back seat of this car or tried to install my child's car seat before purchasing it I would NOT have bought it. The placement of the seat belts on the 2nd row captains seats is TERRIBLE. It is nearly impossible to get a car seat in and buckled. Also, the placement of the seat belt make a ride in the 2nd row captains seats uncomfortable for an adult as they are too far inside the seat and they aren't flexible. Some engineer must have designed this without thinking about the usability. I have complained to GM and they don't seem to care. I have complained to my local service department and the manager is "trying." The service manager told me I am not the only 1 with issues about the 2nd row seats. Seriously, don't buy this car unless and until they fix the issue."

11 people out of 12 found this review helpful

This has proven to be a great buy.

By on Tuesday, December 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

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: "Great features and comfort"

Cons: "wife has a hard time getting seat belt buckleed"

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

"My wife a I just love this car. Had 6000 miles when purchased and performs wonderfully. Great design and quality. May be the nicest auto I have ever owned."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Nice SUV but,,,,,,,

By on Tuesday, December 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,100

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "looks good, drives nice"

Cons: "noisy / cheap interior, , loud road noises"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Always wanted one so I got the loaded up LTZ AWD with Nav, DVD and dual roofs. Gets pretty good mileage, drives nice, have not had to deal with the AWD yet so the jury is out on that part. Used to a truck with selectable drive. My biggest complaint is the interior. Three months in I noticed a banging noise in the left rear. Opened the compartment for the jack (that cracked on first try) and observed a electronic module loose near the rear hatch motor and tightened it down. A few months later a noise in the left A pillar that led to a service call. Dealer had a "bulletin" on it to remove windshield tabs. 2 weeks later, noise in left front of dash and drivers door panel. Dealer put tape on 2 pieces rubbing together and rerouted lock knob. One month later, drivers armrest squeaks and queaks along with lock button "buzzing" Dealer says all are like that, nothing to be done except turning up radio to drown out all the interior noises. Very disappointed. Last but not least, both shades for sunroofs are the fabric kind that still let in sun rather than the solid kind. Put some "cling on" window tint on both roofs to keep inside from turning into an oven."

15 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Owned for 2-1/2 years. Love it. Comfortable.

By on Saturday, November 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Color & looks, comfort, utilitarianess & versatile"

Cons: "Battery and arrangement for charging."

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

"Bought 2012 Traverse LTZ new in May, 2013. Impressed by looks - Red outside and Tan Leather and black inside. Nice appearing Instrument Cluster and center stack/console. Very comfortable and roomy throughout with 4 Captain's Chairs. Good value for purchase price. Enough power w/4.3L V6 & dual exhaust and All-Wheel Drive with 20" custom wheels. Good overall fuel economy for its size. Love the heated and cooled front Leather seats year round. Also appreciate the automatic re-positioning for Driver's Seat and outside mirrors - mitigates some husband/wife snarks. Rearview camera is definitely a revelation. Plan to keep this vehicle for a long time. Has been very useful and reliable after overcoming an original defective battery. Use Remote Start all the time. In summary car has been a joy to own w/purchased lifetime maintenance (Oil and filter changes). We extremely enjoy driving it looking forward to longer trips."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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

Buying this car?


Advertisement