By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.1
As fuel prices rise and car buyers reconsider how much vehicle they really need, more people are finding themselves abandoning big, truck-based SUVs. But families continue to grow, commodities still need to be purchased, and both must be carried to and fro in some sort of personal vehicle. Enter the crossover sport-utility vehicle, a segment in which the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse is a rising star. Offering the roominess of a traditional SUV but car-like handling and better fuel economy, there's a lot to like about crossover SUVs in general and the Traverse in particular. While it can't tow the kind of payloads a Chevy Tahoe can or crawl over boulders like a Jeep, the Traverse can seat up to eight, drinks less gasoline than a traditional SUV, and starts at an appetizing price.
If you need a vehicle that can hold eight passengers, tow 5,200 pounds and offer better fuel economy and a more comfortable ride than a traditional SUV, the 2013 Traverse will be welcome in your world.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse has a design freshening that's most notable in the front fascia. The new Traverse also features the MyLink infotainment system and what Chevy says is the industry's first front-center airbag.
Driving Impressions Even with the proliferation of big crossover SUVs that are coming to market, the Traverse is one of our favorites. Its sole engine choice is a smooth and strong V6...that easily shuffles this vehicle up to speed, whether in front- or all-wheel-drive form. At 205 inches in length, the Traverse is larger than its direct competitors but doesn't feel bloated on the road. The 2013 Chevy Traverse offers a comfortable and commanding ride in which the suspension tames bumps and the tall ride height affords good frontal views out. Rear visibility is hindered to the left and right due to the Traverse's small windows near the third row and its upward-sloping exterior design. Though the Traverse is not a track vehicle by any means, we had the chance to take one on such a road course and found it well-planted during hard cornering and braking maneuvers, even on slick pavement.
SMART SLIDE SECOND-ROW SEAT
Getting into a third-row seat can be a hassle. This feature makes getting there much easier with its one-hand operation that creates easy access to the back.
HEATED AND COOLED FRONT SEATS
Standard on the top-line LTZ model, this creature comfort will keep your bottom happy in both the winter and summer.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse has three rows of seats that can be configured for seven or eight passengers. In lower trims, the second row is a 3-across bench. Optional on mid-tier models and standard on the LTZ are captain's chairs in the second row. Depending on trim, the 2013 Traverse's interior can feel basic with cloth upholstery and manually adjusted seats to premium with power-operated, heated/ventilated seats wrapped in leather and tri-zone climate control. No matter the trim, the 2013 Traverse is roomy. Adults can fit into the third row without thinking they're in purgatory, though three across is a squeeze. Copious cargo space swallows shopping bags, luggage and lumber.
The 2013 Traverse's new styling up front aims to bring cohesiveness to Chevrolet's family of vehicles. The tweaks include a horizontal grille, new elongated headlights and a power-dome hood. At just four years old, the Traverse still looks modern, and this year's updates keep it contemporary. The Traverse favors a friendly, more rounded shape versus the muscular lines of the Dodge Durango or the squared-off looks of the Honda Pilot. Entry-level LS models ride on 17-inch steel wheels, LT models are emboldened with 18-inch aluminum-alloy versions, and the top-line LTZ trim receives big 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. LTZ models are further set apart with dual exhaust outlets, body-color moldings and chrome accents.
Every 2013 Chevy Traverse comes with cruise control, AM/FM/CD/satellite audio system with auxiliary input and 6.5-inch touch-screen display, rearview camera, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and a steering wheel with built-in controls for audio and cruise control. You'll never thirst for cup holders in a Chevy Traverse: You get 10 for 7-passenger configurations and a dozen for models with 8-passenger seating. On the safety front, 2013 Traverse models have six or seven airbags depending on trim, systems to aid with traction and mitigate a rollover, and a 6-month trial of GM's OnStar communications service.
Many options on the 2013 Traverse vary by trim, but all models can be had with all-wheel drive (AWD) for better traction instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD). Other features include navigation system, blind-spot monitoring system with a rear cross-traffic alert system, 2-panel sunroof, power-operated liftgate, premium 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, and rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Chevrolet's MyLink Touch telematics system combines Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free phone communication, voice recognition, and compatibility with apps such as Pandora.
Just one engine is offered in the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse models, but it's a good one: a sophisticated 3.6-liter V6 with direct-injection and variable-valve-timing technology that helps it achieve a nice balance of power and fuel economy. In LS and LT trims, the engine makes 281 horsepower. LTZ models have a dual-exhaust system that bumps that figure to 288 horsepower. All models use a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. All 2013 Traverse models are rated to tow a commendable 5,200 pounds, and all can run on regular unleaded fuel.
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 mpg (FWD), 16/23 mpg (AWD)
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse LS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $31,000. AWD adds $2,000 to the bottom line. A fully loaded Chevy Traverse LTZ can push the price to over $45,000. The 2013 Traverse's starting price is slightly higher than competitors such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango and Nissan Pathfinder, all of which are also slightly smaller. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to see what others in your area are paying for a 2013 Traverse. Down the road, we expect the Traverse to hold its value relatively well, in line with the Explorer, better than the Durango, and not quite as well as the Honda Pilot.
By TDR24 (TX) on Thursday, November 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lost of space"
Cons: "17-18 mpg"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"We got this in 2010. We have 2 kids. This was a great buy. Vehicle comfortly seats 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 kids, and that's not with the 3rd row up. Add that and two more kids fit ealy, not so much for adults. Cargo area is big, with 3rd seat down - not much with it up. Hanldes great as this is my 1st FWD. No mechanicle issues so far and at 89K miles. The only negative I think is the 17-18 mpg, wish it did better."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By vin (NJ) on Friday, November 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"choose the lt version over the ls version too hard to access third row not a smooth drive I cannot sit in the front row passenger seat...give consideration to the equinox...good cargo space mileage decent at best"
By Stevie (AZ) on Saturday, November 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "drives and rides well lots of room, good value"
Cons: "reliability, hard to get promised gas milage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We have liked this car but in the last year been very disappointed. GM had to rebuild both the engine and transmission (GM paid but we got the car stuck in another state while they did). I called GM and asked them what we should do about the car (we wanted to keep it but are worried when we have to pay ourselves)and their answer was an offer to help me make an appointment for repair. (by the way the GM call in number and email is staffed poorly - i.e. don't waste your time). Sorry to say as much as we originally liked car and this is probably my 20th GM vehicle this one disappointed us."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Great Scott (WA) on Sunday, October 13, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cheap for the price of what you get."
Cons: "Electronics are over burdened and slow to respond."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"After having used the Traverse for vacations, towing, and in a quick to respond situation, it's a usable, decent comfortable car. My Concerns: it's dangerous; in an emergency response situation due to the slowness of the electronics. I know of the slow mapping and the ridiculousness that you have no rights to adjust the key board or the font sizing. Nor can the navigator navigate because of lock out features. The cars brain for the acceleration can be put into a non response mode by over burdening the commands. I almost had a collision due to the fly by wire response, not engaging the other day. Stop sign situation with trees in the way and a hill for viewing the road, I pulled out thinking it clear to go, a motorcycle appeared. I stopped, but I was halfway out, seeing that now on the slick roads I was now in his path, I stomped on the gas to get out of the way. I got nothing for almost three seconds...I put my hands up in the air in frustration. Pulled my foot off the accelerator and stomped down again, finally it engaged and I got out of his way, but it freaked me out. If this was a semi truck I would have been on the edge of destruction, my driving record is impeccable, no accidents. This car just dropped from my scale as a dependable cars, and the electronics are to blame. Its the weak processor chip in a car that requires much more because of all the burdens and requirements to make it run. The car out runs the chips processor, for functionality, the car should be recalled!!! They need to put some decent electronics in it."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Slick (IA) on Wednesday, October 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "A great car and a great value."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"this car has all the bells and whistles which makes it a fun and comfortable car to drive. Highway driving has gotten 23 mpg+. Driving long distances has not been nearly as tiring and uncomfortable since I purchased this vehicle. With the AWD , slick road conditions aren't the challenge they were."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Dyno Don (TX) on Friday, September 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Utility, comfort, power, reliabilty."
Cons: "No Cons!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have a 2012 with 38000 on it. It is comfortable, quiet, roomy, and pulls my Glastron MX185 Inboard/Outdrive with ease. Gas mileage runs between 18 at worst (in town) to nearly 24 on the highway. I will be buying a 2014 soon."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful