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)
By LZ on Monday, March 16, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "roomy interior"
Cons: "many mechanical issues, cheap interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The car as had many mechanical issues and recalls since I purchased the car new. Many of the items were not covered under warranty. car has 60000 miles but I am getting rid of it."
2 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Duke fan on Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,250overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, My Link is easy to use, good mpg"
Cons: "Poor visibility backing, dash switches by screen"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I am enjoying our 2LT Traverse. It is nicely equipped with heated leather, quad seating,sunroof, and navigation. It is very comfortable and has great space throughout. I have over 2k on the car and never has the car gone under 16 mpg in the city. Some weeks it is over 17 mpg in mostly city driving. The My Link on a rare occasion can have an issue but overall it works fine. The dash lay out with the My Link screen and other controls needs to be redesigned. The radio stations are on the bottom of the screen. Directly under the screen on the dash are the info center controls and hazard warning switch. Several times while switching stations I have hit one of buttons and either turned on the hazards or activated the info panel. It is a poor layout to have them so close to the screen. The car heating system is strong and warms quickly. Outside mirror defogger works very fast. The rear view when backing is difficult. If you buy this car you absolutely need a rear view camera. We have one and cannot imagine backing up without one. The ride is comfortable but it would be nicer if it was just a little quieter. Certain road surfaces can cause the interior noise to be a little loud. Other reviewers thought it was quiet. I think it is not as quiet as it could be for the price. The daylight running lights need improvement. With all the other cars on the road including its sister Acadia and Enclave with LED day time Chevy still uses its headlights. This is really outdated and should be changed to make the car look as nice as its competitors."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By dena on Tuesday, March 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "value, styling, features when nicely equipped"
Cons: "third row seats are not comfortable."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"We purchased this car after having a minivan for close to 10 years. I did not want to go through another winter without AWD and I did not want another 5 or 10 years in a minivan. I wasnt even considering this car until my brother told me about it. I haven't driven an American car in 20 years. He and my SIL drive the other Lambda platform vehicles, the Acadia and the Enclave, respectively. I test drove all three and choose the Traverse 2LT leather fully loaded as the right compromise between value, styling, and features. I liked the handling and interior dash better than Acadia. The Enclave has a beautiful dash and a plush ride but my 2LT has all the features I really wanted and was a better value overall. Nothing can beat a minivan in terms of moving people and cargo but the Traverse has a roomy interior (we have the 2nd row bucket seats) and better than most rear storage. We took a long weekend trip with the 5 of us and had plenty of room. I regularly carpool with 4 teenagers in tow, including two 6 ft boys. It has an attractive dash, great safety features, and great technology. I love that I can remotely start it with my Onstar app from miles away and I love the diagnostics and the ability to get check my mileage, tire pressure, get maintenance reminders and schedule maintenance all through my app. Basic maintenance coverage is nice too. There are some blind spots but my vehicle has blind spot mirrors. I also have lane departure warnings and forward collision warnings. I basically can't live without the parking assistance. Things I don't like are the skinny steering wheel (I added a $20 aftermarket cover), the navi screen should be higher up in the dash, and the 3rd row seats are entirely too hard and flat. My kids are just now getting used to it. I'm going to get some sort of cushion for it. I'm hoping that I can keep this car for another 5 to 6 years. Here in my NE suburb, 5 years ago there were virtually no American cars anywhere. Now there are Acadias and Enclaves everywhere and Traverses are catching up. The only reason I'm not giving the car a 9 overall is that I haven't owned it long enough."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By JW on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"more cargo space than all the competition. we live on a dirt road, drives nice anywhere. very happy with the vehicle. i have heard that the interior in the subsequent model was less, very disappointing as I would most definitely buy another one."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By DB on Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Big, drives well, awd great in snow, loads of room"
Cons: "2nd row bench seat, rear visability,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Really like the car, but with only 11 3/4" in center of the 2nd row you cannot fit a child seat or even a child there. Seat buckles will not move. Try it before you buy it. Should of gotten the bucket seats. Really do not think this is an 8 passenger vehicle."
53 people out of 90 found this review helpful
By Chevy brat on Friday, December 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of cargo room."
Cons: "Traction is terrible."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"The vehicle rides smooth and has plenty of room but would not recommend the front wheel drive version at all in any climate. It seem like the vehicle is to heavy for the drive-train. We are constantly spinning the tires on any terrain wet, dry, or frozen. Would only consider an All Wheel Drive Traverse "IF" I were going to get another one."
34 people out of 60 found this review helpful