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 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."
3 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Bird on Wednesday, December 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Average car"
Cons: "Breaks down every 6 to 12 months"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"My Traverse has been a nightmare. I only have 85,000 miles on it and it has been the dealership 5 times for major repairs. Timing Belt replacement, transmission went out, engine cover leaking oil, etc. The latest nightmare is my power steering has locked up and I now need a new pump and gears to the tune of $1,200. Look online about the steering problems before you buy this lemon."
8 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By Limey62 on Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Just bought a loaded 2014 LTZ and love the car. I upgraded from a 2007 ford feestyle, and the difference is amazing. The engine is smooth and gutsy and the technology i great. I wish it had push button start but the remote start feature, and other features make up for it. I have 3 teenage kids and this is a perfect fit for us."
9 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By GoodByeChevy on Saturday, October 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "middle captains seats uncomfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We bought our 2012 Traverse LTZ in Aug of 2012. It had a few miles on it which we prefer so we don't take a huge hit right off the bat with depreciation [sic]. We have always bought our vehicles that way and drive them til they die. Little did we know it would only take a year for that to happen with the Traverse. Right away we had problems with the airbag light going off and had to bring it in 3 times until they actually figured out the problem and fixed it. Last Halloween 2013 I dropped my daughter off at a friends house and the battery light and some warning light came on. Come to find out the alternator was going out. ONE year after having it! Pay to get that fixed and then this spring the NAV/DVD quit working which, with 3 kids, was one of the reason we purchased this one.We can fix it though for $1500! Fast forward a couple months and NOW the engine light is on indicating another problem! We bought this car to avoid costly repairs and to have a nice vehicle. Beyond disappointed and no longer feel safe in it. Oh I fogot to mention the 3 recalls we received this summer for the airbags and seltbelts! We are bringing it back to where we bought it today and switching to a different comp. Oh and we are now driving our 2000 Tahoe which we purchased in 2001 and had little to no problems with."
13 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By Paul on Saturday, October 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable ride; roomy; easy access"
Cons: "Body style does not appeal to me"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"It does everything I want it to do, including the pulling of a small travel trailer. I would certainly consider buying a newer model."
9 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Joni42 on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of room, comfortable, handles well in snow."
Cons: "Computer problems galore"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I love the roominess, power, smooth ride and quietness of the vehicle. It looks good, even after nearly five years. However, I have had computer problems from the beginning and for the past year, they are out of control. No satisfaction from dealership in the area either. I wouldn't buy another one as I believe I can purchase a more reliable vehicle for less than the 34,000 I paid for the Traverse. I am weary of alarms going off, systems shutting off, including cruise control and the fuel pump and not getting any help from Chevrolet."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful