KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 6/7/2013
As fuel prices fluctuate and more people downsize, a stream of buyers are shying away from thirsty, truck-based SUVs as the family hauler of choice. This has spawned a hot market for crossover sport-utility vehicles, which have room for growing families like a traditional SUV, but offer a sedan-like ride and better fuel-efficiency. The poster child for this segment could easily be the Chevrolet Traverse. Since debuting in 2009, the Traverse has shined as an alternative to both traditional SUVs and the oft-stigmatized minivan. Since then, vehicles such as the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder have softened from their rugged ways to join the crossover-SUV party that also includes the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Mazda CX-9. Though the cast grows, the Traverse more than holds its own.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you desire a vehicle that holds up to eight passengers and offers better fuel economy and a more comfortable ride than a traditional SUV, all with a starting price under $32,000, the 2014 Traverse is a tempting choice.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you need to haul heavy toys like boats and RVs, look to a traditional body-on-frame SUV like the Chevrolet Tahoe. The Dodge Durango, meanwhile, offers a V8 in a segment that otherwise relies on V6 engines. If the high mileage is tantamount, the Nissan Pathfinder achieves up to 26 mpg.
What's New for 2014
For 2014 the Traverse adds twin USB ports for 2nd-row passengers to keep electronic devices powered up. Forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning are added to the Traverse's roster of safety features.
Even with its formidable and growing competition, the Chevy Traverse is one of our favorite crossover SUVs to drive. Its V6 engine is smooth and strong, and easily gets the vehicle up to speed in both front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) form. The Traverse is larger than its competitors but doesn't feel bloated or overwhelming on the road. The view to the front and sides is commanding and the ride is comfortable. As is the case with other 3-row SUVs, rear visibility is hindered to the left and right due to the Traverse's last row of seats and small windows. When tested in a setting far from the Traverse's comfort zone – a track – this big crossover-ute felt planted during hard cornering and braking, even on slick pavement. It's not as dynamic as the sporty Mazda CX-9, however, with comfort justifiably the priority over corner-carving.
SMART SLIDE 2ND-ROW SEAT
Getting into a 3rd-row seat can be a hassle, especially for less-than-limber adults. This feature makes reaching that last row easier with a one-hand operation that creates easy access.
ADDITIONAL USB INPUTS
Here's a feature that's largely forgotten about – right until you need it. When your kid's tablet or MP3 player runs out of juice, the dual USB power inputs in back can make the difference between tears and cheers.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…