The 2014 Chevy Traverse has three rows of seats and can be had in 7- or 8-passenger configuration. Lower trims are built for eight with a bench in the second row, while upper trims can seat seven with a pair of roomy captain's chairs in the second row. Interior comfort varies with trim level. Base LS models make do with cloth seating and manual-adjust front seats, while top-line LTZ models are luxury-like with perforated leather seats that are heated and cooled up front. No matter what trim you choose, the Traverse is big enough for adults to sit in the third row and still have room for groceries.
The Traverse is going on five years in its current design, but its styling is holding up well thanks to tweaks to the front and rear that came last year. Where others are blocky (Honda Pilot) and brawny (Ford Explorer), the 2014 Traverse retains its pleasing, rounded (maybe too rounded at the rear) shape. Entry-level LS models ride on 17-inch steel wheels, LT models are emboldened with 18-inch aluminum-alloy versions, and the top 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. Lower trims have a manual liftgate, while more expensive trims feature a power-operated one.
Notable Standard Equipment
No matter which trim you choose, the 2014 Traverse offers quite a bit for the money beyond sheer space. Spend the least on an LS version and you'll still drive away with keyless entry, a rear-vision backup camera, AM/FM/CD/satellite audio with a 6.5-inch touch-screen display. LT trims add interior wood treatments, 18-inch wheels, a power driver's seat and leather-wrapped steering wheel, while LTZ versions bring heated/cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, leather, and Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. For the all-important cup holders, you get 10 for 7-passenger configurations and a dozen for 8-passenger models.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options vary across trim levels for the 2014 Traverse, but all models can be had with all-wheel drive for better traction instead of the standard front-wheel drive. Other available features are navigation with traffic data, blind-spot monitoring with a rear cross-traffic alert system (standard on LTZ trim), a power liftgate, 10-speaker Bose audio, a rear-seat DVD system, and a dual-panel sunroof. Chevrolet's MyLink Touch telematics system combines Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free phone communication, voice recognition, and compatibility with apps such as Pandora. GM's OnStar Directions and Connections service can be extended by subscription after six months of free coverage.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Chevy Traverse uses a sophisticated 3.6-liter V6 with direct-injection and variable-valve-timing technology that helps it achieve a good 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. The Traverse is 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 2014 Chevrolet Traverse LS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $31,670. AWD adds $2,000 to the bottom line. A fully loaded Chevy Traverse LTZ can push the price to over $45,000. The 2014 Traverse's starting price is slightly higher than competitors such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Pathfinder, all of which are also slightly smaller. Buyers searching for the bargain haulers in this segment should check out the Kia Sorento (starting under $25,000) and Dodge Journey (around $20,000 with 7-passenger seating). Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for a 2014 Traverse. Down the road, we expect the Traverse's resale value to be in line the Ford Explorer, but not as high as the Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot.
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