By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
As what's dubbed a " crossover SUV," the 2015 Chevrolet Traverse blends the roominess and high-riding outward visibility of a traditional SUV with the compliant road manners of a large sedan. Such vehicles have struck a chord with individuals and families who crave a vehicle with road presence, but who don't need the off-road ability, heavy towing capability, or dent in their gasoline budget that usually accompanies big, truck-based SUVs. For others, the 7- or 8-passenger capacity of the Traverse is far more appealing than a minivan. Originally introduced in 2009, the Chevy Traverse still offers a lot of vehicle for the money, but is starting to show its age amid fresher 3-row competitors like the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder and Kia Sorento.
If you want a big, 3-row midsize SUV that starts under $32,000, holds up to eight passengers, and has a standard V6 and that returns decent fuel economy, the 2015 Chevy Traverse remains a tempting family hauler.
The Traverse boasts much interior room, but its big size is also felt on the road and especially in parking lots. If you want something nimbler – not to mention fresher – try the recently revamped Toyota Highlander or Nissan Pathfinder. Need to tow more than 5,200 pounds? Look to the Chevy Tahoe.
KBB Expert Ratings
Changes are minimal as the 2015 Traverse soldiers on. The most significant updates are Siri Eyes Free iPhone integration, a revised wheel appearance, and new exterior and interior color choices.
Even in the face of newer competition, the 2015 Chevy Traverse remains one of our favorite crossover SUVs to drive and live with. In fact, it was among our 12...
... Best Family Cars of 2014. Its 280-plus horsepower V6 is smooth and strong, and easily gets Chevy's big crossover SUV up to speed in both front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) form. The Traverse is larger than its competitors, and while it's not agile like a Mazda CX-9, it doesn't feel overwhelming on the highway. The view to the front and sides is commanding and the ride is comfortable. As with other 3-row SUVs, rear-side visibility is hindered by the 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.
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.
The 2015 Traverse has three rows of seats and can be configured for seven or eight passengers. Lower trims are built for eight with a bench seat in the second row, while upper trims can seat seven with a pair of roomy captain's chairs in the second row. Base LS models make do with cloth seating and manual-adjust front seats, while top-line LTZ models have leather seats that are heated and cooled up front. One of the best traits about the Traverse is that it's big enough for adults to sit in the third row and still boast enough room behind the seats for groceries.
The Traverse is over five years in its current design, but its style is holding up thanks to front and rear design tweaks a few years ago. Where others are blocky (Honda Pilot) and brawny (Ford Explorer), the 2015 Traverse retains its handsome, rounded (maybe too rounded at the rear) shape. LT models feature side mirrors with integrated blind-spot mirrors – helpful in a vehicle this size – while LTZ versions feature electronic blind-spot monitoring. LTZ models also stand out with dual exhaust outlets, body-color moldings and chrome accents. Lower trims have a manual liftgate, while higher ones feature a power-operated one.
Beyond its sheer amount of vehicle for the money, the 2015 Chevy Traverse offers a good roster of standard features. A base LS model gives you keyless entry, a rearview backup camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity, AM/FM/CD/satellite audio with a 6.5-inch touch-screen display and front and rear USB ports. LT trims add a power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear park assist, and power liftgate (2LT trim). Top-line LTZ models bring leather, dual exhausts and a small bump in power, Bose premium audio, a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, and blind-spot monitoring with forward collision monitoring.
Options vary across trims for the 2015 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), a power liftgate, 10-speaker Bose audio, 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.
The 2015 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. Top-line LTZ models have a dual-exhaust system that increases output to 288 horsepower. All models use a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel-drive optional for drivers who need enhanced traction. 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 2015 Chevrolet Traverse has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $31,695 for a base LS model. 1LT and 2LT models run $34,495 and $36,995, respectively, while the range-topping Traverse LTZ begins at $42,635. Adding all-wheel drive to any model is an additional $2,000. Fully decked-out, a 2015 Traverse can reach over $47,000. The 2015 Traverse’s starting price is slightly higher than competitors such as the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Nissan Pathfinder, all of which are also smaller. Buyers seeking a bargain in this segment should check out the Kia Sorento (starting around $28,000) and Dodge Journey (just above $20,000 with 7-passenger seating). Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. As for its resale value, we expect the Traverse to be average, in line with the Pathfinder but below the Highlander.