Offering a superb combination of comfort, capability and eight-passenger utility, the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse receives only minor changes for the new year. However, this multi-faceted people/cargo mover continues to be an impressive success story for GM's largest division and stands at the head of the residual value ratings as the best full-size utility vehicle winner in our 2012 Best Resale Value Awards.
Available in three trim grades and front or all-wheel-drive configurations, all versions of the Traverse are fitted with the same 281-horsepower (288 with dual exhausts)/3.6-liter direct-injected V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. That combination delivers impressive acceleration as well as stellar 24-mpg EPA highway fuel economy -- the best of any eight-passenger FWD vehicle. It also enables the 2012 Traverse to tow up to a 5,200-lb. trailer. A comfort-tuned Independent suspension is teamed with confidence-building stability control on all Traverse models, and the available Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system can add an extra measure of all-season security to the mix.
Well-appointed and well-finished, the Traverse's cavernous cabin matches adult-scale room - even in the third row - with outstanding, and easily reconfigurable rear stow space. The standard equipment set includes OnStar with Automatic Crash response and six airbags, while the options list offers Bose premium audio, DVD-based navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system that add even more appeal as you move up through the LS/LT/LTZ model hierarchy.
As a final plus, with a starting price around $30,000 in front-drive form and roughly $2,000 more for an all-wheel drive version, the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse boasts the same kind of compelling value story when purchased as it does on the residual side of the equation.