12 Best Family Cars: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse
All-new for 2018, the latest Chevrolet Traverse 3-row SUV comes out of the gate lighter, safer, smarter and more sophisticated. Add in seating for up to eight and plenty of cargo space, and Chevy's midsize crossover looks even more attractive to busy families.
Inside, the Traverse has gobs of room for families, friends, and all the stuff that goes with them. Cargo space is exceptional, with 23 cubic feet behind the third row, over 58 with the third row folded, and just under 100 with both rear rows down. There are also thoughtful spaces for smaller items, such as the hidden compartment behind the display screen and a bin beneath the rear cargo floor.
Beyond merely having ample space, the Traverse also boasts easy ways to utilize it. The standard SmartSlide second-row seat, for instance, makes accessing the third row a simple task, with the curbside seat able to tip and slide forward even when cradling a forward-facing child seat.
For families with older children, another helpful feature is the Teen Driver system. Standard on every Traverse, it enables parents to set vehicle parameters and even outputs an "in-vehicle report card" that relays a teen's driving habits.
Ready to connect
In our connected culture, the car-as-computer is becoming the rule rather than the exception. As with other Chevrolet vehicles and GM products in general, the latest Traverse comes with an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi system that turns the SUV into a rolling hotspot (3-month/3-gig trial is included, then a subscription is available). Beyond that, all Traverse trims come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which offers seamless integration with smartphones.
Like others in this segment, the 2018 Traverse also offers active safety features and safety aids such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. Just be aware that those options are reserved for costlier, higher-end trims.
One particularly neat feature is a new take on the rearview camera. While all Traverse models have a backup camera, an option can be had that turns the rearview mirror into a video screen to digitally display an unobstructed and wider look out the back of the vehicle.
Smooth and powerful
Even the least expensive 2018 Chevrolet Traverse comes with a 3.6-liter V6 connected to a 9-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged 4-cylinder is also available, but unlike rivals, it's tied to the uplevel RS model, not a base trim. We found the V6 strong, and the transmission among the smoothest of its kind. As for overall manners, the Traverse favors comfort over athleticism.
Like most other crossover SUVs, the Traverse comes standard in front-wheel-drive form, with all-wheel drive available. The Traverse's powertrain has one final trick up its sleeve to help families: It can tow up to 5,000 pounds, allowing you to bring some toys along on the adventure.
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