By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.1
As fuel prices rise and car buyers reconsider how much vehicle they really need, more people are finding themselves abandoning big, truck-based SUVs. But families continue to grow, commodities still need to be purchased, and both must be carried to and fro in some sort of personal vehicle. Enter the crossover sport-utility vehicle, a segment in which the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse is a rising star. Offering the roominess of a traditional SUV but car-like handling and better fuel economy, there's a lot to like about crossover SUVs in general and the Traverse in particular. While it can't tow the kind of payloads a Chevy Tahoe can or crawl over boulders like a Jeep, the Traverse can seat up to eight, drinks less gasoline than a traditional SUV, and starts at an appetizing price.
If you need a vehicle that can hold eight passengers, tow 5,200 pounds and offer better fuel economy and a more comfortable ride than a traditional SUV, the 2013 Traverse will be welcome in your world.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse has a design freshening that's most notable in the front fascia. The new Traverse also features the MyLink infotainment system and what Chevy says is the industry's first front-center airbag.
Driving Impressions Even with the proliferation of big crossover SUVs that are coming to market, the Traverse is one of our favorites. Its sole engine choice is a smooth and strong V6...that easily shuffles this vehicle up to speed, whether in front- or all-wheel-drive form. At 205 inches in length, the Traverse is larger than its direct competitors but doesn't feel bloated on the road. The 2013 Chevy Traverse offers a comfortable and commanding ride in which the suspension tames bumps and the tall ride height affords good frontal views out. Rear visibility is hindered to the left and right due to the Traverse's small windows near the third row and its upward-sloping exterior design. Though the Traverse is not a track vehicle by any means, we had the chance to take one on such a road course and found it well-planted during hard cornering and braking maneuvers, even on slick pavement.
SMART SLIDE SECOND-ROW SEAT
Getting into a third-row seat can be a hassle. This feature makes getting there much easier with its one-hand operation that creates easy access to the back.
HEATED AND COOLED FRONT SEATS
Standard on the top-line LTZ model, this creature comfort will keep your bottom happy in both the winter and summer.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse has three rows of seats that can be configured for seven or eight passengers. In lower trims, the second row is a 3-across bench. Optional on mid-tier models and standard on the LTZ are captain's chairs in the second row. Depending on trim, the 2013 Traverse's interior can feel basic with cloth upholstery and manually adjusted seats to premium with power-operated, heated/ventilated seats wrapped in leather and tri-zone climate control. No matter the trim, the 2013 Traverse is roomy. Adults can fit into the third row without thinking they're in purgatory, though three across is a squeeze. Copious cargo space swallows shopping bags, luggage and lumber.
The 2013 Traverse's new styling up front aims to bring cohesiveness to Chevrolet's family of vehicles. The tweaks include a horizontal grille, new elongated headlights and a power-dome hood. At just four years old, the Traverse still looks modern, and this year's updates keep it contemporary. The Traverse favors a friendly, more rounded shape versus the muscular lines of the Dodge Durango or the squared-off looks of the Honda Pilot. Entry-level LS models ride on 17-inch steel wheels, LT models are emboldened with 18-inch aluminum-alloy versions, and the top-line 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.
Every 2013 Chevy Traverse comes with cruise control, AM/FM/CD/satellite audio system with auxiliary input and 6.5-inch touch-screen display, rearview camera, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and a steering wheel with built-in controls for audio and cruise control. You'll never thirst for cup holders in a Chevy Traverse: You get 10 for 7-passenger configurations and a dozen for models with 8-passenger seating. On the safety front, 2013 Traverse models have six or seven airbags depending on trim, systems to aid with traction and mitigate a rollover, and a 6-month trial of GM's OnStar communications service.
Many options on the 2013 Traverse vary by trim, but all models can be had with all-wheel drive (AWD) for better traction instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD). Other features include navigation system, blind-spot monitoring system with a rear cross-traffic alert system, 2-panel sunroof, power-operated liftgate, premium 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, and rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Chevrolet's MyLink Touch telematics system combines Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free phone communication, voice recognition, and compatibility with apps such as Pandora.
Just one engine is offered in the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse models, but it's a good one: a sophisticated 3.6-liter V6 with direct-injection and variable-valve-timing technology that helps it achieve a nice 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. All 2013 Traverse models are 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 2013 Chevrolet Traverse LS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $31,000. AWD adds $2,000 to the bottom line. A fully loaded Chevy Traverse LTZ can push the price to over $45,000. The 2013 Traverse's starting price is slightly higher than competitors such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango and Nissan Pathfinder, all of which are also slightly smaller. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to see what others in your area are paying for a 2013 Traverse. Down the road, we expect the Traverse to hold its value relatively well, in line with the Explorer, better than the Durango, and not quite as well as the Honda Pilot.
By Win Adams on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Love it. Gas mileage not very good, but expected that when knew that when we bought this size of vehicle. Safety belt fasteners in bad location and head rests are just plain terrible."
By Jake82 on Monday, March 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, smooth, AWD for beach/mountain driving"
Cons: "Add ons are expensive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Rides smoothe, dependable, great acoustics, roomy like a minivan on the inside, but a SUV on the outside. I get lots of compliments on my car. I recommend the 4 bucket seats, seats 7 instead of 8 but way worth it!!"
By NoMoreChevys4Me on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "size, price"
Cons: "badly made, no support from GM at all"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I’ve had 4 Chevy vehicles. All good experiences, until I bought the 2012 traverse for my wife and kids. It’s been problematic since day one. Problems include vibration noises from the exhaust (it took 3 tries to fix that), front speaker works sometimes (not fixed yet), air bag light comes on often (6 attempts, still not fixed), it’s had motor mounts replaced… etc. Its has been worked on by two different delerships many times. Tried to get some help from GM to get trade-in assistance to by another new chevy traverse, they offered ZERO dollars. Asked for to extend the warenty as it will expire at 36000 miles and I have 30,000… they said no to that too. Asked for a loaner while it in the shop… no to that too, only if it stays over night. The worst customer service I have ever had. They lost a loyal customer for life."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By caser on Sunday, March 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy, dependable, smooth ride, sturdy"
Cons: "purchase price, cost of new tires"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Roomy enough for extremely big and tall passengers in front and back and hauls a lot. Teenage children even like it and want to drive it. Really, my most dependable car ever. With the extreme weather (winter of 2014), I commute at least one hour daily. This vehicle never fails to get me to and from my destinations safely. Holds it's value, always have offers to buy it. Pretty decent on gas mileage. Only downside for buyers is cost, but in this case, you will get what you pay for. I highly recommend!"
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By crow on Friday, March 21, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: wife wants a mustang
Pros: "dependability,room,comfort,fuel milage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"it has served its purpose with dependability,comfort,and 24mpg.the grandkids enjoy watching their movies.the Bose system is great,its an attractive suv with more than enough power to do whatever you need,as a family vehicle.with remote start its nice to get in on those cold mornings with the heated seats and dual climate control.color is red jewel matallic with grey leather interior,with dual sunroofs."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By GrannyB944 on Monday, March 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "The safety features are the biggest selling point"
Cons: "New ones are getting more expensive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We got caught in our recent ice/snow event. We live atop a mountain and the road getting there is steep and curvy and I was terrified that we would not be able to get home. My husband has a multitude of health issues and we needed to be home. As we approached the first part of the climb, we noticed many cars parked and abandoned and we hadn't even gotten to the really hard part. People were walking and I could envision us trying to make that last 2 miles up the mountain on foot. Scary thought! My husband, however, dropped the transmission into low and we got up the first incline, crossed the very icy bridge and as we came to the second and steeper climb, cars were littered all over the side and the middle of the road. Not ever changing speed, he manoeuvered around a Mustang in the center of the road, got us up to the top of the mountain where the road leveled off. Dozens of people were walking and we stopped to pick up a mother and her two young children. Back moving again, we never lost traction even as we descended into our S/D and navigated a very sharp curve on the decline. We got to our house and our passengers made the trip to theirs two doors away on foot. I was so relieved that I was shaking. I attribute our successful journey not just to my husband's expert handling, but more to the AWD, stabili-trak/abs and weight of the vehicle. Most everyone who I have told this story to is in awe that while 4WD vehicles were stranded everywhere, our car got us home. It took us about 30 minutes from the time we got to the mountain base to home. I hope that AWD becomes a standard feature on your vehicles in the near future. This 'adventure' was nothing short of amazing. Our friends, OTOH, spent 8 hours trying to go 9 miles in their mini-van and finally had to walk the last mile to their house because of the icy roads. And they don't even live on the slightest hill."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful