By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.0
As fuel prices fluctuate and more people downsize, a stream of buyers are shying away from thirsty, truck-based SUVs as the family hauler of choice. This has spawned a hot market for crossover sport-utility vehicles, which have room for growing families like a traditional SUV, but offer a sedan-like ride and better fuel-efficiency. The poster child for this segment could easily be the Chevrolet Traverse. Since debuting in 2009, the Traverse has shined as an alternative to both traditional SUVs and the oft-stigmatized minivan. Since then, vehicles such as the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder have softened from their rugged ways to join the crossover-SUV party that also includes the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Mazda CX-9. Though the cast grows, the Traverse more than holds its own.
If you desire a vehicle that holds up to eight passengers and offers better fuel economy and a more comfortable ride than a traditional SUV, all with a starting price under $32,000, the 2014 Traverse is a tempting choice.
If you need to haul heavy toys like boats and RVs, look to a traditional body-on-frame SUV like the Chevrolet Tahoe. The Dodge Durango, meanwhile, offers a V8 in a segment that otherwise relies on V6 engines. If the high mileage is tantamount, the Nissan Pathfinder achieves up to 26 mpg.
For 2014 the Traverse adds twin USB ports for 2nd-row passengers to keep electronic devices powered up. Forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning are added to the Traverse's roster of safety features.
Driving Impressions Even with its formidable and growing competition, the Chevy Traverse is one of our favorite crossover SUVs to drive. Its V6 engine is smooth and strong, and easily...gets the vehicle up to speed in both front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) form. The Traverse is larger than its competitors but doesn't feel bloated or overwhelming on the road. The view to the front and sides is commanding and the ride is comfortable. As is the case with other 3-row SUVs, rear visibility is hindered to the left and right due to the Traverse's 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. It's not as dynamic as the sporty Mazda CX-9, however, with comfort justifiably the priority over corner-carving.
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 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.Exterior
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.
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.
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.
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.
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