By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
With its 3-row seating, spacious cargo bay and handsome styling, Chevrolet’s 2017 Traverse crossover SUV makes an ideal family vehicle. Although it lacks more advanced driver-assist systems found on the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer, the Traverse is still safe, competent and desirable. Mimicking the ride height and family-hauling abilities of the larger Tahoe SUV, the Traverse outmaneuvers its sibling with a more sedan-like ride and better handling. Although the V6-powered Traverse crossover SUV can’t haul or pull like a Tahoe can, it can tow up to 5,200 pounds. Not as fresh or fuel-efficient as some newer competitors, the Traverse still offers such desirable features as 7- or 8-passenger seating, a big cargo hold behind the 3rd-row seat and an exceptionally quiet cabin.
If you need room for up to eight passengers, as well as ample cargo room, the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse crossover SUV still offers one of the roomiest cabins in this field. Its $30,000 entry price is also quite appealing, as is the option of all-wheel drive.
KBB Expert Ratings
Chevrolet’s 2017 Traverse SUV is relatively unchanged from last year, with an all-new 2018 model set to debut next year. Last year’s LTZ is replaced by the Premier trim while a new, lower-priced base LS 1SM is introduced.
Despite the plethora of newer, nimbler and more fuel-efficient competitors, the 2017 Chevy Traverse remains a remarkably capable crossover SUV. Its strong 281-horsepower V6 places the Traverse well within range...
... of all but the Ford Explorer, although fuel economy lags far behind. Getting up to speed is no problem, even with a full complement onboard. The Traverse’s ride is smooth, its handling predictable and its braking strong. The optional all-wheel drive not only improves traction in snow and rain, but also helps with dry-road cornering, which is important because the Traverse is larger and less agile than competitors such as the Nissan Pathfinder. The Traverse offers long side glass for better visibility, although with the third row in place, rearward visibility is somewhat limited. Blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera and lane-departure warning all help the driver, but more advanced driver aids such the Honda Pilot's lane-keeping feature are not available.
With the ever-increasing need to be connected to our mobile devices 24/7, the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUV’s built-in Wi-Fi hotspot helps keep everyone happy and connected. This subscription-based service permits up to seven devices to share the vehicle’s 4G LTE system.
SMART SLIDE 2ND-ROW SEAT
What good is a spacious 3rd-row seat if you can’t easily access it? In the 2017 Traverse, Chevrolet offers the Smart Slide 2nd-row seat that can be operated with just one hand, making it a breeze to get in and out of the rearmost seat.
Chevrolet’s Traverse crossover SUV for 2017 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 Premier models have leather seats that are heated and cooled up front. Remarkably, the Traverse is big enough for adults to sit in the third row and still boast enough room behind the seats for groceries.
The Traverse is now eight years into its current design, but its style is holding up, thanks to front and rear tweaks made a few years ago. The 2017 Chevy Traverse crossover SUV bucks the blocky shape of a traditional SUV with its handsome, rounded (maybe too rounded at the rear) shape. Top-line Premier versions feature exterior mirrors with electronic blind-spot monitoring -- helpful due to the Traverse's size and compromised rear sightlines. Premier 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 Chevy Traverse offers a good roster of standard features. The LS model gives you keyless entry, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity, AM/FM/CD/satellite audio with a 6.5-inch touch-screen display and front and rear USB ports, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity. LT trims add a power-driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear park assist, and power liftgate (2LT trim). Top-line Premier 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 2017 Chevy Traverse, but all models can be had with all-wheel drive (AWD) for better traction instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD). Other extras include navigation with traffic data, blind-spot monitoring with a rear cross-traffic alert system (standard on Premier), 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. A subscription to the new OnStar 4G LTE system with Wi-Fi is available after the initial 3-month/3-gigabyte trial.
Chevy’s 2017 Traverse SUV uses a 3.6-liter V6 with direct-injection and variable-valve-timing technology that helps it achieve a decent balance of power and fuel economy. This engine produces 281 horsepower, but with the optional dual exhaust the figure rises 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. While its fuel economy trails that of new rivals like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, it can tow a couple hundred more pounds than those competitors with its 5,200-pound rating, all while running 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: 15/22 mpg (FWD), 15/22 mpg (AWD)
The 2017 Chevrolet Traverse has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $29,595 for the retail-order-only 1SM and $32,195 for an LS model with no options. 1LT and 2LT models run $34,995 and $37,545, respectively, while the range-topping Traverse Premier begins at $42,940. Adding AWD is an additional $2,000. Fully loaded, a 2017 Traverse can reach over $50,000. The 2017 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 merely seeking a bargain 3-row crossover SUV may find it in the Dodge Journey 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.