New 2019 Chevrolet Traverse SUV New 2019
Chevrolet Traverse SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

Chevrolet is making major changes to its SUV lineup and one of the most significant updates brought an all-new version of the Traverse to market last year. The new version delivered an array of welcome changes, growing more spacious -- with room for up to eight and plenty of cargo -- even while shedding 350 pounds. It’s markedly better-looking than the outgoing model, inside and out, and offers both more features and more power. Chevy also introduced a new high-line version in the form of the Traverse High Country. Available in standard front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive, the Chevrolet Traverse is finally up to taking on a competitive set that includes such stalwarts as the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer, Volkswagen Atlas and other crossover SUVs.

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You'll Like This SUV If...

Put the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse at the top of your shopping list if you’re looking for 3-row seating for up to eight, plenty of cargo space, good power and surprisingly solid fuel economy. You can also opt for high-line trim levels with lots of family-friendly features.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

As with any crossover SUV, there are some trade-offs. The classic, body-on-frame Chevy Suburban readily tops the Traverse’s maximum 5,000-pound towing capacity. And despite all its family features, it’s not as easy to get in and out of as a minivan. The well-equipped High Country is also a big price jump over the old Traverse.

What's New for 2019

After the 2018 complete makeover, the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse gets only minor updates, including new chromed roof rails on some trim levels and packages. There are also new 18-inch Bright Silver painted aluminum wheels of the 2FL and 1LT trim packages.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The biggest crossover SUV in Chevy’s lineup is no longer a 3-row also-ran. It has more than enough power to keep you moving, even on steep hills, thanks to a gutsy, 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 -- and the fact that the new model is about 350 pounds lighter than the previous-generation Traverse. The engine is paired to a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic that always seems to find the right gear. Downshifts come quickly and smoothly, making for easy freeway entrances and high-speed passes. Chevy offers an alternative on the 2019 Traverse RS trim, a peppy, torquey turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4. The downside, especially for those in snowy climes, is that the turbo-4 is offered only in front-wheel drive. What’s particularly impressive about the Chevy Traverse is the way it maintains its poise on rough roads without leaning over while cornering. Credit a well-tuned electric power-assist steering system that offers just the right amount of road feel. It’s no sports car, but it maintains great poise for a family-hauler.

Favorite Features

SMARTSLIDE 2nd-ROW SEAT
The SmartSlide 2nd-row seat makes getting to the third row a snap. No, it’s still not as easy as getting in and out of a minivan, but then again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

HIDDEN STORAGE
Chevy’s Traverse offers a cool little hidden storage compartment behind the infotainment screen, with a twist: The screen keeps working even if it's open, and you can lock the whole thing with a PIN if you like. There's also a massive hidden compartment under the cargo floor that's the same size in front- and all-wheel-drive models.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Offering good visibility, the 2019 Chevy Traverse features a relatively flat roofline that ensures plenty of headroom for passengers in the second and third rows. Better yet, the back row is no longer a penalty box for adults. The new instrument cluster with its big infotainment screen is a step up. Pull the Chevy badges off and you might mistake the new Traverse for a more upscale brand. Adding to the ease of a long-distance trip: a 10-speaker Bose sound system, the latest infotainment technology Chevy offers, including an onboard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and such features as active cruise control.

Exterior

Although a bit more modern and graceful, the latest-generation Chevy Traverse retains a more classic ute-like appearance than many of its competitors. The nose is slightly more raked, reflecting some of the steps taken to improve aerodynamics. There’s a more attractive grille, split by a crossbar emblazoned with the classic Chevrolet bow-tie logo. Our test vehicle was one of the new High Country models, which features tastefully selective chrome accents, including strips on the otherwise body-color side-mirror caps. What you might not notice is that the wheelbase has been stretched by two inches, key to giving lots more room to passengers and cargo.

Notable Standard Equipment

Available only in front-wheel drive, the base 2019 Chevrolet Traverse L model is reasonably well-equipped, with such niceties as six USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the 7-inch Chevy MyLink touch screen, a rearview camera, Teen Driver monitoring tech, keyless ignition, and even a traction mode selection. You’ll find plenty more features as you step up…and up to the top-line High Country model introduced in 2018. There you’ll find standard features like an electronic parking aid and a 360-degree surround-view parking camera.

Notable Optional Equipment

Chevy Traverse LS, LT, Premier and High Country models can all be ordered with all-wheel drive. Beyond that, LS models get tinted glass and a wider color palette. LT models with a cloth interior add nicer wheels, fog lights and roof rails. Order an LT model with leather, and you'll also get a surround-view camera, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alerts, parking assist, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen. In addition to its small turbocharged engine, RS models add a power tailgate, Bose audio system and navigation. Premier and High Country models include LED headlights, memory seats, hands-free rear tailgate, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and heated and cooled front seats. The High Country also adds a dual-clutch rear differential, adaptive cruise control, and remote start.

Under the Hood

While many vehicles in this segment are offered with just a single powertrain choice, Chevy opted to deliver two, including the peppy turbocharged 4-cylinder in the Traverse RS. The 2.0-liter model actually sacrifices 1 mpg on the highway but more than makes up for it with a 2-mpg gain around town. It also boasts better torque than the 3.6-liter V6 alternative. It’s only available in front-drive (FWD), however, so those who want all-wheel drive (AWD) will go for the bigger-displacement package. The V6 also bumps towing capacity up from 1,500 to 5,000 pounds. That engine is paired with a smooth-shifting new 9-speed automatic. For maximum traction, consider the Traverse High Country, which adds a dual-clutch transfer system, rather than the single-clutch unit on other AWD models.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
255 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg

3.6-liter V6
310 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
266 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg (FWD), 17/25 mpg (AWD)

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Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base, front-wheel-drive-only 2019 Chevrolet Traverse L is just under $30,900 when you include the $945 destination charge. Most buyers are expected to move up-market, primarily to the better-equipped Traverse LS that starts at just under $33,000. LT models with cloth seats start at about $35,500, and the LT with leather seating and other desirable features starts at just over $42,000. The sportier turbo Traverse RS starts around $43,000, while the Premier is a pricey-but-competitive $45,400. When it launched the all-new Traverse in 2018, Chevy also added a new, top-line model, the High Country, kicking in features like standard dual-clutch all-wheel drive and auto parking aid, while pushing the sticker up to a pricey $53,000. But as we’ve seen with some competitors, such as the Ford Explorer Platinum and GMC Acadia Denali, there are buyers out there looking for every possible feature. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid, and note that it's too early to tell how hard depreciation will hit the Traverse.

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