Premium radios gain a console-mounted USB port which can connect and charge some portable music devices to the vehicle's audio system.
Tasteful design, high-quality materials and one of the most accommodating interiors in the class are the hallmarks of GM's newest crossover SUV. Second-row seats that slide fore and aft improve leg room while permitting easy entry in to the third-row seat. And unlike many third-row seats, the Traverse's can actually accommodate two adults in comfort while affording them full side-curtain airbag protection. Storage bins and cup holders abound, and there is enough room behind the third row seat to accommodate two golf bags. Chevrolet has also gone to great lengths to silence the Traverse's cabin which remains remarkable quiet, even at highway speeds.
The most noticeable difference between the Traverse and its sister vehicles can be found up front, where Chevrolet's new Malibu-inspired split-grille face is prominently displayed. The rear quarter window is also different, sharply angled upwards at its bottom edge. With its big wheels pushed to the outer edges of the chassis, the Traverse presents an image of size and stability. Wide rear door openings make it easy for passengers to enter and exit the third-row seat, and an electrically-powered rear hatch aids access to the cargo area. Available convex insets built into the upper corner of each side mirror help expose objects ordinarily masked by blind spots.
As with the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse delivers a surprisingly smooth ride, has adept handling and offers strong acceleration with very respectable gas mileage. To push the envelope, we tested our Traverse on an enclosed track running a series of obstacle avoidance tests. Driven back-to-back against the Toyota Highlander, the Traverse exhibited superior skills in almost every situation. In one test, we accelerated to 45 miles per hour and without braking executed a quick left-right maneuver on wet pavement around an orange pylon strategically placed to represent a sudden obstacle in the road. To our great surprise (and relief) the StabiliTrak stability control system worked so efficiently it made small work of the test, allowing us to return immediately to our lane without any loss of control.
The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse LS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $30,000. All-wheel drive adds about another $2,000 to the bottom line. 1LT and 2LT trim push the price into the mid-$30,000 range, while a fully-loaded LTZ with all-wheel drive is expected to top out around just over $45,000. Our Fair Purchase Price reflects real-world transaction prices, so be sure to check and see what others are paying before you begin negotiations. Competitors such as the Toyota Highlander and Ford Flex are priced similarly, while the Hyundai Veracruz generally lists for less. We expect the Traverse to hold better values than its sister-vehicles from Buick and GMC, but below those of the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
Every Traverse comes standard with six airbags, including full-length side curtain airbags, front side-impact airbags and front passenger airbags. Also standard are StabiliTrak stability control with roll mitigation technology, one year subscription to OnStar with Turn-by-turn navigation, AM/FM stereo with CD and XM Satellite Radio, power windows, mirrors and door locks, rear wiper washer, cruise control, 17-inch wheels, Smart Slide second row seat and flush-folding third-row seat.
Under the Hood
The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse is powered by a sophisticated 3.6-liter V6 engine with variable valve timing and direct injection technology for improved performance and fuel economy. While most owners will be just fine with the 281 horsepower found on the LS and LT trims, the LTZ features a dual exhaust which bumps the horsepower to 288. All trims feature a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and can be equipped with Chevrolet's excellent Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system. Unlike many of GM's other engines, however, the Traverse is not E85 compatible.}
281 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
288 horsepower @ 6300 rpm (dual exhaust)
266 lb.-ft of torque @ 3600 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/23 (AWD)
Although the lucrative SUV business is still in danger of a sales downturn, GM is keenly aware many Americans have an inescapable need for seven-passenger transportation. With this in mind, GM has created a new line of crossover SUVs offering maximum interior space, mid-level towing ability and fuel economy numbers that reach into the mid twenties. The latest iteration of this well-conceived platform is the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse, a vehicle that combines contemporary styling, one of the best accident avoidance system in the business and an interior worthy of a high-end luxury car – all at a Chevrolet price.