2010 Chevrolet Traverse Expert Review

You'll Like The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse If...

If you're looking for a big family vehicle with excellent safety ratings, the ability to tow 5,400 pounds and reasonably good fuel economy for its size, the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse may be the best game in town.

You May Not Like The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse If...

Those who absolutely must have a V8 won't find one offered on the Traverse. Styling is a bit more contemporary than its stable mates at Buick and GMC, but resale values fall below those held by the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.

What's New

Premium radios gain a console-mounted USB port which can connect and charge some portable music devices to the vehicle's audio system.

Interior Features

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.

Exterior Features

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.

Driving Impressions

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.

Pricing Notes

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.

Notable Equipment

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.

Notable Options

Options vary by trim, which includes 1LT, 2LT and LTZ. Available features on most trims include remote start, a power rear liftgate (standard on 2LT and LTZ), Bose 10-speaker Surround Sound Audio system, DVD navigation, rear seat DVD entertainment system, all-wheel drive, second-row captain's chair seating, 115-volt three-prong outlet, two different rearview backup cameras (one for use with navigation, the other for vehicles without), Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist, heated windshield wiper fluid, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, dual-zone climate control, HID headlamps, heated front seats (heated and cooled front seats standard on LTZ) and a dual panel glass moonroof.

Favorite Features

StabiliTrak Stability Control with Rollover Mitigation Technology

Although you'll never know it until you have to use it, this technology could very well save your life. It drastically improves the Traverse's ability to remain composed in even the most radical emergency maneuvers.

Smart Slide Second Row Seat

This easy and convenient feature allows the second row seat bottom to flip up and the seat to slide forward, creating a wide pathway to the 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.}

3.6-liter V6

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)

Editors' Notes

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.

Road Test Video Reviews

2010 Chevrolet Traverse Owner Reviews

4.04
180 Reviews
37% 40% 17% 4% 2%
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Great car for large family

2010 Chevrolet Traverse LS

I have owned this car for a few months and I really like it so far. It was purchased from a local dealer and had only one previous owner who took care of it and had it maintenanced regularly. The car drives smoothly and has a decent amount of power. I have a 30 minute commute every day to and from work so I was concerned about the gas mileage on a larger vehicle but so far it seems to get decent mileage. There is a third row seat that will come in handy when we need it but for right now it's folded down which gives much more cargo space than my other vehicle. Overall I am very happy with the traverse and have not had any issues. Good family car for sure. It is AWD but I have not had the opportunity to drive it in snow or ice yet.

- Melissa B

Will not recommend this model of vehicle.

2010 Chevrolet Traverse

I love the 3-row option in the vehicle, so that I can take my entire family plus dogs. I like that the 3-row folds down so that I can cart large or lots of items, for taking stuff for kids after school or traveling with family. The engine has had several issues and has costs lots of money. The transmission was replaced. Now the engine light will not go off, nor with the air light. Nothing wrong with tires. Husband and brother will have to remove most of the items under the hood in order to fix the engine light. The mechanics got it to go off for 3k miles, but it came back on. So this time, family will attempt. Once fixed, will attempt to trade in for another American made car.

- Kerri M

Better than I thought it'd be!

2010 Chevrolet Traverse

I like my Traverse. I did have a few problems in the beginning with the traction but eventually it worked itself out because I have never had a problem since. I like the radio controls on the steering wheel. Volume goes up on its own when you speed up and goes down when you slow down. It is a very reliable SUV, drives great in nasty weather. Separate heat and cool controls for driver, passenger and back rows. Very spacious. Back row folds down. Second row seats fold up behind front seats as well. Hatch door can be remote operated. Gas gauge tells how many miles you've gone and how many miles you have until you run out of gas. Tire pressure gauge that tells air in each tire.

- Lori L

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