The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse is a comfortable and competent alternative to traditional truck-based SUVs, offering a roomy interior, good towing capacity and a more fuel-efficient engine. The Traverse can seat up to eight passengers and, depending on trim, ranges from simple to near-luxury in its accommodations.
You'll Like The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse If...
If you need a vehicle that can hold eight passengers, tow 5,200 pounds and offer better fuel economy and a more comfortable ride than a traditional SUV, the 2013 Traverse will be welcome in your world.
You May Not Like The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse If...
If you need to tow really heavy loads or seat more than eight people, you'll need a heavy-duty, body-on-frame SUV like the Chevrolet Tahoe or a people-ferrying van. If you still must have a V8 engine in your crossover SUV, a 2013 Dodge Durango might be a better fit.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse has a design freshening that's most notable in the front fascia. The new Traverse also features the MyLink infotainment system and what Chevy says is the industry's first front-center airbag.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse has three rows of seats that can be configured for seven or eight passengers. In lower trims, the second row is a 3-across bench. Optional on mid-tier models and standard on the LTZ are captain's chairs in the second row. Depending on trim, the 2013 Traverse's interior can feel basic with cloth upholstery and manually adjusted seats to premium with power-operated, heated/ventilated seats wrapped in leather and tri-zone climate control. No matter the trim, the 2013 Traverse is roomy. Adults can fit into the third row without thinking they're in purgatory, though three across is a squeeze. Copious cargo space swallows shopping bags, luggage and lumber.
The 2013 Traverse's new styling up front aims to bring cohesiveness to Chevrolet's family of vehicles. The tweaks include a horizontal grille, new elongated headlights and a power-dome hood. At just four years old, the Traverse still looks modern, and this year's updates keep it contemporary. The Traverse favors a friendly, more rounded shape versus the muscular lines of the Dodge Durango or the squared-off looks of the Honda Pilot. Entry-level LS models ride on 17-inch steel wheels, LT models are emboldened with 18-inch aluminum-alloy versions, and the top-line 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.
Even with the proliferation of big crossover SUVs that are coming to market, the Traverse is one of our favorites. Its sole engine choice is a smooth and strong V6 that easily shuffles this vehicle up to speed, whether in front- or all-wheel-drive form. At 205 inches in length, the Traverse is larger than its direct competitors but doesn't feel bloated on the road. The 2013 Chevy Traverse offers a comfortable and commanding ride in which the suspension tames bumps and the tall ride height affords good frontal views out. Rear visibility is hindered to the left and right due to the Traverse's small windows near the third row and its upward-sloping exterior design. Though the Traverse is not a track vehicle by any means, we had the chance to take one on such a road course and found it well-planted during hard cornering and braking maneuvers, even on slick pavement.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse LS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $31,000. AWD adds $2,000 to the bottom line. A fully loaded Chevy Traverse LTZ can push the price to over $45,000. The 2013 Traverse's starting price is slightly higher than competitors such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango and Nissan Pathfinder, all of which are also slightly smaller. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to see what others in your area are paying for a 2013 Traverse. Down the road, we expect the Traverse to hold its value relatively well, in line with the Explorer, better than the Durango, and not quite as well as the Honda Pilot.
Every 2013 Chevy Traverse comes with cruise control, AM/FM/CD/satellite audio system with auxiliary input and 6.5-inch touch-screen display, rearview camera, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and a steering wheel with built-in controls for audio and cruise control. You'll never thirst for cup holders in a Chevy Traverse: You get 10 for 7-passenger configurations and a dozen for models with 8-passenger seating. On the safety front, 2013 Traverse models have six or seven airbags depending on trim, systems to aid with traction and mitigate a rollover, and a 6-month trial of GM's OnStar communications service.
Many options on the 2013 Traverse vary by trim, but all models can be had with all-wheel drive (AWD) for better traction instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD). Other features include navigation system, blind-spot monitoring system with a rear cross-traffic alert system, 2-panel sunroof, power-operated liftgate, premium 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, and rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Chevrolet's MyLink Touch telematics system combines Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free phone communication, voice recognition, and compatibility with apps such as Pandora.
SMART SLIDE SECOND-ROW SEAT
Getting into a third-row seat can be a hassle. This feature makes getting there much easier with its one-hand operation that creates easy access to the back.
HEATED AND COOLED FRONT SEATS
Standard on the top-line LTZ model, this creature comfort will keep your bottom happy in both the winter and summer.
Under the Hood
Just one engine is offered in the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse models, but it's a good one: a sophisticated 3.6-liter V6 with direct-injection and variable-valve-timing technology that helps it achieve a nice 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. All 2013 Traverse models are 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)
As fuel prices rise and car buyers reconsider how much vehicle they really need, more people are finding themselves abandoning big, truck-based SUVs. But families continue to grow, commodities still need to be purchased, and both must be carried to and fro in some sort of personal vehicle. Enter the crossover sport-utility vehicle, a segment in which the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse is a rising star. Offering the roominess of a traditional SUV but car-like handling and better fuel economy, there's a lot to like about crossover SUVs in general and the Traverse in particular. While it can't tow the kind of payloads a Chevy Tahoe can or crawl over boulders like a Jeep, the Traverse can seat up to eight, drinks less gasoline than a traditional SUV, and starts at an appetizing price.