2018 Chevrolet Traverse Expert Review

4.5 Overall Score
Performance 4.5 Comfort 4.5 Styling 4.4 Value 4.4

Editor's Overview

The all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse manages to improve on the old Traverse's shortcomings in every way, and yet also manages to upgrade the things we thought were just fine about the old model. With a passenger-friendly interior, ample cargo space, and easy driving manners, the Traverse competes against similarly fashionable 3-row SUVs, but with near-minivan-like utility.

You'll Like The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse If...

<b style="font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, sans-serif; font-size: 24px;">Pros:

<ul><li>3-row midsize SUV is all-new for 2018

</li><li>Loaded with family-friendly features, storage, safety and tech

</li><li>Smooth V6 engine combines ample power with decent fuel economy

</li><li>One of our Best Family Cars of 2018

</li></ul>

You May Not Like The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse If...

<b style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">Cons:

<ul><li>Short on towing capacity</li><li>The best tech only comes at the highest trim levels</li><li>Not as easy to enter and exit as a minivan

</li></ul>

What's New

The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is all-new this year, sharing only its name with its predecessor. This midsize SUVboasts a longer wheelbase, more rear-seat room, better cargo space, choice of an updated V6 engine or new turbocharged 4-cylinder, and an excellent 9-speed automatic transmission, plus all the modern technology you could ask for.

Interior Features

The new Chevy Traverse interior features a big, bright infotainment screen complemented by an available full-color display between the main gauges. The front seats and 2nd-row seats offer up ample headroom and legroom, and the rear bench can accommodate three across without difficulty. The third row is tighter, but still acceptable for kids for long trips, and there's a ton of cargo space behind the third row even without using the hidden storage area under the floor. Some of the plastics lower on the dash and console feel a little cheap, and we wish there were thicker padding on the door armrest, but that's about the end of the gripe list.

Exterior Features

The new Traverse is a sharp looking crossover SUV, looking something like a Chevy Tahoe that cut the carbs and hit the gym. It's actually longer than the Tahoe, with a longer wheelbase as well. The wide track and body-colored C-pillar give the Traverse an upscale but recognizably Chevy look. If you opt for the High Country you get multi-element LED headlights and more. The RS ups the aggressive factor with an all-black scheme with red backgrounds on all the badges. About the only quibble is the awkward placement of the word &quot;Traverse&quot; on the middle of the front doors.

Driving Impressions

There's no lack of power in the 2018 Traverse. Its 3.6-liter V6 engine smoothly puts 310 horsepower to the ground through the smooth shifting 9-speed automatic transmission. Unlike many other 8-, 9-, and 10-speed front-wheel-drive transmissions we've experienced lately, this one feels just right, downshifting quickly, getting to higher gears swiftly, and providing surprisingly good fuel economy. The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that’s exclusive to Traverse RS models has less horsepower than the V6, but more torque. That combination, plus its forced induction, equals acceleration and passing power that feel on par with the V6, all while providing the snappy response inherent in a turbo engine. Unlike the V6, though, the 4-cylinder turbocharged Traverse only comes in front-wheel drive. Whether you choose the standard V6 or the intriguing 4-cylinder option, the Traverse’s suspension quells bumps big and small while keeping the SUV from leaning too far in corners. The sharp steering puts its electrical assist on the rack instead of the steering column, resulting in better feel, and the brakes not only provide sure stops but feel good doing it. We're not trying to oversell it, and the new Traverse isn't anybody's first choice for fun on a twisty mountain road, but neither is it intended to be. But on drives long and short, this SUV is surprisingly satisfying.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base, front-wheel-drive-only 2018 Chevrolet Traverse L is just under $30,900 when you include the $945 destination charge. A smarter jumping off point is the better-equipped LS for just under $33,000. LT models with cloth seats start at about $35,500, the LT with leather (and a lot more) start at a bit more than $42,000, the turbo Traverse RS is around $43,000, and the Premier is a pricey-but-competitive $45,400. The High Country adds standard all-wheel drive and more, at a price that's just under an eye-watering $53,000 -- that's matched only by the similarly lavish Ford Explorer Platinum and GMC Acadia Denali. Otherwise prices are competitive with the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, and the rest of the midsize 3-row SUV market. 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.2018 Chevrolet Traverse L

Starting Price: $30,875 (FWD only, all prices listed here include $945 destination charge) |See this week's Fair Purchase Price

8-passenger capacity

310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6

9-speed automatic transmission

Bluetooth and USB phone connectivity

Available 4G LTE WiFi hotspot

Backup camera

Manual driver’s seat

Three-zone auto climate control

Pushbutton start

Note: The L is the basest model, available in only two colors, and not available with all-wheel drive. Expect this one to show up in rental fleets, not private driveways.2018 Chevrolet Traverse LS

Starting Price: $32,995 (FWD), $34,995 (AWD)|See this week's Fair Purchase Price

Deep-tinted side windows

Available all-wheel drive

Note: A step up from the rental-fleet L, the LS offers all-wheel drive and a slightly broader color palette.2018 Chevrolet Traverse LT

Starting Price: $35,495 (FWD), $39,295 (AWD)|<a alt="2018 Chevrolet Traverse LT Prices" href="https://www.kbb.com/chevrolet/traverse/2018/lt/">See this week's Fair Purchase Price

</a>18-inch wheels

8-inch Chevy MyLink infotainment

Heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators

Fog lamps

Roof rails

SiriusXM satellite radio

7-passenger seating (8-passenger optional)

8-way power driver's seat

Power liftgate

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Note: Likely to be a volume model, the LT Cloth model also offers a full color palette, including premium paint colors and a choice of interior colors.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse LT Leather

Starting Price: $42,490 (FWD), $44,490 (AWD)|See this week's Fair Purchase Price

Surround-vision camera system

Blind spot and rear cross-traffic alert

Rear parking sensors

20-inch wheels

Remote vehicle start

Navigation system

Bose 10-speaker audio system

Color driver information center

Rear Camera Mirror

6-way power front-passenger seat

Note: The LT Leather adds much more than just cow hides to the seats, justifying its price, although advanced safety features like forward collision warning still aren't available on this trim.


2018 Chevrolet Traverse Premier

Starting Price: $45,395 (FWD), $48,690 (AWD)|See this week's Fair Purchase Price

Dual-outlet exhaust

LED headlights

Power tilt-telescope steering column

Heated steering wheel

Heated and ventilated front seats

Heated second-row captain's chairs

Wireless charging

Hands-free power hatch

Note: For an extra $475 we recommend the Driver Confidence II package, which adds low speed automatic braking, forward collision alert, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, front pedestrian detection, and automatic high beams.


2018 Chevrolet Traverse High Country

Starting Price: $52,995(AWD only)|See this week's Fair Purchase Price

Twin-clutch rear differential

Active cruise control

Lane keep assist and lane departure warning

Forward automatic and pedestrian braking

Panoramic sunroof

Note: This is the &quot;kitchen sink&quot; model, which offers the most equipment. It's also the only Traverse to offer active cruise control.


2018 Chevrolet Traverse Specs<ul><li>Engine: 3.6-liter V6</li><li>Transmission: 9-speed auto</li><li>Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive, All-wheel drive</li><li>Horsepower: 310 hp @ 6,800 rpm</li><li>Torque: 266 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm</li><li>Fuel Economy, FWD: 21 mpg combined (18 city, 27 highway)</li><li>Fuel Economy, AWD: 20 mpg combined (18 city, 25 highway)</li><li>Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs</li><li>Curb Weight: 4,362 lbs (L)</li><li>Turning Diameter: 39 feet</li><li>Wheelbase: 120.9 inches</li><li>Length: 204.3 inches</li><li>Height: 70.7 inches</li><li>Width: 78.6 inches</li><li>Warranty:3 years or 36,000 miles</li></ul>

Notable Equipment

All 2018 Chevy Traverse models come with a 3.6-liter V6 engine and 9-speed automatic (save for the RS model with its turbocharged 4-cylinder). The base L model (front-drive only) comes better equipped than you might expect, with 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. There's also 3-zone automatic climate control, and seating for eight, including a SmartSlide 2nd-row seat that makes getting to the third row a snap. In addition to multiple airbags, standard safety equipment includes a rear-seat reminder that chimes a warning to make sure you're not leaving a little one back there.

Notable Options

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 lamps 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.

Favorite Features

REARVIEW CAMERA

The rearview camera uses a wide-angle lens to give you a commanding view of the world behind you, projected onto a screen on the rearview mirror. Best of all, if you don't like it, with a flick of the switch you're back to reflective glass.


HIDDEN STORAGE

The 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.

Under the Hood

The standard engine and the one that’s suitable for most buyers in the 2018 Traverse SUV is a 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. It powers the front or all four wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission. Developed jointly with Ford, the transmission's smooth shifts and rapid downshifts embarrass the ZF-built 9-speed automatic used in the Honda Pilot and elsewhere. All-wheel drive in the High Country uses a dual-clutch system for enhanced traction, while the rest of the lineup uses a single-clutch system. The turbocharged 4-cylinder in the Traverse RS makes up for its horsepower deficit to the V6 with more torque. Available only in front-wheel drive, the turbocharged Chevy Traverse provides satisfying and at times even invigorating power delivery. Like the standard model, it uses a 9-speed automatic transmission. Its tow rating is limited to 1,500 pounds versus 5,000 for the V6. Fuel economy for the V6 is pretty solid, topping out at 27 mpg on the highway in front-wheel-drive models. The 4-cylinder Traverse is only rated up to 26 mpg on the highway, but has a slightly better combined fuel economy than the V6 -- 22 mpg vs. 21. The caveat is that pricier premium-unleaded fuel is recommended for the turbo-4, while the V6 drinks the regular stuff. According to the EPA, you’ll actually spend more on fuel in a given year for the 4-cylinder Traverse RS than you will for the standard V6. All Traverse models use an engine start/stop that shuts down the engine at idle to save fuel. Unlike others with similar systems, though, this one cannot be disabled.


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)

Editors' Notes

The all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse manages to improve on the old Traverse's shortcomings in every way, and yet also manages to upgrade the things we thought were just fine about the old model. The new Traverse is lighter by 350 pounds, offers more power, sharper styling, modern technology, and a top-of-its-class driving experience. That's saying something because its class includes the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer, Volkswagen Atlas, and more midsize 3-row crossover SUV models. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, and all-wheel drive (AWD) is available, depending on trim level. With seating for up to eight people, tons of cargo space even with the third row up, and better-than-respectable fuel economy, the new Traverse deserves a spot on every family-car shopper's list.

Road Test Video Reviews

2018 Chevrolet Traverse Owner Reviews

4.81
278 Reviews
84% 13% 2% 1% 1 star 0%
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I enjoy using Carplay, where my phone hooks up directly to the dashboard.

I am very satisfied with the purchase of my Chevrolet Traverse. The main feature I love about the vehicle is the space. We are a family of 5 and this vehicle gives us more than enough room for comfort during long travels. There's plenty of seating and leg room in addition to plenty of room for our luggage and all the necessities needed to travel with two younger children including, luggage, stroller, and a travel playpen. The OnStar features are also a major plus. The App keeps us updated on maintenance and allows me to unlock the doors without having to go outside with the keys to allow someone access inside the vehicle. The Wi-Fi feature is a must for our family on long trips. The only thing I do not like is there's no choice to turn the auto start off. It can be a bit aggravating when driving through a lot of stop sign or stop lights in the city. But overall I would recommend the Chevrolet Traverse and satisfied with our purchase.

- Teresa J

Great car for a medium sized family.

I love my Traverse. It has plenty of safety features. The birds eye view of the car is nice when backing up. The leather interior is easy to clean. The navigation system is not amazing because it does not give traffic updates, however it is accurate as to where roads and places are located. We paid for the DVD upgrade and that was not worth it. The system has issues syncing the sound with the video and it shuts off when the drivers, front passenger or cargo doors are opened/shut sometimes. The dealership says it is a known problem with no fix which is frustrating. Leaves me feeling like we paid $2000 for an inferior product. Additionally, we recently had an issue with the transmission not shifting gears properly. They have to replace a part that is a known problem. For a car in this price point, bought brand new, I did not expect to have these kinds of problems after only one year of ownership. Otherwise, the care is great!

- Adrian P

Perfect family vehicle with lots of space and many safety options.

We love our 4 door 2018 Chevy Traverse! So far there are no problems with it. Our vehicle has a ton of space with 8 seats. The front seats are very comfortable and can be adjusted to suit your needs. The front seats also can be heated which is very nice when you live in colder climates. We don't have a bucket seat in the middle because we decided to get a middle seat for when we need to sit by our 2 babies. Even though there are 3 seats in the middle there's still plenty of room. We love how in the front seat it will let us know when there's someone in the back such as a child. Having lots of safety features is very important for us with kids. The side view mirrors also starts blinking when there's a car next to us so we don't merge over when there's a vehicle.

- Rachel D

Travel with a traverse for your next car

I recently purchased my traverse at the beginning of the summer. I wanted something that would benefit me with my travels to and from work in snowy weather conditions. Upon walking into the showroom I fell In love with the traverse immediately. The truck offers all wheel drive, front wheel drive and off roaring with just one turn of a switch. My rearview mirror is not only a mirror but I chose The vehicle that has the option of having the mirror a full screen camera of what is behind me. With three rows (which you can put down) makes this car perfect for traveling, road trips, and most importantly a family car. It a spacious and comfortable.

- Crysten D

sporty and spacious, perfect family car

I absolutely love how spacious my 2018 traverse is! It's practical and perfect for my family! I have 2 kids and I knew I needed a rear climate control, as I did not have vents in the back of my 2016 equinox in which I traded in for the traverse! The traverse is very thought out, I love the bucket seats and the fact that my third row seats THREE people (3 kids can sit comfortably, 2 adults can sit comfortably for short to medium length rides) I can 100% say that this will be our family car for a long time, as it doesn't get horrible gas mileage and feels all of our needs! It's sporty, spacious and doesn't feel like I'm driving a BUS

- Ashley C

Why I love my Chevy traverse so much I bought two!

This is the smoothest ride I have ever driven. You can seat 7 passengers comfortably. Even with the third row in place there is a lot of storage in the back. There is additional storage in the back by lifting a panel, it is like a well. It is pretty much hidden. There is a secret storage place with a USB port behind the radio. The heated seats and remote start were lifesavers in the winter. The rear view mirror can be switched to a camera view and increases the field of vision exponentially. The seats and interior are simply comfortable. I have done a lot of carpooling and sitting in the car waiting for kids. I love this car.

- Cher S

The minivan for cool people

The gas mileage is surprisingly good for a midsize SUV. It's also a lot lighter than you'd expect it to be, probably because of the hollowed out rear cargo space under the floorboard. Lots of legroom in the third row and plenty of plugs for various tech. It's a minivan that doesn't look like a minivan. I'm fact I personally think it's more attractive than its GMC counterpart: the Acadia. Love the huge touch screen with Apple CarPlay. If you're into tech, need a minivan but don't want to sacrifice style, and gas mileage is important to you I recommend the Traverse. Handles great on the highway and in town.

- Taylor B

My Traverse makes us super duper happy

Smooth ride, reliable vehicle. It does very well on the highway and I love how it handles in the rain and snow. You must get this truck in four wheel drive in order to get the full experience out of the vehicle. This was the best choice that I could have possible made when it comes to selecting a good and fashionable truck. I enjoy it everyday and that enjoyment has lasted since the day I purchased the vehicle. It was a very big achievement for me and my family to acquire such a nice luxury and strong truck such as the Traverse. I highly recommend everyone seeking a truck or SUV to buy a Traverse.

- Aaron K

An interesting detail about this vehicle is the climate control.

There have been no problems with the 2018 Chevy traverse. The SUV is very spacious and rides smooth. The SUV has carplay so that you can sync your phone up to the car and enable hands free calling and texting. Google maps is also available to be put in the screen of the SUV instead of having to look at your phone. All of the six seats in the back fold down making a lot of room for moving and groceries, etc.. The gas mileage is great for this big SUV along with the price per month. This car cannot be beat, it is bar far my favorite car that I have ever drove.

- Nicole T

Sharp looking car with tons of features

I absolutely love my traverse. It is spacious and is comfortable. I love all the added features like being able to start the car from an app on my phone or lock it. The big trunk space when the third row is down is wonderful (plus the added bonus compartment below). And when the third row is up it's actually very comfortable (wouldn't ride 10 hours in the 3rd row but 2 yes). Wish the sunroofs were electronic and not manually controlled. Performance is amazing. MPG not great but not terrible. Would I buy it again? ABSOLUTELY!

- Stephanie G

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