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Chevrolet Traverse

New sheetmetal, same utility.

In size and capability, the Traverse bridges the gap between the Tahoe and the Equinox. It has a standard split-folding third row — only suitable for children or small adults — and, when fitted with the second-row bench, can seat up to eight people. In terms of capability, it can’t tow as much as larger body-on-frame SUVs like the Tahoe or the Suburban, but for most people, the more-fuel-efficient Traverse is the better bet. It is available with the same amenities as those big SUVs, such as a power liftgate, a rearview camera, a Bose stereo, and navigation, plus it can be similarly dressed up with optional eighteen- or twenty-inch wheels or chrome dual-exhaust pipes. The dual exhaust has the added benefit of increasing the output of the 3.6-liter V-6 to 288 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The Traverse’s cabin has the same dual-cockpit layout as in the smaller Equinox, with a sweeping dash, rich color choices, and cool blue accent lighting. Its siblings, the GMC Acadia and the Buick Enclave, are trimmed in nicer materials and have more stylized exteriors, but the Traverse undercuts the prices of those vehicles by thousands of dollars with comparable standard equipment. Even when compared with fresher competitors such as the Ford Explorer or the Honda Pilot, the Traverse holds up well in terms of style, quality, and value.

COMPETITORS

Ford Explorer

GMC Acadia

Honda Pilot

Mazda CX-9

new for 2013

The Traverse gets an exterior refresh and debuts the new face of Chevy crossovers. It’s not groundbreaking, but the new look is handsome, if a bit bland. Inside, changes include a revised center stack, fully adjustable headrests, an eight-way passenger seat, upgraded materials, and chrome accents. The Traverse gets an industry-first front center air bag designed to protection front occupants during a side collision.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, front center, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are ABS, traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. OnStar is standard and alerts first responders when a crash occurs. A backup camera and front and rear parking sensors are optional.

MPG

CITY 16–17

HWY 23–24

(est.)

PRO

Exterior has been refreshed

Third-row seat

Excellent alternative to big, truck-based SUVs

CON

Anonymous styling, despite face-lift

Base Price Range: $31,000–$42,000 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: LS, LT, LTZ

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 7- or 8-passenger

ENGINE: 3.6L V-6, 281/288 hp, 266/270 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 150.8 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 5200 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 24.4/70.3/116.3 cu ft

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