So, you are in search of spacious, “sufficiently” luxurious family hauler, capable of swallowing all non-living objects of your kid’s emotional attachments, while tagging along a couple of their miniature friends wouldn’t hurt too. Minivan just cramps your style a bit too much, while luxury badge demolishes your bank account way excessively from your point of view. What you need then is three-row mid-size SUV and GM might have a proper answer with new 2018 Chevy Traverse.
Segment Is Huge and Things Are Tough
The offer of mid-size crossovers in the US is absolutely humongous. On the contrary, segment barely exists in Europe, where Nissan pulled off Murano along with Pathfinder (yes, it became crossover from this generation on…), leaving Korean duo alone, though recently joined by Ford’s Edge. Still, despite wide US offer, the majority of it circles around 100k annual sales border, keeping things in sort of “decent” area. Several things as Explorer, Grand Cherokee (no third row) and Highlander are pulling double of those figures, leaving new Traverse having them in sight trying to abandon current “gray” sphere. Does it pack enough heat?
Complete Make Over
New Traverse brought new styling approach. The “gray-est” thing about it was certainly cabin which managed to check plain box with every aspect of it. Fortunately new one boasts much better, slightly rugged, visual appeal, while you can never over-appreciate MyLink’s intuitiveness, full connectivity (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto) and its originality (Teen Driver).
Used materials are not Jeep’s or Murano’s like, but huge progress is evident nevertheless. We are not done with trashing the predecessor and praising replacement as previous bloated look with a dash of dullness retreated in front of new found masculinity enhanced by bolder fascia featuring huge grille seating on boxier and sharper body.
It looks more rugged, more menacing and we like it. It’s Atlas’s, Jeep’s and Explorer’s design approach and if you dig it, you have one more contender to choose from. Finally, similar design language proved more attractive here compared to new Equinox, and if Tahoe is out of reach, hint of its ultimate macho-ism is one step closer to anyone’s reach. As for that packing of heat, so far so good.
It’s All About the Space
Both previous Traverse and Equinox were on the larger and heavier side of their segments. And both of them decided to turn the page with newcomers. Both lost significant weight figures (bigger brother lost 351 pounds), but Traverse retained same exterior measurements.
Already large wheel-base is two inches longer than before and staggering eight inches over brotherly Acadia, nourishing the thought that third-row might even be suitable for more than children, while boot rocks the charts with among the best figures in all configurations, despite total cargo space fell by 17 cu ft to current 99. Back to that weight loss for the end, as it caused (along with some other stuff) increase in fuel efficiency, which ups to 18/25 mpg (city/highway for V6) or rise by three mpg in either case.
Inevitability of Downsizing
First, old naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 remains but arrives with power boost along with the introduction of brand new turbocharged 2.0-liter L4. Then there are some strange happenings though… V6 produces 305 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is almost 20 hp more than before, but torque fell by a couple of numbers.
Plus the same engine in Acadia delivers five hp and 11 lb-ft more? And finally, RS trim or sporty one comes only with four-cylinder and FWD which has superior torque figure of 295 lb-ft, but the lack of 50 hp compared to V6 makes this Chevy’s decision peculiar one.
Fortunately, there is nothing perplexing about the new gearbox, which adds three more speeds to former 6-speed one benefiting to above-mentioned fuel efficiency, and about the AWD system (only with V6) capable of rear-axle torque vectoring in High Country trim.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse Price and Release Date
It is already here and pricing has just been announced. The base price of $30.8k undercuts most rivals by around a grand, while it is strangely above the one of Acadia’s, contradicting GMC’s sort of mild upmarket aspirations. If you want to garnish cabin with leather and packs some safety gizmos price easily jumps to $42k. But it doesn’t end there, visually alluring Premier trim is three grand more while High Country version cost staggering $53k or in close proximity of Buick’s Enclave dressed in new top Avenir outfit. Apart from Explorer, that is easy $5k above most fully equipped rivals, from some even close to ten grand.
New Equinox follows similar higher trims shocking price strategy, so we will see how that turns out for more mainstream Chevy. Leaving the pricing aside, in conclusion, new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is better in every aspect than before, and we are sure that it became a proper rival for segment leaders for the first time. Still, we are not sure about doubling of those sales figures, as many “slower selling” others were already there with quality, where Chevy has just arrived…
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