2019 Chevrolet Traverse

2019 Chevrolet Traverse Review: Bigger Is Always Better

by Gabe Beita Kiser

Large crossover SUVs don't come much more spacious or comfortable than the new Chevrolet Traverse, a people carrier that outdoes even the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. With some changes under the skin to help keep it relevant following a recent redesign last year, the Traverse is intended to be your one-stop SUV that caters to absolutely everyone. There's a base model, a turbocharged version, one suited for a bit of off-roading, and a borderline luxury model. Most are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, with the RS model being the exception. It gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot developing a mild 257 hp and 295 lb-ft and, like the base L model, is only available with front-wheel-drive. Other variants can be had with four-wheel-drive. Pricing starts at $29,930 and nudges above $52,000 in the top trim.

2019 Chevrolet Traverse Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2018 Traverse?

A new Premium package is now available with navigation, a ten-speaker Bose audio system, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with rearview camera display, 20-inch wheels, and a top-down parking system. An eight-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system is also a new option, upgrading the standard seven-inch display. In terms of power, the V6 engine now produces 29 hp more than the 2018 model did. With a major refresh for the 2018 model, not much else was deemed necessary for change this year.

Pros and Cons

  • Abundant cargo space
  • Excellent passenger room even in third row
  • Comfortable seating
  • Infotainment system is easy to use and features smartphone connectivity/Wi-Fi as standard
  • Smooth, supple ride
  • Most safety features cost extra and can only be had on top trims
  • Not as many features as some rivals

Traverse Exterior

The design of the Traverse is neither inspiring nor offensive, it just is. LED daytime running lights (LED headlights are optional) and twin-exit exhaust tips feature across the range, along with a wraparound-style rear window and a fair amount of chrome accents. Black plastic bumpers and rocker panels protect the paint from road debris kicked up by the wheels that come in either 18- or 20-inch flavor.

2019 Chevrolet Traverse Front Angle View Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Traverse Rear Angle View Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Traverse Rear Angle View 1 Chevrolet
See All 2019 Chevrolet Traverse Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Traverse needs to be big to comfortably seat eight individuals, and with a length of 204.3 inches, a width of 78.6 inches, and a height of 70.7 inches, it is. The wheelbase is predictably long, at 120.9 inches. Curb weight varies between 4,362 and 4,403 lbs depending on trim and spec. That's quite heavy when you consider that the Honda Pilot only tips the scales at 4,036 lbs, but on the plus side, more weight generally translates into a more comfortable ride. The Traverse is also bigger inside than the Pilot, so its lardy figures can be justified here.

Exterior Colors

The Traverse's base model, the L, has access to only two colors: Summit White and Mosaic Black Metallic. The LS gets a choice of four, with Silver Ice Metallic and Satin Steel Metallic added to the palette. LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, and Premier models are similar but add Graphite Metallic, Cajun Red Tintcoat ($395) and Iridescent Pearl Tricoat ($995). The top-trim High Country model has access to the same paint options but does without the Graphite Metallic no-charge option. Premier and High Country models swap out the black roof rails that are fitted to all but the two base models and replace them with brushed silver items.

Traverse Performance

The Traverse is not a particularly quick SUV. It has enough power so as not to frustrate, but setting 0-60 mph times in this is purely academic. The standard 3.6-liter V6 engine that is fitted to the majority of the lineup performs well and doesn't ever feel like it's over-exerting itself, but the gearing is tuned for economy, so you do sometimes have to put your foot down a little more assertively to get going on the uphills. Nevertheless, 310 hp and 266 lb-ft are enough to get the job done, and there is a strong pull from the engine when you bury the throttle. The RS model, supposedly a sportier variant, confusingly makes a lot less power with only 257 hp. Torque, however, increases to 295 lb-ft. Unfortunately, you won't get any fizz from this front-wheel-drive only model and its sporty veneer is only skin-deep. The V6 can be had with either front- or four-wheel-drive across the range, allowing for more surefootedness in treacherous conditions. Towing capacity in standard form is limited to 1,500 lbs, but with the available trailering package that provides increased engine cooling, up to 5,000 lbs can be towed.

2019 Chevrolet Traverse Front View Driving Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Traverse Rear View Driving Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Traverse Exhaust Chevrolet

Engine and Transmission

The standard engine across most of the range is the 3.6-liter V6. The powerplant is a sturdy workhorse and provides a consistent thrust of 310 hp with 266 lb-ft of twist. This engine option will be suitable for almost everyone, as it cruises well and has enough grunt to overtake slower traffic with relative ease. When towing heavier loads, it will take a little bit of patience before you get going, but once the initial rolling resistance is overcome, acceleration is smooth and steady. The slight increase in power for the 2019 model is a welcome improvement on the V6, but the RS and its 2.0-liter turbo engine are less impressive. Thrust from this powerplant is only 270 hp, although torque increases significantly to 295 lb-ft. Although you could argue that this is still a massive SUV designed around carrying people in comfort, and that any question of sportiness should be hastily glossed over, we have to wonder why Chevy bothered with the trim level in the first place. It's not outright lethargic, but it's no more impressive than the standard engine either, which means that the point of its existence barely extends beyond the cosmetic. Nevertheless, all models are fitted with the same nine-speed automatic gearbox, which appears to be tuned for economy, as it hangs on to taller gears a fraction longer than we'd like. Once you get used to it, though, it's not a major issue.

  • Engines
    3.6-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.6-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Traverse is a large beast, but manages to handle as one would expect from a vehicle of this size. Sure, it's got some body roll, but it's not too excessive, although it is worth noting that the lauded Honda Pilot mitigates lean far better while still managing to be comfortable. The Traverse is almost solely focused on being comfortable, and in this department it is outstanding. Big bumps or small, the Chevy handles them all. Four-wheel-drive models get a system called Traction Mode Select, which does exactly what it sounds like. When you're pottering along on the freeway or in town, the Traverse can be switched to front-wheel-drive only, with the 4x4 system having modes for snow and towing too, assuming that you've selected the towing package as well. The system modulates the output of the engine to each wheel to provide the most traction and stability available on the surface. It's no Toyota Land Cruiser or Jeep Wrangler, but the off-road ability of this crossover SUV is truly impressive for the class. Overall, the Traverse is not a dynamic driving machine that will thrill you off the road or on it, but it is more capable than expected, and, although many may not use its off-road ability, it's the knowledge that you have the additional security if road conditions worsen that will help seal the deal for many in less temperate climates. For everyone else, the standard front-wheel-drive is more than adequate.

Traverse Gas Mileage

The Traverse is available in three variants: 3.6-liter front-wheel-drive, 3.6-liter four-wheel-drive, and 2.0-liter turbo front-wheel-drive. The latter is the most economical - but only just. This model, the RS, scores 20/26/22 mpg on the EPA's city/highway/combined cycles, while the 3.6 FWD model manages 18/27/21mpg on the same cycles with the four-wheel-drive variant a little behind at 17/25/20 mpg. Front-wheel-drive models are fitted with a 19.4-gallon gas tank, while 4WD models have a larger 21.7-gallon gas tank. This translates to a range of 426.8 miles on the 2.0-liter turbo and 407.4 on the front-wheel-drive V6 model. The greatest range comes with the four-wheel-drive V6, that will return around 434 miles of mixed driving between fill-ups. The Honda Pilot scores similar figures in EPA gas mileage testing but has a smaller tank, returning less range.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 18/27 mpg
* 2019 Chevrolet Traverse L w/1L0 FWD

Traverse Interior

The Traverse interior comes in various styles with various materials depending on how much you're willing to spend. Whether finished in fabric or leather, the cabin is decently put together for an SUV in this class, with little to complain about unless you're used to the upper echelon of car quality. However, the price of the top High Country trim isn't quite justified when you look at the materials. Yes, there is leather on numerous surfaces, but the buttons, vents, and plastic finishings are a little disappointing. Opt for a cheaper model, however, and everything makes more sense. The infotainment system is easy to use and is supplemented by thoughtfully placed USB ports throughout the cabin. A rear-seat entertainment system with two screens and the option of a DVD player is also available, as are heated and ventilated front seats and heated rears, complementing the standard tri-zone climate control.

2019 Chevrolet Traverse Third Row Seats Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Traverse Rear Passenger Seats Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Traverse Dashboard Chevrolet
See All 2019 Chevrolet Traverse Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Traverse is one of the most impressive vehicles in this class, offering vast space and a roomy feel. In its most capacious configuration, you can seat eight average-sized adults in decent comfort, with plenty of space to stretch out on long trips and suitable headroom for all. Unlike in some vehicles, access to the third row is easy too, negating the need to play a game of rock, paper, scissors before everyone gets in. In the LT Cloth and up, you can have captain's chairs in the second row instead of the standard bench that you find in base models, making it even easier to get to the rear of the vehicle. Despite its slightly lofty height, it's not necessary to channel your inner Edmund Hillary when climbing in either. In the front, the seating position is relatively good, although the infotainment system can be a bit of a reach. Visibility out the front is decent too, but checking your blind spots is almost impossible thanks to the huge C-pillars. The seats obscure the view out the back too. However, you can get blind-spot monitoring, but it's only standard on LT Cloth models and up.

  • Seating capacity
    8-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

Jet Black cloth upholstery and numerous soft and hard plastics are standard on the Traverse L and LS, while the LT Cloth gets the option of gray or a different variation of black on the upholstery. The LT Leather has the same color options, but in leather, obviously. The RS model gets Jet Black leather only, and the Premier model reverts to the leather colors found in the LT. The High Country is the only one with access to a really different interior color scheme, with the choice of either Jet Black, or Jet Black and Loft Brown leather being plastered on the seats, dash, and door panels.

Traverse Trunk and Cargo Space

With 60/40 folding for the second and third row of seats, the Traverse is impressively versatile, but even with all of them up, you can fit full-size luggage for four with space left over in the rearmost 23 cubic-foot cargo area. Fold the third row down and that expands to 57.8 cubes, and maxes out at a whopping 98.2 cubic feet with the rear seats flat. Compare that to the class-favorite Honda Pilot, and the Traverse becomes even more attractive. The Pilot only manages 16.5 cubic feet of volume behind the third row, 46.8 behind the second, and a maximum of 83.9 cubic feet with all seats folded. If you need practicality and comfort in one package, the traverse is exceptional.

Multiple cupholders (two per row), water bottle slots, and storage bins dotted all over the cabin make it easy to keep phones, wallets, keys and more, out of the way and safely secured.

2019 Chevrolet Traverse Maximum Cargo Space Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Traverse Trunk Floor Storage Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Traverse Side View Chevrolet

Traverse Infotainment and Features

Features

Even as standard, there is a lot to get excited about in the Traverse. LED running lights, tri-zone climate control, a rearview camera, a Teen Driver speed- and volume-limiting system, and active noise cancellation are all standard. A power-adjustable driver's and front passenger seat, heated front seats, fog lights, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear park sensors, a power hands-free liftgate, and remote start are available higher up the range. Also available is an auto-dimming rearview mirror with rearview camera display, a top-down parking system, adaptive LED headlights with auto high beams, heated rear seats and ventilated front seats and wireless charging. Available safety features include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control. A dual-panel panoramic sunroof and a power-folding third-row can be had too.

Infotainment

The base L model of the Traverse is reasonably well equipped in the entertainment department, featuring, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get two USB ports in each row, and Wi-Fi. The LT Cloth upgrades the system to an eight-inch touchscreen as standard if you spec the four-wheel-drive version, while the LT Leather earns you access to optional navigation and a ten-speaker Bose audio upgrade with the Premium package. This package is standard on the RS, Premier, and High Country. Although the system works very well and is easy to use, some may find it placed just a little out of reach, particularly when it's in its raised position, ascended from the center dash console. Dual eight-inch screens mounted to the rear of the front seats are available and can be had with DVD connectivity too. Alternatively, you can spec tablet mounts with dedicated USB ports instead.

Traverse Problems and Reliability

Both front-wheel- and four-wheel-drive Chevy Traverse models have been subjected to one recall thus far, for airbags that may not deploy due to an incorrect setting. The recall was issued in November 2018, so all affected models ought to have been fixed by now. J.D. Power has given the Traverse a great quality and reliability rating of 82 out of 100, but if there are any problems, the Traverse is covered by your normal three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. On the upside, your first maintenance visit is on the house.

Traverse Safety

The 2019 Chevy Traverse has been awarded the best possible overall evaluation of Good by the IIHS. Similarly, the NHTSA also gave their best possible crash rating of five stars out of five in their testing.

Key Safety Features

As standard, the Traverse is equipped with a rearview camera and a Teen Driver system that can both limit speed and volume and also provide a report on the driver's inputs so that said driver can improve on areas they struggle with. Available safety features include rear parking sensors, a rearview mirror camera display, a top-down parking system, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive LED headlights. Also optional are auto high beams, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and low-speed autonomous emergency braking. The Traverse is fitted with ten airbags, including face balloons for the front, side airbags, and overhead airbags.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse a good SUV?

The Chevrolet Traverse is certainly expensive in top High Country trim, where it attempts to bridge the gap between luxury and practicality. However, the lesser trims are no less comfortable and offer a number of features. The trump card that the Traverse has is its roomy interior and massive cargo volume that maxes out at an outstanding 98.2 cubic feet. Considering that you can fit actual adults in the back row without having them contort to hitherto unseen movements is a real positive that is only enhanced by the fact that the seats are comfortable even after a few hours of travel. With USB ports in each row too, the entire ensemble can keep their phones charged, and the optional rear-seat screens help make long drives even less frustrating for those easily bored by passing scenery. The standard 3.6-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic gearbox work well together and help to contribute to a quiet and comfortable ride with enough grunt to pull as much as 5,000 lbs with the available trailering package. The lack of standard safety features is a little concerning, but speccing them is not overly expensive. Overall, the Traverse is a well-rounded package that caters to multiple budgets and keeps everyone comfy with decent tech to boot. What more could you want?

🚘What's the Price of the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse?

The Traverse L starts at $29,930 before the $1,195 destination charge and other fees and taxes. Adding four-wheel drive to various models will cost $2,000, but the L can't have it, so next up is the LS, which costs $32,900, while the L Cloth and LT Leather cost $35,400 and $39,100 respectively. The RS model, like the base L, can only be had with front-wheel-drive. This model is the only one with a 2.0-liter turbo and costs $43,100, but, possibly as a result of poor interest in the powerplant, it will soon be dropped as an option. The Premier model will set you back $45,500 and the top-spec High Country starts at $50,900. Fully loaded with features from the factory, you can add expensive metallic paint and a few options to get it over $56,000.

2019 Chevrolet Traverse Models

The base L model comes with cloth upholstery and gets a choice of only two paint options. You get LED DRLs, 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, and a seven-inch touch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get Wi-Fi, a rearview camera and tri-zone climate control.

The LS has access to all-wheel-drive, which the L does without. You can also option in a pair of second-row tablet mounts and can spec the cargo management package.

The LT Cloth is a seven-seater and comes with second-row captain's chairs, although you can reinstall the standard bench if you so desire. Roof rails, mirror-integrated turn signals, fog lights, and a power-adjustable driver's seat are standard here, with more options including some safety features available.

Next is the LT Leather, which is similar, but obviously has leather upholstery and has access to even more options, including a panoramic sunroof. The safety and driver-aid features that are optional on the LT Cloth as part of the Convenience & Driver package are thrown in as standard here. You also get standard heated front seats.

Intended to be a sportier variant, the RS model is currently only available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It is the only model that this powerplant is fitted to, and gains unique styling cues including bigger wheels. You also get navigation, a sound system upgrade, and features like a rearview camera display and top-down parking system.

The Premier earns LED headlights, a hands-free liftgate, silver roof rails, vented front seats and heated rears, wireless charging, and memory for the driver's seat. Premier models also get access to more optional safety features and a Redline Edition package with a sunroof added. In four-wheel-drive format, the Driver Confidence II package's safety features are standard.

The top High Country trim gets access to brown leather upholstery at no charge, and with the all-wheel-drive option ticked, gets a unique system that features an auto-locking rear diff. It also gets the sunroof as standard, as well as adaptive cruise control and auto high-beams. A power-folding third-row seat is also included.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
L
3.6-liter V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$29,930
LS
3.6-liter V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$32,900
LT Cloth (1LT)
3.6-liter V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$35,400
LT Leather (3LT)
3.6-liter V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$39,100
RS
3.6-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
3.6-liter V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$43,100
See All 2019 Chevrolet Traverse Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The LS is the first model in the range that has access to packages, but these are mostly cosmetic. The LT Leather offers the first meaningful package, dubbed LT Premium. It gets the rearview mirror display, a bigger infotainment screen with navigation, an upgraded Bose sound system with ten speakers and a 120-volt power outlet. This package costs $3,095. The Premier can be had with the Redline Edition Package for $2,970. It blacks out the chrome accents and adds red-accented gloss black wheels, as well as a number of safety features, including lane-keep assist and low-speed forward collision mitigation. You also get the dual-panel panoramic sunroof and an upgraded cooling system, allowing for enhanced towing capacity.

πŸš—What Chevrolet Traverse Model Should I Buy?

The Traverse is relatively basic in L form, and a little too expensive in High Country trim. We'd go for the Premier with the Redline Edition, as this automatically adds the Driver Confidence II package with forward-collision alert and pedestrian detection, low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist and adaptive LED headlights. With leather included as standard, the Redline package helps spruce up the exterior by way of blacking out the chrome and adding gloss black 20-inch wheels and unique tinted taillights. You also get the ability to tow up to 5,000 lbs and earn the dual-panel power sunroof. The Premier model also includes wireless charging, heated rear seats, and heated and ventilated front seats, making it more comfortable. Overall, this model strikes a good balance between luxury and practicality and also earns numerous safety features, all for less than $50,000 before discounts or taxes.

2019 Chevrolet Traverse Comparisons

GMC Acadia GMC
Ford Explorer Ford

2019 Chevrolet Traverse vs GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse are similar in many respects but have become their own vehicles over the years. Base pricing is very similar, with the Traverse being $930 dearer. However, you can seat up to eight in the Traverse and only seven in the Acadia. Even so, the Acadia is less spacious in the third row, due to its shorter length, which also contributes to a smaller cargo area of 79 cubic feet versus the Traverse's maximum 98.2 cubes. However, things change considerably with the power, as the GMC comes standard with a 193 hp 2.5-liter four-pot, whereas the Chevy is more capable of getting going with its 310 hp 3.6-liter motor, which is optional in the Acadia. This does mean that the Acadia is slightly lighter on fuel in base form, but at the expense of usability. Overall, despite its lower price, the GMC does not live up to expectations, and the Chevy is certainly the better, more practical buy.

See GMC Acadia Review

2019 Chevrolet Traverse vs Ford Explorer

If you want more power, you may want to consider the Ford Explorer. In base form it only makes 280 hp, but you can get up to 365 hp if you're willing to spend more. Speaking of price, the Explorer starts from around $32,000, which is a two grand premium over the Traverse. In top-spec, the difference is not so big, as the two are separated by less than $1,000. However, like the GMC Acadia, it's shorter than the Chevy Traverse and therefore can't fit as much stuff in the back. The top-spec Ford is also less economical, with a combined mpg rating of 18 compared to the Chev's 20. You also can't fit as many people in the Ford, which has a maximum seating capacity of seven. However, there's a reason that this car sells so well in the U.S. The interior is arguably better-looking, and you can have features like massaging seats, front park sensors, auto-wipers, and a forward parking camera. If tech features are what you're after and you're willing to sacrifice some extra money, the Explorer is arguably better to live with. For more basic people-carrying, the Traverse is the outright winner.

See Ford Explorer Review

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