2013 Chevrolet Traverse Review

  • MSRP: $30,510
  • MPG City: 17
  • MPG Hwy: 24
  • Seating Capacity: 8
  • Rating: 8.1

If you are looking for a midsize SUV with car-like handling, the ability to seat and transport 8 passengers comfortably (even in the 3rd row), huge cargo space and solid fuel economy for a mid range price tag, then the new and improved Traverse may be just what you’ve been looking for. Changes for this year include an exterior redesign, upgraded materials in the interior and brand new safety and electronics features. Even so, the design still doesn’t have as much personality as some of its class-mates. Some reviewers say that it is still lacking power, but that the V6 is strong enough for most buyers’ needs. As long as you don’t expect it to be overly agile or sporty, the Traverse is an excellent choice for large families. Its safety rating also stands out as it is above-average for its class.

Pros and Cons

  • Third row comfortable for adults
  • Car-like performance
  • Tons of cargo space
  • Limited engine options
  • Lacking power/agility

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

From the outside, the 2013 model offers up a newer, more slender and elegant appearance that sets it apart from other large crossovers. The signature Chevy split grille has been reshaped to a sexier sedan-like nose. Angled lights and a more distinct tailgate give the rear a sharper, more memorable look.

Inside amenities have also undergone an exciting transformation, with the careful sculpting of surfaces for unbelievable luxury and ease of use. Features such as a standard rear view camera and 6.5” touch-screen display with Bluetooth phone and USB connection capabilities. Chevrolet’s new MyLink infotainment interface is available on higher-than-base trims to allow phone, navigation, audio and other system controls all on the touchscreen interface.

Base Specifications

  • Trim: FWD LS
  • Passenger Capacity: 8
  • Passenger Doors: 4
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic transmission w/OD
  • Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive
  • MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
  • Engine: Gas V6 3.6L/217
  • Horsepower: 281 @ 6300
  • Torque: 266 @ 3400 3.6L/217

While exciting changes were made, the Chevy Traverse still offers the same great aspects that made it a popular choice in previous years. The exceptional ride quality and the responsive 281 horsepower V6 remain unchanged, providing an enjoyable, capable driving experience for both short city blocks and long country miles. Cargo capacity continues to be a top feature of the Traverse as it delivers a roomy 116 cubic feet of space behind the first row seats. Classified as a large crossover SUV, the 2013 model comfortably seats up to eight people and is offered in four trim levels including the LS, 1LT, 2LT and the LTZ.

The LS trim level package offers several exterior features including automatic headlamps, roof rails, keyless entry, and 17-inch steel wheels. Inside you will find cruise control, cloth upholstery, tilt /telescoping steering wheel, front and rear air conditioning, trip computer, 60/40 split folding third row seating, rearview camera, and full power accessories. Also included in LS trim package are standard Bluetooth, OnStar with a 6.5 inch touchscreen, USB and auxiliary audio inputs, HD and satellite radio and the spectacular sound of a six speaker audio system and CD player.

The 1LT trim level offers 18 inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, heated mirrors, fog lights, remote ignition, wood grain trim, leather wrapped steering wheel, and a comfortable eight-way power driver seat with adjustable power lumber support. The 2LT adds heated front seats, power folding mirrors, tri-zone auto climate control and auto dimming driver and rear view mirrors. Additionally, there is the voice activated MyLink infotainment interface with Bluetooth audio connectivity and smartphone app integration.

Last, but certainly not least is the LTZ trim level, which includes 20-inch wheels, rear cross traffic alert system, blind spot monitoring, second row captain’s chairs (reduced the seating to 7), leather upholstery, eight-way power front passenger seating, ten way driver seat with power lumber support adjustment, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and driver memory functions.

On top of all the standard features listed above for the various trim levels, there is an exciting array of extra options that can be ordered, depending on trim level. Maybe you would like a dual panel sunroof, 10 speaker Bose surround sound, navigation system or a rear-seat entertainment center with DVD, 110 volt household power outlet and USB input.

Reviewer Comments

“With one of the largest cargo bays behind its third-row seat plus a host of electronic safety and security features provided by GM’s OnStar division, the … Traverse sets the standard other CUVs have yet to meet.”

– Kelley Blue Book

“After the superb re-styling and other upgrades, we don’t hesitate to call it a winner and won’t be surprised if this excellent vehicle, eyes glinting afresh, helps itself to an even greater share of the large crossover segment.”

– Automobile Magazine

“Stylish good looks, spacious cabin, a sedan-like ride and decent fuel economy make the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse a solid crossover value. It’s a must-see for buyers seeking maximum passenger capacity and generous cargo room.”

– Edmunds

Performance and Powertrain

The Traverse’s fuel economy is respectable for its class, with EPA estimates at 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway for the front wheel drive model and 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for the all wheel drive model. Powered by a 3.6 liter V6 engine, it clocks in with 281 horsepower, 266 pound feet of torque and went 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds. The LTZ trim adds dual exhaust outlets to increase the horsepower to 288 and the torque to 270. The choice between FWD and AWD is available for all trims.

Safety Features

It comes with an amazing array of standard safety features including four wheel anti-lock disc braking, traction and stability controls, rear view camera and front seat airbags plus full length side curtain airbags for all three rows of seating. Another safety feature is the available OnStar system with automatic crash notification, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance, navigation and on demand roadside assistance. Other features include an inboard driver seat side airbag system that helps protect passengers during side impacts from colliding into each other. It is optional on the LS trim level and standard higher levels. The LTZ trim package offers an available blind spot and rear cross traffic monitoring system.

Interior Design

The 2013 Traverse offers a reworked interior design with comfortably padded surfaces as well as excellent head and leg room for both driver and passengers. Improved material quality, contrast stitching, silver accents, ambient lighting and new wood trims all help to make the ambience a bit less drab. Cargo capacity is also very generous. With the third row seats in use, there is more than 24 cubic feet of storage space available. That figure balloons to more than 70 cubic feet with the third row seats folded down and then swells to more than 116 cubic feet when the second row seating is stowed.

Driving Impressions

A capable, roomy SUV, the Chevrolet Traverse handles well with a secure and planted feel when rounding curves, while still delivering a quiet, smooth highway driving experience. The V6 engine lacks the zip that some of its competitors have since the body weighs approximately 5,000 pounds.

Overall the Traverse provides a secure, comfortable ride. It is well suited for hauling people and/or cargo and despite its larger size, it handles and maneuvers well even in tight parking lots. It might be lacking a bit of power and interior luxury, but it is a smart choice if you are looking for a family-friendly large crossover as a minivan replacement.

Photo Gallery

Chevrolet Traverse Exterior Side

Chevy Cargo Space

Chevy Traverse Interior Dashboard

Traverse Front View

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