The bowtie is back with a three-row, eight-seater crossover SUV that holds strong in its segment. Companion to the GMC Acadia, Chevy’s Traverse sets itself apart in styling, capabilities, and options.
If you’re looking for a sturdy, middle-of-the-road SUV, look no further than the new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse.
Offered in seven trim levels, the 2018 Chevy Traverse presents a large array of entertainment and safety features. Best in its class for a max cargo space of 98.2 cubic feet, the Traverse’s powerplant is either a 3.6L V6 or a 2.0L turbo four. Both engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic. With the V6, drivers have 310 horses at their beck and call, with 295 lb-ft of torque, for a max tow rating of 5,000 pounds. RS models sport the 2.0L turbo four with 255 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.
Customers can pick from the following colors for their 2018 Chevy Traverse:
- Black Currant Metallic
- Iridescent Pearl Tricoat
- Sable Brown Metallic
- Satin Steel Metallic
- Silver Ice Metallic
- Summit White
- Mosaic Black Metallic
- Pepper Dust Metallic
- Graphite Metallic
- Cajun Red Tintcoat
Driving modes on the 2018 Chevy Traverse include front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, off-road, and tow/haul.
Edmunds quotes a 21 mpg EPA-estimated combined fuel efficiency for the 2018 Chevy Traverse. According to Chevy, base models (L trim) will enjoy an 18 city and 29 highway EPA-estimated mpg, and the numbers hover around there for other models as well. RS versions, which run in the middle of the pack, sport a 20 city/26 highway EPA-estimated mpg rating, but the highest trim level, the High Country, falls back down in the teens range at 17 city and 25 highway mpg.
Entertainment and Safety Features
It’s best to discuss the seven different trim models based on the features each level offers.
The base model (L), starting around $29,930, is front-wheel drive and features a start-stop engine. HID head lamps, heated mirrors, front bucket seats, and a manual tilting steering column with steering wheel controls come standard. If you’re not looking for your typical workhorse, the next-step-up LS model offers a chrome grille with black inserts, LED daytime running lights, and 18” alloy wheels. This model is offered in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
LT models come in AWD only and have LED turn signal indicators and halogen fog lamps. With 20” wheels, this model is offered in a cloth and leather version. Cloth versions have a leather-wrapped steering wheel, while leather versions have a Bose 10-speaker system.
Black bowties and a signature Black Ice grille set the RS model apart from the rest. With 20” wheels and a turbo four engine, models with this package offer customers the same Bose 10-speaker sound system, which can be enjoyed in leather, heated front seats.
Premier trim levels extend the LED options to the Traverse’s headlamps, along with silver and chrome rear roof rails. Heated and ventilated front seats are complimented by heated rear seats. These models also offer wireless charging, a power tilt and telescopic steering column, and can be purchased in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
If you’re looking for a nicer trim package without purchasing the cream of the crop, Redline is the way to go. This trim package capitalizes on the features of the Premier by adding in 20” High-Gloss black wheels with red series, black bowties with Black and Red badging, and dark tail lamps. This model is all about super sophisticated stealth.
High rollers will inevitably choose the High Country model for its unique grille, IntelliBeam headlamps, a Jet Black/Loft Brown interior (exclusive to the model), and power-folding third-row seat. Only offered in all-wheel drive, the High Country Traverse has heated and ventilated front seats, a power steering column, and a heated steering wheel. The 20” wheels, a hands-free liftgate and a Bose speaker system top off this trim level. Equipped liftgates will project the Chevrolet logo on the ground for use as a guide.
Among other unique options, the 8” MyLink display center console of the Traverse opens up for hidden storage. Complete with a USB port, the storage can be locked with a four-digit PIN.
Chevy offers a suite of safety features, including forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, low speed forward automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward automatic braking, a rear vision camera, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, and rear park assist. Equipped models offer Surround Vision for a bird’s-eye view of the car and surrounding area. Chevy also offers a myChevrolet Mobile App that will start and stop the engine, provide diagnostics and parking reminders, and send destinations to the on-board navigation system. The Traverse also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
Teen Driver technology is standard and includes the ability to mute the car’s audio until the front seat belts have been buckled. Parents can also see how their teen drivers are doing with an in-vehicle report card.
How the 2018 Chevy Traverse Stacks Up
In terms of the three-row crossover/SUV segment, the Chevy Traverse has a lot of competition. At the top of the heap currently is the Honda Pilot. The Pilot is near to the Traverse in size and EPA-estimated mpg and offers customers similar features for a comparable price.
The Pilot and the Traverse also share the middle seat when it comes to the best combination of pricing and quality. Near the end of the budget spectrum lies the Toyota Highlander, Nissan’s Pathfinder, the Mazda CX-9, Ford’s Explorer, the new Volkswagen Atlas, and the Acura MDX. Each of these vehicles offers a different set of features and options in the three-row segment. Kelley Blue Book notes that the new VW Atlas has an amazing warranty. Choosing between the rest of the competitors really depends on your style and needs.
For those looking for a bit more, the Traverse shares its middle ground with the Volvo XC90, the GMC Acadia, and the Audi Q7. Volvo offers a stunning package for the price, and the Audi never fails in terms of interior and exterior quality.
Now, there are a few more luxury models you might consider, but not all of them can seat up to eight passengers. Land Rover’s Discovery, BMW’s X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe all sit at least six people, but you will pay for those extra trimmings. A Porsche Cayenne or a Jaguar F-Pace round out the luxury SUV segment.
- Great safety features
- Generous interior space
- Standard infotainment features
- Range of trims
- Higher-end safety features will cost you
- Falls just shy of luxury, even in top trims
- Limited engine options
- Middle of the pack
Considering the large SUV segment, the 2018 Chevy Traverse offers a lot of customizability for the price. Standard safety features guarantee a smooth, confident ride, and while the interior quality might not rival such luxury brands as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, the quality of materials is certainly not lacking. For a strong middle-of-the-pack purchase, check out the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse.