The Chevrolet Traverse has long been a bright spot in GM’s crossover line-up. When it first arrived for the 2009 model year, the three-row family hauler’s combination of a car-like ride and a voluminous interior was a distinct departure from the brand’s existing Tahoe body-on-frame SUV and its poorly-received minivans, marking a new chapter for the automaker. The redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Traverse debuting at this year’s Detroit auto show represents the first complete redesign of the vehicle in a bid to continue the strong sales success of the original model.
Some aspects of the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse’s new lease on life follow in the footsteps of the GMC Acadia SUV that debuted earlier this year. Although these two haulers continue to share the same platform, the Traverse makes use of a longer version of the Acadia’s chassis in order to improve legroom for those riding in the eight-passenger crossover’s third row (which the company now claims offers best-in-class space). In fact, the Chevrolet sport-utility now rides on a longer wheelbase than the vehicle it replaces, further enhancing second row comfort and making it possible to tilt-and-slide the middle section even with a child seat attached. Strangely, despite its more generous dimensions, cargo space for the Traverse falls from 116 cubic feet in total to a more modest 98 cubic feet.
Drivetrain-wise, the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is a dead-ringer for the Acadia, what with a freshened version of the older model’s 3.6-liter V6 now in play as its base motor, coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The unit produces roughly 10 percent more horsepower than the 288 ponies it was capable of the year before, giving it just under 320 horsepower that can be fed to either the front or all four wheels (if optional all-wheel drive is selected).
Joining the drivetrain line-up for 2018 is a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor, which will be available exclusively in the equally-fresh Traverse RS trim. Not offered with the Acadia, the turbo engine maintains the nine-speed autobox and is advertised as producing more torque than the crossover’s V6 (with final numbers yet to be released). The turbo motor dramatically improves the Chevrolet’s fuel economy, too, with a seven mile per gallon bump bringing its combined rating to 25-mpg.
The Chevrolet Traverse RS isn’t the only addition to the vehicle’s trim list, as a High Country model – similar to that which can be found in the Chevy pick-up family – also puts in an appearance as the new range-topper (squeaking in above Premier). Its longer list of luxury features is complemented by an advanced twin-clutch all-wheel drive system similar to that found on Buick’s line of luxury SUVs.
The Traverse has traditionally enjoyed a warm welcome from families seeking an affordable, yet extremely capable daily driver. The revisions and updates made to the all-new 2018 version of the Chevrolet crossover makes it well-positioned to continue that trend.