Billed upon its 2009 launch as a replacement for the Uplander minivan and TrailBlazer SUV, the Chevrolet Traverse maintains ties to both segments as it enters its second generation. Slotting below the full-size, body-on-frame Tahoe, the 2018 edition offers a range of comfort and safety features, plenty of storage space, and seating for up to eight passengers.
Described by General Motors as a “midsize” crossover SUV, the Traverse competes with its upmarket cousin, the Buick Enclave, as well as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander. It distinguishes itself with best-in-class passenger volume — even more than the larger Tahoe — third-row legroom, and cargo capacity. With the seats down, the Traverse maxes out at 98.5 cubic feet and can accommodate a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood.
The sheet metal is decidedly trucklike, with heavily sculpted side panels and 18- to 20-inch wheels under muscular fenders. This image is betrayed only in the front, where a carlike grille is offset by slender headlamps, eschewing a pickup-style nose.
The Traverse’s base, 3.6-liter V-6 powerplant returns, and is now producing 305 horsepower (hp) and 260 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. Fleet buyers can also opt for a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger that delivers 255 hp and 295 lb.-ft. and should save a few fuel-card dollars. EPA numbers were not available at press time, but GM expects stop-and-go fuel efficiency of 18 miles per gallon (mpg) with the V-6 and 20 mpg with the inline four.
Both engines get a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, with the option to switch to two-wheel drive. A traction selector offers Normal, 4x4/Snow, Off-Road, and Tow/Haul modes. The lineup-leading High Country edition gets twin rear clutches to offer tire-specific torque adjustments in off-road driving.
The High Country and sporty Redline trims are new for 2018. Following a limited run of base “L” models, the LS, LT, and Premier will account for most of the Traverse’s sales volume. The factory will offer a range of advanced safety systems, including forward-collision, side-blind-zone, and rear-cross-traffic alerts, full-speed forward automatic braking, and lane-keeping and rear-park assist.
The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is due in showrooms this summer. Pricing has yet to be announced, but pricing for the outgoing models starts at $28,700 for the base LS and tops $40,000 for Premier editions. Stay tuned to BusinessFleet.com for updates.