Vehicle Spotlight: 2018 Chevy Traverse Puts the “P” in Practical

The primary knock on the Chevy Traverse has been that it’s too practical. And for many people, practical means boring. But those people don’t know squat. Because if that’s how you choose what to buy, then throw out your remote control, tennis shoes, and microwave. As much as some people would love to do 200 mph or tow a cruise ship to blow off some steam, they can’t. Why? Because they’ve got lives to live, mouths to feed, and normal stuff to move. And if you’re someone who needs a car for simply living your already hectic life, then the revamped 2018 Chevy Traverse might be able to help.

Size and Power

The 2018 Traverse can comfortably seat 8 people. It has 98 cubic feet of storage space up to the front seat for moving endeavors, giving drivers the luxury of bypassing a U-Haul if need be. And it can tow well up to 5000 lbs. If something needs doing, the Chevy Traverse can do it without all the bells, whistles, and insecurities tied to most pickups. And while we’re talking sensibility, the Traverse gets 25 mpg highway and 17 city. That’s more than respectable for a vehicle of its stature.

A 305-horsepower, 260 lb-ft, 3.5-liter V6 engine comes standard with the Traverse but there are also additional (even superior) trims. The RS trim has a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four, supplying 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Its highway mileage comes to 23 mpg and gets 20 mpg city. The High Country trim may have the most appeal to conventional buyers, with features like all wheel drive and a hands-free lift gate. (The lift gate is also featured in Premier trim). If this didn’t already scream “family friendly,” the High Country trim has power third row seating and some leather interior features for you to spill coffee, juice, or milk all over.

Safe and Sound

You know this thing is safe and has run through the gauntlet of every passenger scenario. The Chevy Traverse offers side curtain overhead airbags, seat-mounted side-impact front airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic traction and stability control. Higher trims like High Country and Premier feature forward-collision alert, front pedestrian braking, low-speed forward automatic braking, and Lane Keep Assist with lane departure warning. As for the back end, the Traverse adds a rear vision camera, cross-traffic alert, park assist, and lane-change alert with side-blind zone alert.

More than Meets the Eye

Don’t write this vehicle off as a mini-van under the guise of a stretched-out Equinox. (Okay, yes, there are some similarities). The Traverse has a legitimate position within the SUV and crossover markets, and Chevy wants to prove that. This bigger, lighter, yet undeniably capable iteration of the Traverse is fit to dance with the likes of household names. Names like the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Toyota Highlander which have controlled the midsize SUV segment as of late. The rebuilt Chevy Traverse is generally sportier in its build and also has trims to accompany that. The Redline Premier Trim, sits on 20-inch murdered out wheels with red stripes. And it includes black window trim, black roof rails, and Black Ice Inserts. These features can be had in the RS, but without Premier and the red accents, which are admittedly pretty sweet.

And while other names are still outpacing the Traverse in sales, Chevy’s dedication to self-improvement has, at the very least, launched the model into the midsize SUV conversation. What separates the Chevy Traverse from grocery-getters of past years is its adaptability. Sales rose over 22% from November 2016 to November 2017. It could be that the market was in desperate need of an SUV that embraced its role as a family vehicle. Or more likely, it could be that to Chevy, “family vehicles” are no longer mini-buses devoid of character.

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