2009 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ

Chevy's Traverse is a crossover vehicle, an attempt to downsize from the big SUVs of yesteryear. As such, it uses a car-based platform with independent suspension.

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Split grille

Chevy's new design language has been finding its way throughout the model line-up. This language uses smooth body work and this horizontally split grille.

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Modern engine

Although the engine isn't particularly economical, this 3.6-liter V-6 uses variable valve timing and direct injection to improve power.

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Seven passengers

The Traverse is large, with room for seven passengers plus cargo. It also uses an SUV's traditionally high seating position.

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Independent suspension

Independent suspension gives the Traverse a smoother ride than truck-based SUVs. More of Chevy's modern styling is also evident in this picture.

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Cargo space

The cargo space with the third row folded down is ample. Fold down the second row and it's cavernous.

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Interior design

The Traverse's interior styling uses a few too many tones for our taste.

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Steering wheel buttons

GM fits buttons for audio and cruise control between the steering wheel spokes.

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Instruments

Bevels around the tachometer and speedometer gauges use an interesting design, but the chrome is unnecessary.

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Six speed transmission

The six speed automatic is standard, and includes a feature that lets you manually shift through all the gears. In use, this transmission hunted for gears a lot.

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Split home screen

With the navigation package, the home screen shows a split screen, with a map and audio information.

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Navigation system

The navigation system uses colorful, easy-to-read maps, and we like the tabbed interface, which lets you move through the applications.

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Traffic reporting

The navigation system shows traffic incidents around the car and on any programmed route, letting you find detours.

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XM satellite radio

XM radio is available in the Traverse, and is essential for getting traffic reports in the navigation system.

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Audio system

The Bose sound system uses 10 speakers and produces surprisingly good audio, not something we would expect in a family wagon.

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Rear seat entertainment

The DVD entertainment package includes a drop-down LCD on the ceiling. But the only disc player is in the dash.

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Auxiliary inputs

Composite video, RCA jacks, and an AC outlet are mounted at the back of the console, so rear seat passengers can play video games or plug in a separate disc player in back.

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Rear-view camera

The Traverse also include a back-up camera, useful considering the size of the vehicle.

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