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Photos: 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ

The Traverse represents Chevrolet's attempt to wean itself off of big SUVs. But this crossover is still large, seating seven, and doesn't get the best mileage. However, ride quality is good and the cabin tech is completely modern.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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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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