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The Chevrolet Traverse is a roomy and feature-rich three-row family crossover. The Traverse nameplate debuted in 2008, and for the 2018 model year an all-new, second-generation version debuted. With a long list of family-friendly tech features to equip it with and seating for up to eight people, the Traverse is an able contender in a packed segment.
The Traverse offers two engines, both of which are backed up by a nine-speed automatic transmission and have fuel-saving stop-start technology. The first choice is a 3.6-liter V6, rated for a class-competitive 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. When equipped with front-wheel drive, it returns 18 miles per gallon city and 27 mpg highway, while all-wheel-drive versions turn in EPA scores of 17/25 mpg. Also available is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 257 horsepower and 295 pound-feet -- though it's limited to the sporty-ish RS trim level. The engine is only offered with front-wheel drive and is much more efficient than the V6, with EPA ratings of 20/26 mpg.
The Traverse, like most of its competitors, can tow modest loads when appropriately equipped. While versions with the 2.0-liter engine can only tow 1,500 pounds, the V6 is rated for 5,000 pounds when optioned with the available towing package.
The Chevrolet Traverse comes with eight seats as standard, with a second-row bench seat that can slide to allow easy access to the third row (which fits three people). But some trim levels or options groups cut the Traverse's people-hauling ability down to seven -- still competitive with rivals -- by subbing in second-row captain's chairs instead. The second and third rows both have a 60/40 folding function to help fit more cargo.
Speaking of which, the Traverse offers a generous amount of luggage room. Behind the third row is 23 cubic feet of space, which expands to 58.1 cubic feet with the third row folded and 98.2 cubic feet with the second row folded. Those are above-average numbers for the class. For reference, that beats out the likes of the Ford Explorer (21.0/43.9/81.7 cubic feet), Honda Pilot (16.5/46.8/83.8) and Toyota Highlander (13.8/42.3/83.2).
Depending on trim level, the Traverse features either a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, with navigation an option on the 8-inch display. Other standard tech features include push-button start, trizone climate control and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (with a three-month trial, after which owners must pay for service).
The Traverse also offers a lot of active-safety technology, although some of it is reserved for more expensive trim levels of option packages. Precollision warning and braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic headlights and a 360-degree camera system are all offered. In addition, Chevrolet includes a feature called Rear Seat Reminder that sounds a warning chime when drivers exit the vehicle if something has been left in the back seat; the idea is to help parents avoid leaving kids in a hot car. And a Teen Driver Mode allows parents to set restrictions (such as maximum speed or radio volume) and monitor the driving habits of younger drivers.
Finally, an available Rear Camera Mirror helps reduce blind spots. The rearview mirror can be switched to show the view from a rear-mounted camera, potentially giving drivers a great field of view behind them.
2019 Chevrolet Traverse pricing runs from $30,925 to $53,995. The entry L model, offered only with front-wheel drive, includes LED running lights, 18-inch wheels, the 7-inch infotainment display and six USB ports. The next step up is the LS, at $33,795 with front-drive or $35,795 with AWD; compared with the L, it pretty much just adds tinted privacy glass.
Moving up to the LT Cloth trim level nets buyers heated mirrors, a power driver's seat, the seven-passenger seat configuration, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, black roof rails, fog lights and satellite radio. It lists for $36,295 with front-wheel drive or $40,095 with AWD. Options packages are available to add more features and safety equipment, of course.
The LT Leather adds not just leather seating but also a whole lot of convenience gear: 360-degree camera, rear parking sensors, power liftgate, remote start, the 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, a 10-speaker audio system, the rear camera mirror and heated front seats. It costs $39,995 or $41,995.
The two most luxurious trims are the Premier and High Country. The former builds on the LT Leather with LED headlights, 20-inch wheels, more exterior chrome, a heated steering wheel, a power steering column, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats and wireless phone charging. It's $46,295 or $49,195. The High Country tops things off with goodies like adaptive cruise control, precollision braking, a sunroof, a power-folding third row and the towing package.
There's one other Chevrolet Traverse mode: the RS, offered only with the 2.0-liter turbo engine and front-wheel drive, as well as visual touches like dark-finish 20-inch wheels and blacked-out exterior trim. It's $43,895.
The 2019 Chevrolet Traverse is available nationwide now.