2018 Chevrolet Traverse
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2018 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2018 Chevy Traverse has a lot to live up to. Poor fuel economy and a frustrating infotainment system detract from the car’s aesthetic appeal, impressive cargo space and carlike ride. That said, its price sits below the average for the its class, but the cost tends to climb when tacking on attractive optional upgrades. Will Chevy’s 2018 lineup birth a Traverse with few negatives, launching itself higher in the midsize SUV market? Continue reading, and find out.

Inspired by the popular Chevy Tahoe, the new 2018 Traverse sits on a longer wheelbase, creating a roomier cabin and smoother rider for passengers. Fuel economy, towing capacity, and horsepower in the 2018 lord over its predecessor due to tweaks in the Chevrolet engine. A 3.6-liter V-6 engine powers the Traverse with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Despite this, the Traverse isn’t at its core a workhorse. It’s a vehicle meant for group enjoyment, as the available Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging, USB ports, and roomy seats can attest.

That doesn’t mean the Traverse can’t deliver in other ways. In this new release, Chevy includes a traction mode, allowing the driver to adjust the Traverse’s driving characteristics to several road conditions, including off-roading. The all-wheel drive in the 2018 Traverse has also been revamped, allowing for greater fuel efficiency than ever. The Traverse’s impressive usable cargo space is expected to remain.

Wrapped in sheet metal, the Traverse adopts a more squared-off look than its predecessor. The front end is similar to its brethren, the Equinox crossover, with its large hexagonal grille and narrow headlights. Under it all, Chevy claims a weight savings of 350 pounds on front-wheel-drive models. The RS trim level, the self-proclaimed sport version of the Traverse, includes FWD and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower. Though the turbo four does produce higher torque than the V-6, it doesn’t deliver any noticeable performance benefit to the supposed “racier” suspension.

Both the RS and V-6 trim levels standardize the new nine-speed and an engine start/stop system. These will earn the FWD V-6 variants 18/25 mpg city/highway and the front-drive-only four-cylinder a 20/23 mpg. These are large improvements over the 15/22 mpg city/highway the previous model boasted. All-wheel drive will be option on V-6 models and on the top High-Country models.

Inside the cabin, seven- and eight-passenger configurations are available, with benches on the lower trim levels and second-row, captain chairs available on the more premium levels. Access to the third row is made easy thanks to the quick-release second row seat. The tech available, however, will certainly delight users. It includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, hands-free lift gate, rear-seat reminder, a 360 camera, and active-safety features like adaptive cruise and auto emergency braking.