Overview

Overview

Big, roomy, comfortable and capable, the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse returns in much the same guise as last year's refreshed three-row, eight-passenger crossover SUV. Family-friendly features abound, storage is exceptional and fuel economy is good for its size.

What Experts Think

With just a few weeks into the 2014 model year, reviews of the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse full-size crossover SUV are beginning to show up. Due to the fact that this year's model is mostly carryover (the Traverse got a slight refresh for 2013), there isn't a whole lot new to report. Where the Traverse shines, say most reviewers, is where it's always been good: people-carrying ability, ride, comfort, roominess and good fuel economy for a large vehicle.

"If you desire a vehicle that holds up to eight passengers and offers better fuel economy and a more comfortable ride than a traditional SUV, all with a starting price under $32,000, the 2014 Traverse is a tempting choice." (Kelley Blue Book)

Edmunds finds the 2014 Chevy Traverse "a worthy choice for consumers who need three rows of seating."

In a review of the 2013 model, AOL Autos said that the Traverse "rides like a car, handles well and gets decent fuel economy for its size."

Also reviewing last year's model, Consumer Reports notes that "the recent freshening has included improvements to the transmission, ride, and interior quality. Handling is relatively agile and secure, and the Traverse steers nicely."

What Owners Say

Among owners of the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse, there are accolades and criticisms in about equal proportion.

Highlights include the Traverse's style, ride, performance and handling, size, roominess, third-row seat, good fuel economy. Owners also commented on the towing ability of the crossover SUV, with one commenting the Traverse pulled a 24-foot pontoon boat 700 miles with no problem.

Gripes include rear visibility, small rear window, rear wiper switch, low-hanging muffler, truck weight and size, and poor fuel economy.

Model/Trim Lineup

The 2014 Chevrolet Traverse large crossover SUV that seats up to eight passengers is available in LS, LT and LTZ models. The LT trim, however, is subdivided into the 1LT and 2LT versions.

The base Traverse is the LS, equipped with such standard features as automatic headlights, roof rails, 17-inch steel wheels, cruise control, front and rear air-conditioning, keyless entry, full power accessories, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split-folding third-row seats, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Other standard equipment includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, trip computer, Bluetooth, OnStar telematics, a rearview camera, and a six-speaker audio system with CD player, USB/auxiliary audio inputs, satellite radio and HD radio. Traverse conveniently has dual USB charge-only ports on the rear of the center console.

The first of the two sub-trims of LT, the 1LT, swaps out the 17-inch steel wheels for 18-inch alloy wheels, adds heated mirrors, fog lights, remote ignition, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power driver's seat with power adjustments for lumbar, and wood-grain interior trim. The 2LT Traverse tacks on an auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirror, heated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate, and the Chevy MyLink infotainment interface system that includes Bluetooth, voice control and smartphone radio app integration.

The top-of-the line Traverse LTZ boasts 20-inch wheels, power folding mirrors, leather upholstery, 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar adjustments, driver memory functions, an eight-way power front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and second-row captain's chairs. With captain's chairs, seating is reduced to seven. In addition, several advanced technology safety features standard include forward collision-alert system, a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert system, and lane departure warning system.

Certain features from upper trims are available as options on lower trims, such as forward collision alert and lane-departure warning that can be selected on 2LT. Other options, depending on trim, include a 10-speaker Bose audio system, a navigation system, dual-panel sunroof, rear-seat DVD entertainment center with A/V inputs and 110-volt household power outlet good for the kids' gaming consoles.

Performance

In the view of most of the automotive press, the single engine powering the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse is sophisticated and provides a good balance of performance and fuel economy.

The engine is a 3.6-liter V6 with direct-injection and variable-valve timing technology. This engine produces 281 horsepower in the Traverse LS and LT trims. LTZ models have a dual-exhaust system that boosts horsepower to 288.

There is also a single six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode that reviewers find smooth-shifting. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available.

What's the fuel economy with the 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic? In front-wheel drive models, the EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway. In all-wheel drive, the numbers are 16/23 mpg.

Properly equipped, the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse can tow up to 5,200 pounds. The large crossover runs on regular unleaded fuel.

Interior

Most families spend a lot of time in their vehicles, what with outings, everyday errands, going on vacations and such. Naturally, any family vehicle, but especially one that seats seven to eight passengers, has to be a comfortable as well as safe vehicle. Here, say the auto critics, the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse, and its corporate siblings, the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, really shine.

Not only do they have stellar safety ratings, they are also extremely roomy, comfortable and offer numerous standard and optional features for entertainment, connectivity, storage, and other amenities.

The interior was redesigned last year, so for 2014, the Chevy Traverse carries over with much the same design and features. That's not all bad, in the view of the motoring press. The Traverse is exceptionally roomy, comfortable to drive or sit in for lengthy trips, and is quite functional in every respect.

What differentiates the Traverse from the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia is that the Chevy is a little less elegant than the former and less edgy than the latter. Traverse is not exactly drab, but it isn't very exciting, either.

There are some wood and silver accents, ambient lighting throughout and contrast stitching to jazz things up. The cockpit design, say reviewers, is simple and laid out well. Some say it's a middle ground between the layout of the full-size Chevy Tahoe full-size SUV and the midsize Chevy Malibu sedan. Climate controls were reconfigured in 2012 and more soft-touch materials were used.

The Chevrolet MyLink infotainment interface controls numerous audio, navigation and phone functions through a simple touchscreen. Some testers take issue with the occasionally "finicky" nature of the system, however.

With kids climbing in and out, moving the second-row seat in the Traverse is a breeze. The Chevy crossover features the Smart Slide second-row seat that makes access to the third row a simple one-handed operation.

Where the Traverse excels is in cargo capacity. With the second and third-row seats flipped down, there's a cavernous 116 cubic feet of storage capacity. Even with all the seats up, there's still enough room behind the third row for a week's worth of groceries. Access is even easier with the available power liftgate.

Safety & Reliability

Safety considerations are paramount in a large family crossover SUV, and the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse covers all the basics and offers advanced tech systems as options. Standard safety features on every 2014 Chevy Traverse include four-wheel antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, hill start assist, a rearview camera, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags for all three rows.

OnStar is also standard and includes automatic crash response, roadside assistance, remote door unlock, stolen-vehicle recovery assistance, and turn-by-turn navigation assistance.

Rear parking sensors are standard on all trims except for the base LS. Optional on the LS and standard on all others is an inboard driver-side side airbag. Built into the driver's seat, the airbag system helps protect the driver (or driver and front passenger) during certain types of side impacts.

The LTZ has standard blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring systems, forward collision-alert and lane-departure warning systems. Buyers can get the latter two systems as options on the 2LT Traverse.

In government crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse earned the top five-star overall performance rating. This includes five stars for overall front-impact protection and five stars for overall side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2013 Traverse (the 2014 is virtually unchanged) a Top Safety Pick, after the crossover achieved the highest rating of "Good" in moderate overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof-strength testing.

In terms of reliability, no data exists yet on the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse, but the 2013 model, which is essentially identical, received a three-circle ("About Average") score in the J. D. Power Predicted Reliability rating. Consumer Reports also noted that Traverse reliability has been "average."

 

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - AWD
LS AWD LS V6 AWD 32795
LT AWD LT w/1LT V6 AWD 36010
LT AWD LT w/2LT V6 AWD 38865
LTZ AWD LTZ V6 AWD 43255
SUV - FWD
LS FWD LS V6 FWD 30795
LT FWD LT w/1LT V6 FWD 34010
LT FWD LT w/2LT V6 FWD 36865
LTZ FWD LTZ V6 FWD 41255

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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