The three-row crossover segment is filled with models, like the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. One model that does stand out in a few areas is the Chevy Traverse thanks to its spacious cabin and ample cargo space.
Three-row crossover buyers want a lot from these vehicles, since they have to have more than enough space for the whole family, room for all their gear, some off-road capability and the latest tech features. The Traverse received a facelift for the 2022 model year which sharpened the styling a bit, so it carries over largely unchanged for 2023. The updated styling does help a bit, but the Traverse doesn’t have the same rugged look as some newer rivals. It also doesn’t stand out, but the RS version does attempt to make it look a little sportier with its black wheels and badges.
While some rivals offer several engine options, the Traverse is only available with one, a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6. The engine generates a nice 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque, which means that it has more power on tap than the Pilot or Highlander. A nine-speed automatic is the only transmission and buyers can choose between front- or all-wheel drive. The Traverse can also tow up to 5,000 pounds.
The Traverse is rated at 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, while the all-wheel drive version is rated at 17/25/20 mpg.
Where the Traverse really shines is inside, where it has room for seven or eight passengers. Unlike most three-row crossovers, the Traverse can actually fit adults in the third row. The Traverse has more legroom in the third row than the Ford Explorer, Kia Telluride and Nissan Pathfinder. Behind the third row there’s also more than room for everyone’s suitcase. Fold down the third and second row and the Traverse turns into a cargo hauler thanks to all that space with 98.2 cubic feet of cargo space. There are also 10 cupholders and storage cubbies, which rivals what you would normally find in a minivan.
While the interior stands out with how spacious it is, there are some areas for improvement. On the tech front, there isn’t a modern digital instrument cluster and the 8-inch touchscreen is smaller than you will find in other crossovers. The good news is that the infotainment system is easy to use and responds quickly. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot are standard.
On the road, the Traverse is a competent large crossover. The V6 packs more power than most of the Traverse’s rivals and is very responsive. While the powertrain does get the job done, the overall performance doesn’t stand out like in some sportier rivals, like the Mazda CX-9. The V6 helps you get up to speed with the amount of urgency you expect for a large crossover. The nine-speed automatic is smooth, but it does swap the gears a bit slower than we’d expect.
The Traverse’s suspension is geared towards comfort, by providing a smooth ride over most surfaces. Given its large footprint, it’s no surprise that the suspension loses some composure on a twisty back road. The steering does provide a good amount of feedback.
On the safety front, the Traverse comes standard with automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist. Adaptive cruise control, rear pedestrian alert, a 360-degree camera and a blind spot monitor are optional. Several of these features are standard on the Traverse’s rivals.
The 2023 Chevy Traverse is available in five trim levels: LS, LT, RS, Premier and High Country. The pricing starts at a family friendly $35,915. But the price quickly jumps up if you select the higher trim levels. The top spec High Country with all-wheel drive is priced at $55,545.
At the end of the day, the 2023 Traverse is ideal for families who need a crossover with space for the whole family. The interior is spacious and comfortable, plus the low starting price makes it a good value.