New Canaan, CT – October 26, 2011
G. Chambers Williams III, for the Connecticut Post: Chevy Traverse is one of top family haulers for Connecticut drivers.
Chevrolet’s Traverse large crossover utility vehicle enters its fourth year on the market for 2012, still one of the most popular family haulers on the market.
The only changes are a couple of new exterior colors — dark silver metallic and crystal red tint coat — and new heated, power-adjustable, body-color outside mirrors (with auto-dimming on the driver’s side) on most models, along with a power-folding feature only on the top-of-the-line LTZ model.
Prices for 2012 begin at $29,430 (plus $810 freight) for the base LS model with front-wheel drive and range as high as $40,805 for the LTZ with all-wheel drive.
In between are the LS with all-wheel drive, $31,430; the 1LT with front drive, $32,530; the 2LT with all-wheel drive, $34,530; the 2LT with front drive, $35,675; the 2LT with all-wheel drive, $37,675; and the LTZ with front drive, $38,805.
Built on a car-style unibody structure, unlike older-style SUVs that are on truck chassis, the Traverse is one of a trio of large crossovers from General Motors that share the same architecture. The others are the GMC Acadia, which ranges from $32,605 to $45,880 (plus $810 freight), and the Buick Enclave, $36,600 to $45,080.
Of the three, the Traverse is the best seller, mostly because there are more Chevy than Buick-GMC dealers. There is little difference in the vehicles beyond each one’s unique exterior design cues such as grilles, headlights, taillights and so forth, and the amenities each one offers at a particular price.
All of them come with the same 3.6-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, and all are available with seven- or eight-passenger seating. And all are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive.
There were four of these GM crossovers for a brief period. The other one was the Saturn Outlook, which actually was one of the first two to arrive — in model year 2007. The Acadia came out for 2007, as well; the Enclave showed up for 2008, and the Traverse made its debut as a 2009 model. The Outlook was discontinued after the 2009 model year as GM shut down the Saturn brand.
The Traverse and its siblings are based on GM’s Lambda vehicle platform, originally intended for use in a new generation of GM minivans. But as the minivan market cooled, the automaker switched the design to crossover utility vehicles. The biggest difference is that crossovers have regular doors that swing out when opened; minivans come with sliding rear doors.
For this report, we tested the 2012 Traverse LTZ front-drive model, with a base price of $38,805, options totaling $4,280, and a total sticker of $43,895.
The Traverse has a twin-port grille adapted from the current Chevy Malibu sedan, a design GM calls the “new face of Chevrolet.” Wind tunnel testing helped give the vehicle a sleek exterior, with a 0.33 coefficient of drag, an important design aspect in achieving the best possible fuel economy.
To make the Traverse one of the roomiest of the crossover vehicles, the wheels were moved as close to the four corners as possible. Cargo capacity is 116.4 cubic feet with the middle and rear seats folded. That compares with 95.4 cubic feet for the competing Toyota Highlander and 87 cubic feet for the Honda Pilot.
The cargo area behind the Traverse’s third seat has 24.4 cubic feet of space, about 10 more than the trunk of the average midsize sedan. With the third seat folded, there is 68.8 cubic feet of space behind the second row.
Body fit and finish, including gaps between body panels, was designed to be comparable with that of premium sedans from Lexus and BMW.
And because the Traverse is intended to be a family vehicle, strong emphasis was placed on safety, GM says, giving the vehicle features to protect occupants “before, during and after a crash.”
KARL Chevrolet has been helping families find the perfect vehicle to fit their needs since 1927. Steve Karl, VP of Sales for Karl Chevrolet, stated that “today more than ever, families need to make the most of every dollar spent. That’s why we focus on delivering an outstanding value on the sale of each vehicle and in our service department with everyday low maintenance prices.” “In fact,” he continued, “currently Karl Chevrolet offers special pricing to Credit Union Members, Police, EMS and Fire personnel, and employees of General Motors Supplier Companies. And we just added a special purchase program for members of Costco Wholesale. No matter what, our goal is to save our customers money and build long-term relationships – we want to become their dealer of choice.”