Chevy’s tagline for the 2019 Traverse is “Big, Bold and Beautiful.” I agree on all counts.
Sport Utility Vehicle War: How does the Chevy Traverse Stack Up?
Recently, I traveled from my home base in Maryland to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with seven of my TravelingDad cohorts for festivities that included things like axe throwing. Chevrolet was kind enough to provide two Chevrolet Traverses for those of us close enough to Harrisburg to drive, and there was consensus that the “General” (Chevys are manufactured by General Motors) created a solid field soldier in the increasingly growing Sport Utility Vehicle “war.”
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Why did I use the term “war?” Look around the next time you’re on the road or stuck in traffic. Count the number of so-called “utility vehicles” you see. Chances are if you count with fingers on both hands, you’ll run out of digits, as American consumers are ga-ga over sport-utes.
SUVs Are the New Station Wagon
If you’re an older dad like myself, you probably remember the good old days when the family would load into a station wagon. We had a Ford Country Squire, with seats in the cargo area. Kids would make funny faces at all of the cars behind them, and when there wasn’t a carload of kids, mom and dad could load up the wagon with literally tons of groceries or anything else in the cavernous cabin.
Wagons were fun, but offered zero utility; they couldn’t go off road; they did not initially offer all-wheel drive, and they didn’t sit high off the road. I specifically mention the high seating position, as that is a big draw for today’s consumers. My ex-wife is 5’2”, and loves the seating position of her Lexus RX as she can finally see what’s going on well down the road. Plus, with all wheel drive, she can get around when Mom Nature decides to dump white blankets on the road.
For these reasons and many more, anything that car makers build that has the word “utility” in it usually does very well in showrooms. Sport Utility or Crossover Utility is translated by consumers into road freedom. Sales of wagons are almost dead, and even the once family-favorite sedan has been dropped by some major carmakers in favor of focusing resources on existing and new Sport Ute platforms.
With the 2019 Chevy Traverse, they’ve built a Ute that’s perfectly suited for family and active lifestyles.
The Chevrolet Traverse is one of six Crossover and Sport Utes offered by the manufacturer. And while the tagline is “Big, Bold…”, the Chevy Tahoe and behemoth Suburban are considerably larger than the Traverse. But it really doesn’t matter, as Traverse can swallow you, your wife, your in-laws, and up to four of your kids when you opt for the eight passenger seating configuration.
Chevy Traverse Features and Price
Traverse is available in seven trim levels: L, with a starting MSRP of $30,995; LS, $34,095; LT Cloth, $36,595; LT Leather, $40,295; RS, $44, 795; Premier, $46,995; and High Country, $52,095. My test Premier front-wheel drive was well equipped, with standard features on this trim level that included:
*20” Argent Metallic wheels
*LED headlamps and tail lamps
*Heated and ventilated front driver and passenger seats
*Wireless phone charging
*Bose premium 10-speaker audio
*Eight-inch color touchscreen
*Bluetooth audio streaming — Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable
*Extensive safety features, including Teen Driver Technology that give you a “report card,” and lets you, the parent, set speed alerts, stereo volume limits, geographic limits and more
Chevy Traverse Options
My tester was fitted with one option, the $475 Driver Confidence II Package. The package includes:
*Following Distance Indicator
*Forward Collision Alert
*Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
*Low Speed Forward Auto Braking
*Front Pedestrian Braking
*Headlamps with Intellibeam Auto High Beam Control
Including the $1195 Destination Charge, the total came to a very reasonable $45,975.
How does the Chevy Traverse Drive?
So what’s the Traverse like on the road?
In a word, quiet. We’re talking Lexus like levels of quiet, which is high-praise indeed. There is no excessive noise from the silky smooth 3.6-liter V6 engine, and the standard tires seemed perfectly mated to the Traverse’s suspension settings. Supple ride, good shock absorption and ride control, and, did I mention, quiet?! I’ve driven a few Sport Utes in the same class as the Traverse, and they are considerably noisier and harsher. Hats off to Chevy engineering for dialing in the perfect wheel/tire/suspension and sound deadening package on the Traverse.
The Chevy Traverse is Great for the Tallest of Men
I was also pleased with the interior room the Traverse offers. I’m 6’9” tall and weigh 290 pounds, but found no comfort flaws with the interior. The leather seats were supportive, particularly to my über-sensitive lower back. I do not like any lumbar support dialed in when I drive, so having Chevy get the seats just right for my long frame is another Traverse plus. As I stated earlier, I traveled to Harrisburg with seven of my TravelingDad Cohorts, several over six feet tall, and we were able to take one of the two Traverses Chevrolet made available to us for the ride to dinner one evening. Large family = Chevy Traverse!
So in the Sport Ute war, the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse is a Ranking Officer. It’s well balanced, laden with comfort and convenience features, and surprisingly fun to drive.