Road Tests

Quick Take: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse FWD Premier

Lack of start/stop defeat button is the only slip in this tech-rich kit

HOLLYWOOD, California—Sometimes we take new car technology for granted, but the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is here to remind us how far we’ve traveled down the tech road.

My good friend Arturo Rojas was visiting us from Peru recently. Rojas has taken us around his favorite eateries from Lima to Cuzco and we felt obliged to show him the best taco trucks, diners, and restaurants Los Angeles has to offer.

We chauffeured our good friend around town in a Traverse FWD Premier in Silver Ice Metallic paint with a Jet Back interior. Under the hood, our tester packs a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that delivers 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is mated to a smooth 9-speed automatic transmission.

The stylish four-door crossover from Chevy was a decent stand in for a Range Rover Discovery as we pulled into Wally’s Beverly Hills for a pre dinner snack. Parking the mid-sized Traverse is a bit of a challenge in the city, but the rear view cameras come in real handy—a front mounted camera would help a lot more. The hood drops off like a cliff and it takes a while to get use to its size.

Our SUV sported the Redline package with a black Bow-Tie on its matching grille that’s flanked by LED headlamps and round fog lights at its smooth lower corners. It also rocks glossy black mirrors, matching roof rails, and red highlighted badge lettering on the front doors. Rounding out the look are the the Redline Edition 20-inch blacked out rims, up from the base 18-inchers, which feature two racing stripes and roll on Continental CrossContact rubber.

The sunroof in our tester was a bit of an afterthought for our particular trim level and we prefer a more majestic moon roof that traverses back to the third row of seats—a fixed two-panel dual SkyScape one is available on the High Country trim.

Inside, there’s a nifty hidden storage compartment that’s located behind the 8-inch MyLink display screen. It is great for hiding phones, wallets, or a small firearm—there’s even a USB port in there. I used it to recharge my phone as we handed off the Traverse to the valet at Musso & Franks in Hollywood for dinner.

The Traverse can seat up to seven adults and offers 98.2 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. Its seats easily fold down, even from the rear of the vehicle, with a push of a button. There’s also a hands-free gesture liftgate you can open with a swipe of your foot.

Our only major complaint with the Traverse is that like many other new Chevy models, it doesn’t have defeat button for its start/stop function, making it a rather annoying feature to live with on a daily basis. That said, the Traverse’s stop/start system is better than most.

Still, the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is a smooth operator that’s bigger than the Equinox but smaller—and more affordable—than a Tahoe or Suburban. It’s a great family or friend hauler but not recommended for big city transport—check out said Equinox for that.

As we drove for a late night snack at an undisclosed taco truck location in East L.A., Arturo was impressed with the Traverse’s rear cross traffic alert, rear camera mirror, rear cross traffic alert, and the surround vision tech that came standard with the Chevy.

While these are features that we now take for granted, they’re still a long way away from the more affordable cars of Peru. You can hardly fault Arturo for being ready to trade in his Suzuki Sidekick.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse FWD Premier Specifications

PRICE $45,395/$47,930 (base/as tested)
ENGINE 3.6L DOHC 24-valve V-6/310 hp @ 6,800 rpm, 266 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 7-passenger, front-engine, FWD SUV
EPA MILEAGE 18/27 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 204.3 x 78.6 x 70.7 in
WHEELBASE 120.9 in
WEIGHT 4,362 lb
0-60 MPH 6.7 sec


Buying Guide
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18 City / 27 Hwy

Cargo (Std/Max):

23 / 99 cu. ft.