Funny, I can think of at least two functional reasons to step into a Traverse instead of a minivan. First, there's its available all-wheel-drive. With the exception of the Toyota Sienna, no automaker sells a minivan with such a configuration in our market.
Second, there's towing capacity. The Traverse's maximum towing capacity with a class III hitch is 5200 pounds, substantially more than the 4500-pound maximum of the Ford Flex, the Dodge Grand Caravan's 3800-pound capacity, or the 3500-pound limits of the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, and GM's smaller crossovers (the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, when equipped with the 3.0-liter V-6).
Does everyone drag a speedboat behind the family hauler? No, but there are those who do, and the Traverse is a nice alternative to the traditional full-size SUV. Despite its heft, the Traverse drives like a much smaller vehicle, except when it comes time to squeeze into a narrow parking space. Suspension tuning can almost be described as floaty, but it is comfortable during long hauls down the interstate. Perhaps most surprising was the powertrain-the 3.6-liter V-6 provides plenty of pep and the six-speed automatic is impeccably smooth.
It's not for everyone, but for those stepping down from a larger SUV, or for parents looking to avoid a minivan, the Traverse is a solid choice.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer