Yeah we’ve all heard the tagline, “Bigger is Better,” but is it always really better? Well Chevy is hoping it is with the 2018 Traverse. Chevy has completely revamped the 2018 Chevy Traverse and the “biggest” thing you’ll notice besides its new styling, is how big it is. Chevy stretched the Traverse in every direction to make it basically the Suburban of the crossover segment.
After a week with the 2018 Chevy Traverse, the Traverse proved that not only is it the ultimate family hauler, but it’s also pretty easy to drive as daily driver as well, something you wouldn’t really expect with its large footprint.
The last generation Traverse was a typical softly styled crossover that easily got lost in the crowded segment, but for the latest Traverse, Chevy decided to inject a bit more masculinity into the mix. The result is an imposing front fascia with an in your face grille, more creases and a squared-off shape. The 2018 Traverse’s long hood also makes it look less like a crossover and more like a traditional SUV.
More interior volume than the Atlas and Pilot
Styling aside, the new Traverse has grown, with the wheelbase getting the biggest pull at two inches. The 2018 Traverse’s wheelbase is almost 10-inches longer than the Honda Pilot and over three-inches longer than the Volkswagen Atlas. That massively long wheelbase gives the Traverse more third row legroom than the Pilot and more second row legroom than the Atlas. In the third row the Atlas manages to barely top the Traverse 33.7-inches to 33.5-inches.
If cargo is more your thing than people, the Traverse won’t disappoint since it has up to 98.2 cubic feet of cargo space with both the 2nd and 3rd row seats folded compared to the Atlas’s 96.8 cubic feet and the Pilot’s 83.9 cubic feet. See the Traverse is basically the Suburban of the segment.
More power under the hood, less stops at the gas station
But what does all these bigger dimensions mean for performance? Well even though the 2018 Traverse is bigger than its predecessor, it’s also lighter. The 2018 Traverse dropped almost 350 pounds compared to the last generation. That’s a huge feat considering the Traverse’s bigger footprint. There’s also more power under the hood than before. Buyers can choose from either a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque or a naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 with 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft. The old Traverse only offered the 3.6L V6 and it generated 29 less horsepower or 22 less horsepower if you selected the dual exhaust option. Both engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, three more speeds than the last model.
Lastly don’t forget fuel efficiency, since the 2018 Traverse is also more fuel efficient than the last model. The front-wheel drive Traverse with the 3.6L V6 is rated at 18/27, a nice improvement over the previous 15/22 mpg rating. The 2.0L with front-wheel drive is rated at 20/26 mpg, while the all-wheel drive V6 is rated at 17/25 mpg.
With the extra 29 horsepower and lighter weight, the Traverse feels more athletic than you’d think given its size. It’s no sports car, but flooring it from a stop will give a 0-60 mph time under 7.0 seconds. Once you’re moving its also easy to forget how many speeds the transmission actually has, since you’ll barely even notice the transmission doing its job, which is a good thing. Although there were a few times that I wished the Traverse had steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Zooming down the road I expected the Traverse to have the clumsy handling that is the norm in this segment, but thankfully Chevy’s team of engineers paid extra attention to the Traverse’s chassis to make sure it wasn’t only comfortable, but also more engaging to drive than you’d expect. It’s steering is still light, but when the road turned twisty the Traverse stayed planted with minimal roll.
Inside the the Traverse’s interior is cavernous and comfortable. There are a few hard plastic bits that shouldn’t be there given the fact that a Traverse can reach well into the $50k range now. Even though the Traverse has a longer wheelbase than the VW Atlas, the Atlas manages to have a more comfortable rear third row seat. Those few issues aside, the 2018 Traverse’s interior is comfortable and relaxing.
So is bigger truly better? All signs point to yes if you’re talking about the 2018 Chevy Traverse. It’s interior is 10 percent larger than before, while it has more power under the hood and its more fuel efficient powertrains will keep you away from the gas station longer.
Pricing for the 2018 Traverse starts at $30,925 for the base Traverse L and maxes out at $53,045 for the Traverse High Country with all-wheel drive.