Road Trip – 2018 Chevrolet Traverse

What a difference a generation makes.

By Whitney Ellis

It’s been about seven years since I last thought about a Chevrolet Traverse – and to be honest, it could have been at least seven years more. The ride was harsh, the seats were uncomfortable and at the time, there were several crossover/SUV options in the category that were much better.

I guess Chevrolet read my review of the first-gen Traverse and decided to do a complete overhaul.

The 2018 Traverse AWD LT (MSRP: $39,895) had all the features and functionality a family would need – including satellite radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and 4G LTE capability. With all the features this model had, I was surprised it didn’t have GPS navigation – it did have OnStar turn-by-turn, but not a true GPS navigation system.

The 8-inch MyLink touch screen system was easy to use, however for some reason it was difficult to connect into the Traverse’s 4G system. Each time the family tried to link a phone or tablet to it, it would connect but then tell say we had no internet capability and to use another WiFi spot. Maybe we were missing something.

Connectivity aside, this generation is much better the previous one.

The Traverse was a road warrior – the 310-horsepower V6 had no issues keeping up with traffic at and well above the speed limit. The nine-speed automatic transmission kept the revs low, and on the highway at 85 miles per hour (the speed limit is 80 in South Dakota, and traffic throughout most of the states traveled moves at or above this speed), we were still averaging nearly 28 miles per gallon.

The seats were comfortable and much more adjustable than the first generation. There were actually a few times we were fighting to see who would either sit in the back or the third row just to relax. The scenery was perfect enough just to stare out the window for hours on end.

For the most part, it’s not about the vehicle that takes you to your journey, it’s the experience you have while there. I’m sure there could have been other SUVs that would have fit the bill just as well (it was either this or a Nissan Rogue, and I think this was a better fit), but having a terrible ride to your journey will always be something you remember – hence the first-generation Traverse.

Visiting South Dakota was one of those things I thought I’d never do, but after doing it (oh yeah, Omaha, Neb. was actually fun too!) I wondered why it took so long to do so. There are so many states and towns in the lower 48 I haven’t visited yet because… well, I don’t know why. One of the things that connects us is a massive road system – why not use it?

Back to the Traverse – much better than the first generation, and with all its capabilities could (and should) easily be a great large-family hauler. It’ll be interesting to see how the two-liter four-cylinder turbo RS fits into the model lineup. The direct-injection V6 seems to have more than enough power and gets decent enough gas mileage that it should be the universal engine.