2018 Chevrolet Traverse Premier: 2nd-Generation Crossover Lives Up to It’s “Premier” Name [Review]

2018 Chevrolet Traverse
[Photo: GM]
The last-generation Chevrolet Traverse was shaped much like a mini-van, but became labeled as a crossover. Now, the redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is styled like the crossover we’ve come to expect. The Bow Tie crew billed this creation as their ultimate family vehicle. It seats up to eight with an athletic appearance, featuring a more expressive frontal design that clearly exhibited Chevrolet’s character. Up front, the look included a power dome hood, horizontal grille, new headlamps, and chrome trim accents with sculpted front corners. Out back, redesigned lamps and the license plate pocket were positioned in the sporty new liftgate.


The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is available in seven trim levels. It starts with the base L, then moves up to a more well equipped LS, Then the LT, RS, Premier, and High Country. All models come equipped with HID headlights and LED running lights, a rearview camera, 18-inch wheels, a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, Bluetooth, six USB ports, keyless ignition, and three-zone climate control.

The exterior displays a simple, truck-inspired persona that contrasts with a stylishly attractive interior space for an above-average overall appeal. And while the conservative design inside and out may not come across as exciting, there’s also nothing on the 2018 Traverse that is offensive. Perhaps a larger issue on lower trim levels, the top-level High Country presents what may well be considered as one of the more pleasing interiors to be found in a Chevrolet today.

The Chevy team’s focus with the styling of the Traverse was to provide crossover consumers with a truck-like design, beginning with an exterior that’s heavily influenced by Chevy’s full-size, truck-based SUVs. The stance is upright and squared squared-off at both ends, with tall sides alongside an aggressively forward-angled C-pillar presenting a more masculine image. Pronounced shoulder lines run from the thin profile jeweled headlights as part of Chevrolet’s D-Optic design theme. Up-level design cues include deeply-set grille inserts trimmed by chrome rings, turn signals set into the outside mirrors, stylishly expressive taillamps, and a rear spoiler over the liftgate window. The taut exterior bodylines feature minimal front and rear overhangs.


Moving to the interior, the Traverse’s cabin continues with Chevy’s truck-inspired design. The elevated, wide center console intersects a tall, dominant dash. The instrument panel displays a dual-cockpit theme showcasing Chevrolet’s DNA.

The instrument panel features large dual gauge binnacles with bright trim rings; and for vehicles equipped with the available navigation system, the display screen is integrated prominently positioned in an upper-center location. The Chevrolet Traverse can be set up to accommodate either seven or eight adults. In eight-passenger set, there are two front bucket seats, a 60/40-split second-row bench for three passengers, and a 60/40-split third-row bench seat. In seven-passenger guise, the second row just has two captain’s chairs instead of a bench seat. The third-row seat is capable of comfortably seating adults, as long as they’re minimally ectomorphic, while still providing ample storage space aft for luggage, groceries, etc.

The standard inventory list of features and equipment for any Traverse trim level is most impressive. There’s a wide range of available extras to meet everyone’s desires and needs, such as a rearview camera, Rear ultrasonic parking assist, heated, power-adjustable mirrors with blind-spot monitoring, and a power liftgate. Also on offer is extended-range remote start, a DVD entertainment system, navigation with OnStar Destination Download or eNav and XM NavTraffic, heated and cooled front seats, and Chevrolet’s newest infotainment technology – MyLink Touch.

My test 2018 Chevrolet Traverse came in Premier trim with the higher output, V6 with dual exhaust. The exterior was sprayed in Black Currant metallic with a complementing Dark Atmosphere. Complementing the exterior was a Medium Ash Gray interior accented by Satin Silver trim accents. The base sticker price is $44,450, while adding the Driver Confidence Package, paint scheme and destination charges raised the total to $46,285.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse 3.6L engine
[Photo: Arv Voss]


Providing the get-up-and-go for this 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is a transversely front mounted 3.6-liter V6. It pumps out 310 horsepower at 6,800 rpm, which is 20 horsepower more than last year’s V6. That V6 also develops 266 lbs.-ft. of torque at 2,800 rpm. The engine delivers motive force to the front wheels via a 9-speed automatic. All trim levels of the Traverse are available with all-wheel drive. All models take regular unleaded fuel regardless of the drive configuration and exhaust setup, with a towing capacity of up to 5,200 pounds when properly set up. A 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-4-cylinder engine is scheduled to be added powering the Traverse RS. Only the V-6 will be available with all-wheel drive. It accelerates nicely, shifts smoothly, with a handy shift up/down thumb switch on the gearshift selector stalk.

The ride quality and handling characteristics are synonymous with what one would expect in a minivan. Woops, I mean SUV. I mean crossover. Chevy’s StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation and traction control system are nice features to have that enhance the Traverse’s driving experience while inspiring confidence and security.

In terms of safety elements, the Traverse features a plethora of airbags. There are two dual-stage frontal air bags, two seat-mounted pelvic-thorax side-impact air bags in the first row, and two head curtain side-impact air bags covering all three rows. They are among the longest air bags offered in any production vehicle.

Complementing the air bags is GM’s rollover sensing system, which can activate the head curtain side-impact air bags and safety belt pretensioners when sensors determine an imminent rollover. In such an event, the air bags stay inflated longer, improving occupant containment. Dual front-seat safety belt pretensioners (anchor and retractor) are included.


The new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Premiere delivers quality family transportation that displays attractive styling elements with a high degree of versatility and functionality. It competes in the marketplace with the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Volkswagen Atlas. If you’re looking for a larger family hauler, it represents an appropriate step up from the compact Chevrolet Equinox.

Here’s a comparison of the Traverse against one of its main rivals, the Volkswagen Atlas:

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Premier FWD

Base MSRP: $44,450
Price as Tested: $46,285
Engine:  3.6-liter V6 w/ auto stop/start
Horsepower: 310 hp @ 6,800 RPM
Torque: 266 lbs.-ft. @ 2,800 RPM
0-60 Acceleration 6.9 seconds
Transmission: Hydramatic 9T50 9-speed automatic
Suspension: Front: MacPherson strut w/ hydraulic control arm ride bushing and hollow stabilizer bar
Rear: Five-link independent w/ auxiliary spring aids and hollow stabilizer bar
Brakes:  Power-assisted four-wheel discs w/ ABS, ETC, and ESC w/ rollover mitigation
Tires: Continental ContiCrossContact LX20 255/55 R20 107H
Fuel capacity: 19.4 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 18 City/27 Highway/21 Combined MPG


Wheelbase: 120.9 inches
Length:  204.3 inches
Width: 78.6 inches (excluding mirrors)
Height:  70.7 inches
Turning Circle: 39 feet
Curb Weight: 4,362 pounds