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2021 Chevrolet Traverse Review

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse finishes in the top half of our midsize SUV rankings. It's not the most athletic vehicle in the class, but it's an excellent people and cargo mover with a comfy ride.

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of space for passengers and cargo
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Comfortable ride
  • Rivals are more upscale
  • Less agile than many classmates

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse's #6 ranking is based on its score within the Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Chevrolet Traverse has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 28 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 8.9
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Chevrolet Traverse a Good SUV?

Yes, the Chevrolet Traverse is a good midsize SUV. It has a capable V6 engine, gets decent gas mileage, and provides a cushioned ride, even over rough roads. Few SUVs in any class have as much cargo space, and the Traverse can accommodate adults in all three rows. The infotainment tech is user-friendly as well.

This isn't a perfect vehicle, however. Some competitors are ritzier and have more energetic engines than the Traverse. And it isn’t as agile as many of its rivals. Overall, though, the Traverse has a lot of positives and few negatives.

Why You Can Trust Us: 28 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2018.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Traverse?

If you're looking for an SUV that's perfect for cruising around with the family, then the Traverse is one of the best options out there. Even better, it has a reasonable starting price, making it a decent value in the class.

Find a 2021 Chevrolet Traverse for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Chevrolet Traverse: What's the Difference?

There are no major differences between the 2020 and 2021 Traverse. Chevy plans to refresh the Traverse for the 2022 model year.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Traverse »

Here are the key changes for the Chevrolet Traverse over the past few years:

  • 2018: completely redesigned with refreshed styling, a stronger engine with improved gas mileage, and an updated standard infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Chevrolet MyLink, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto; cargo space decreased
  • 2019: no notable changes
  • 2020: turbocharged four-cylinder engine discontinued; Infotainment 3 replaced MyLink interface
  • 2021: no notable changes

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Traverse, 2019 Traverse, and 2020 Traverse reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Traverse Cost?

The Traverse carries a base price around $30,000. That's a typical starting price for the class, though it's far from the lowest. Prices get higher as you climb the trim ladder. Midlevel trims like the LT Cloth and LT Leather start in the mid-to-high $30,000s, while the range-topping High Country starts a bit above $50,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Traverse Versus the Competition

Chevrolet Traverse or Toyota Highlander?

The Toyota Highlander finishes a bit behind the Traverse in our midsize SUV rankings because it can't quite live up to the Chevy's standards. Both SUVs feature seating for eight and a standard V6 engine, but the Chevy's powertrain is a little livelier. The Traverse provides much more cargo space and an adult-friendly third row, whereas the Highlander's third row is tiny. The Toyota comes with many more standard driver assistance features, and it offers some things the Traverse doesn't, like a 12.3-inch touch screen. Still, that isn't enough to help it prevail in this matchup. You're better off with the Traverse.

Compare the Traverse and Highlander »

Chevrolet Traverse or Honda Pilot?

The Honda Pilot and the Traverse are evenly matched, so the better pick boils down to personal preference. The Pilot is among a select few classmates that can rival the Traverse for space, and the Pilot's third row is one of the roomiest in the class. The Chevy has a more user-friendly infotainment system, but the Honda feels more upscale. The Traverse also comes standard with technology like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which you can only find in higher-trim Pilots. Gas mileage is an area where the Pilot has a slight edge.

Compare the Traverse and Pilot »

Compare the Traverse, Highlander, and Pilot »

Traverse Interior: Acres of Space

Traverse Cargo Space

This Chevy is one of the best cargo haulers in the class. It gives you 23 cubic feet of room behind the third row of seats, 57.8 cubic feet with the third-row seats folded, and 98.2 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded.

How Many People Does the Traverse Seat?

The Traverse seats eight people in its standard configuration or seven people if you opt for the second-row captain's chairs. An extremely spacious cabin makes the Traverse a great people mover. All three rows of seats can accommodate adults, though for longer trips, the last row is best left for children. The seats are comfortable, and it's easy to get in and out of any row.

Traverse and Child Car Seats

The Traverse has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the second-row outboard seats. The third row has three tether anchors but no lower anchors. Models with a second-row bench seat include a tether anchor for the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use. The lower anchors are set too deeply in the seats, and other hardware could be confused for the tether anchors in the third row.

Traverse Interior Quality

Though the Traverse's cabin looks good, it isn't as polished as rival interiors. There aren't a lot of premium materials, and it isn't the most stylish cabin. Beyond that, however, there aren't many interior flaws with this Chevrolet.

Traverse Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

You'll have no qualms with the Infotainment 3 interface. It's well-organized, making it easy to navigate through menus. The touch screen is responsive, and there are redundant buttons and knobs for some functions. Additionally, features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make it easy to sync your smartphone with the system.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, six USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto
  • Available infotainment features: a rear-seat entertainment system (with or without a DVD player), an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, and satellite radio
  • Additional standard features: tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: a sunroof and wireless device charging

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Traverse Performance: Not Flashy but Capable

Traverse Engine

This Chevy comes with a 310-horsepower V6 engine. It gets the job done, but it doesn't have the lively feel of some rivals' engines. A slick-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission comes standard, as does an engine stop-start function, which is a fuel-saving feature not everyone loves. The system works well, but unlike in many other vehicles, it can't be disabled.

Traverse Gas Mileage

The Traverse's gas mileage ratings are typical for the midsize SUV class at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway when equipped with front-wheel drive. With all-wheel drive, ratings drop to 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Traverse Ride and Handling

The Traverse is designed as a comfortable cruiser that can transport a lot of people, and it drives accordingly. It doesn't handle with as much agility as rivals, and there's noticeable body roll around corners. What the Traverse lacks in handling prowess it makes up for in comfort. This Chevrolet rides smoothly over most road surfaces, and it's easy to drive and maneuver.

Traverse Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Traverse can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Traverse Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Traverse Reliable?

The 2021 Traverse has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Chevrolet Traverse Warranty

The Chevrolet Traverse comes with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Traverse Safety

Traverse Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse the highest rating of Good in all five crash tests the organization conducted.

The Premier and High Country trims received the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead, while all other trims received the lowest rating of Poor.

The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The Traverse earned the highest rating of Superior for its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system and its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian system. It earned the second-highest rating of Advanced for its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian system in the High Country trim.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Traverse an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

Traverse Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rear-seat reminder
  • Buckle up reminder
  • Rearview camera
  • Teen Driver (lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers, as well as monitor their driving performance)

Available advanced safety features:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Rear camera mirror
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Front pedestrian braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Lane keep assist
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear cross traffic alert

Read more about safety »

Traverse Dimensions and Weight

The Traverse is approximately 17 feet long. Its curb weight is 4,362 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse Built?

General Motors builds the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse in Michigan.

Which Chevrolet Traverse Model Is Right for Me?

The Traverse comes in seven trims: L, LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier, and High Country. The higher trims come with features not available in the lower ones, but they also cost quite a bit more, which makes it important to consider which models provide the most value.

The two LT models make good choices for most buyers. They're reasonably priced, and they come with comfort and convenience features not available in the lower trims. They're also the lowest trims to offer many of the Traverse's driver assistance features.

If you aren't looking to break the bank, stick with the L and LS trims. For people who have serious winters to deal with, note that the LS is the lowest trim to offer all-wheel drive.

Chevrolet Traverse L

The Traverse L carries a base price around $29,800. It comes with a 310-horsepower V6 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, Chevrolet's Teen Driver safety system, a rearview camera, and the Infotainment 3 system with a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, and six USB ports.

There are no notable available features offered with the base trim, and it's the only one not available with all-wheel drive.

Chevrolet Traverse LS

The Traverse LS has a starting price of about $32,900. The LS comes with the same standard features as the base trim, but it offers some things the L doesn't. You can add all-wheel drive for $2,000 and a rear-seat entertainment system for between $1,750 and $1,995. Some styling packages are also available.

Chevrolet Traverse LT

The Traverse LT Cloth starts at around $35,400 ($39,200 for the all-wheel-drive model). The LT trim comes standard with a power-adjustable driver's seat, second-row captain’s chairs, an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.

The Driver Confidence II package ($625) adds forward automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, front pedestrian braking, and a heated steering wheel.

There's also the Traverse LT Leather trim, which comes standard with a power-adjustable passenger seat and leather upholstery. The LT Leather with front-wheel drive starts at around $39,100, while all-wheel-drive models start at about $41,100.

The LT Premium package ($3,095) includes a rear camera mirror, a surround-view parking camera system, and a 10-speaker Bose audio system.

Chevrolet Traverse RS

The Traverse RS has a starting price of around $43,600 (all-wheel-drive models start at $45,700). The RS comes with the lower trims' standard features, plus leather upholstery, navigation, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, a rear camera mirror, and a surround-view parking camera system. A rear-seat entertainment system is available.

Chevrolet Traverse Premier

The Traverse Premier starts at about $45,800 ($48,400 for all-wheel-drive models). The Premier comes with a hands-free power liftgate, leather upholstery, wireless device charging, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Chevrolet Traverse High Country

The Traverse High Country starts at around $50,900 for front-wheel-drive models and $53,200 for all-wheel-drive models. The High Country comes with just about every tech feature you can get in a Traverse, including adaptive cruise control, power-folding third-row seats, and additional trailering equipment.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

See 2021 Chevrolet Traverse specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse brings a lot to the table, including oodles of passenger and cargo space, a smooth ride, and intuitive technology. It's not the most athletic vehicle, but it does so many other things well that it still finishes in the top half of our midsize SUV rankings. Throw in a reasonable starting price, and the Traverse represents an attractive buying option for many people.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Chevrolet's Traverse is a comfortable and competent carryall that finds itself somewhere in the middle of a red-hot segment." -- Kelley Blue Book (2020)
  • "The Traverse is one of the largest three-row crossovers in the midsize class and provides plenty of passenger and cargo space. A quiet cabin, soft ride and impressive infotainment tech add to its appeal. On the downside, budget-grade interior materials and a lack of standard safety features can make it hard to justify paying Chevy's price. Overall, the Traverse is worth a look if maximum space is a priority, but there are better choices overall." -- Edmunds (2020)
  • "Taken as a whole, the new Traverse is a bit of a mixed bag. It doesn't do anything new or groundbreaking, but there are no fatal flaws either. It's a solid, if uninspiring effort from Chevrolet. The interior is a letdown, especially when compared to something like the masterful design inside the Honda Pilot. The Honda manages to feel both premium and hugely versatile, while the Chevy only manages the latter. … The Traverse does have size on its side, and if you need the space, then it's hard to look elsewhere." -- Autoblog (2018)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: January 15, 2021

Falling Sales: Like so many other cars and SUVs in 2020 , sales of the Traverse were weakened by the Coronavirus pandemic; by the end of the year, Chevy dealerships moved 14.7 percent fewer Traverse SUVs than during the same period in 2019. While it placed among the top five of midsize SUVs in terms of sales, top competitors like Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer outsold the Traverse by nearly 2 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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