$4,925 - $8,259

2010 Chevrolet Traverse Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse was new.


Performance: 8.4

The 2010 Chevy Traverse is comfortable to drive, providing a smooth, stable ride with decent acceleration. However, a few complaints persist about the SUV's long braking distances and its automatic transmission.

  • "Like the other three large General Motors crossovers, the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse hits a happy medium between secure handling and a comfortable ride. However, you'll never forget that it's a big and heavy vehicle (4,925 pounds with all-wheel drive), and it feels a bit more cumbersome to drive than other large crossovers on the market." -- Edmunds
  • "We tested our Traverse on an enclosed track running a series of obstacle-avoidance tests. Driven back-to-back against the Toyota Highlander, the Traverse exhibited superior capabilities in almost every situation." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "A 4,500-pound boat-trailer combination was attached to show how easily the Traverse can tow. Along a road course on the Milford grounds, the Traverse didn't seem to strain at all with the extra weight behind it, and acceleration and handling both were barely different from when there was no trailer attached." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • "On the road course GM set out for us, Traverse displays the good manners we've come to expect from the Lambda platform. It has decent acceleration for its size, good isolation from road, wind, and engine noise, and corners pretty flatly give the size and weight." -- Jalopnik

Acceleration and Power

The Traverse comes with a powerful enough 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 which makes 281 horsepower in LS and LT models, and an extra 7 horsepower in LTZ models. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that some reviewers say is reluctant to downshift.

According to the EPA, the front-wheel drive model nets 17/24 mpg city/highway, while the all-wheel drive model nets 16/23. Though these estimates may seem daunting in this day and age, they’re about average when compared to the Traverse’s class, and it’s tough to find a more well-rounded three-row SUV that fares better.

Of course, more power is easy to find. Look no further than the seven-passenger Ford Flex, which offers an optional EcoBoost V6 engine that makes 355 horsepower. Reviewers say acceleration is downright impressive. Plus, even the EcoBoost-equipped Flex gets a 16/22 fuel economy rating, which isn’t much of a penalty considering all the extra power the Flex has.

  • "Traverse sports a 3.6-liter, 281-horsepower (288 with dual exhausts) V-6 with 6-speed automatic, that's more energetic and considerably quieter than the 3.5-liter, 260-h.p. V-6 with 6-speed in [the Ford] Flex." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "While it won't be mistaken for a V8, the direct-injected V6 felt brisk during our controlled driving conditions and towed a 4,200-pound boat and trailer without gasping for breath." -- MSN
  • "Shifts are smooth and generally immediate, though the transmission can be tardy with downshifts at highway speed." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Is it fast? No. But it can certainly get out of its own way, with plenty of passing power and virtually silent operation while cruising." -- Car and Driver
  • "We have no complaints about the 3.6-liter V6, as it provides peppy acceleration in almost all situations. Previously, the six-speed automatic transmission was often reluctant to downshift, but a reprogramming for 2010 has remedied the situation." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Despite its large size, the new Traverse boasts car-like handling, responsive steering and good maneuverability. However, a few reviewers point out its overly long braking distances.

  • "Ride is smooth, comfortable and quiet. Think family sedan rather than rough and ready SUV. Traverse is nimble and easy to maneuver into and out of the passing lane or parking spot." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "Accurate steering and responsive brakes contribute to making Traverse feel almost sporty despite its size." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The stability control system does an admirable job of avoiding cones in wet and dry conditions, and it handles Michigan-style bumps and potholes with aplomb." -- Jalopnik
  • "For a 5,000-lb wagon, the Traverse proved quite capable of changing direction quickly. The steering wasn't as lifeless as some other recent vehicles we've tried and even provided a hint of feedback. This is certainly not a sporting vehicle, but if you must drive a big crossover, it's better than most." -- Autoblog
  • "Braking is one area in which the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse 2LT AWD could stand improvement. Its 135-foot stopping distance from 60 mph is the longest of any seven-passenger crossover we've tested lately, except for the 2009 Honda Pilot." -- Edmunds

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