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2016 Chevrolet Traverse Review

Overall, the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse is a well-rounded SUV, like many rivals in the competitive midsize SUV class. Its unmatched reliability rating helps elevate it toward the top of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Class-leading reliability rating
  • Top-tier safety score
  • Quiet, attractive interior
  • Outstanding cargo capacity
  • Sluggish acceleration
  • Finicky infotainment system

Rankings & Awards

The 2016 Chevrolet Traverse's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2016 Best Large SUV for the Money award. Currently the Chevrolet Traverse has a score of 8.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 61 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Chevrolet Traverse Overview

Is the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse a Good Used SUV?

The 2016 Chevy Traverse has an impressive interior with lots of passenger and cargo space. Because of its combination of quality and value, the eight-seat Traverse was named a 2016 Best Car for the Money. However, it does have a few small drawbacks: its infotainment system can be cumbersome to use, and the only available engine has underwhelming power and acceleration.

Why You Can Trust Us

We analyzed 61 Chevy Traverse reviews to give you an idea of this SUV's pros and cons. We’ve also included information on fuel economy, safety, and reliability to help you decide if the 2016 Traverse is the right SUV for you.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking the best vehicles since 2007, and our editorial staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To keep our reviews impartial, we don't accept expensive trips or gifts from car companies, and an external partner places and sells the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse?

Based on the 1,000-plus listings on our site for the used Traverse, the average price is $24,400. Prices range from $18,900 to $31,700, depending on each vehicle’s condition, location, and mileage.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse Cost to Own?

Over five years, fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 Traverse will cost you around $26,300. That works out to about $5,300 each year. The mechanically similar Buick Enclave will cost more, while these costs for the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer will be much lower.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Traverse?

The Traverse is fully redesigned for the 2018 model year, and prices start around $29,900. This is more than $5,000 higher than the average list price for a used 2016 Traverse – in fact, it’s nearly as much as the used model’s most expensive listing. The redesigned 2018 Traverse has more standard features (including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration), a punchier V6 engine, and much better fuel economy than the used model. However, the 2016 Traverse has more cargo space. In the end, the new Traverse offers a lot of benefits, but you'll have to decide if the updates are worth the added cost. Bear in mind, Chevy may offer incentives on the new model that could help close the price gap.

Read about the new Chevrolet Traverse »

If a new Traverse is out of your price range, but you still want a new SUV instead of a used model, consider the 2018 Kia Sorento (starting at $25,900). It is not only a top-rated midsize SUV, but also the winner of our 2018 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money award, thanks to its excellent quality and value. It also comes with Kia’s exceptionally long new car and powertrain warranties. Just note, the Sorento doesn't have as much cargo space as the used Traverse, and the base model has few standard features.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse?

The 2016 Traverse has one of the highest reliability ratings possible: a 4.5 out of five. No other midsize SUV matches that rating.

Read more about Traverse reliability »

2016 Chevrolet Traverse Recalls

There were two recalls on the Traverse at the time of writing. One covers a fire risk due to the front windshield wiper motor overheating, and another involves the third-row seat possibly not being secured properly.

See more information on Chevrolet Traverse safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Chevrolet Traverse Is Best?

The 2016 Traverse is part of the SUV's first generation, which began with the 2009 model year and concluded with 2017. Chevy fully redesigned the Traverse for 2018. Aside from a few added features, the Traverse was mostly unchanged between 2013 and 2016, and models from these years earn similar scores in our rankings. Unless you're set on a feature like forward collision warning (new for 2014), Siri Eyes Free iPhone connectivity (introduced in 2015), or a Wi-Fi hot spot (added for 2016), you may want to consider older Traverse models to save money.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Traverse »

Which Used Chevrolet Traverse Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Traverse is available in four trims: LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ. Highlights of the base Chevrolet Traverse LS model include standard satellite radio and a 6.5-inch touch-screen audio system, which is easier to use but doesn't have as many features as the MyLink infotainment system you might find in other Traverses.

If you want amenities like leather or power front seats, you'll not only have to find a 2LT Traverse, but also one that has the package that adds those features. The best value for your money may actually be a loaded top-of-the-line LTZ model, which includes leather seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and most other optional features.

See 2016 Chevrolet Traverse trims and specs »

What Does Chevrolet's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Chevrolet offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Chevrolet has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Hyundai, Buick, and Kia are better, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Traverse?

The 2016 Traverse has some of the highest safety scores in its class. It received five out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and four stars in the rollover test. The Traverse also scored Good (the highest rating) in all four Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests.

See Traverse safety scores »

2016 Chevrolet Traverse Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Chevrolet Traverse or 2016 Buick Enclave?

The 2016 Buick Enclave is neck and neck with the Traverse in our rankings. Both SUVs share the same platform and the same high safety ratings. The Enclave and Traverse have similarly sluggish V6 engines, but you'll get better overall performance from the Traverse; it can handle sweeping roads and turns a bit better than the Enclave. Few midsize SUVs can rival the Buick's elegant interior, though – and it comes standard with the IntelliLink infotainment system. However, like the related MyLink system, the interface can be unintuitive and slow to process commands. 

Which Is Better: 2016 Chevrolet Traverse or 2016 Honda Pilot?

Though the 2016 Honda Pilot has average reliability and slightly lower safety scores, it is a strong performer and another good pick. Like the Traverse, the Pilot can adeptly handle curves, but the Honda’s V6 delivers strong acceleration. Fully redesigned for 2016, the Pilot’s cabin features a sleek design and quality materials. It also has a spacious third row of seats that can easily accommodate adults. We named the Pilot our 2016 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money and 2016 Best 3-Row SUV for Families. It is the model you should buy.

Which Is Better: 2016 Chevrolet Traverse or 2016 Ford Explorer?

The 2016 Chevy Traverse beats out the 2016 Ford Explorer in almost every way. The Explorer has a below-average reliability rating, as well as lower safety scores than the Traverse. However, if you’re after performance, the Explorer's available 365-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine easily bests the Traverse’s V6. Inside the cabin, the Explorer’s design is dull and dated, and most materials feel cheap. The front seats are uncomfortable, and the second row doesn’t provide a lot of passenger space. Simply put: skip the Explorer and go with the Traverse.

Compare the Traverse, Enclave, and Pilot »

2016 Traverse Performance

How Does the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse Drive?

The Traverse can be hard to maneuver in tight spots – like parking lots – but otherwise, it handles confidently through turns and rides smoothly over most surfaces. The only powertrain available is a 281-horsepower V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. The V6 is good enough for short drives around town, but it struggles under hard acceleration, like when merging or passing on the highway.

Does the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse Get Good Gas Mileage?

Whether you choose a Traverse with front-wheel drive or one with all-wheel drive, you can expect to get 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

2016 Chevrolet Traverse Towing Capacity

The Traverse can tow up to 5,200 pounds.

Read more about Traverse performance »

2016 Traverse Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Traverse Seat?

The 3-row Traverse has eight seats as standard, but that drops to seven with the available second-row captain's chairs. Passenger space and comfort are excellent in the first two rows. The third row is best suited for smaller occupants, but regular-sized adults can fit in a pinch.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse?

There are two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the outboard second-row seats. There's an upper tether anchor (but no lower anchors) on the middle third-row seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Traverse's LATCH system an Acceptable rating for its ease of use.

2016 Chevrolet Traverse Features

The Traverse comes with standard features like satellite radio and a basic touch-screen audio system, while some higher trims include Chevy's MyLink infotainment system. This upgraded interface manages many functions of the car, but its touch-screen buttons are harder to use than physical controls.

See 2016 Chevrolet Traverse specs »

Read more about Traverse interior »

2016 Chevrolet Traverse Dimensions

Chevrolet Traverse Cargo Space

With both rear rows of seats folded, the Traverse has a maximum cargo capacity of 116.3 cubic feet. That's exceptional for the class. There's 24.4 cubic feet of room behind the third-row seats, and 70.3 cubic feet with the third row folded.

2016 Traverse Length and Weight

The Traverse is nearly 17 feet long. Front-wheel-drive models have a curb weight of 4,713 pounds, while all-wheel-drive models weigh 4,956 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse Built?

The Traverse was assembled in Lansing, Michigan.

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