$17,133 - $24,332

2016 Chevrolet Traverse Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse was new.


Performance: 8.1

Reviewers say the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse offers a comfortable, quiet ride and handles better than drivers would expect. They think its transmission shifts smoothly, but can hesitate to downshift.

  • "The 2016 Chevrolet Traverse displays exactly the kind of road manners you'd want in a large, three-row family crossover. The ride quality is comfortable, composed and quiet on the highway, providing an assuredness that drivers switching from bigger truck-based SUVs will appreciate." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite newer, nimbler and more fuel-efficient competitors, the Chevy Traverse remains a solid crossover SUV to drive and live with." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Overall, the Traverse is capable and comfortable for everyday driving." -- AutoTrader

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Chevrolet Traverse comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that puts out 281 horsepower (288 with dual exhaust). A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard. The Traverse gets an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is slightly below average for the class.

Reviewers say that the Traverse’s engine performs adequately for daily driving, but some feel that it lacks punch when faster acceleration is required. A few think that the Traverse has ample power. Test drivers praise the Traverse's transmission for its smooth gear changes, although they note that it can be reluctant to downshift in order to accelerate.

  • In terms of power, the Traverse feels adequate in traffic. It's not particularly powerful, but it has the ability to accelerate with confidence when the need arises. In all other cases, power delivery is smooth, making for a quiet on-road experience with little drama, which is what most drivers want in a family vehicle." -- AutoTrader
  • The 3.6-liter V6 engine is fine for most day-to-day driving conditions, but feels a little anemic when maximum acceleration is called for, such as attempting to pass slower traffic on a two-lane road. The six-speed automatic transmission generally delivers smooth gearchanges, but can feel a little sluggish when you need a quick downshift in situations like getting up to speed on freeway on-ramps." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Its 280-plus horsepower V6 is smooth and strong, and easily gets Chevy's big crossover SUV up to speed in both front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) form." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Despite its 281 hp, the V-6 still has to do a good amount of work to get the Traverse's 2.5 tons moving. Strained isn't exactly the right word, as it gets up to speed quickly enough, but it relies on revs more than you might expect for a vehicle of this class." -- Truck Trend (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Traverse comes standard with front-wheel drive and is available with all-wheel drive. Despite being a large SUV, reviewers say the Traverse delivers car-like handling and feels smooth and stable when cornering. Most test drivers think the Traverse maneuvers well for a vehicle its size, although they note that some rivals are more agile. A few critics feel that the Traverse's size makes it feel ungainly in tighter spaces.

While not designed with off-roading in mind, the Traverse is more than capable in inclement weather, according to reviewers. It also boasts a robust 5,200-pound tow rating, which is better than some crossover competitors.

  • The Traverse is not an off-road specialist. Those with all-terrain intentions should consider a more rugged, traditional SUV, but the Traverse is more than proficient in harsh conditions caused by snow, rain and mud. The LTZ's large 20-in wheels are an additional asset in these circumstances." -- AutoTrader
  • The Traverse is larger than its midsize SUV competitors, and while it's not very agile, the Chevy doesn't feel overwhelming on the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • At the same time, the suspension delivers sure handling and surprisingly good maneuverability for such a large vehicle. That said, smaller rivals are more responsive on twisting roads or in tight urban spaces, and the Traverse's wide turning circle can make it rather cumbersome to maneuver." -- Edmunds
  • "The Traverse rides on a car-like unibody platform that it shares with the GMC Acadia and the Buick Enclave. These underpinnings give the Traverse more nimble handling dynamics than the automaker's old-school Tahoe SUV, but they also limit its off-road potential to traversing gravel roads." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "Traverse is reasonably agile for a vehicle of its generous size, and body lean is well controlled during cornering. Nicely weighted, accurate steering and strong brakes contribute to an overall sense of confidence behind the wheel." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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