$19,360 - $32,991

2017 Chevrolet Traverse Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse was new.


Performance: 7.3

The V6-powered 2017 Chevy Traverse has enough power for most driving situations, and it accelerates quickly, even with a full complement of passengers. That power comes at a price, however, as the Traverse gets worse fuel economy than nearly every competitor.

As for handling, an SUV of the Traverse's size will never be that nimble, but this 3-row crossover feels stable when cornering and is decently maneuverable for such a large vehicle. The ride is generally smooth as well.

  • "Despite the plethora of newer, nimbler and more fuel-efficient competitors, the 2017 Chevy Traverse remains a remarkably capable crossover SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2016)
  • "Overall, the Traverse is capable and comfortable for everyday driving." -- Autotrader (2016)

Acceleration and Power

A 281-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine powers the 2017 Chevy Traverse. The V6 is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 281 horses are more than you'll get from the V6 engines in many class rivals, including the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Murano, and Honda Pilot.

With that power, the Traverse has few issues during acceleration, and you'll notice that pickup doesn't precipitously decline even with a car full of people. Power delivery is smooth, but even with the good acceleration, don't expect to be the fastest car on the road. The transmission generally provides timely shifts, but it does hesitate to downshift at times. According to EPA estimates, the Traverse gets 15 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. Fuel economy is a definite weakness for the Traverse, as nearly every V6-powered rival gets better gas mileage.

  • "Its strong 281-horsepower V6 places the Traverse well within range of all but the Ford Explorer, although fuel economy lags far behind. Getting up to speed is no problem, even with a full complement onboard." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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)

Handling and Braking

There's a lot to like about the Traverse's on-road feel. The ride is smooth, and the 3-row Traverse feels well-balanced around turns. Even though it's a fairly large vehicle, the Traverse manages to feel almost carlike in terms of handling, and it has decent maneuverability. Still, it can't match the agility of some class rivals, like the Nissan Pathfinder.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the Traverse, but all-wheel drive (AWD) is available. Adding AWD will provide more stability during inclement weather, but don't expect the Traverse to suddenly turn into an off-road machine.

  • "The Traverse's ride is smooth, its handling predictable and its braking strong. The optional all-wheel drive not only improves traction in snow and rain, but also helps with dry-road cornering, which is important because the Traverse is larger and less agile than competitors such as the Nissan Pathfinder." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2016)
  • "… 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 (2016)

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