2018 Chevrolet Traverse

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MSRP: $29,930 - 52,600

2018 Chevrolet Traverse Review

The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is fully redesigned, and it runs with the best in its class. This value-packed SUV boasts loads of cargo space and solid driving dynamics. It also has ample passenger space in both the eight-seat and versatile seven-seat versions. 

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy, versatile seats
  • Lots of standard tech
  • Spacious cargo area
  • Carlike handling and ride quality
  • Unexciting driving dynamics

Is the Chevrolet Traverse a Good SUV?

With class-leading cargo space, cavernous seating for up to eight, and lots of in-cabin storage, the Chevy Traverse is a great SUV. The Traverse's stellar mix of cabin space, advanced safety technology, and positive automotive reviews makes it the winner of our Best 3-Row SUV for Families award. This large family hauler feels composed when driving, with easy steering and braking. The Traverse rides comfortably, even on rough pavement or while handling curves with enthusiasm. Technology features are intuitive, as well. 

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Traverse?

You should buy the Chevrolet Traverse if you need a lot of space in an SUV. It has among the highest cargo volume for a 3-row midsize SUV, and both rear rows of seats fold flat for extra versatility. Overall, the Traverse's features earn a gold star, with standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Six total USB ports ensure that everyone can stay juiced and connected on long trips. The Traverse also offers a comfortable and composed ride. It takes very little effort for steering and handling.

For as good as the Traverse is, a few of its rivals are worth considering as well. The Honda Pilot has an upscale and luxurious cabin. Also, the Toyota Highlander comes standard with lots of high-tech driver assistance and advanced safety features.

Compare the Traverse, Pilot, and Highlander »

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Traverse?

The 2018 redesign brings a host of improvements to the Traverse, along with new styling inside and out. Its sole engine option (a V6) delivers 310 horsepower, up from 281 in 2017. The 2018 Traverse also sees greatly improved fuel economy estimates: 18/27 mpg, up from the 2017 model's 15/22 mpg. While the Traverse still has some of the highest cargo volumes in the class, the new generation actually offers less space than the outgoing model. Maximum cargo room is now 98.2 cubic feet, down from 116.3. New standard features for the 2018 Traverse include a 7-inch touch screen, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and six USB ports.

Though you can likely save money by shopping for a used Traverse, you won't enjoy the benefits that come from the vehicle's redesign. If you're considering an older model, read our 2016 and 2017 Traverse reviews to help you decide if you can live without the 2018 model's changes. If you decide that an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Chevrolet Traverse »

We Did the Research for You: 12 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 12 Chevrolet Traverse reviews – along with safety and reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2018 Traverse is the right new car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept incentives or expensive gifts from car companies, and an outside team handles the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Traverse Cost?

The midsize SUV segment has a wide range of prices, with base trims starting around $23,000 (for the Dodge Journey) and reaching as high as $40,000 (for the Buick Enclave). The entry-level model edition of the 2018 Traverse falls right in the middle at $29,930. This trim (the Chevy Traverse L) comes with front-wheel drive and has no available packages. If you want to upgrade to all-wheel drive or add interior embellishments, you'll need the Traverse LS trim ($32,600) or higher. Chevrolet's large selection of trim levels also includes three upscale models: the Traverse LT Leather ($41,700), the Traverse Premier ($45,000), and the range-topping Traverse High Country ($52,600).

For great savings on any of these editions at your local Chevrolet dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Traverse Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Traverse or GMC Acadia?

In the General Motors stable, GMC vehicles are usually a little more upscale (and more expensive) than their Chevrolet cousins. However, the Traverse starts at about $1,000 more than the GMC Acadia. That price increase gets you a larger cargo area and more room for passengers. The Traverse also seats up to eight, while the Acadia only holds seven. With a similar list of features and comparable performance, you're probably better off going with the Traverse.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Traverse or Honda Pilot?

The Honda Pilot has one of the roomiest third-row seats you can find, and it's just as spacious everywhere else as the Traverse. Deciding between the two may come down to your own personal preferences on styling and features. The Pilot feels a little more upscale inside, while the Traverse's infotainment system is easier to use. The Chevy also comes standard with technology like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which you only find in higher-trim Pilots. 

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Traverse or Toyota Highlander?

The Toyota Highlander stands out in the crowd of midsize SUVs because it comes standard with a load of driver assistance features. Every model has adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, automatic braking, and pedestrian detection. That's all to the tune of the Highlander's base price of around $31,000. You can get these features in the Traverse, but you'd have to upgrade to a model that costs more than $52,600.

Compare the Traverse, Acadia, and Pilot »

Traverse Interior

How Many People Does the Traverse Seat?

The Traverse has room inside for either seven or eight people, depending on whether it has a bench seat in the second row or two captain's chairs. Its interior layout steals a few tricks from the minivan class. Its family-friendly qualities include wide seats, air vents in the ceiling, and a pass-through between the second-row bucket seats to access the rear bench seat.

Traverse and Car Seats

The Traverse has two full sets of LATCH anchors, located on the outboard seats in the second row. A third tether connection is in the second-row middle seat, and there's a tether in all three third-row seats. A standard rear-seat reminder prompts you to check the back seat for kids and pets when you turn off the vehicle.

Traverse Interior Quality

The Traverse's starting price may slot it in the middle of the class, but its interior is definitely not average. Many of the materials feel high-quality, and as you move up in trim levels, premium options like leather seats and two-tone interiors are available. There are still some hard plastics here and there, however, and not everyone gives its styling a nod of approval.

Traverse Cargo Space

The Traverse has one of the most generously sized cargo holds among 3-row SUVs, letting you carry more stuff than with the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and even the Chevrolet Tahoe. You can fill every seat in a Traverse and still have 23 cubic feet of cargo space. As a bonus, there's a bin hidden in the cargo floor that's large enough for a backpack or carry-on suitcase, as well as a wealth of cubbies sprinkled throughout the cabin.

Traverse Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Technology is a high point of the Traverse, surpassing what many of its rivals offer when it comes to perks for your smartphone and other wireless devices. Six USB ports – two in each row – and available wireless charging pads ensure that no one will run out of juice on a long drive. Tap into Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (both standard) and you can use your favorite music and map apps instead of relying on the built-in media interface or available navigation system.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Traverse Performance

Traverse Engine: Capable and Smooth

The Traverse's performance will satisfy all but the most aggressive drivers. Its 310-horsepower V6 engine has plenty of get up and go and can easily manage tasks like merging onto the highway with ease. The Traverse’s nine-speed automatic transmission changes gears smoothly and at the proper time.

Traverse Gas Mileage: Decent for Its Size

The Traverse gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The city rating is about what you'll get with most midsize SUVs, but the Traverse's highway rating is about 2 mpg higher than average.

Traverse Ride and Handling: Polished, Predictable Handling

Chances are, you aren't considering a vehicle that's the size of a Traverse because you're looking to do speed trials through a twisty canyon. Instead, you're probably in the market for an SUV that feels stable on the highway, takes little effort to pilot, and floats over road imperfections so the baby stays asleep. The Traverse checks off each request, offering predictability in spades but very little driving excitement.

Read more about performance »

Traverse Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Traverse Reliable?

The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse has an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Chevrolet Traverse Warranty

Chevy covers the 2018 Traverse 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 2018 Traverse earns a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in both the frontal crash and rollover tests. 

Traverse Safety Features

Standard safety technology in the 2018 Traverse includes a rearview camera, a rear-seat reminder that prompts you to double-check the back seat for kids and pets, and the Teen Driver system, which monitors young drivers when it's their turn behind the wheel and lets parents limit the SUV's top speed and stereo volume.

Many high-tech safety systems are available, including a surround-view camera, rear parking sensors, a rear-camera mirror, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, Intellibeam headlamps (Chevrolet's term for automatic high beams), forward collision alert, a following distance indicator, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control. However, many of these systems come only in top trim levels, and you'll have to spend about $52,600 to get a Traverse that's equipped with most of this advanced safety technology.

Read more about safety »

Which Chevrolet Traverse Model Is Right for Me?

Chevrolet offers the Traverse in several trims, from the basic L model to the first-class High Country. For the most part, the mechanics are all the same; there’s a V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard on almost every model, and most have all-wheel drive (AWD) as an available upgrade. Beside price, the major differences between each trim level are the level of interior amenities and the number of seats (see below for further details).

For maximum seating capacity and value, we recommend sticking with the eight-passenger base model. Though there are more options and packages available for the Chevrolet Traverse LS (the next level up), you only gain tinted windows while the price goes up by arout $2,600. Keep in mind that the LS is the lowest trim available with all-wheel drive.

Chevrolet Traverse L

The entry-level Traverse L ($29,930) comes with a 7-inch touch screen, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment interface, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice-activated controls, six USB ports, tri-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, a rearview camera, Chevy's rear-seat reminder and Teen Driver system, and front-wheel drive. This trim seats eight people and features cloth seats, a second-row bench seat with a 60/40 split, and a split-folding third-row bench seat.

Chevrolet Traverse LT Cloth

The LT Cloth trim replaces the second-row bench seat with a set of captain's chairs, reducing seating capacity to seven. It also comes with an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio, heated exterior mirrors, and roof rails. Prices start at $35,100 for the front-wheel-drive version and $38,900 with all-wheel drive.

Chevrolet Traverse LT Leather  

As its name implies, the LT Leather trim ($41,700) upgrades the Traverse's upholstery to leather for the first and second rows of seats. Other standard features include navigation, an 8-inch touch screen with a hidden storage cubby, a 10-speaker Bose premium sound system, heated front seats, a power liftgate, a surround-view camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. All-wheel drive is available for $2,000.

Chevrolet Traverse Premier  

The $45,000 Traverse Premier features a hands-free liftgate, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, wireless charging for devices, memory settings for the driver, and a heated steering wheel. Prices start at $47,900 for the all-wheel-drive version.

Chevrolet Traverse High Country  

All-wheel drive is included in the Traverse High Country ($52,600), along with a towing package, a twin-pane sunroof, a power-folding third-row bench, Intellibeam headlamps (Chevrolet's term for automatic high beams), a rear-camera mirror, forward collision alert, a following distance indicator, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control.

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

See 2018 Chevrolet Traverse specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Chevrolet Traverse is an excellent vehicle if you need to accommodate a large group of people and still have room to spare for groceries and backpacks. Its three rows of seats are spacious and comfortable, treating passengers to a nice array of standard tech features, along with a relaxing ride. Driving a Traverse feels more like driving a large car than an oversized SUV, which is a good thing if you want composed, predictable handling. It's a little less exciting for heavy-footed drivers looking to get their heart pumping with a nimble performer.

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

  • "The all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse manages to improve on the old Traverse's shortcomings in every way, and yet also manages to upgrade the things we thought were just fine about the old model. The new Traverse is lighter by 350 pounds, offers more power, sharper styling, modern technology, and a top-of-its-class driving experience. … With seating for up to eight people, tons of cargo space even with the third row up, and better-than-respectable fuel economy, the new Traverse deserves a spot on every family-car shopper's list." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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
  • "But I want to write this review, because I genuinely believe Chevrolet has a hit on its hands. The 2018 Traverse offers an embarrassment of in-car tech, driving dynamics that aren't entirely stale and plenty of space across its three rows. In a world where crossovers are slowly eliminating everything in their path, this one's a good'un." -- CNET
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