2020 Chevrolet Traverse

Performance


#6 out of 23 in Midsize SUVs

MSRP
$29,800
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Chevrolet Traverse Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.3

The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse isn't the most athletic vehicle in the midsize SUV class, and it's not a great choice for people who want an exciting driving experience. But it features a capable V6 engine and delivers a smooth ride, making it an excellent family SUV. It gets decent fuel economy ratings as well.

  • "The ride is top-notch, with tall-sidewall tires and a soft suspension soaking up bumps and impacts." -- Edmunds
  • "Shifts feel, as the bard of Honolulu, Bruno Mars, put it, 'smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy.' There's never the sense of constant gear shuffling that we've noticed in many other nine-speeds, and I never detected a moment's indecision when a change of mind about throttle position can result in the gearbox clunking into a gear it belatedly determined was best." -- Motor Trend (2018)
  • Ride and handling, like the power, are average for the class. I was mostly comfortable, even after a few hundred miles of Michigan roads that occasionally resemble the cratered surface of the moon. The steering feel is as vacant as a dorm room in July. No one's home. Still, the suspension and steering did help the Traverse feel smaller than it actually is. It's big, but unlike the Ford Explorer, it doesn't feel like it." -- Autoblog (2018)

Acceleration and Power

A 3.6-liter V6 engine that puts out 310 horsepower comes standard in the Traverse. It's mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. For 2020, the 257-horsepower turbo-four engine is no longer available.

The V6 provides ample power for most driving situations, but it hardly makes the Traverse a drag racer. A smooth-shifting transmission pairs well with the engine. The biggest downside to the powertrain is the stop-start function, which – though it generally works smoothly – can't be disabled.

According to EPA estimates, the Traverse earns 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway when equipped with front-wheel drive. Those are typical ratings for the class. With all-wheel drive, ratings drop to 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

  • While the Traverse offers strong initial acceleration from its V6 engine, it's no speed demon, and overall it feels decidedly average. It took 7.1 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph in our testing, which is a little slow for the three-row SUV class. But the transmission's quick shifts are well-suited to low-speed city driving." -- Edmunds
  • "For 2020, the Traverse only offers the 3.6-liter V6, but the loss of the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder formerly available on RS models is no significant detriment. The V6 has good power and works well with the standard 9-speed automatic transmission." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While it's not necessarily quick, the V6 never feels like it's struggling or out of breath. It's adequate and should be good enough for most people. … The nine-speed transmission was pleasantly surprising. Unlike the nine-speed in the Honda Pilot or various Jeeps, this one never felt like it was hunting for the perfect gear. The auto stop/start system is one of the best around, with a very minimal delay. Still, I wish I could turn it off." -- Autoblog (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Traverse makes its bones as a people mover, and it has the driving dynamics you'd expect in such a vehicle. It doesn't handle with much agility, and there's noticeable body roll around corners. What the Traverse lacks in handling prowess it makes up for in comfort. This Chevrolet rides smoothly over most road surfaces, and it's easy to drive and maneuver. Front-wheel drive comes standard. All-wheel drive is available.

  • "Whether it's being used to drop off the brood at soccer practice, commute to work or ferry the family on a road trip, the Chevrolet Traverse is quite capable. Like nearly every other 3-row crossover SUV with the exception of maybe the Mazda CX-9, the Traverse isn't very spry, nor will you experience a whoosh of acceleration." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • … the brakes have good stopping power despite a lack of pedal feel. Handling isn't the Traverse's strong suit, and there's moderate body roll in turns due to its size and soft suspension. Class rivals such as the Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9 feel more composed. But the steering feels good, with plenty of assist at low, parking-lot speeds, and hefty weight at highway speeds." -- Edmunds
  • "It's probably the smoothest and most comfortable ride among SUVs in this segment. … The jounce control means that dive isn't bad when sudden brake lights ahead force a harder-than-usual stop. The steering is precise and light, offering good feedback, though the ratio isn't so quick as to feel too twitchy for such a big, tall sport/utility. This is a comfortable, well-balanced SUV that will suit a family with a sportier, more enthusiast-oriented car on the other side of the garage." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)
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2020 Chevrolet Traverse

MSRP: $29,800 - $53,200

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