Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chevrolet Traverse Test Drive.



-HOW IT LOOKS.
I always thought the Traverse was quite a good looking crossover.
You can tell it is related to the Buick Enclave, but it has its own design and personality.
A simple, more understated design. Which is exactly what it should be compared to the Buick.

And the 20 inch wheels on my test car looked great.


-HOW IT IS INSIDE.

At first, the interior seemed just fine to me.
I especially liked the tan/black leather combo. Which is one of my favorite interior color.
The seats are comfortable. Very roomy, front and back.




But after a little while, I started noticing how cheap things felt.
There is no soft plastic anywhere, except on the armrests. The dash, doors and console are all covered with cheap and shiny material.
It might be passable in a $16 000 Jetta, but not in my $42 000 test car.
The materials in almost any other GM cars are better.

This feels and looks more like "old GM", like the Cobalt than the new Cruze, where the plastics feel and look much better than this.

The stereo is one of these Bose system that just sounds OK, not great.
I have noticed that in many other cars too. Bose seem to be riding on their reputation more than actual sound quality. At least for car systems...

And there are a few things missing, at least for the price.
Like remote entry, or even a USB plug for the iPod.

And even though my car had a DVD player for the back seat, it didn't have a sunroof or a GPS. All for $42 665...

-HOW IT DRIVES.

.Ride/Steering

The traverse is one of the smoothest and comfortable car I have driven in a long time. It does ride like a luxury car, and always feels very solid, no matter how bad the road gets.
The steering is very accurate with good on center feel. It is not to light. And has a really good feel.

.Engine/transmission

The engine is much better than the 3.0 Liter used in the smaller Terrain.
There is always enough power, and it is always smooth and quiet.

The transmission always does a great job, and can be pretty responsive when you need it to be. Again, quite the opposite of what I experienced with the V6 Terrain.

The AWD V6 Traverse is rated at 16/23 MPG
I was never abel to get 16 in the city. The best I got was 13.
But I did get 23 on the HWY. Which isn't much either....


-SO???

The Traverse faces stiff competition, mainly from the Mazda CX-9. Which is a great car.
It has a much better interior. And I got 15/26 MPG in the AWD version I tested last year.
It was also about $2500 less but included a sunroof and GPS.

The Traverse also faces competition from its cousin, the Buick Enclave.
Which is actually just a few thousands more, and also has a much better interior.

The traverse is a good car, but in desperate need of a much better interior.
I also think it is overpriced next to the competition.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Backing up is all but impossible in the Traverse. You can't see anything behind you which is very scary. Every time you back up, you just hope there isn't another car or person behind you. The little camera in the rear view mirror is way too tiny to help.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! Vince, those interior shots are embarrassing for GM. Those shots clearly show how bad the fit and finish is, those panel gaps are TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!

The CX-9 would be my choice as well.

Anonymous said...

These things look great when you're shopping against Pilots, Muranos, FourRunners & Rav4's. The Mazda cx-9 is nicer, but can't tow as much as a Dodge minivan--and we have 2 trailers (camper & boat). But if you cross-shop against Durango or Enclave the Traverse (and Toyotas & Honda's & Nissans) all seem over-priced. Haven't decided yet whether we'll buy the Dodge or Buick but we've narrowed it down to those two.

Anonymous said...

Embarrassing indeed! Worst fit ans finish I've ever seen in a car!! How can this be approved for production? The problem seems to stem more from the manufacturing of the interior pieces than from the assembly... I'm bewildered!

Anonymous said...

No car will appear precisely put together when you look at it from two inches away. Unless it's an audi of course.

Anonymous said...

How does it compare to the Ford Flex?

Vince Burlapp said...

I drove the Flex when it came out, and I do like it better than the Traverse.
I also really like the design of the Ford.

FuioptimaSX said...

$42,000 Flex vs. $42,000 Traverse....No Contest!

Not that I would pay that much for either however.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
These things look great when you're shopping against Pilots, Muranos, FourRunners & Rav4's. The Mazda cx-9 is nicer, but can't tow as much as a Dodge minivan--and we have 2 trailers (camper & boat). But if you cross-shop against Durango or Enclave the Traverse (and Toyotas & Honda's & Nissans) all seem over-priced. Haven't decided yet whether we'll buy the Dodge or Buick but we've narrowed it down to those two.

May 22, 2011 7:11 AM"

You'd trust either of those models???

The Honda can tow 5,000 pounds.
The CX-9 is rated at 3,500, but I am sure if you have trailer brakes it can safely tow more. The Enclave can tow 4,500 pounds.

I wouldn't even bother looking at the Enclave or the new Durango as I don't quite trust "new" Chrysler's reliability and it is a brand spankin' new model.

CX-9 or Pilot all the way.

mitch said...

I sat in a new Traverse with a cloth interior after checking out the Hyundai Veracruz recently.

The Traverse was a disaster of an ugly uncomfortable cheap-looking, decontented interior compared to the Veracruz.... it reminded me of the low-rent car-rental mobiles GM was making in the 90's.

Anonymous said...

May 24, 2011 10:26 PM

I like the Veracruz better as well.

I really hope Hyundai has the MMC ready for it by '12 or mid '11. It is desperately in need of a refresh, and a marketing campaign because sales have fallen off of the charts.

How can people know about a vehicle that isn't marketed?

Anonymous said...

For $41,900 I'll have a loaded, off-lease, lower mileage Audi Q7.

If it's small comfort...the big Chevy probably costs much less to insure, especially if you don't have a garage.

Anonymous said...

Pilot is a joke compared to this. LOL LOL LOL. And yes, I definitely trust a Durango or Enclave over a Chevy or Honda. They're also much quieter. And better-looking; inside & out than the Traverse (which is still a big jump upscale from the silly Pilot).

Anonymous said...

I noticed you removed my comment about the CX-9 not being able to tow anything over the rated 3500lbs. I think this is a VERY important point. This is how people get killed: buy pulling a 3900# trailer with a car rated at 3500#. I don't care HOW great you think the car is; you NEVER pull a load greater than the Mfg's Max towing rating. This is just common sense! If you're a Mazda fan and you have a 3600# trailer you have 2 choices: Buy a car that is RATED for OVER 3500#; or (2) Sell the trailer. Those are your ONLY options!