By on July 27, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Traverse: Image: GMThe first-generation Chevrolet Traverse was the fourth Lambda platform crossover to arrive, a value-oriented follow-up to the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook.

The Outlook died with Saturn following the 2010 model year. The GMC Acadia has migrated to a slightly smaller segment — it’s now available with a four-cylinder engine and two rows of seats.

And after a lengthy first-gen run, the second-generation 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is finally upon us. We learned earlier in July that the Traverse would reach high up into GMC Acadia Denali and Buick Enclave territory. Now the configurator is live, and the $30,875 2018 Traverse L is $1,280 more costly than the most basic 2017 Chevrolet Traverse — only $1,660 more than the basic Traverse was in 2009.

Despite the array of additional equipment, fuel economy that now measures 18 miles per gallon city; 27 highway (instead of 17 mpg city; 24 highway as in 2009), and the anticipated improvements in ride, handling, and NVH, the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse’s $30,875 base price equals $27,000 in 2009 dollars.

The 2018 Traverse features seven trim levels; the two middle-rung LT models essentially being variants of one another. The Traverse L has the $30,875 price of entry. The $32,995 LS adds tinted glass and makes all-wheel drive a $2,000 option. All-wheel drive is unavailable on the base L and the RS but standard (in twin-clutch guise) on the top-spec $52,995 Traverse High Country. 2018 Chevrolet Traverse rear - Image: GMIn between are $35,495 LT Cloth (18-inch wheels, heated mirrors, power driver’s seat, leather-wrapped wheel) and $42,095 LT Leather (Surround Vision, blind spot monitoring, 20-inch wheels, power liftgate, remote start, Bose audio, power passenger seat, heated front seats) trims before you reach the previous Traverse’s top edition: the $45,395 Premier. The Premier adds LED headlights, dual exhaust, memory for the driver’s seat, a power tilt and telescoping wheel, perforated leather, and heated second row seats. The $52,995 High Country’s all-wheel-drive system is unique, there are auto high beams, forward collision alert and other active safety features such as lane keep assist and adaptive cruise, a fixed rear skylight, and a power folding third row.

The Traverse’s Premier trim can be made into a Traverse Redline for $2,495. The Traverse RS, not yet priced, will be the only Traverse with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder generating 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Highway fuel economy for the Traverse 2.0T is down 2 mpg (to 23) from the 3.6-liter V6, but city fuel economy is up 2 mpg to 20. The 3.6-liter V6 now generates 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. It’s linked to a nine-speed automatic at every level. The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse L and Traverse LS seat eight. All other 2018 Traverses are seven seaters.

Through the end of June 2017, General Motors had reported 894,025 U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Traverse. 2015 was its best year, with nearly 120,000 sales. At the end of the line, 2016 volume dropped off only marginally. Year-to-date, a 4-percent year-over-year increase puts the Traverse on track for its best year ever.

[Images: General Motors]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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13 Comments on “2018 Chevrolet Traverse Priced: $1,280 Increase for the First New Traverse in a Decade...”


  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    Barely seems more expensive than comparably-equipped 2.0T Equinoxes. Still can’t believe how expensive those are.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I have seen several of these on the road in just the last few days without manufacturer plates so assumed they were already on sale. (although I do live in the Detroit area) A bit surprised that the configurator just went up.

    In any event, the High County is a rather difficult price to stomach, saw one this morning and while it looked nice from the outside, would not have expected it to be $50k plus.

    The new Traverse hides is mass much better than the older version. Even though it is boxier, it appears somewhat smaller than the model it replaces even though we know that isn’t the case. I immediately confused the design for the new VW Atlas on several occasions when I saw them. It is a handsome vehicle though, probably the best minivan alternative based on cargo and interior volume.

    Maybe in a few years time when the polish starts to fade off of this new model I would consider. New Buick Enclave is also very nice looking although the old Enclave has aged better than Traverse in my opinion. Sort of an iconic design vs the generic Traverse. I would imagine the Aviner trim will be darn near or in excessive of $60k based on Chevy’s pricing. Seems a bit outrageous, but I guess that’s why they make base trims.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I think the design and features are worth $50K—especially when that’s damn near the *starting* price for the Tahoe. But the powertrain isn’t. For $50K, I’d want the 3.6TT out of the Cadillacs, and an advanced AWD system.

      Then again, no one in this segment cares. The only mainstream three-row crossovers that have “exotic” powertrains are the Explorer Sport with its 3.5 EcoBoost—which isn’t the volume trim—and the Durango with the HEMI—and the Durango doesn’t sell all that well in any guise. You could possibly consider the CX-9’s turbocharged engine, too, although my understanding is that it’s the only engine available…so you don’t get an upgrade.

      Other than that, the Pilot and Pathfinder offer the same pedestrian engines across all trims. And the Atlas has both a 2.0T and a 3.6 VR6, but the VR6 is probably what they should all have. Ditto for the Highlander, whose base 2.7 four can best be described as anemic.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      I really, really like the VW, but every review is complaining about the low power.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I cannot wait to see real world fuel economy on these as well. The current gen AWD Lambda’s are much thirstier than their EPA ratings would suggest.

    • 0 avatar
      dusterdude

      Have a friend who had a ’12 Traverse, and traded it a few months back for a ’14 Explorer. They expected similar fuel consumption, but found that the ford was 20% better on fuel (real world) , so seems the Traverse is a thirsty beast, maybe the new ones will be better ?

  • avatar
    brettc

    To get the AWD option that everyone thinks they need, you’re spending $34995 to start. Pretty expensive for a base vehicle.

    Dealers will probably stock a lot of the High Country AWD models and people will do an “ultra low mileage” lease or finance them over 84 months.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    I know this article is supposed to be about the Traverse but the thing that stands out here is the fact that you can spec a 4000lb Acadia with a 194hp engine.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    When I spied the 2017 Acadia “downsized” SUV I felt sorry for the GMC dealers. Why make a luxury SUV the same size as the Terrain? What was wrong with the original Lambda size? Of course they built the LIMITED, for a “limited” time, when they could have sold those for many more years.
    My next “Milwaukee Road”-painted SUV may have to be a Traverse. The Enclave is fantastic but too luxurious to be a freight train (somehow my Rainier works just fine for now!). The ideal solution is to buy a 2010 Outlook XR, rebadge it as an Oldsmobile Bravada, and paint that to match the Milwaukee Road SDL-39 #586 from 1975.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      GMC probably didn’t want two 7 passenger vehicles. So the Acadia was downsized while maintaining a similar price structure and that opened the door for more Yukon sales, which are a lot more profitable than Acadia sales.

      Compact CUV: Terrain
      Midsize CUV: Acadia
      Full Size SUV: Yukon / Yukon XL

      I think that makes more sense. The Acadia had gotten too bloaty anyway. It looked weird, especially with the old Saturn body panels they were using. The Acadia is right sized now. No one in an Acadia was using that third row anyway. If you want a third row in a GMC, you buy a Yukon, preferably an XL that actually has a usable third row.

  • avatar
    Nigel

    The Acadia has a third row. It is a bit smaller but ok to use. The storage area behind the third row really shrunk. Looking to replace our Pilot and the Acadia currently is tops on being right sized.

    I do want to test drive the Atlas first.


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