Freep on Chevy Traverse: "Best Family Hauler in Decades"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
freep on chevy traverse best family hauler in decades

While no one doubts GM’s constant assertion that their new cars are better than their old cars, they company tends to downplay their relative excellence or lack thereof. In that sense, the Chevy Traverse has a couple of mountains to climb. First: GM’s three other Lambda-based (i.e. badge engineered) crossovers: Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook. Detroit Free Press reviewer Mark Phelan begins by tackling that issue side on. “Buoyed by an exceptionally clean and attractive design, appealing features, good fuel economy and a competitive price, the Traverse will probably outsell the other three put together.” Is that a good thing? (Here be cannibals.) Phelan barge poles the issue. And for good reason: “I tested a nicely equipped front-drive Traverse LT2 that stickered at $33,515 and had no options.” But seriously folks, Phelan’s ultimate– in fact only– argument for the Traverse’s supremacy is its relative fuel economy. “The front-drive Traverse’s EPA rating beats the Veracruz and CX-9, just edges the Pilot and matches the Flex. It trails the Highlander by 1 m.p.g. in both city and highway driving, which works out to an extra $145 in annual gasoline bills, by the EPA’s calculation.” So that’s alright then. Game over! “Style, value, practicality and comfort. That’s another four aces, and this hand has been played. The Chevrolet Traverse wins. Competing automakers can push their chips to the middle of the table and wait for the next deal.” When I can I play poker with this guy? Meanwhile, TTAC’s Michael Karesh pits the Traverse against the Flex— and watch both automakers fold.

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4 of 14 comments
  • Albnyc Albnyc on Oct 03, 2008

    I rented an Acadia on summer vacation. A nice, big, competent vehicle and exactly the wrong vehicle for the times. Quadruple down: Good idea, GM!

  • Netrun Netrun on Oct 03, 2008

    Mark Phelan is and has been a shill for the Detroit 3 for so long I'm surprised anyone gets offended by his constant cheerleading.

  • Ctoan Ctoan on Oct 03, 2008
    SkiD666 It's badge engineering when both cars have the same functionality and serve the same markets. Hence, even though the Enclave/Traverse/Outlook/Acadia all have different sheetmetal, there's still nothing to suggest one over the other, other than incidental details. That's why there's concern about cannibalism.

  • JoeEgo JoeEgo on Oct 03, 2008

    I'd say these 4 are not strictly badge engineering, given the different sheet metal. Even then, the Outlook and Acadia look too similar. Unfortunately for GM the Traverse & Outlook are targeting the same market from the same type of full line dealership. Doubly bad for GM the Acadia & Enclave target the same market. Triply bad, the last two are sold in the same dealerships. Somebody decided to push for GMC to have more fuel efficient vehicles rather than going pure professional truck. That person should be shitcanned, especially because the decision to go with the Acadia came after BPG channels were merged into one. Somebody else decided to give Saturn the Outlook. That person should also be shitcanned. Factory capacity would have been covered by a Chevy and Buick version. Instead they built the Acadia to make up the difference they'd never see from the Outlook. Now the Traverse is getting tacked on and people are noticing.