USA Today: Traverse "Pretty Decent," Except for the Bad Bits

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
usa today traverse pretty decent except for the bad bits

Wow, talk about damning with faint praise. USA Today reviewer James Healey is practically whispering. “[Badge engineering] derision notwithstanding, let’s be clear: Traverse is basically a good crossover SUV. It hardly could be otherwise as a near-clone of the others, which are quite good.” Quite good or pretty decent? Never mind, because the quality sucks. “But two Traverse testers had flaws not seen in the others. The first tester, a front-wheel-drive LT, had misaligned interior trim and a tailgate-open warning light that stayed on 15-20 seconds after it closed. The second, a high-end LTZ all-wheel-drive, was built after all teething problems were solved, Chevy says. It had properly aligned trim and a proper tailgate warning, but was noisier, less comfortable and shifted worse.” Shouldn’t that be “worserer”? Anyway, Chevy has an explanation! “LTZ’s transmission, the six-speed automatic used in all Traverse and similar crossovers, might have needed more miles to adapt to driver preferences, Chevy says. Let’s hope it’s that simple. Otherwise the transmission’s stumbles and jerks and inconsistencies are a deal-breaker.” Oh and while James Healey’s redefining “pretty decent,” he adds “stiff pricing,” “clumsy seats” and “mediocre mileage.” Summary? Much like a toddler, really. “Teething problems but otherwise good.”

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4 of 16 comments
  • Viggin Viggin on Oct 25, 2008

    I had an Acadia as a rental for the past 2 days (I just wanted a COMPACT while my car was in the body shop, this was all they had.) , an AWD model. Couple quick comments: I too noticed the horrid transmission, but my sister has an Outlook and hers seems smooth. I drove the Acadia from 99 to 209 miles, so it was brand new, so that could have been it. One thing though, that transmission has problems grabbing in reverse sometimes. This was true on my rental Acadia, as it is also true on my sister's Outlook. My sister has the fully loaded Outlook, and my Acadia was obviously a base model, but I was stunned with what the base model did NOT have. It was missing cup-holders, steering-wheel audio controls, and a myrid of other tiny itty bitty things. They could have at least included a few extras!

  • Ronin Ronin on Oct 25, 2008

    Perzackly. It's not that the car is bad. It's that it's the wrong price at the wrong time. The Automakers miss the SUV and pickup sales with the high per-unit margin. Regular cars don't have that margin. Enter the crossover or whatever it is. They think they can simply slap a new segment name and retain the same margins they used to have for SUVs and pickups. They can't. These things, like GMs 'nicely equipped' pickups and SUVs, is priced up to $10k too much. No leases and tighter lending to consumers make this car a non-starter.

  • on Oct 25, 2008

    The Traverse is nice...better than anything else in the class...but with the introduction of the Traverse...TWO lambda's should have taken the dirt nap (Outlook and Acadia).

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Oct 25, 2008

    My car has an adaptive transmission. When I'm lazy I shift slow When I'm hyper I shift fast It's all up to me. Reason #678 why manuals are better.