By on January 9, 2017

Chevrolet Traverse 2018

Chevrolet’s current Traverse is an amorphous blob of rounded sheet metal. While not offensively homely, it lacks a distinctive silhouette or any purposeful styling. A layperson could be forgiven for confusing the globule with a minivan. However, with the Lambda platform being replaced by the C1XX, General Motors seized an opportunity to enhance the 2018 Traverse’s angles and make it more of a traditional-looking SUV — resulting in a more handsome and eerily truck-like crossover.

Undiminished in size, Chevrolet claims the squared-off CUV now provides more headroom and legroom for occupants in its second and third rows. Despite a wheelbase that’s two inches longer than its precursor, rear cargo space has been reduced to 23 cubic feet. That’s still enough to beat Ford’s Explorer, and the hold climbs to 98.5 cubic feet with all of the rear seats laid flat. Seven- and eight-passenger seating configurations will be offered on the new Traverse. More affordable versions will be equipped with benches for the second and third rows, while fancier editions will see that middle area replaced with two captain’s chairs.

GM is also offering the 2018 in two new trim levels — the debatably sporty RS and the suede-enhanced High Country.

The purportedly “sporting” RS version of the Traverse comes with a mandatory 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and front-wheel drive. At 255 horses, it’s actually down on the base 3.6-liter V6 in terms of peak power, although it does offer superior fuel economy and slightly better torque (295 ft-lb).

Assuming that fuel economy isn’t your primary concern, the V6’s 305 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque seems to be a fine choice. That is doubly true if you plan on hauling anything, as Chevrolet suggests that the 3.6 liter should also be capable of a 5,000-pound towing capacity, making no mention of the turbo’s pulling might.

Chevrolet Traverse 2018

Compared to the previous generation, the Traverse has lost over 350 pounds, helping to improve fuel economy. Chevrolet estimates that FWD 3.6-liter V6 models will earn a 18/25 mpg city/highway rating, while the 2.0-liter four should yield 20/23 mpg. Regardless of the chosen motor, GM has given Traverse its Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed automatic transmission.

While the RS’s black trim, big rims, and lackluster engine makes for an athletic appearance, the High Country trim is more like the genuine article. Offered as a luxury trim on other GM vehicles, the Traverse High Country will come with a unique leather interior, suede seats, D-Optic headlamps, all-wheel drive, electric-folding third row seating, and 20-inch polished wheels. It will also come with most of the available features, including Apple CarPlay, GM’s rear-seat reminder, 360-degree camera, Android Audio, hands-free liftgate, adaptive cruise control, and automated emergency breaking.

Chevrolet has not yet shared pricing, but considering where the Silverado High Country sits against the LTZ, as well as the 2017 Traverse Premiere’s $42,045 starting price, it wouldn’t be impossible to see the most lavishly equipped 2018s going for almost $50,000. Expect the lower L, LS, and LT trims to exist within the $30,000 and $40,000 range. However, General Motors should release specific pricing details and a sales date later this year.

Chevrolet Traverse 2018

[Images: General Motors]

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46 Comments on “NAIAS 2017: Chevrolet Just Trucked-up the Traverse, Finally Giving It a Shape...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    TRAVERSE RS!

    But with less power and FWD only.

    Please tell me there will be mandatory “TURBO!” graphics included.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    So this is the same platform that the next Enclave will be on, and a longer version of the new GMC Acadia/upcoming Chevy Blazer, right?

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Sooo emergency breaking, is that a feature or Freudian slip?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Part of me misses the original Traverse, with its Underalls taillights.

    https://youtu.be/kS_AlIi2Zso

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    So its bigger and smaller at the same time…It is fairly ugly as well…no thanks.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    The Jumbo-Malibu front fascia is a bit odd but overall it is far more attractive than its predecessor. Looks like it may have useful ground clearance now, which for the 0.001% of us who would actually take the family off pavement in the thing is appealing, and for the everyone else their 4-door minivan now looks more like an SUV

  • avatar
    Silent Ricochet

    I actually like how this looks. Much better than the outgoing generation. I’m not an SUV guy but I do find myself liking the looks of the current Durango when I see one on the road. This new Traverse reminds me of that vehicle in some regards; especially when looking at it from the side.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      Looks much better, as does the new Acadia. There is also some synergy in the lineup with how this looks compared to the new Equinox and Terrain.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      I see that too. But more negatively for me. One of the things I don’t care for in the current Traverse, and to a lesser extent in the Durango, is the long wheelbase makes it look oddly proportioned to me. More so in the new one. But I don’t hate it.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    It would seem to me that this version of the Traverse is aping the proportions of the Tahoe. I suspect that one day the Tahoe will be cancelled in the face of ever increasing fuel mileage expectations and the Traverse will be substituted in the Tahoe’s place.

    I’m somewhat surprised this scenario hasn’t happened already.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      That scenario was lurking in the background of the original Traverse’s product planning and introduction (remember gas being almost $4 per gallon?) But crashing gas prices and surging Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/Escalade sales made that a non-starter.

      What will the future bring? We shall see.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        When fuel was $4/gallon, that seemed like a good idea. I can’t imagine that GM would ever cancel the Suburban, but I could see the Tahoe becoming redundant.

        • 0 avatar

          People said the same about GMC as a division. The market clearly supports these vehicles.

          • 0 avatar

            Yes, GMC is profitable. And they give Buick/Cadillac dealers a truck to sell. But GMCs were nothing more than fancy Chevies for many years.

            Now that GM has unshackled Chevy to move more upscale, GMC must move further up the ladder AND most importantly provide a differentiated look.

            Fortunately for GM, both are happening. But any long-term strategy for Chevrolet must include a continued move up the ladder itself, matching and surpassing Ford, Honda & Toyota where they compete. In that scenario, Buick/GMC could eventually become collateral damage the way Mercury did, although Buick/GMC styling is increasing becoming differentiated from Chevy. FoMoCo, in contrast, never worked as hard to differentiate Mercury.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Nah. The Tahoe makes too much money. It pays for all the little garbage compliance cars.

  • avatar
    YellowDuck

    Am I the only one seeing Grand Cherokee styling cues?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Check our Prince’s garage at the time of his death.

    1993 Ford Thunderbird (MN)
    1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee (MN)
    1997 Lincoln Town Car (MN)
    2004 Cadillac Roadster XLR (MN)
    2010 Mercedes Benz
    2011 Lincoln MKT (MN)
    1996 BMW Z3 Roadster (MN)
    2006 Bentley (CA)
    1985 Cadillac Limo (MN)
    1999 Plymouth Prowler (MN)

    http://www.mncourts.gov/mncourtsgov/media/CIOMediaLibrary/Documents/Inventory.pdf

    (page 8)

  • avatar
    Bonzai

    Back reminds me of a QX60.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Phuc! It’s gorgeous!

  • avatar

    our stylists are amazing!

  • avatar
    scott25

    A rare attractive design from GM.

  • avatar

    Seriously the hands-down show winner so far. Way to go on the looks.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Considering the last Traverse started life as a replacement for the Uplander, the minivan comparison isn’t a bad one.

    I am surprised they butched it up so much, though; I thought the Acadia was the butch/professional grade/hip-to-be-square version, while the Traverse was, in many ways, the first of the “honest” crossovers in that it didn’t even pretend to be a truck.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Sporty canyon carver!

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Lackluster sport engine;
    does the lower peak HP with bigger torque and a lower torque peak result in slower or faster acceleration charges? the #’s alone don’t really answer that for me, it’s one of those “in the gear spacing” type differences.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      It depends on what you are asking it to do. The turbo engine is stronger on those little spurts where the car isn’t asked to downshift. For all out acceleration, where the engine can use the entire rev band, higher power always wins everything else equal. I’m going to guess that the gear ratios will be the same between both engines. Not a bad strategy to have two similar performance engines that get there different ways. Choose the one that performs better for how you like to drive.

  • avatar
    vvk

    As a current Traverse owner, I don’t hate it. I am really not crazy about the square wheel arches, makes it look like an SUV. Love the 5-door hatch look of the old model.

    Hope they keep the good steering feel and the euro-flavor chassis… I was sliding mine around corners in the snow the other day and thinking how much it reminds me of my old SAAB. Same feeling of confidence and control in snow.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Hopefully the Enclave will be better looking…by a large margin.

  • avatar
    Kai siaki

    Trucked up more like f***** up I don’t like the design and it tries to go after the 2016 ford explorer sport turbo but fails I feel that it should stay a big suv that didn’t have alot of power cause I like it that way

  • avatar
    OzCop

    Just as the Durango is approaching it’s death knell, GM comes up with a Durango “look a like,” more specifically from the obvious Chevy grille design back, with front wheel drive and less standard power, and no optional “more power.” Gawd I hope the Durango RT continues production…

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Think I’ve now seen every available online photo of this.

    Phuc! It’s gorgeous!

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned the lettering down the side of the front doors. It’s a bit much, placed quite high on the door, and spanning 50% of the width of it.

    Other than that, the styling is a huge improvement. I always thought the original Traverse looked pretty awful with the huge expanse of metal at the back, and the revised version was only slightly better.

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