Overlooked, but Not Forgotten: The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
overlooked but not forgotten the 2021 chevrolet traverse

Lost in the madness of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic this week was the debut of a refreshed version of General Motors’ largest crossover, the Chevrolet Traverse.

The full-size, three-row people hauler enters the 2021 model year with updated front and rear styling, along with notable changes in content. Let’s take a closer look at this generously sized non-minivan.

For 2021, The Traverse takes a hint from its body-on-frame brothers, donning slimmer LED headlamps and a revised grille. It makes for a less dainty look, what with the Traverse’s thicker lower bumper, wider side scoops, and LED running lights partially encircling the round fog lights. Those peepers are LED on all trims, as are the revised tail lamps.

Sadly, GM would only give us a partial look at the lofty High Country and Premier trims, with nothing said of powertrain changes. Chevy recently ditched the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder powerplant, leaving the model with a standard 3.6-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic. It’s expected that this will continue.

The two top-end trims receive GM’s safety alert seat system as standard kit, preventing young ones from being left in a potentially hot car. Just how content breaks down over trim lines is still hazy, though GM mentions an available 8-inch driver information display, and advanced adaptive cruise control available on 3LT, RS, and Premier. One can assume it’s standard on High Country.

Throughout the trim ladder, Traverse buyers will benefit from a standard suit of driver-assist features; among them, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert, auto high beams, and following distance indicator. No mention of blind spot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert, which GM generally relegates to option packages on all but the highest trim.


Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is also listed as available. Elsewhere, the Traverse gains four new wheel options, two of which can be seen in these pics, as well as wireless device charging and USB ports in all three rows.

More details, including pricing, will arrive closer to the 2021 Traverse’s late-2020 on-sale date.

[Images: General Motors]

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9 of 28 comments
  • Vvk Vvk on Mar 20, 2020

    My favorite crossover. I have driven CX-9, Highlander, Ascent, Flex, Sorento and Explorer -- Traverse is so much better than any of them. It has a distinctive European car feel. The ride is quiet, comfortable and smooth with that distinct buttoned down feeling of a European car. The steering is great, the seats are very comfortable. It is quick enough with relatively good throttle response. The brakes are so-so. The second row is extremely roomy and the third row is comfortable enough for adults on a 1000 mile trip. The large 22 gal fuel tank lengthens the time between fuel stops. It has more cargo space behind its third row than most competitors. I have only driven the FWD version. I dislike the feel of AWD, so I tend to test drive 2WD versions.

    • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Mar 22, 2020

      The brakes on our 2017 Acadia Limited have a softer wooden feel. I flushed the brake fluid and it helped but they are heavy duty brakes that can handle up to 5,000 lbs.

  • Detroit-X Detroit-X on Mar 21, 2020

    I have the GMC version of this platform from a prior year, and what a P-O-S. Typical half-baked 5/8th GM engineering effort and cost-cut to death. Now worth half of the Toyota I should have bought at that time. I want a driver-assist feature that gets me my money back.

    • See 5 previous
    • Vvk Vvk on Mar 22, 2020

      My friends bought a new Pilot about a year ago. It has been in and out of the dealer for repairs, sometimes weeks at a time waiting for parts. They keep buying Japanese cars and telling me how they cannot afford maintenance on euro cars that I drive. As far as I can tell, most of their cars have required far more "maintenance" than any of my euro cars. They keep buying new cars every few years while I keep driving my 10+ year old BMW with no worries. I did buy an expensive extended warranty but it turned out to be a complete waste of money. Still drives amazing and looks brand new, including the undercarriage.

  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.
  • Scoutdude I know that dealership. Way back when my friend's grandfather was that Turner that owned the Chrysler Plymouth International dealer, in MacPherson. Of course the International was dropped when they didn't deem the Scout reason enough to keep the franchise. I moved from there in late 1978 so it is possible I saw this running around town way back when.
  • Lou_BC "Overpriced" is a misnomer. Arguably, if they are selling they are not overpriced. "Dealer mark-up above MSRP" is a mouthful but more accurate. Simple, don 't buy anything marked up. A computer will help you search the country. It's a PITA but doable.