By on March 20, 2020


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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28 Comments on “Overlooked, but Not Forgotten: The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse...”

  • avatar

    The “Chevy Impala” of crossovers

  • avatar

    Standard V 6 (and I 4 compliance turbo motor is gone). Good. Styling update- nice. I m sure it s a nice car. In fact there are many real nice cars out there. So, to reduce the car buying list, a couple of must haves.
    – kill button for GOVT required start/stop.
    – real knobs for volume and station tune.

  • avatar

    It’s fine. Fine.

    Brown available, nice. But best in Amana White.

    Though stainless appliances are all the rage… I smell DeLorean edition.

  • avatar

    Nicer looking interior. No mention of the start stop button. Hopefully GM got the message. Hopefully this means they noticed the Kia Telluride/Hyundai Palisade. Now if they could up the torque figure a bit on an otherwise really good v6.

  • avatar

    I ve noticed something on GM vehicles.
    Real wide arm rests.
    This car has a real wide one.
    Move the seats to the extreme outboard position. Too far. My shoulder is jammed into the ‘B’ pillar.
    True with my co workers Sierra.
    Same on my sister’s new XT5.

  • avatar

    After the Blazer, squinty headlights for every Chevy.

  • avatar

    I can’t believe Chevy pulled the 2.0 turbo – everybody else is adopting it as virtually their only powerplant. It’s perfect for Europe’s high gas prices and stringent CO2 requirements, but maybe Chevy (and GM) realize America’s lower gas prices and (temporarily) muzzled EPA have made it safe for V6’s, at least for awhile.

    • 0 avatar

      Why would anyone buy the 2.0T with a V6 on offer? That doesn’t make sense, which countries are these being sent to that have draconian laws that force people into those engines?

      • 0 avatar

        Only Americans can get the V6. All of the Eurozone has the draconian laws that make the 2.0T just about the only engine available for a number of models.

        That’s the base engine on the Alfa Romeo Giulia, though there’s an optional twin turbo that puts out V8 level power, also 2.0. Both Mercedes and BWM now have high performance turbo 2.0 engines.

        Europe is now a dictatorship of unelected bureaucrats and their politician flunkies. The Europen Parliament can’t even write laws, they can only approve them or fail to approve, in which case, the same laws are reintroduced until they DO approve what the bureaucrats wrote.

      • 0 avatar

        The 2.0T has almost 300 lb-ft of torque and much lower operating range for around town driving.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      I talked to a GM engineer before the bankruptcy, and you would not believe what beancounters did, and still do. The cost-cutting begins during the engineering-for-production phase, after a complete design for a very good vehicle is complete.

      What should be standard becomes optional, and features, especially suspension and steering, are “simplified” for production. The original interior design is gutted and old parts-bin parts substituted, making the interior look dated from day one.

      The cost cutting results in a base vehicle that’s priced just a bit more than the well-optioned next smaller vehicle of the type, and people buy the bigger car for just a little more, with just a couple options. The people who moved up then find they bought an incomplete vehicle.

      The original complete design becomes available only as a special edition, but you can’t get the original suspension/steering design, just a modest improvement over the base that was substituted. The people who buy that model find their optioned up vehicle is incomplete too.

      GM engineers cringe when they hear people who bought those vehicles call them POS, but there’s nothing they can do. GM engineers design top-of-the-line vehicles, but they never get built as designed.

      Read what Murilee did with his 1965 Impala, practically rebuilding it into a very competent car with off-the-shelf GM parts that fit, and you’ll see what GM could have built, but didn’t.

    • 0 avatar

      Amen. Bought a GMC for my bride few years ago as it was what she wanted and yes, comfortable, nice v6, roomy but a complete piece of junk. Traded for a new Pilot 2 weeks ago and do not even care if I could have gotten a better deal now.

      Over the years I have enjoyed the following trips to my local dealer; water pump, struts, steering column, brake component, ac compressor, running lights, lift gate motor, windshield washer motor, Starter, drive shaft, Navi malfunction and heater hose.
      Granted some of the above was within warranty or recall.

      The last straw was a tranny about to go and within the last week of ownership some sort of engine noise that was probably a timing chain issue per a mechanic familiar with these rolling disasters. Can’t wait to see it pop up on autotrader and the 6 page car fax repair list that follows. Never wrecked and the original paint was shining with 4 matching Michelins.

      And this is from someone who takes care of his vehicles. During this entire time my daughter’s pilot which is almost a decade old with about the same mileage all we had to do is a starter and alternator but a timing belt is due soon.

    • 0 avatar

      Our prior GMC version Acadia Limited has been rock solid for 40K miles. It has needed nothing except for the last two oil changes after the dealership freebies were gone. She is a big girl and not very athletic but rides nice going down the road on twin flow shocks. But the thrum of the V6 on anything that is not flat or down hill invades the cabin where a 2.0T wouldn’t at highway cruise.

    • 0 avatar

      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.

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