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.
Given the disparity between the U.S. and Canadian auto industries, it’s not surprising that Friday started with news of a shift dropped at Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario minivan plant and ends with two more added at General Motors facilities just across the border.
GM said today that a shift each will be added to its two Lansing, Michigan assembly plants; one to support a brace of new sedans (this could be the last time anyone writes such a statement), the other to support — what else? — crossover production.
The Chevrolet Traverse represents the pinnacle of the brand’s crossover range, offering buyers voluminous cargo and passenger space, and maybe a hidden gremlin.
After purchasing the three-row crossover new in 2018, one owner has had to return to his dealership 50 times to diagnose and fix a range of unusual problems, and his journey isn’t at an end. He’ll be reassured to know that he’s not alone.
An “odd choice.” That’s how TTAC’s Timothy Cain characterized the Chevrolet Traverse RS when it first appeared in late 2017.
Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the apparently sportier version of Chevy’s full-size, three-row Traverse was a mid-range offering with blacked-out clothing that hardly improved on the V6 model’s fuel economy. Available only in front-drive guise, the four-banger Traverse returned 1 mpg less on the highway than its 3.6-liter FWD sibling, the result of the six-cylinder’s loftier horsepower count. Combined fuel economy improved by only 1 mpg by ticking the RS box.
That was then, and this is now. Chevy’s dropping the 2.0T Traverse.
Generally when we write about sticker prices for the upcoming model year, it’s to document a price hike – sometimes minor, sometimes major. Rarely does a manufacturer cut prices, especially in a hot segment.
However, it appears that’s exactly what The General is doing across three of its brands. A few machines take a haircut and give up some standard equipment, while others will simply have a Monroney bearing a smaller number next year.
It’s June, which means it’s the time of year for my son to visit his grandfather in South Carolina and spend a week at golf camp. Sometimes I have to spend the week working, sometimes I spent it traveling, and sometimes I get to spend it hanging out with my dad and his friends.
Most of them are cast from the same group of molds: either self-made or with only minor family advantages, a long history of executive positions or highly remunerative small business ownership, more millions left in the bank than they have years left in the tank. They’re not interested in art or literature, they have a casual and hilarious disrespect for modern social ideas, they maintain a sort of gruff good humor about everything from heart attacks to coastal hurricanes. We will not see their like again, which is kind of a shame.
Yesterday one of them came over to say hello, meet the grandchildren, and to ask me a couple of questions about his next vehicle purchase. I long ago figured out that these fellows don’t necessarily want my authentic opinion regarding the merits of the SL65 or the Continental GT. Rather, they want me to nod approvingly at whatever they’ve already decided to buy, at which point we can have a nice lunch and engage in some mutual appreciation of our good fortune in life, regardless of how unevenly said fortune is distributed.
This fellow was different. He came prepared: with notes, impressions, questions. He had hard financial limits in mind, which is vanishingly rare among a class of Baby Boomers who no longer bother to count pennies or Krugerrands. Most importantly, he gave me something to think about long after he’d left.
Priced at $42,995 including destination fees, the late-arriving 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS is an oddly positioned member of the second-generation Traverse lineup.
The RS is the only four-cylinder member of the fleet — it’s down 53 horsepower on the 3.6-liter V6 in other Traverses — and yet a basic Traverse RS costs $12,120 more than the least costly Traverse. The RS consumes more fuel on the highway, albeit slightly less in the city. It’s also available exclusively as a front-wheel-drive model.
Ah, but GM says it’s “sporty.”
2018 Chevrolet Traverse High Country Priced at Eye-watering $52,995, 18-Percent More Than Top-spec 2017 Traverse
Overall auto sales are falling in the United States, but utility vehicle sales are not. This explains, in part, why average transaction prices are routinely rising to record levels — June 2017 ATPs were up 1.5 percent year-over-year, for example.
And what better way to take advantage of the American consumer’s willingness to pay more for a new family vehicle than with a new top-spec trim level. For the second-generation 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, that variant is called the High Country.
The High in High Country could represent one of two things. Either you need to be high to pay $52,995 for a Chevrolet Traverse or — and it could be the latter — the elevation of this Country is so High you’re about to suffer altitude sickness.
Perhaps there’s a third option. It could be an outstanding value.
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.
2016 Honda Pilot Elite AWD
3.5-liter i-VTEC SOHC V-6, direct injection, cylinder deactivation, CVVT (280 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm,
262 lbs-ft @ 4,700 rpm)
9-Speed ZF 9HP automatic
19 city/26 highway/22 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
21.6 mpg (Observed, MPG)
Tested Options: Elite Trim
* Prices include $880 destination charge.
My sister-in-law announced that she and her husband were having child number four. As a result of this announcement, they decided it was finally time to sell the five-seat sedan and buy another crossover. Since she is constantly flooded with a parade of visiting family members, she asked what sounded like a simple question: What’s the best 8-passenger crossover with a comfortable third row and room for cargo. My answer: Buy a minivan. No, seriously, just buy a minivan. Think you need AWD? Get some winter tires. Really, really need AWD? Get a Sienna.
I’m sure you can guess what she said: “I am not driving a minivan.”
The problem is, aside from minivans, there are few 8-passenger options that aren’t expensive, full size, body-on-frame SUVs. Those options are: the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and GM’s identical triplets — the Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave. That’s it. If you need more room, be prepared to shell out for a Suburban, Escalade, Navigator or a few other spendy options.
Today we look at the freshest entry in this phonebooth-sized segment, the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot.
Next year for General Motors could be defined by a new lower, longer Spark, production starting on the Bolt and a convertible Camaro, according to Automotive News’ facts and factoids department.
The automotive publication posted a speculative timeline of cars that may or may not be in GM’s future, including fuzzy details on a mid-engined Corvette that may or may not happen in or around the year 2020.
In case you’re wondering, we don’t know either.
Chevrolet will slot a new mid-sized crossover between the Equinox and Traverse in coming years, Automotive News is reporting.
Three sources within General Motors confirmed the new Chevrolet crossover would be dervied from Cadillac’s upcoming XT5, which is replacing the SRX next spring. The upcoming Chevy model’s architecture would be a shortened version of the Traverse, which is built on the Lambda platform. According to the story, GM will move the Equinox to the smaller D2XX platform — shared with the Chevy Cruze, Orlando, Volt, GMC Terrain and Opel Astra — by 2017 to make room for the three-row crossover.
The new, unnamed crossover will target the Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander and could be powered by a 2-liter turbo four, a 3.6-liter V6 or perhaps a hybrid power plant.
My, haven’t you matured.
You’re a few years removed from realizing that a society’s population must grow if it is to thrive over the long haul. Yet instead of traditional government tactics like recruiting doctors from the other side of the Atlantic and engineers from the other side of the Pacific, you made the hilarious decision to utilize an in-house solution.
You’ve expanded the population all right. By way of the womb.
Child number one brought with him a surprising amount of stuff. Child number two takes up a lot of space, as well. But it’s the third and fourth kids that suddenly made the first bungalow and the first CR-V seem so very small.
Odds are, you’re not about to buy a minivan.
I’ve dished out plenty of Buick love lately. The Verano beats Acura and Lexus at the entry-luxury game and the tiny Encore is an oddly attractive (albeit underpowered) crossover that is outselling the Mini Countryman and Range Rover Evoque by a wide margin. What can we attribute this sales success to? I posit that the original Buick Enclave is the impetus. Landing in 2007 as a 2008 model, it was the poster child of the “new Buick.” On the surface, the Enclave was the replacement for the Buick Rainier, the only GMT360 SUV I haven’t owned. (Just kidding, I’ve only owned 2 of the 11 varieties.) But that’s a simplistic view. In reality the Enclave was intended to elevate the brand enough to compete with three row luxury crossovers from Germany and Japan. This brings us to today’s question: six years and a mild face-lift later, does the Buick still have the goods?
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- Jeff S E-Vettes are coming to your nearest Chevrolet dealership. I reserve judgement on this I will have to see these and see the pricing. So far Lyriq is about the only GM vehicle I have any interest in.
- Kukala J. Machus GM has an extensive history of bad decisions.....and it continues.
- FreedMike Assumption: GM is making this "brand" into a Porsche competitor, which I think is a great idea. The problem is how to fit a Porsche-esque dealer experience into a Chevy dealership. I don't see that happening - the hoity-toity types who buy Porsches aren't going to want to rub elbows with the brodozer and "get me bought on a Trax with my 530 score" crowd. The ideal situation would be a standalone store, or a Tesla-esque "boutique" store. I also could see this being an add to Cadillac stores. The problem is that I don't see the Chevy dealers who currently make money selling Corvettes giving up the business willingly.So, unless GM comes up with some kind of separate sales channel for this, I vote thumbs down on viability.
- Stuart de Baker Wyoming is the 9th largest state, but has the lowest population of any state, and so with ~580,000, it's the most sparsely populated state. Of course they're not interested in EVs. And the ranges do tank in the frigid Wyoming winters. Anyone who is in a one car family, and drives long distances with any frequency, is not going to be buying an EV at this point. I'm saying this as someone who thinks that global warming is the biggest, most urgent problem humanity faces right now, and I live in the Boston area. But I'm a one car person, I drive long distances multiple times a year, and I love my Civic (stick).
- Michael500 It will flop like the Corvette boat did. The bankrupt GM management will probably rebadge a Volt/Cobalt/Sunbird/Vega and think everyone will like it.