The Chevy Traverse debuted in 2009 and was an instant success as it filled an important niche for families seeking the space of a minivan but the image of a vehicle with more pizzaz. The 2010 Traverse is more of a good thing, providing plenty of passenger and cargo room, a comfortable cabin, a compliant drive and excellent crash test ratings.
This large crossover SUV has shoppers rethinking their need for either a powerful truck based SUV or a more boring, but practicle, minivan. By providing the same amount of family-friendly versatility as the minivan along with the look and personality of a more stylish SUV, the 2010 Traverse once again merits some serious consideration.
Longer than a Honda Odyssey, the Traverse accommodates up to eight passengers and features a third row that comfortably transports adults. And with a maximum cargo capacity of a huge 117 cubic feet, there's plenty of room for kids' gear or other cargo hauling needs. Yet despite this size, the Traverse sports a comfortable and nimble drive relative to other vehicles its size, while providing better fuel economy than most other large people movers.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse is available in three trims: LS, LT and LTZ.
Standard features on the already fairly well equipped base model LS includes full power accessories, air conditioning, OnStar, 17-inch steel wheels, eight-passenger seating, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, split-folding second and third-row bench seats and a 6-speaker CD/MP3 player with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
The midlevel LT model offers two choices. The 1LT package adds 18 inch alloy wheels, an 8-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated sideview mirrors, rear parking sensors and a trip computer.
The 2LT package comes with all the 1LT features plus 7-passenger seating (with captain's chairs in the 2nd row), tri-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker Bose audio system (with USB port), rear sound system controls, a rearview camera integrated into the rearview mirror and a power liftgate.
The top-of-the-line Traverse LTZ then adds leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power front seats, driver memory functions, remote ignition, 20 inch wheels and Bluetooth.
Most of the standard features on the upper trims are available in optional packages for the lower ones. Other significant options include dual sunroofs, navigation (with real-time traffic, a rearview camera and a USB port), a trailer package and a rear DVD entertainment system (with USB port).
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
All 2010 Chevrolet Traverses are outfitted with a 3.6 liter V6 engine that's mated with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. LS and LT models feature a single exhaust system and the engine produces a robust 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. In the LTZ, due to a dual exhaust, horsepower is boosted to 288 and 270 lb-ft of torque. A properly equipped Traverse has a tow capacity of 5,200 pounds.
The EPA estimated gas mileage for the front-wheel-drive Traverse comes in at 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. The gas mileage for all-wheel-drive Traverse models dips only slightly to 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
Standard safety features on all Traverse models include antilock disc brakes (ABS), stability control, traction control, front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags for all three rows and one free year of OnStar (which includes turn-by-turn navigation and hands-free phone connectivity).
In government crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Traverse received perfect five-star ratings for both frontal and side-impact protection for both the driver and passengers.
With its two-tone colors with brushed aluminum and chrome trim, the interior of the 2010 Traverse is modern and attractive as well as roomy. Dual gauge instrumentation with bright white numbers on a black background make everything simple and easy to read.
Roominess is a premium feature of the Traverse. Depending on the configuration, this crossover SUV with three rows accommodates either seven passengers with second-row captain's chairs or eight passengers with a split-folding second-row bench seat. Both first and second rows are supportive and comfortable. And the split-folding third-row seat, usually for children only in most SUVs, can fairly comfortably accommodate adults.
The maximum storage space is a very large 117 cubic feet with the second and third-row seats folded down. But even when using all three rows, there's still a respectable 24 cubic feet of luggage room.
The drive of the 2010 Traverse is a nice balance of surprising nimbleness and a comfortable ride. There's plenty of acceleration and handling is secure.
That said, this is one of the largest and heaviest crossover SUVs (4,925 pounds with all-wheel drive) on the market, so prospective buyers should be realistic with their expectations as there is some performance tradeoff necessary when the engineering emphasis is on roominess and comfort, but most drivers will be very pleased.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
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2010 Chevrolet Traverse:
LS FWD: retail price: $29,224, invoice price: $27,763
LS AWD: retail price: $31,224, invoice price: $29,663