Reviews 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS First Test: Dude, Where’s My V-6?

16:35  13 march  2018
16:35  13 march  2018 Source:   Motor Trend

2018 Chevrolet Traverse First Drive Review: Staycation

  2018 Chevrolet Traverse First Drive Review: Staycation Chevy loans us a vacation-mobile; we use it for workTrust me, despite having grown in every exterior dimension—the largest being a 2.0-inch wheelbase stretch—the most noticeable dimension change from behind the wheel is curb weight. Depending on the model, this big boy has dropped something near 350 pounds. Compounding that roughly 7 percent weight loss is an 8 percent power gain and a 13 percent improvement in first-gear "leverage." Tally that all up, and this thing felt at least a size class smaller every time a traffic light turned green and I floored it. Chevy is claiming a "sub-7-second" 060 time, which compares well with the 7.

We live in a time when nearly every vehicle type is available with a small turbocharged engine, so it's no surprise to find one in a large three-row crossover. The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS is the latest addition in a growing number of midsize three-row crossovers that offer a turbocharged four-cylinder, following the Ford Explorer, Mazda CX-9, Volkswagen Atlas, and upcoming Subaru Ascent. This, however, doesn't mean you're stuck with an underpowered CUV. As we found out in the Traverse RS, torque does wonders.

First Drive: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Premier

  First Drive: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Premier LAKE GEORGE, Michigan — The first-generation Chevrolet Traverse represented a brand and its corporation in transition, having launched the model year before General Motors’ bankruptcy. American families were starting to trade in truck-based sport/utility vehicles like the Chevy TrailBlazer for more carlike unibody front-wheel-drive-based SUVs. Ten years later, Chevrolet is stepping up its game in this segment, taking on leaders like the best-selling Ford Explorer, as well as the likes of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda Pilot, all of which are more popular than the Traverse.

a car parked in front of a building© Motor Trend Staff

The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS trades the standard 310-hp 3.6-liter V-6 for a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 257 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. GM's nine-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available. In comparison to the 3.6-liter V-6, the turbo-four is down 53 hp but up 29 lb-ft of torque, the latter of which is more accessible because most of it is available at a low revs. EPA fuel economy ratings are 20/26 mpg city/highway, 2 mpg more on the city but 1 mpg less on the highway versus the V-6-powered front-drive Traverse. In our Real MPG tests, the crossover got 18.7/27.1 mpg city/highway, putting it right in line with its EPA estimates.


2018 chevrolet traverse
chevrolet traverse

At the track, the 2018 Traverse RS completed the 0 to 60 run in 7.1 seconds and the quarter mile in 15.5 seconds at 92.3 mph. This means it is 0.7 second slower to 60 mph and the quarter mile than a V-6-powered front-drive Traverse. Stopping from 60 mph took 121 feet, which is on the shorter side for the segment. Associate road test editor Erick Ayapana found the Traverse RS' turbo-four peppy and said it feels quicker than it actually is. Ayapana also observed some slight dive and the tail end getting wiggly during braking tests.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse High Country AWD

  2018 Chevrolet Traverse High Country AWD GM's latest and greatest family bus.Now GM’s second-generation three-row transporters are here, and they’ve got a much tougher playing field of family SUVs to go up against. The first of these renewed efforts was the GMC Acadia, which shrank considerably compared with its predecessor. In a recent comparison test, it placed mid-pack behind the Mazda CX-9 and the Volkswagen Atlas. So maybe it’s a good thing that the Acadia’s corporate cousin, the new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, is taking a different approach.

The nine-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly. Although it likes staying in higher gears, the gearbox isn't stingy with downshifts, willingly dropping a couple cogs to put you right in the engine's powerband for passing or climbing steep inclines. There is turbo lag, but the transmission keeping you near the engine's sweet spot provides an easy workaround. Power delivery, however, isn't as linear as the V-6-powered Traverse because it has a tendency to give you full torque abruptly. The start/stop system works smoothly, but when you're starting off from an incline, it can be a little rough.

a car parked on the side of a road© Motor Trend Staff

For its size, the 2018 Traverse RS is light on its feet. It's no sports car, but it has nimble handling and good body control, making it feel smaller than it actually is. Even with the standard 20-inch alloy wheels, the Traverse RS rides comfortably, isn't very noisy, and, thanks to the tires' tall sidewalls, soaks up road imperfections with ease. The light steering makes maneuvering the crossover easy in tight spaces. It does weight up a little more on the highway. However, it's not very communicative.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse AWD First Test: Adventure Seeker

  2018 Chevrolet Traverse AWD First Test: Adventure Seeker In search of the alpha-dominant minivan replacementRelated Link: Research Chevy's latest models on MSN Autos

The Traverse RS finished the figure-eight course in 26.8 seconds with an average of 0.64 g. It generated 0.83 g of lateral acceleration on the skidpad. Road test editor Chris Walton was impressed with the Traverse's handling and its ability to stay neutral on the skidpad, but he found that although the steering is precise, it has a slow ratio. The toggle switch for manual shifting isn't intuitive; you have to go to L mode to active it, which means you can't really use it for engine braking or enthusiastic driving. Walton did note that the nine-speed automatic transmission is mostly cooperative, but he had to trick it with a throttle jab to get it to downshift to a lower gear during figure-eight runs.

Inside, the 2018 Traverse has a spacious cabin with comfortable seating for adults, even in the third row. You can slide the second-row captain's chairs forward to give third-row occupants more legroom, which should help make it more comfortable on road trips. There are plenty of cubbies for small items such as mobile devices, water bottles, and wallets. Behind the third row there's 23.0 cubic feet of cargo space, and you've also got more storage under the floor. Fold the 60/40 split-folding third row, and cargo capacity grows to 58.1 cubic feet. If you like going on Ikea shopping sprees, there's 98.2 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse AWD First Test: Adventure Seeker

  2018 Chevrolet Traverse AWD First Test: Adventure Seeker In search of the alpha-dominant minivan replacementRelated Link: Research Chevy's latest models on MSN Autos

a car parked in a parking lot© Motor Trend Staff

Plenty of sound insulation minimizes road noise and keeps the cabin quiet. Powertrain noises are minimal, but wind buffeting can get excessive at high speeds due to the Traverse's boxy exterior design. Visibility out of the Traverse is surprisingly good; blind spots are kept to a minimum even with the large C- and D-pillars. Material quality is competitive for the class. The Traverse has plenty of soft-touch surfaces in areas where your arms would fall. There are hard bits at the top part of the dash and the upper portion of the doors panels, but thankfully they're smooth. Other than a trim piece that looks like it wasn't put in properly and some loose sound deadening material in the driver's door, our tester had consistent build quality and minimal rattles and squeaks.

Chevrolet's user-friendly MyLink interface features a quick-responding 8.0-inch touchscreen that works similar to a smartphone or tablet. Nothing is buried deep within multiple menus, and important functions are within easy reach. The Traverse comes with up to seven USB ports, so there's no reason for your mobile devices to die. Complementing the solid multimedia system is a 10-speaker Bose audio system that plays all music genres with minimal distortion. However, it still lags behind in terms of clarity and crispness when compared to the Harman-branded systems used in rivals from Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, and Subaru.

Quick Take: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse FWD Premier

  Quick Take: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse FWD Premier Lack of start/stop defeat button is the only slip in this tech-rich kitMy good friend Arturo Rojas was visiting us from Peru recently. Rojas has taken us around his favorite eateries from Lima to Cuzco and we felt obliged to show him the best taco trucks, diners, and restaurants Los Angeles has to offer.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on all variants of the 2018 Traverse, so you can let your smartphone take over multimedia duties. With the latter now fully integrating Google Assistant, you can use voice commands for all multimedia functions. There's a wide range of media apps available via Android Auto, and Waze has been integrated cleanly, so you don't have to open your phone to see your route and real-time traffic updates. Like all integrations of Android Auto, there's no way to see your contact list or music libraries in media apps.

In addition to the 2.0-liter turbo-four, the Traverse RS gets black Bow Tie badges, window trim, grille accents, and roof rails—it's an appearance package with a different engine, not a performance variant. The RS has less towing capacity at 1,500 pounds, which is 3,500 pounds less than the V-6-powered Traverse. Standard features include a 360-degree camera view, HID headlights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power liftgate, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and keyless entry and start. You'd have to move to the Premier trim if you want additional active driver assists and creature comforts such as ventilated front seats, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warning.

At $43,595 as tested, our Traverse RS is a solid entry in the midsize three-row crossover segment. Opting for the turbo-four, however, means less towing capacity and no all-wheel-drive option, a possible deal breaker for consumers in four-season states. If you don't need all-wheel drive and don't tow, the RS trim might work for you—unless you want more features or an interior color that isn't black. The crossover has plenty of space for seven with cargo capacity to spare, there's plenty of power on tap, and it's easy to drive despite its size, making the Traverse RS an ideal family hauler.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse Interior Review: Better Quality, Useful Tech

  2018 Chevrolet Traverse Interior Review: Better Quality, Useful Tech Chevy’s largest crossover is family-friendly and versatileMost three-row crossovers tend to be less versatile than minivans. They lack the same level of interior flexibility, the third row is usually cramped, and they lose a good amount of cargo capacity when all seats are occupied. However, modern consumers find minivans uncool, so they go for midsize crossovers like the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse. Sure, they might have less interior space, but to the average buyer, the rugged looks are a bigger draw. Fortunately, through some clever packaging, the Traverse offers plenty of space and flexibility for your family to go with those rugged looks.

For Further Reading
See our 2018 Chevrolet Traverse interior review: Better quality, useful tech

a car parked in a parking lot© Motor Trend Staff
2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS
BASE PRICE $43,595
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.0L/257-hp/295-lb-ft* turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,305 lb (57/43%)
WHEELBASE 120.9 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 204.3 x 78.6 x 71.7 in
0-60 MPH 7.1 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.5 sec @ 92.3 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 121 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.8 sec @ 0.64 g (avg)
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 18.7/27.1/21.8 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 169/130 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.87 lb/mile
*SAE Certified
2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS front three quarter in motion© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS front three quarter in motion

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