Screwed Up Texan has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 Chevy Traverse Review

2010 Chevy Traverse at Mammoth Lake, Huntington Canyon, Utah

From June 18-28 I had the opportunity to drive the 2010 Chevy Traverse over the course of our road trip and family vacation from Dallas, Texas to various points in Utah. We also drove the crossover for an additional week after we arrived home and over the Fourth of July weekend for a total of two and a half weeks--all of this courtesy of Chevrolet who wanted my honest feedback on this family vehicle.

Once I had a specific time-frame that I knew I would have the Chevy Traverse on loan, I brainstormed several different types of scenarios and road conditions that I wanted to put the Traverse through. Since my audience is mostly women (yes, there are a few men here!) and of those women many mothers with families, I decided to test the Traverse's ability to handle two common scenarios that families most likely will encounter in one capacity or another. However, I believe anyone in the market for a 7-8 passenger crossover can appreciate this review.

1.) Grocery shopping with three young children. In other words, will the Traverse be able to comfortably seat three young children all of whom have to legally be restrained through either car seats and/or booster seats, plus groceries to feed the family for two weeks? Answer: Yes, and then some. Not only does the Chevy Traverse easily fit three children all restrained, but it also will fit depending on the package option of LS, LT or LTZ seven to eight total persons. That's more available seating than both the Toyota Highlander or the Ford Flex which are two of the Traverse's competition. The Traverse also features Smart Slide (R) second row seats that allow passengers, such as rowdy little boys, to easily enter and exit the third row of seating.

For holding those two weeks of groceries--that we bought for our vacation--the Chevy Traverse held those easily. There was plenty of space for our groceries. When it came time to pack up the groceries, cooler, tent, sleeping bags, too many clothes, blankets, dog carrier, games, et cetera, the Chevy Traverse was able to hold it all with its split third row seat that folded down partially as an option. Personally, I thought there was no way we were going to get any more items into the Traverse. But just when I thought it was impossible, my husband's grandparents loaded us up with a box of canning supplies and jars, several old books, and a pressure canner to take home to Texas. How's that for space. If you're still unconvinced, you should note that the 2010 Chevy Traverse has more cargo space than any of its competitors in the crossover segment, even 30% more than the Honda Pilot. How about behind that third row? More room than both the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.

2010 Chevy Traverse Interior

2010 Chevy Traverse Interior

2010 Chevy Traverse Interior Groceries

2.) Road trips with young children or even just running errands around town. For the Chevy Traverse to pass this test, it had to provide thoughtful features that keep children and teens entertained and provide some sort of navigation feature to keep me not lost. Let's start with keeping those kiddos entertained, because we all know that if Junior is screaming and whining "are we there yet?" one hundred times per day, then most likely you'll be storing your kid in the hidden storage compartment in the back for the remainder of your road trip which is absolutely unacceptable (albeit tempting). For starters, the 2010 Chevy Traverse has an entertainment system that includes a DVD player with screens for those in the backseats. We utilized this feature almost constantly. I now know Monsters vs. Aliens among other children's movies by heart. The Traverse also has a standard outlet with audio/video plug-ins that allow for gaming via an Xbox, PlayStation, or even Wii. If bowling in your car seems rambunctious, think of it as extra entertainment while camping or RVing.

Extra Storage in Chevy Traverse

Hidden storage for naughty kids, don't try this at home

For the navigation feature, which I believe should be a standard feature of any make and model in this day and age, the 2010 Chevy Traverse comes equipped with it through the OnStar subscription which is included for one year. Just press the OnStar button and tell the advisor where you want to go and the directions are downloaded straight to your vehicle automatically. See what all OnStar services offer.

2010 Chevy Traverse Navigation

Other thoughtful features include Bluetooth technology that allows you to connect your cell phone to make and receive phone calls hands-free. The Traverse also has a new USB port which connects your mp3 player or flash drive loaded with music to play through the vehicle's audio system. An XM Radio subscription is also included for three months which allows you to listen to commercial free music and more. The Traverse also has available 115-volt three pronged outlets which make it great for charging laptops and camera batteries.

Other criteria I tested on the 2010 Chevy Traverse


The 2010 Chevy Traverse felt very comfortable and the placement of features felt intuitive. Chevy had me in the LTZ package which has heated and cooled front bucket seats as well as leather which makes for easier cleaning. Other trim packages, including the LTZ, can also include dual-zone climate control, remote vehicle starter system handy for hot days or cold winters when you want the Traverse at the proper temperature before you get in, available driver seat memory positions for comfortable seating (like when someone who has long legs leaves the seat all the way back), and plenty of leg room in the second and third rows.


If you were to ask most Chevy salespersons about the safety of the 2010 Chevy Traverse, I can almost bet you they'd tout to you the StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System with traction control and available AWD to help you stay on the road and in control. They would probably also tell you about how the Chevy Traverse has earned the highest possible crash safety rating--5 stars--for both frontal and side impact collisions. They'd mention the six standard air bags. They'd even tell you all about Automatic Crash Response through OnStar which is standard for the first year and automatically notifies an OnStar adviser when you've been in a crash and can request emergency help be sent to your exact GPS location--even if you're unable to respond.

Now all of these features are very important and I would not take one away, but how about those every day situations where you find yourself driving to and from soccer practice, church, shopping, over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house...will you feel safe driving the Traverse even then? I mean, if the vehicle doesn't feel safe then all of the standard features noted above will be little assurance to the owner. When I drove the Chevy Traverse I felt very safe--I could feel the road so as to gauge my speed, the vehicle shifted very smoothly (something even my Ford/Toyota-loving cousin was impressed with), it accelerated quickly and braked smoothly. The rearview camera system added to the Traverse's feel of a safe family vehicle that I felt catered to my safety-conscience sensibilities.

As for over the river and through the woods, well we did both. Really. Somewhere in New Mexico on a powdery state highway (who doesn't pave state highways?) we experienced the Chevy Traverse's handling. We braked hard, we accelerated fast, we drove on a steep mountain gravel road in Utah with just two feet from falling off the side into an abyss and the Traverse handled all these and more. Potholes? No problem. Slick, wet roads? Boring. Powder? Couldn't even tell. Gravel? Complete traction. Mountain summits? Felt like flat plains.

2010 Chevy Traverse Camera System

Chevy Traverse on Powdery Roads, New Mexico

Chevy Traverse Outside Price, Utah


As mentioned above, there was plenty of seating in the Chevy Traverse with 7 or 8 available seats depending on the package, Smart Slide (R) second-row seats for easy access to the third row, a third row that folds down fully or partially optionally, four storage compartments including a locking glove compartment in the front seat area, power remote lift-gate (you know, so you don't have to put down your groceries to open the gate or go back outside to close it), in-steering wheel buttons for changing radio stations and operating the cruise control, gas gauge that automatically senses how many more miles to the next fill up, oil life monitoring system, four automatic windows with child locks, and rear seat audio controls. Under the hood, everything is easy to get to. Even Grandpa was impressed with how accessible it was. Basically, the only two things this vehicle lacks are 1.) refrigeration, and 2.) toilets.

2010 Chevy Traverse Back Seats

The Bad, aka My Beefs:

1.) Although the 2010 Chevy Traverse gets 24 mpg highway, the best fuel economy of any eight passenger vehicle, I think 24 highway/18 city is far too low for any vehicle in our day and age. Now this isn't a problem with the Chevy Traverse per se, however I think minimally this vehicle and any other seven to eight passenger vehicle no matter which company makes it should get 28 miles per gallon city. I should note that compared with our current vehicle which is a van from 2004 we saved two tanks of gas driving to and from Utah from Texas in the Traverse which equates to nearly 800 miles or around 40 gallons of gasoline saved. It should be said that most drivers are expected to range between 19 and 27 mpg per EPA estimates in the 2010 Chevy Traverse LTZ.

2.) Although I had no problem with it, two men that sat in the driver's seat mentioned that their knees felt uncomfortable with how they touched the sides near the console. I do not find this a deal breaker, then again I am not a man.

3.) I could not find a way to play a DVD and listen to the radio concurrently. I have no idea if this is even possible. Memorizing Monsters vs. Aliens was not an accomplishment I am proud of. However, the DVDs kept the kids mouths shut and their eyes glazed over so it was not a deal breaker.

4.) The way the driver's dash is designed, it is difficult for the front-seat passenger to see how fast the driver is traveling. This makes for difficult nagging.

For more information on the Chevy Traverse.
For more information on OnStar services.
For a printable version of my 2010 Chevy Traverse review.

Disclosure: I was not paid to write this review, however I did receive a 2010 Chevy Traverse for two weeks at no charge to test drive.

Full Disclosure including links to my media kit


Rachel said...

Your pictures are fantastic!
SO fun!!!

FluffyChicky said...

Awesome picture!

I want Chevy to ask me to test drive vehicles too. :)

I do have one question though...did you have any adults sit in the very back of the Traverse? Because I have heard that the back isn't all that great if you are over the age of 12. Just curious.

Screwed Up Texan said...

Rachel, Thanks! Some of the photos are from Chevy, however the ones off Flickr (they should be centered) are from me. Glad you like them!

Fluffy Chicky, The third row has a little less leg room than the second row, but not any less than my van does. Also, with the LTZ I drove which was a seven seat model, the center third row seat allowed for plenty of leg room with its openess. The Smart Slide system allows for ease entering and exiting the third row. Plus, the second row can glide forward making for more leg room if needed.

FluffyChicky said...

Thanks Texan!

Now I really want a Traverse.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Your pictures are awesome! LOVE the one with the little doggy in the front passenger seat.

Sounds like an awesome vehicle. I have 5 yes FIVE kids so I will consider this vehicle when we purchase our next one.

Beth Zimmerman said...

That was an excellent review. I especially enjoyed the *nagging* comment!

Screwed Up Texan said...

Texan Mama, The Traverse would fit your family perfectly, plus if you got the eight seater you'd have one seat to spare!

Beth, Wait, do you drive a little slow?

mindy@thesuburbanlife said...

Man, so not fair! I recently took a road trip through five states (including Utah) and had to drive my old 1997 Honda Accord. I can definitely tell you the ride was nowhere near as comfortable as yours and the family took to chanting "I think I can" any time we confronted a road grade any steeper than an ant hill.
Chevy! I'm here! Use me! :)

Screwed Up Texan said...

Mindy, that reminds me of my first car!

Elizabeth said...

Great review of the Traverse. My dad bought one a few weeks back (shout out to Johnny Londoff [] in St. Louis for the great deal!) and loves it. His only knock is the bright orange dashboard displays but he loves how it drives.

Good stuff, sir.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin