Five-Point Inspection: 2013 Chevrolet Traverse 2LT

Stephen Elmer
by Stephen Elmer

This week’s Five-Point Inspection focuses on a large crossover from General Motors, the Chevrolet Traverse.

The Traverse offers family-hauling cargo space, packed into redesigned sheet metal for 2013. Front-wheel drive is standard on all model, though all-wheel drive is available. This big crossover starts at $31,370 for a base front-wheel drive, and tops out at in the mid $40,000s.

Read on to discover five particularly noticeable traits of the 2013 Chevy Traverse.

The Traverse went through a facelift in 2013, and it made a big difference. Previously rounded off sheet metal has been molded into sharp angles, making the Traverse look more athletic. Trying to escape the ‘minivan’ classification is important for large crossovers to stay relevant, and the previous Traverse was doing a poor job.

Inside, some new contrasting green stitching and ambient lighting has been added, a small touch which goes a long way towards making the Traverse feel more premium. The new looks move the Traverse further from the bubbly world of the minivan, and merit being called handsome.

Weighing in at about 5,000 lbs., the Traverse is no lightweight, which can make parking a chore on the arms. However, Chevy’s variable-assist power steering does a great job of keeping those wheels exceptionally light at parking lot speeds, aided by the Traverse’s standard back-up camera.

Hit the highway, and the steering tightens up, though it still stays particularly light compared to other large crossovers. While it does make for comfortable cruising, steering feel and feedback is non-existent, a trait which can be expected on a family hauler such as this, but still feels rather unnatural.

Rather than have a stalk on the right side of the steering column for such things, the Traverse has its rear wiper controls and instrument cluster screen info buttons located in the lowermost section of the center stack. As a result, you have to remove your eyes from the road every time you want to operate the rear windshield wiper.

The Traverse boasts 116.3 cubic feet of overall cargo room, and offers 33.2 inches of legroom in the third row, beating almost every other large crossover, except the Ford Explorer, which ties it. Combined with fast folding, easy to operate second row seats, the Traverse is a capable family hauling machine that makes ingress and egress easy.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Crossovers with the Most Third-Row Legroom

Effectively replacing the minivan, the Traverse offers loads of space, although the storage behind the rear seats is a little cramped, which is why the Traverse can offer all that rear-seat legroom. Behind the front seats, the Traverse offers 116.3 cubic feet of space, when all of the rear seats are folded.

Not that anyone would expect a Chevrolet Traverse to be a rocket ship, but the 288 hp V6 powered hulk does feel extremely heavy when you step on the gas pedal. Poor throttle response combined with that hefty curb weight means its smooth but sluggish and there are situations where the 270 lb-ft of torque simply does not feel like enough to instill confidence.

The Traverse’s lackluster acceleration does more to draw similarities to a minivan, than set it up as an alternative. In comparison, the Ford Explorer Sport is powered by the brand’s EcoBoost V6 that makes 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, and gets 16/22 city/highway mpg, only 1 mpg worse than the Traverse’s 16/23 mpg rating.

Are you looking for a new Chevy Traverse? To visit our new car buying page, click here.

To skip to the Chevy section, you can click here. For the Traverse specifically, click here.

Stephen Elmer
Stephen Elmer

Stephen covers all of the day-to-day events of the industry as the News Editor at AutoGuide, along with being the AG truck expert. His truck knowledge comes from working long days on the woodlot with pickups and driving straight trucks professionally. When not at his desk, Steve can be found playing his bass or riding his snowmobile or Sea-Doo. Find Stephen on <A title="@Selmer07 on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Stephen on Google+" href="">Google+</A>

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  • Perry F. Bruns Perry F. Bruns on Feb 27, 2013

    From the article: "As a result, you have to remove your eyes every time you want to operate the rear windshield wiper." OUCH!