Chevrolet will lift the curtain on the next generation of its Traverse crossover at the Detroit auto show. For 2018, Chevy’s latest three-row crossover has more third-row space than before, aggressive styling that reminds us of the body-on-frame era and a new RS model.
Hoping to be the modern Family Truckster, the Traverse has USB charging ports in all three rows, 4G LTE wireless internet and middle-row seats that can flip forward to access the third row while holding a front-facing car seat. Of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can both be found on the standard 7-inch infotainment touch screen.
The powertrain for the Traverse is pretty straightforward: Pop the hood and you’ll find a 3.6-liter V6 making 305 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. That is, unless you opt for the Traverse RS. In the sportier trim, you’ll find a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 making 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of twist.
Both engines feed that power to front wheels or the all-wheel drive system by way of GM’s nine-speed transmission. The V6-equipped Traverse crossovers should expect 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, while the I4-powered Traverse will do 20 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Both engines come automatic start/stop, which can’t be defeated.
The new Traverse’s suspension isn’t anything off the wall — MacPherson struts take care of the front and a five-link suspension controls tire movement in the rear. Steering is controlled by a variable-effort electric power steering rack.
Advanced safety tech like surround vision cameras, LED headlights, lane keep assist, automatic braking and forward collision alerts are optional. Teen driver tech, however, is standard issue on every trim level of Traverse in the off chance you flip the keys to an inexperienced driver.
While it’s about the same size as the Tahoe, Chevrolet’s full-size SUV, it doesn’t quite have the same towing capabilities. No, instead of trying to be an SUV designed for hauling race trailers, the Traverse will serve better at hauling folks around on road trips.