Following a shadowy teaser image, Chevrolet has formally unveiled the 2018 Traverse at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in a welcome update that brings the Traverse into the modern age.
This is apparent when compared with the outgoing Traverse which was ancient, and was falling behind rivals in multiple categories. Despite this, sales have remained strong, and Chevrolet has sold over half a million units since it went on sale back in 2008. The brand did not want to ruin this successful track record, and chose a deliberate approach in regards to its exterior styling.
The front fascia is much more muscular than before, and actually poaches some cues from the full size Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban SUVs. The side profile is about what you expect from a full size CUV, but the redesigned tail lights do look slick though they look like they stole a few too many tricks out of the Ford Explorer’s design playbook. Our lone gripe centered on the recently announced Traverse RS trim which is supposed to be the sport infused version. While we applaud Chevy for the attempt, some of its performance inspired cues look tacked on, and don’t mesh well with the Traverse’s bigger lines.
The interior is where the bulk of the changes are most apparent. The outgoing model was very roomy, but it was a sea of cheap plastics, and questionable ergonomic choices. The 2018 model aims to rectify that by adding more soft touch plastics, while also adding even more bins and cubbies to enhance overall storage space. The wheelbase is massive and this not only keeps the third row from being positioned right on top of the rear axle, but also helps enhance rear cargo space as well. Access to the third row is still not as easy as it is in some minivan offerings, but the second row does slide forward even with a bulky child seat in place.
The 2018 Traverse also receives a welcome tech upgrade, and now features 7- and 8-inch MyLink infotainment systems that can hook up to both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which helps enhance the Traverse’s connectivity. A suite of safety features is also standard and includes a surround view camera system, forward collision alert, front pedestrian alert, and lane keep assist.
In addition to the fore-mentioned RS version, the 2018 Traverse also debuts an all new High Country model. This range topping variant features full LED headlights, a standard twin-clutch all-wheel drive system, leather and suede seating surfaces, as well as a power folding third row seat. Chevrolet will be offering all-wheel drive across virtually all of the model lineup with the front wheel drive RS being the lone exception. Chevrolet claims that the take rate on all-wheel drive will remain at 40% which is an impressive figure.
Chevrolet did not reveal formal performance figures for the 2018 Traverse, but did state that the 306 horsepower 3.6 liter V6 will once again see duty under the hood, and deliver 25 mpg and a 5,000 lb towing capacity when equipped to a FWD variant. Like before, the RS model stands out, and utilizes the same 2.0 liter 252 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder engine that has spread to select members of the GM lineup. Both engines are paired to a nine speed automatic transmission and also come equipped with standard start/stop technology.
Chevrolet plans to roll out the 2018 Traverse this fall with formal pricing expected to be released closer to its official launch.
In other news, the brand also revealed that it is considering a CUV entry that would fall between the Traverse and the 2018 Equinox in terms of size and price. It is currently unknown if this means that the TrailBlazer nameplate is indeed returning on this mystery model, but it would give Chevrolet a more cohesive CUV lineup, and also allow it to take an even bigger chunk of the CUV sales pie.