Bigger, bolder, better.
The first thing you'll notice about the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse: it's huge. The Traverse has always been on the larger size of the midsize crossover segment, but in its new generation, it grows even more, surpassing big-brother Tahoe in a number of dimensions. The Traverse also comes to market with a wider trim range than before, with a choice of two powertrains. In other words, it's all the crossover you could ever need... and then some.
Chevy's new Traverse is 204.3 inches (5,189 millimetres) long, riding on a 120.9-inch (3,071 mm) wheelbase. Compare that to a Tahoe, and the Traverse is 0.4 inches (10 mm) longer overall, with a 4.9-inch (124-mm) longer wheelbase. With both rows of seats folded, a Traverse can carry 98.5 cubic feet of cargo space. A Tahoe, on the other hand, carries 94.7. When asked about this size difference, Chevy officials basically told us that the main reason to buy a Tahoe now, is if you need the 8,600-pound (3,900 kilogram) towing capacity. This also means there's a serious difference between the Traverse and its platform mate, the GMC Acadia – the Chevy is nearly nine inches (229 mm) longer.
Never mind, the 2018 Traverse offers even more to like, with new Premier, High Country, and RS trim levels – more on that last one in a minute. The standard powertrain is a naturally aspirated, 3.6-litre V6, producing 305 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive models are estimated to get 13.1 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 9.4 L/100 km highway. All-wheel drive will be available on all trims except for the RS.
The Traverse RS will arrive with unique, blacked-out elements, and a model-specific powertrain. Despite being billed as a sportier model, the RS uses a less-powerful, 2.0-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, with 255 hp, though it boasts a healthy 295 lb-ft of torque. That said, you can only get the RS with front-wheel drive, and despite the lower displacement, the RS is only expected to net 10.2 L/100 km highway.
As far as new technology is concerned, the Traverse will come with a Surround Vision camera, LED headlamps on higher trim levels, front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, and more. With AWD, drivers get a Traction Mode Select system, which allows you to completely disconnect the rear axle when AWD isn’t needed. That said, Chevy’s system will alert the driver when AWD is recommended, so you can toggle over to automatic all-wheel drive, and if you leave the system in this setting, it’ll remember it the next time you get in the car.
Inside, there’s seating for up to eight, with USB charging ports in all three rows. Seven- and eight-inch touchscreen infotainment systems support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as Chevy’s own MyLink interface. And around back, there’s a hands-free power liftgate.
The 2018 Traverse will go on sale this fall, following its debut at this week's Detroit Auto Show, and we'll have even more details – including pricing – closer to that time.