It’s sold as a midsize, but the 2015 Chevrolet Traverse crossover SUV is longer overall and has more passenger and cargo space than a full-size Tahoe. As with its GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave stablemates, the Traverse uses a lightweight car-based design with unit-body construction, a fully independent suspension and a transverse-mounted engine. This results in carlike ride and handling. With almost 1,000 fewer pounds to carry around and an all-aluminum direct-injected V6 dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission instead of a big V8, it has better fuel economy than the truck-based Tahoe.
The Traverse has been upgraded in recent years with a higher-quality interior featuring soft-touch materials, articulated front-seat headrests, Chevrolet MyLink infotainment with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and a GM-exclusive front-center-side airbag between the front bucket seats. Forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning are standard on LTZ models and optional on the LT. New for 2015 is Siri Eyes Free voice control, which enables iPhone users to place calls, request music, check calendar entries and have text messages read and respond to them.
The Traverse is available in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. It offers 24.4 cu ft. of cargo space behind the third-row seat and 116.3 cu ft. with both the second and third rows folded flat. A unique slide-and-fold second-row seat that stacks flat against the back of the front seats provides easy access to the roomy third-row bench. All second-row seat positions feature LATCH child-seat anchors. Other available equipment includes rear-seat DVD entertainment, a power lift gate, heated and cooled front seats, a backup camera and a panoramic sunroof.
The Traverse is a good used-vehicle choice for growing families with its 7- or 8-passenger seating, minivanlike passenger and cargo space and 5,200-pound towing capability. See the 2015 Chevrolet Traverse models for sale near you
What We Like
Roomy third-row seat; communicative steering; high safety ratings; solid structure; Siri Eyes Free
What We Don’t
Smallish navigation screen; low second-row seating position; lackluster fuel economy
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
The sole engine choice is an advanced-design 3.6-liter DOHC V6 with variable valve timing, four valves per cylinder and direct fuel injection. In base tune, it has a single exhaust and is rated at 281 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. The optional dual-exhaust version bumps output to 288 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential sport shifting is standard, and both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available. Both versions of the V6 burn regular unleaded fuel and are rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive and 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.
Standard Features & Options
The 2015 Traverse comes in LS, LT and LTZ trim.
Typical LS equipment includes a backup camera, front and rear air conditioning, 8-passenger seating with cloth seats, split fold-down second- and third-row seats, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, remote keyless entry, the OnStar communication system, SiriusXM radio with real-time traffic notification, an outside-temperature display, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder, auto head lamps, cruise control, rear-passenger USB charge outlets,17-in steel wheels, a rear wiper/washer, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes and power door locks, mirrors and windows.
The LT trim adds 18-in alloy wheels, speed-sensing steering, mirrors with integrated turn signals, fog lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with remote audio controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a power driver’s seat and rear-parking assist. The options list opens up to include navigation, automatic air conditioning, a power sunroof, a power lift gate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a garage-door opener, a premium audio system with 10 speakers, rear audio controls, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with headphones, remote vehicle starting, second-row bucket seats, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power front passenger seat, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert.
The range-topping LTZ goes all in, making much of the equipment that is optional on the LT standard, such as a power lift gate, navigation, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, a heated steering wheel, a Bose 10-speaker premium audio system, remote vehicle starting, second-row bucket seats, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert. The LTZ also adds a standard driver’s-memory seat, a leather shift knob, ventilated front seats, 20-in alloy wheels, a forward-collision alert system, lane-departure warning and outside heated and power-folding mirrors with driver’s-side auto dimming. The 288-hp dual-exhaust engine is standard on the LTZ, as well.
The Traverse offers almost as much passenger and cargo space as a minivan but without the sliding side doors and soccer-mom stigma. Clean, used family vehicles such as the Traverse are in steady demand, especially low-mileage examples with all-wheel drive. Prices will be more reasonable for front-wheel-drive models. Because the Traverse has standard traction control and the majority of its weight is over the front driving wheels, it offers all the poor-weather traction most buyers will really need.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2015 Traverse:
The original 255/65R18 Goodyear Fortera HL tires factory installed on some 2015 Traverse models may experience tread cracking, leading to a possible loss of tire pressure or tire failure and increasing the risk of a crash.
Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they’ll fix the car at no charge to you.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
The NHTSA gave the 2015 Chevy Traverse a 5-star overall rating, with five stars for frontal impacts, five stars for side impacts and four stars for rollover performance.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Traverse a Good rating for moderate-overlap front impacts, side impacts, roof structure and head-restraint and seat-crash performance.
Chevrolet covered the 2015 Traverse with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and a 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.
Chevrolet certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 6 years old or fewer. Every CPO Traverse undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus 6-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage from the original in-service date. Also included is a 2-year/24,000-mile maintenance plan with roadside assistance.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Ford Explorer — This car-based 3-row crossover comes with a 240-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbo, a 290-hp 3.5-liter V6 or a 365-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6. All versions offer good headroom and cargo space, as well as the innovative, optional 4WD Terrain Management System, but second-row legroom is tight and thick front roof pillars impede outward visibility.
2015 Toyota Highlander — Toyota’s largest crossover got larger and roomier for 2014, with fresh styling, a sportier ride and room for up to eight passengers. For 2015, it continues with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive with a fuel-saving 187-hp 2.7-liter 4-cylinder or a peppy 3.5-liter V6 that packs 270 hp. The Highlander’s interior design features an innovative storage shelf under the dash and a Driver Easy Speak system that can broadcast parental messages to unruly children in the aft rows. An gas-electric hybrid version offers 231 hp and a 27-mpg city/28-mpg hwy EPA rating with all-wheel drive, 31 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.
The 2015 Chevrolet Traverse offers a smoother-riding, more fuel-efficient alternative to truck-based SUVs, such as the Tahoe, while providing interior space rivaling that of a minivan. While its 5,200-pound tow rating isn’t up to truck standards, it’s plenty for most small boats and travel trailers. Upgraded interior materials, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system and ride improvements make this model year a better choice compared to 2012 and earlier Traverse models. Make sure all applicable safety recalls have been performed on the Traverse you’re looking to buy, and go for a lower-mileage or Chevrolet CPO example whenever possible. ‘