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Chevy's Traverse High Country: The Ingredients for success

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Click the image above to watch the episode detailing the Chevy Traverse High Country.

It's clearly one of Chevy’s best kept little secret surprises in the market - it's that good; seats up to eight people, lots of cargo space and doesn't feel like you're driving a massive vehicle and its packed with cool technology.

Here's a performance stat you may appreciate. Delivering 266 pound feet of torque at 2800 rpm the Traverse High Country is powered by a robust 310-horsepower 3.6 liter dual overhead cam direct injection - naturally aspirated V6 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with four valves per cylinder ; continuous variable valve timing. Allowing the Traverse to smoothly administers shifts at the proper time.

Driving impressions: The first impression I enjoyed was the acceleration. It's good; due to the from the 3.6 liter fuel system with direct, high-pressure fuel injection with electronic throttle control AWD mode. It pulls evenly on the highway where you can really feel the power of the acceleration and I surmise that it should work well in off road conditions. Another success element is the ride. It's steady, solid, consistent and comfortable for each passenger, especially those in the second and third rows. Add to that the sound deadening factors that make it relatively quiet.

I liked (preferred) the manual shift, especially for situations like moving uphill of for towing and hauling. Even then, I found it quite responsive. I'll keep adding factors that make this vehicle a success such as the four wheel drive system which can be quite assuring for diverse lifestyles.

Add top that the fact the everyone sits on the soft leather seats that actually give the Traverse a hint of premium style. The drive quality is enhanced by a wide windshield that drops low to the hood providing great visibility over the hood and space for my head and legs.

The Traverse gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The city rating is about what you'll get with most midsize SUVs, but the Traverse's highway rating is about 2 mpg higher than average.

Taking the Traverse on our makeshift course where I set up with the cones to test its agility and handling. The first test is simple, where I snake around each cone to get the feel of it. Then I reconfigure those cones to tackle the figure eight. Keep in mind that the Traverse high country has a curb weight of 4362 pounds, a wheelbase of 120.9-inches and 7.5-inches of ground clearance, all of which impact handling and steadiness around various road conditions, curves and corners. How can something this heavy manage those sharp turns so easily? The secret has to be in the suspension. This is where the all-wheel drive functionality can play a big role in road performance. At this point I’m paying attention to the roll factor, steadiness and driver comfort in the sharpest areas of the curves around the cones. This is not simply about speed or grip; a good handling vehicle has dynamic responses, providing the driver an intuitive motion of control. You're looking for the ability of that car to make you feel more involved in the act of driving and connected to it. In some cases a cars agility and handling makes you feel more skilled as a driver than you ever have been before. Again, its not about speed, its about functionality. I would choose the fun and excitement of test driving a car over a fast one any day because the experience and responsiveness, and in some cases intuitiveness are all important factors.

Interior Quality

The Traverse's starting price is competitive, but it's interior is a cut above many of them. The materials, design and functionality is done with an eye on quality. As you move up in trim levels, premium options like leather seats and two-tone interiors are available.

Infotainment and Navigation

Technology is a high point of the Traverse, better than many other competitors. With places to store and charge your smartphone and other wireless devices, its thoughtful about the lifestyle of today's busy consumer. There are six USB ports – two in each row with wireless charging pads for everyone. There’s the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (both standard) and you can use your favorite music and map apps instead of relying on the built-in media interface or available navigation system.

Cargo Space

The third row seating is very, very comfortable considering it's usually quite tight and difficult to find comfort. It's positioned lower with soft comfy leather for three people and places to charge your phone and store things in various cubby holes I'm happy about that. There's also access to sunlight from the sunroof up top.

Let's open up the back and check out the cargo space in the high country. Its another success element of this vehicle with a best in Class 98.2 cubic feet of cargo space, more than most people need but when it comes to cargo space but for those that value it, more is better. Next let's drop these seats for even more cargo. Hit the button right on the side (in the rear cargo area) and voila, the left seats drop down on the left and the right. The cargo space is now transformed into a cargo carrier.

Best in class 98.2 cubic feet

The Traverse has room inside for either seven or eight people, depending on whether it has a bench seat in the second row or two captain's chairs. It's interior layout steals a few tricks from the minivan class. It's family-friendly qualities include wide seats, air vents in the ceiling, and a pass-through between the second-row captain's chairs to access the rearmost seats.

The Chevy Traverse High Country may be a best kept secret too many of you but not well-informed SUV buyers and now you're one of them. At a price around $53,400, it stands as a strong and capable competitor in the segment where only the strong survive. Stay locked into all things AutoFocus by subscribing here or visiting our social media feeds @AutoFocusworld

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