Test Drive: 2013 Chevrolet Traverse FWD 2LT

?Chevrolet?s Traverse Crossover displays new athletic persona?

2013 Chevrolet TraverseWhat is shaped like a mini-van, but is now categorized as a crossover? The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse. The Bow Tie crew bills the Traverse as their ultimate family vehicle, with seating for up to eight in a more athletic appearing form, featuring a more expressive frontal design that clearly exhibits Chevrolet?s new character. Up front, the new look includes: a power dome hood, horizontal grille; news headlamp treatment; chrome trim accents with sculpted front corners, reflecting Chevrolet?s car offerings. Out back, redesigned lamps and license plate pocket are positioned in the sporty new lift gate.

The Traverse is available in three trim levels: a well equipped base model LS; the LT model with more equipment and features; and the flagship LTZ version loaded with even more features and equipment.

2013 Chevrolet Traverse- Engine Compartment

There are two engine choices, which may seem a bit confusing at first, since both are 3.6-liter V6 engines, featuring direct injection. One version puts out 281 horsepower and 266 pound feet of torque, with a single exhaust, powering both LS and LT models. The other version powering the LTZ models generates 7 more horsepower (288 hp) and 17 additional pound feet of torque (270 lb.-ft.) thanks to dual exhaust. All trim level engines mate to the same Hydra-Matic 6T75, 6-speed automatic transmission which transfers power to either the front wheels only, or to all four via an intelligent all-wheel drive system. All FWD models deliver EPA mileage ratings of 17-mpg city and 24 mpg highway, weighing in at 4,720 pounds. 4WD version Traverses yield 1 mpg less in each category ? 16-mpg city and 23-mpg highway. All Traverse models run on regular unleaded fuel regardless of the drive configuration and exhaust setup, and are capable of towing up to 5,200 pounds when properly equipped.

2013 Chevrolet Traverse - WheelsWheel choices include 17, 18 or 20-inch designs (20-inch wheels are standard on LTZ models). The exterior body lines are taut with minimal overhangs front and rear which tend to convey the feeling of a smaller vehicle, which is deceptive considering the spacious interior accommodations. It also feels and drives smaller than one would expect. Upscale design elements include: Deep-set grille inserts with chrome-ringed trim, Turn signals integrated in the outside mirrors, expressive taillamps, a rear spoiler integrated over the liftgate window, roof rails that enhance the sleek appearance, dual, bright exhaust outlets and a panoramic, power-operated sunroof.

Inside, the styling is a reflection of the exterior?s refinement, with the instrument panel exhibiting a dual-cockpit theme – a hallmark of Chevrolet?s DNA.

2013 Chevrolet Traverse - Dashboard

The IP houses a pair of large gauge binnacles accented by bright trim rings; and for vehicles equipped with the available navigation system, the display screen is integrated prominently in an upper-center position. Traverse may be configured for either seven or eight adults, including two front bucket seats, a 60/40-split second-row bench for three passengers, or two second-row captains? and a 60/40-split third-row bench seat. Perforated leather seats as well as second-row captain?s chairs are available. The third-row seat is capable of comfortably seating adults while still providing ample storage space behind for gear.

The list of standard features and equipment for the Traverse on any level is impressively substantial, but there are also a host of available amenities to further enhance consumer?s desires and requirements, such as: Rear ultrasonic parking assist, rearview camera, heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors with blind-spot mirrors, power folding outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, power liftgate, extended-range remote vehicle start, DVD entertainment system, DVD navigation system (with OnStar Destination Download or eNav and XM NavTraffic), heated and cooled front seats, XM Satellite Radio with available real-time traffic feature, OnStar (with one year of Directions & Connections service) with Turn-by-Turn Navigation and, with the navigation system, Direction Download and e-nav, and Chevrolet?s newest infotainment technology – MyLink Touch.

My test Chevrolet Traverse came in 2LT trim with the higher output, dual exhaust V6. The exterior was done in a White Diamond Tricoat metallic with a complementing Light Gray interior accented by Satin Silver trim accents. The base sticker was set at $37,405 while adding the Skyscape? power front sunroof and fixed rear skylight, rear-seat Entertainment system, Chevrolet MyLink Touch infotainment system with Navigation, Trailering Package and Destination charge which raised the final count and amount to $44,135 prior to taxes and license fees.

2013 Chevrolet Traverse - rear viewSUMMARY: The new 2013 Chevrolet Traverse 2LT delivers a quality form of family transportation that displays attractive styling elements with a high degree of versatility and functionality. It accelerates nicely, shifts smoothly, with a handy shift up/down thumb switch on the gearshift selector stalk.

The ride quality and handling characteristics are synonymous with what one would expect in a minivan ? Oops, I mean crossover. StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology and the Traction control system are nice features to have that enhance the Traverse?s driving experience while inspiring confidence and security.

In terms of safety elements, the Traverse is equipped features the industry?s first front center side air bag: and two dual-stage frontal air bags, for driver and front passenger, two seat-mounted pelvic-thorax side-impact air bags in the first row, and two head curtain side-impact air bags covering all three seating rows ? they are among the longest air bags offered in any production vehicle.

Complementing the air bags is GM?s rollover sensing system, which can activate the head curtain side-impact air bags and safety belt pretensioners when sensors determine an imminent rollover. In such an event, the air bags stay inflated longer, improving occupant containment. Dual front-seat safety belt pretensioners (anchor and retractor) are included. The Traverse comes standard with OnStar (including a one-year Directions & Connections plan), which features Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calling, Turn-by-Turn Navigation and the Advanced Crash Response System.

The Traverse will compete in the marketplace with Honda?s Pilot, Toyota?s Highlander and the Ford Flex. It represents an appropriate step up from the compact Chevrolet Equinox.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Chevrolet Traverse FWD 2LT ? ?13

Base Price: $37,405
Price as Tested: $44,135
Engine Type and Size: 3.6-liter, DOHC, 24-valve, V6 with direct high-pressure fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing
Horsepower (bhp): 288 @ 6,300 rpm with dual exhaust
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 270 @ 3,400 rpm with dual exhaust
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic
Drive Train: Transversely-mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive
Suspension: Front – Coil-over strut; direct acting stabilizer bar; full perimeter isolated cradle.

Rear – Linked H-arm independent suspension; coil springs with twin-tube shock absorbers mounted on isolated sub-frame.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel ventilated discs with ABS, ETC and ESC with rollover mitigation
Tires: Goodyear Fortera 255/65 R18 ALS blackwall mounted on 6-grooved-spoke alloy wheels
Wheelbase: 118.9 inches
Length Overall: 203.7 inches
Width: 78.5 inches
Height: 69.9 inches – with roof rails
Curb Weight: 4,713 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 22.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 17 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

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