By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com

Numerous three-row SUVs compete vigorously in the market but among the standouts is the Traverse. Sharing its design with the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, the body-frame integral structure of this Chevrolet will boost the confidence of any driver. It is equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine putting out a healthy 310 horsepower @ 6800 rpm and 266 pounds-feet of torque @ 2800 rpm. That is plenty of clout to propel this nearly 4,400-pound SUV toward its destination briskly on challenging roads.

Power routed through the crisp-shifting 9-speed auto gear box delivers adequate performance. Standard active noise cancellation isolates occupants from road sound and imperfections in this front-wheel or all-wheel-drive ride.

Of course, it’s in the passenger/cargo department that the Traverse truly shines. Have a seat up front in the muscularly-styled SUV and you will notice that the center stack offers MyLink with a 8-inch color touch screen for hands-free phone and audio. Underneath the infotainment system are large illuminated climate control knobs. The instrument cluster of two gauge binnacles hosting readings for speedometer, tachometer, water temp, battery and fuel, as well as a driver information center, is simple but clear.

Thanks to tri-zone auto a/c, the driver and all passengers can control their own individual temperature settings. The 60/40 second-row folds via a lever while the 50/50 third-row seat can be power operated. That opens up 98.2 cubic feet of stowing area. Simply put, throw in a stroller, numerous pieces of luggage, backpack, ice chest, cooler, etc. into the cargo hold and the Traverse laps it all up. Lest we forget, there is a huge storage bin underneath the cargo hold.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, front center airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, antiskid system, stability and traction control, remote vehicle start, rearview camera, rear park, rear cross traffic and forward collision alerts, lane keep and hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.

Go ahead and ‘Traverse’ the landscape in the Chevy crossover. There is abundant power to ensure a quick but silent and smooth ride with superb handling and cornering balance. A solid chassis and exceptional people- and cargo-hauling capabilities in this virtually full-size SUV will serve the needs of large households quite well.


Tires: P255/55R20 all-season

Wheelbase: 120.9 inches

Length: 204.3 inches

Width: 78.6 inches

Height: 70.7 inches

Suspension: MacPherson strut independent front; 5-link rear

Steering: electric variable power

Tow capacity: 5,000 pounds

Fuel capacity: 21.7 gallons

Highway: 25 mpg

City: 17 mpg

Base price: $53,100

Price as tested: $54,295

Web site: www.chevrolet.com