Chevrolet’s Minivan Surrogate Improves But Misses Key Safety Content – Forbes
I recently had the opportunity to take my family to the west side of Michigan for a weekend for a series of short road trips in a 2018 Chevrolet Traverse. The Traverse is GM’s answer to the minivan. In fact, it’s really the only crossover that can play the part. In a market where minivans are a tough sell, the Traverse has set itself apart from the competition by offering a minivan-like package minus the sliding doors and awkward styling.
The 2018 Traverse shares a platform with the upcoming Buick Enclave and the smaller GMC Acadia. The Traverse has greatly improved from the first generation with better interior materials, a quieter cabin, and a more supple ride. My kids were glued to their Kindle Fire tablets courtesy of the suite of USB chargers and high-speed wifi available from AT&T. No one complained about getting car sick, which I think goes to show that GM engineers did their homework when it came ride quality.
The Traverse sticks with a V6 powertrain but it mated to a new nine-speed automatic that provides virtually seamless shifts. Merging onto the freeway, the Traverse stays right in the power band and the gears continue to climb. It almost feels like a CVT transmission with fake gear shifts because it is so smooth. A vast improvement over the nine-speed transmission in the Honda Pilot.
My kids were disappointed to find out that the Traverse does not offer a Blu-Ray or DVD player as an option. Even though they all have tablets, there is something to be said for being able to pop in a movie for all to see and hear.
The dad (me) was surprised to see that the model we were driving for the weekend (over $44,000) did not have active lane keep assist, collision warning, pre-collision avoidance, automatic high beams or even adaptive cruise control. If you want this standard on the Traverse you have to step up to a $54,000 High Country model. That seems a bit odd when Nissan, Honda, and Toyota all offer it as standard or as an option around $31,000. This is your new family hauler. Wouldn’t that make sense to have those features as least as an option on the trim level people will buy?