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“Traverse”-ing the Country On July 4th Weekend

See this baby?

It’s a 2010 Chevy Traverse LTZ. I was psyched when the always lovely and kind-hearted Connie Burke of GM set me up to take this crossover vehicle on a road trip over July 4th weekend, so I could tell you folks what I think about it. (Disclosure: I was loaned the vehicle for six days in order to write this review; gasoline and all other expenses on our trip came out of our family budget.)

This particular Traverse, with bucket seats in the front and middle row plus a bench seat in the third row, had enough seating space for seven people, so we asked my sister if she wanted to head down to Tennessee with us, to see our parents and her best friend. She joined us, and it was great because, since the boys have grown into adult-sized people, the cars that we currently drive just aren’t big enough for five adults to comfortably take a trip. This was definitely special!

When the car was dropped off at my house, the driver took some time to show me some of the features, like the XM Radio, the seat coolers, all of the various storage compartments, and the power remote liftgate in back, which I loved. I looked at the sticker information which was in the glove box, and it appears that I hit the “loaner car lottery”: this LTZ, which is the highest-level trim found on a Traverse, has a sticker price of $47,000, outfitted with all of the options that it has. (The other trim styles are the Traverse LS, starting at $29,000, the Traverse LT, starting at $31,000, and the Traverse 2LT, starting at $34,000. The Traverse LTZ starts out at $37,000: mine was just fancy, I guess!)

Before we left on Friday, I loaded up the car. I was going to be taking the first shift of driving, so I had to set up “my area”:

The boys had “an area”, too. They were overjoyed about not only the Rear DVD entertainment system with USB port, but also that there was an outlet there for their Playstation 2. This is how their faces looked for much of the trip:

One of the things I loved the most about this car is how smooth the ride was. Driving my own car, a Pontiac G6 which I do love, isn’t as smooth, though I don’t really notice it because mostly I’m just puttering around town. On a road trip, however, the smooth ride really made a difference.

I also liked the back-up camera, so I could see (in a little screen that appears on the rear view mirror) what was going on behind the car when I’m in reverse. The image disappears automatically when the car is put in Neutral, Drive, or Park.

And the cup holders! They were EVERYWHERE. It was great, because Jim could drink coffee and something cold, and I still had two cup holders of my own! (Seems like a ridiculous thing to be thrilled about, but trust. It was awesome.)

As far as storage goes, it was pretty good. I think that, unless you go with a Suburban or other massively huge vehicle, you can’t really have it “all” as far as seating AND cargo storage goes. We ended up folding down the 1/3 seat in the back row so we could fit our bags and cooler back there, but there was still plenty of leg (and breathing) space.

The storage space proved to be more than adequate on the way home, too: we were able to fit a 1.7 cubic foot microwave–in its box–in the back with all of our stuff! Here’s our junk:

I only found one miniscule thing that I did not like about the Chevy Traverse. Just one. When I get out of my own car (the Pontiac G6–also a GM vehicle, you know), I hit the remote so the car locks, and as I walk away from the car, I make sure that I hear the horn so I am assured that the car is indeed locked. This car didn’t have that feature. (It had the remote, of course, but no reassuring sound: just the blinking lights as it locked.) This is a minor thing and may not be as important to someone else, who either isn’t used to this feature already OR who may have a much better memory than I and can remember whether they locked their car or not, but I’m forgetful and constantly feel the need to double-check myself when I walk away from the car.

But really, if that’s the only thing? Well, I’d say the Traverse passed our family road trip test with flying colors.

EDITED: Please see Connie’s comment…apparently I could’ve had my reassuring honk, had I changed a setting! So, forget that entire paragraph, I guess…Thanks Connie!

The car was due to be picked up on Tuesday, and indeed it was, while I was at work. It’s probably better that way. I hated the thought of a long goodbye. *snicker*

All in all, we put about 1400 miles on the car (sorry, GM!), and though I would love to have kept it for a little longer (like a couple of years?), I’ll just consider myself lucky to have been able to borrow it for just a little while. Thanks so much Connie: you rock!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Connie Burke July 11, 2010, 10:59 pm

    So glad you enjoyed the Traverse, Melisa! Great review – I think you hit all the points that most folks would look for themselves. And, I'm tickled that your "growing" family was comfortable all the way 🙂
    Just so you know, there are settings in the Driver Information Center so that you can, indeed, hear that reassuring "honk" that you have locked the vehicle.
    GREAT pix, by the way! And, totally agree: cupholders are everything!

    — Connie

  • Dawn July 14, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Cool! I was thinking to myself, while reading this, that you could change your settings to make it honk. But, she beat me to it. We don't have a Traverse (obviously) but our Trailblazer has that option, but I don't like the 'honk.' FUN!

  • Lisa July 15, 2010, 3:27 pm

    Ok, now I'm seriously jealous, getting to review a CAR!?!?!?!?!

  • nycgirl0501 July 20, 2010, 7:26 pm

    WOW! That's awesome to hear such a great review. Since they don't make my beloved Saturns any more…its goo to know Chevy has good cars. I think in about two years I'll probably buy. Keep those reviews coming Melisa! 🙂