Chevrolet Canada sales-to-date are up 17 percent, outpacing the industry average of six percent. And with more than 70 percent of their overall sales coming from light trucks, crossovers and SUVs, the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse took a bow during a first ride-and-drive in the area around Shediac—the lobster capital of Canada in beautiful, picturesque New Brunswick.
The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is better-looking, lighter, more fuel efficient, and provides more passenger and cargo space than the previous model. In fact, when compared to the outgoing model, the wheelbase has increased by 5.0 cm, but the overall length is up only 1.5 cm. Both width and height remain practically unchanged.
GM’s designers have worked hard on the appearance of this crossover—inside and out. While looking better than MY17, the new Traverse has also lost some of its curb weight—about 150 kilograms—more than 300 pounds! While weight has gone down, cargo and passenger space, especially in the second and third rows, has actually increased.
More Cargo/Passenger Space and Lighter, Too!
Nicolas Longpre, brand manager—Chevrolet Crossover and Electric Vehicles says the new Traverse has best-in-class interior volume, cargo volume, and even third-row legroom. The second and third row seats fold all the way down to allow a flat floor and in the event you make an unexpected stop at a lumber yard while running errands, a 4-foot sheet can fit between the wheel wells!
Furthermore, the powers-that-be have also simplified the general buying process—something which North American manufacturers have long struggled. To make it easier for buyers, this new Chevrolet Traverse has drastically reduced the number of sometimes confusing 2018 “build” combinations down to just 11 compared to 136 on the outgoing model to make packaging much simpler.
Engineers and designers have, as is the case with many 2018 models in the Chevrolet lineup been loaded with useable technology and features to create, for the most part, a value proposition, not too often witnessed in North American automobiles. For example, just like Asian OEMs have been doing for several years with great success, they made a lot of hardware and software standard. For example, tri-zone automatic climate control, 4G LTE WiFi, Rear Seat Reminder, rear-view camera, wireless audio streaming with Apple Car Play and Android Auto and Traction Mode Selection.
All of this is available with a starting price of $36,790 for a seven- or eight-passenger crossover. Rear Seat Reminder is a new and useful feature finding its way into many GM vehicles these days. Quite simply, Rear Seat Reminder is new and provides the driver a visual prompt when switching off the vehicle’s engine to make sure something or someone is not left behind when leaving the vehicle!
Improved Engines and Transmission Leads to Improved Fuel Economy
All 2018 Traverse models are powered by an improved version of GM’s capable direct injection, 3.6-litre V6, in this case producing 310 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque through a new, smooth nine-speed transmission that replaces the six-speed in the outgoing model.
Front- or all-wheel-drive is offered on the lower trim LS and LT models, but after that AWD is standard on the higher-trim LR True North, Premier, High Country, and Redline models with the High Country available with exclusive AWD, set up with an innovative dual clutch system.
The one exception is the RS coming later in the model run with a 2.0-litre direct injection turbo four-cylinder with 255 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque with a nine-speed automatic transmission but only available with FWD.
A 255-horsepower, four-cylinder engine is standard on the RS model with the same transmission, but with front wheel drive only. All V6-equipped models have a 5,000 lb. tow rating.
According to Mr. Longpre, the reason for the RS is Chevrolet Canada has noticed strong sales of the Traverse inside large urban centres such as Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal where a bigger generally thirstier engine and AWD is likely not a priority versus fuel economy. It is expected to account for less than five percent of total sales.
To conclude, not only is the new 2018 design fresh and presents itself in a more upscale manner, the choice of materials and the way in which they have been utilized shows greater attention to detail and what a consumer today expects.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse
Body Style: Five-door, seven-/eight-passenger full-size crossover (CUV).
Engine: 3.6-litre direct injection V6 engine (310 horsepower, 266 lb.-ft.; 2.0-litre direct injection inline four-cylinder (255 horsepower, 295
lb.-ft. Front-/all-wheel-drive with nine-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel Ecomony (stated): (Regular) 3.6-litre FWD, 12.9/8.7/11.0L/100 km city/highway/combined; AWD, 13.7/9.4/11.8L/100 km; 2.0-litre, FWD,
Cargo Capacity: 651 litres behind third-row seats; 2,268 litres when the second and third rows are folded.
Tow Rating: 3.6-litre, 2,268 kg (5,000 lb); 2.0-litre, 681 kg (1,500 lb).
Pricing: LS (FWD/AWD) $36,790*/$39,790*; LT Cloth (FWD/AWD), $41,090*/$44,090*; LT True North AWD, $49,390*; RS Turbo FWD–TBA; Premier AWD,
$54,390*; High Country AWD, $60,390*.
*Includes freight. PDI, HST and other taxes extra.
David Taylor is an independent automotive lifestyle writer, producer, and editor based in Barrie, Ontario who is fascinated by innovation and technology which enhance the overall driving experience. He’s also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and a Director of the Canadian Car of the Year. Follow him on Twitter @Omemeeozzie or on Instagram @hugoscaroftheweek.