2018 Chevy Traverse Review

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General Motors loaned us a Traverse for a week, so we drove it from Oregon to Utah to attend my mother’s retirement party. I should probably start this review by admitting that until we bought our minivan three years ago, I’d never owned a car with power windows, so driving an SUV with this many frills felt like I was living in 2040.

It had built in GPS, Wifi, USB chargers at every seat, and power everything. The Bose stereo and ApplePlay made the Frozen soundtrack extra crisp, and I could answer texts and phone calls without touching my phone. That’s a big deal in Oregon with the state’s new cell phone laws. There were even rear cameras with sensors to help me park between the lines. It was basically an eagle eye view. No one has any excuse for parking like a jerk with all that help.

I will admit, the size of the thing gave me pause. At first, driving it felt like a land yacht, but once I got used to it, I couldn’t help but enjoy the additional room. We took three kids under 11 on a 7 day trek, and for the first time ever we didn’t pack the car to the gills. This says a lot considering I was once pulled over on a family trip and the officer asked if we lived in our car because it was so full of crap.

“No officer. We are just visiting North Dakota. Thanks for asking.”

The vehicle was very helpful. It had lights on the mirrors that told me if there was a car in my blind spot, it honked at me if I left the key inside, and the GPS announced if traffic was thick ahead.

There were moments on the drive that I honestly wondered if it would follow us into the restroom and take on the burden of wiping my three year olds butt, my most hated task.

It didn’t, though.

It didn’t…

From the perspective of a father who has been on many a family vacation, I must say, the two best frills of the Traverse were the separate AC controllers, one for Mel’s side, one for mine, and one for the kids. Finding a temperature that works for all of us is about as easy as… no. I can’t find a simile here. Nothing is worse than that.


And the built in wifi. I have often wished that family cars came with a limousine partition. It just seems like the only way to turn down the volume on a family vacation. However, giving the children wifi while on the road was almost just as good. And I know, we are supposed to make our children look out the window so they can understand how horrible life was in the 80s. But after letting my children play online games and stream movies during the whole trip, I realized that humankind’s greatest gift to parents is wifi in a family vehicle. All three of the kids used it at the same time.

It was glorious (see picture below of us loving life).

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We drove the Traverse through a pretty nasty rainstorm in rural Idaho. I enjoyed how well it performed in both rain and high winds. I felt in control the whole time.

I’m not a huge fan of the traditional doors. It might be sacrilegious to suggest sliding doors on an SUV, but as a parent I found the traditional doors to be a hassle. They had a tendency to drift shut on me while I was buckling my children. I also got a little distracted by all the features. If you do get one, take the time to figure out how it all works before your spouse yells at you for almost rolling the sucker (Ok. I didn’t almost roll it, but I can see how that might easily happen.) Lastly, the gas mileage wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t awesome. We averaged about 24 MPG on the trip.

The 2018 Traverse starts at about $30k. If it is in your price range, I can honestly say, it’s a pretty sweet ride.


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