All-Wheel Drive is 2009 Chevrolet Traverse's Best-Kept Secret
Chevrolet is oh, so proud to add yet another crossover, the Traverse, to the General Motors’ family for 2009. The Traverse gives folks an alternative to midsize or full-size SUVs.
But GM is not so proud, unfortunately, to let its consumers in on one of the vehicle’s best selling points: on-demand all-wheel drive for the Snowbelt, making it — like its siblings the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave — a viable alternative to an SUV.
The Traverse is available in front- or all-wheel drive, but there isn’t any "FWD" or "AWD" lettering on the rear hatchlid to let everyone know.
Chevy engineers have their own suggestions for how to find out if a Traverse is front- or all-wheel drive.
"You can look for the AWD designation on the window sticker to tell," one Chevy official said at a preview of GM's 2009 lineup in Chicago.
"You can lay on the ground and look for the differential underneath to show that it’s AWD," another Chevy spokesman said.
"You can take off fast on snow and if it doesn't slip, you'll know it's AWD," a third Chevy person said.
We turned to Steve Bartolone, Chevy product director for the Traverse, for a definitive answer on how to tell FWD from AWD without examining the window sticker, laying in the mud or slipping in the snow.
"Simple, you just look for an R or a V on the vehicle identification number on the dash, R indicates it's FWD and V it's AWD," he said.
Obviously, however, enough people have asked about a badge that Bartolone finally says without cracking a smile: "I'm not sure why it's necessary, but we'll have a badge on Traverse, not at the outset, but we'll add it later."