2013 Chevrolet Traverse at the 2012 New York Auto Show

2013 Chevy Traverse

  • Competes with: Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, Toyota Highlander
  • Looks like: Somehow more elegant and yet derivative at the same time
  • Drivetrain: 288-hp, 3.6-liter V-6; six-speed automatic transmission  
  • Hits dealerships: TBD

For the 2013 model year, the Chevrolet Traverse gets a significant midcycle refresh with a new front and rear end and updated interior.

More 2012 New York Auto Show Coverage

Up front, the model features a new center grille, bumper, fog lights, hood and slightly reworked fenders. The rear end uses reworked taillamps, a redesigned bumper, a bright bar and license plate cutout in the liftgate.

Chevrolet says that the new Traverse "captures the overall character of Chevy's new-car lineup." As far as we're aware, however, this is one of the first vehicles that doesn't feature the brand's signature two-tier grille, which strikes us as odd.

Nonetheless, the Traverse, for what it is, actually looks good with the new mug. Like the recently refreshed 2013 GMC Acadia, we could almost be convinced that this was a complete redesign, even though it is most certainly not.

In the cabin, the Traverse seems to have gotten the 2013 Acadia treatment. There are soft-touch materials and a new center console design. A new 6.5-inch touch-screen features Chevy's new MyLink multimedia system. The Traverse now features wood accents on the LT and LTZ trims, something previously unavailable.

Mechanically, not much has changed on the Traverse. There are new rebound springs and shock valving that are said to offer a more comfortable ride, says Chevy. Safety enhancements include a new front-center airbag, first seen on the 2013 Acadia. A blind spot warning and rear cross traffic system are newly standard on the LTZ model. All Traverse models now come standard with a backup camera, too.

For 2013, Traverse is offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims in both front- and all-wheel drive. Pricing has not yet been announced.

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse

2013 Chevy Traverse



I don't mind the new design but I don't understand the departure from the two tier grille. Hasn't that been a staple of their design for decades? Why lose it for a much more generic looking grille?


Competing with the Pilot and Highlander, not to mention the Jeep Grand Cherokee, is a mighty tall order for the Traverse.

Basically the same vehicle as an Acadia and Enclave, the Traverse differs only in the level of trim and standard equipment.

While we considered the Acadia in 2008, along with several other competitors, we ended up buying a 2008 Highlander. Best buy in our opinion. Greatest value for the money.

Again, when shopping around in 2011, we ended up buying a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Same reasons.

While the choices are subjective, the actual value received for our money is not.

Currently, the Jeep Grand Cherokee gives the most bang for the buck although not as much value for the money as a Pilot or Highlander.

Both the Pilot and Highlander cost thousands more but do hold their value better.

Maybe the 2013 Traverse has finally come up to their level, but that remains to be seen, five years hence.


first of all the JGC only seats 5 so its not really a direct competitor. Second of all competing with pilot and highlander isnt too tall an order if you look at sales volumes. Most months the traverse outsells those two rivals- in spite of in house competition from the Acadia and enclave.

Inside looks much better. Only issues I have are no push button start and the screen should be larger than 6.5". Even the Cruze has a 7" screen. The grille reminds me of the crosstour.

I think this is Chevy's way of letting the two-tier design down easy. First a refresh goes without than the next Silverado etc...

BTW that's just a guess. I haven't heard anyone at GM mention the design departure officially.


Looks like they completely ripped off the interior of the Grand Cherokee.


Inoffensive but dull. Looks like a Jetta.


Honda CR-V meets Mazda CX-9. But neither of those are something to be shameful of. The interior looks great for a GM product (heck it looks good period). Ford has the look with the Explorer, but they better step it up in power. They need the 3.5 ecoboost as a option and the 3.7l as standard with the 2.0l ecoboost for eco minded buyers. I'm sure GM is planning the DI 3.6L for this at least as an option.

Anonymous Coward

Grille looks like a 2006 Malibu. The Traverse was introduced as a 2008 model if memory serves, so it should be due for a full redesign in order to remain competitive. You do a mid-model correction after it's been on the market for two or three years, not five.

Tamer Ibrahim

Seems like an oversized station wagon rather than a vehicle I'd actually take off road. But maybe that's the purpose of an SUV. A comfortable roomy vehicle for long distance family travel.


It looks more elegant and less blocky than before, but what's with those hideous lights?

Max Reid

With a comfortable 8 seater option, its far superior to Pilot, Highlander, JGC and also it has 6-speed tranny.

Is there any plans to introduce flex-fuel engine for Traverse. E15 is going to come soon and E20 & E30 will also be widely available.


I don't know about being superior to Pilot and Highlander. The difference in ride, handling, NVH is noticeable. AWD in both the Pilot and Highlander is seamless.

The Traverse is not a lot different from the Acadia and Enclave. The AWD system in the 2008 Acadia was clunky and the front wheels crow-footed in a tight turn.

In 2008 the vehicle we thought rode and handled best overall was the Highlander. The AWD system was seamless and smooth.

It was roomy and quiet and handled solidly. The Acadia felt loose and jiggly. Maybe that's changed now with the new Traverse.

For 2012 the JGC, albeit a 5 seater, stood out for us.

It was quiet, smooth, handled tightly and was built solidly.

You got a lot more for your money with the JGC than any of the others; pushbutton starting, electric 8-way seats, and that magnificent Jeep 4X4 system that allows you to go rock crawling, if you want to.

Still, personal preference rules all.

When we get ready to trade the JGC in 2015 we'll look at GM's offerings in that class and buy what we consider to be the best, then.


A Cross between the Durango and the current traverse interior the outside looks like the 13 malibu an the current traverse the. Trying to get use to this new look not bad



As usual your analysis of an American branded product isnt in line with reality or what the expert reviewers say. As noted, the GM triplets easily outsell the 7 passenger rivals from Honda and Toyota. The Traverse alone outsells them most of the time. The ride and handling balance of the lambdas has been praised since they hit the market. I like the JGC but it gets very pricey with options and Im not sure how you determined that it offers more value for your dollar. The traverse seats 7/8 and fully loaded is less than the JGC. As for the Pilot and Highlander- you fail to mention the Traverse has more cargo space and a far more usable 3rd row. The 3rd row in the two Japanese models isnt usable by anyone over 5' tall.


I've had my Traverse for a year now. I'd rate the ride, utility, and comfort a 10. I don't think the new styling is an improvement (the front looks like a Chrysler 200). I wish they had used the money on upgrading the engine instead. Our AWD V6 has great power but I'd rather have something that gets more than 13/14 mpg. A turbo direct injection 4 would be nice.


While managing to keep most of the ugliness of this bovine family hauler, the new grill and lights look 10 years out of date. Bringing one of my most hated body styled to an all time low. Its not an SUV, its too huge to be a "minivan" ... I dont get this vehicle. Approaching Aztec ugliness, imo.
Interior looks nice, tho.
I lol'ed at VT's 4cyl. comment.



Unfortunately nothing short of a hybrid system is going to yield a major increase in mileage becaue these vehicles are HEAVY. They are nearly 5000lbs. As for 14mpg, I used to see that in my V6 powered family sedan in city driving.


Sheth, in your opinion GM can do no wrong. I'm cool with that. You're entitled to your opinion.

Fortunately most buyers think for themselves, and choose to buy what works best for them. Many choose better.

In my personal comparisons the Acadia did not even come close to the Highlander.

That's why we bought the Highlander in 2008. The rear most seat is fine. I sat in it on a long trip. I'm 6ft tall. No problems.

Last year we bought a JGC because we thought it offered the most for the money.

It wasn't cheap and it didn't wallow like a Lambda.

Our JGC is better than an Enclave CL and handles much tighter.

We don't need seating for seven, but we do get off-road once in awhile and that's where the Jeep really shines.

Just because certain traits of these vehicles do not appeal to YOU, doesn't mean that others won't value them higher.

You need to get out from behind your keyboard and test drive these vehicles in the real world instead of regurgitating the impressions of others.

I have arrived at a point in my life where I can buy whatever vehicle I want. So why would I choose to buy something less than what I think best?

If I had thought that GM's offerings were best, I would have bought one of theirs.

This time around the Jeep even beat the Highlander and the Pilot IMO. And my opinion is what matters since I'm paying for it.

I urge everyone looking to buy in this segment to check out all the vehicles offered in this segment and draw their own conclusions.

Seat-of-the-pants testing is the only way to go. Listening to sheth's opinion is not.


strange...I would have thought they'd put the Acadia's new front center airbag in this one too.



Nice try by suggesting that my comments suggest "GM can do no wrong". Its a clever way to try and dismiss the legitimate points I made. The Traverse is a top seller in this class- I dont even like the styling of the current model and never suggested otherwise. You claimed the Traverse doesnt measure up well vs the 3 row imports in this class and I said the lambdas have been successful in terms of reviews and sales. Those are facts, even if you personally dont like the Traverse. I like the 2013 updates but push button start is needed and the nav screen is too small for such a large vehicle. They needed an upgrade to an 7" or 8" screen. As noted, I like the JGC but its not cheap and its MUCH smaller than the Traverse. Both are nice vehicles, but they arent direct competitors.


The center airbag will be in this as well.


New "normal" grille looks waaay better than the traditional (read "archaic") Chevy front which is second worst after Lincoln's crazy whale mustaches.

Stuck With 3 Kids

High Desert Cat,
I'm admittedly not a car person, but after my '96 Windstar breathed its last, I needed a replacement vehicle that would mainly be used for road trips for a family of 5, getting to trails accessed by sometimes rough roads, and transportation to snow parks. I rejected the Highlander as soon as I looked at. The third road is not comfortable for me at 5'2" (I can't imagine how you put up with it). More importantly, once the third row is up, there is hardly any cargo capacity. I ended up going with an American-made mid-size SUV with a roomier third row and more space behind it. I kind of wish I'd gotten the Traverse, but I was a bit worried by Chevy's track record in reliability and the price tag was a bit higher than what I bought.


Looks like a "pregnant" prior year Accord.

The back end re-design is better than the prior design.

The interior looks decent.

Overall though, doesn't look to be worth the money.
Definitely a government owned design.

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