Review and photos by Tom Sedens

The Traverse is Chevrolet’s edition of GM’s non-identical triplet SUVs – the others are GMC’s Acadia and Buick’s Enclave, both of which slot in above it in terms of price and cachet.

The Traverse’s styling has been updated slightly, but remains pretty plain. It’s a pretty chunky SUV with substantial front and rear overhangs. The grille, headlights and foglights are all integrated cleanly. The side glass gets squeezed together toward the back which helps slim things down a tad – well, visually anyway. The rear flanks flare out a bit, and blend into the tail nicely. It’s a clean-looking SUV, but it always looked bulky to me.

2013 Chevy Traverse AWD 2LT2013 Chevy Traverse AWD 2LT
2013 Chevy Traverse AWD 2LT. Click image to enlarge

GM’s 3.6L direct-injection V6 puts out 281 horsepower at a soaring 6,300 rpm. Thankfully the torque that we’re after in North America (266 lb-ft of it) is accessible at 3,400 rpm.

The fuel economy is rated at 13.0 L/100 km in the city and 8.6 L/100 km on the highway.

Sadly, my average for the week came in at 16.9 L/100 km. This was almost exclusively city driving, much of it through slush and heavy, fresh snow. I actually made an effort to drive economically, which I usually don’t do. I wonder what I would have averaged if I’d driven normally.

The interior is clad in nice materials – pretty much everything around the cabin is soft-touch plastic, or cushy upholstered and stitched material. The one exception is the woodgrain stuff, which looks pretty cheap and fake. All in all, I liked the greys and the contrasting tones were pleasing.

The leather seats are very comfortable, but offer basically no bolstering whatsoever. They are, however, heated and power-adjustable. I found the cabin to be very spacious and at 5’10”, there was plenty of headroom for me.

2013 Chevy Traverse AWD 2LT2013 Chevy Traverse AWD 2LT2013 Chevy Traverse AWD 2LT
2013 Chevy Traverse AWD 2LT. Click image to enlarge

In front of you, you’ll find a decently designed steering wheel, with buttons for cruise control, phone, media and handsfree functions. Behind it are two simple gauges with a driver information screen between them. It comes with a nasty dot-matrix font display – it works fine, but it’s not nice to look at.

At the top of the center stack sits the MyLink touchscreen handling media, phone and vehicle setting functions. It’s not the most intuitive system, but it works fine. I preferred the simplified approach that Chevy took in the Trax.

Below the screen is the tri-zone automatic climate control system. Dual-zone up front, and controls for the rear zone. Nice! At the bottom of the stack is a 12V plug and a useless storage slot.

The center console is home to the shift lever and two cupholders. Behind that is a scrolling cover – slide it back and you’ll find two organizer trays and below them, a carpeted bin with another 12V plug. Finally, there’s a sliding armrest with a shallow storage tray under the lid.

Overhead, you’ll find a three-button HomeLink garage door opener and a lovely dual sunroof – the front one tilts and slides and both have manually retractable sunshades.

2013 Chevy Traverse AWD 2LT
2013 Chevy Traverse AWD 2LT. Click image to enlarge

The second row has two bucket seats – they are very comfortable, and are adjustable fore and aft, and recline as well. I appreciated the centre armrests that can flip up and out of the way. There is ample head- and legroom in the second row, and it feels even more spacious because of the light from the second sunroof above.

The seats have enough space between them for someone to walk through to the third row. Alternatively, they slide and fold forward easily to make third-row access even better. We also found the space between the seats useful for significantly more stuff during road trips.

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