2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT AWD
2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT AWD
2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT AWD. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site
General Motors Canada

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Review and photos by Michael Clark

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2009 Chevrolet Traverse

Inside Story is a review of interior comfort features, cabin controls, storage options, trunk space and under-hood accessibility based on a seven-day evaluation.

One of the best ways to learn about a vehicle is to be trapped inside.

Such was the case with this week’s tester, an ‘09 Chevy Traverse, fitted with the 2LT option package, all-wheel drive, and an MSRP of $51,655. (Prices shown do not include freight, taxes, regional or promotional incentives.) The confinement was courtesy of monsoon-esque bursts that have been appearing as of late in the Winnipeg area, coupled with record low temperatures. (Doesn’t this sound a smidge like the opening scenes of The Day After Tomorrow?)

The last thing any family wants to feel with their truckster of choice is that they’ve received some form of 60-month payment sentence, a genuine concern as the Traverse is essentially the Bowtie version of the Buick Enclave and Saturn Outlook. Can the practicality remain, without feeling like a Cobalt? Let’s investigate.

2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT AWD
2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT AWD. Click image to enlarge
The Cockpit/Centre Stack

While the manual tilt/telescoping wheel is fitted with multi-function tabs, I continue to be concerned with how they’re fitted, as tack-on modules. There’s definitely enough room to incorporate integrated tabs, the likes of which appear on such low-dough Chevys as the HHR and Cobalt. Bluetooth is included at this option level, which needs a simple two-second plunk on the talk switch to set the pairing into motion. Up to five phones can be stored, with the number display found dead centre, on the driver information screen. Note to GM; consider a Bluetooth ‘hot’ button, incorporated into the OnStar bank of switches on the interior rear-view mirror.

Instrumentation is getting thicker, with a coolant temperature gauge, and an amperage sweep. Headlamps are equipped with an auto detent. The driver’s door adds an auto-down for the driver’s window, with the exterior mirror control pad provided with a neutral position, to ensure against unwanted mirror adjustments. Now about those mirrors: they’re heated, and they wear external turn indicators (with Euro-spec tap-to-pass ease.) They’re also two mirrors in one, with integrated spotter units.

2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT AWD
2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT AWD
2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT AWD. Click image to enlarge

The DVD-based touch screen is still a treat to use, with the added task of rear camera display. The HVAC can be tailored to the driver and front passenger, as well as the rear compartment at floor and ceiling levels. IS has to take a swipe at the wipe, as in front and rear wipers. Enough with the turn signal stalk mounting for front, and the out-of-sight line location for the rear blade. A right-hand wiper-specific stalk is needed. Stability control cancel, Tow/Haul transmission mode, and power rear hatch cancel switches are found below the HVAC control bank. The six-speed automatic has manu-shift capability, actuated by a rocker switch on the side of the shifter handle.

Cubbies!

Front doors are fitted with bottle holder-specific space in the door pockets, as are the rear doors. Opting for a vertical mount handle in the rear allows for a second holder, built into the armrest. Directly above the DVD head unit is dash-top storage, with a removable anti-rattle pad. The locking glovebox is sizable, even when overstuffed with owner’s lit. A 12-volt DC powerpoint is located below the HVAC, though the large storage well with roll-top door receives no plug-in points for power or media. (An auxiliary audio jack input is located on the DVD head unit.)

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