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2024 Chevrolet Traverse First Drive: New Roles, Same Buyers

2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS | Photo: D.Rufiange
  • EPA Category: Midsize SUV
  • Price: 47999 $ - 62899 $
  • Warranty: 3 years / 60000 km

strong / weak points

  • Solid exterior design
  • Adequate power for this vehicle
  • Good impression of interior quality

  • Screaming, rough mechanics when the throttle is applied
  • Three-quarter rear visibility compromised by exterior design
  • No electrified solution
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Daniel Rufiange
The Chevrolet Traverse is completely transformed for 2024, but its typical buyers remain much the same.

•    Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse.

Atlanta, GA - In 2009, Chevrolet launched the first generation of the Traverse SUV. At the time, the company's products didn't as a rule exude high quality. That first Traverse was certainly practical, but it was also unremarkable. That said, the automaker got it right with the format of the model, which at the time was offered in three other configurations: Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.

We know what happened with Saturn, but you'll have noticed that the other two are still among the living. Proof that there remains an ongoing need among consumers for three-row SUVs.

A second-generation Traverse launched for 2018, correcting many of the first generation's shortcomings, particularly in terms of quality. Mechanically, however, the new model retained the old one’s all-purpose 3.6L V6.

That’s a detail worth mentioning, because this time around, for generation three, the model loses the 6-cylinder in favour of a 4-cylinder.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71
2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71 | Photo: D.Rufiange

2024 Chevrolet Traverse: What's new?

This new generation brings us the most significant changes to the model since its inception. There's the completely revised design, of course, but also the new 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine destined for under the hood of a number of General Motors’ models in the near-future.

The new Z71 light-off-road variant is also added to the range this year – which actually represents a change of vocation for the Traverse.

The interior has also been completely overhauled and modernized, as has the chassis, which features new settings whose benefits are felt on the road.

The model has improved in every respect, but it will continue to appeal to the same clientele; its DNA remains essentially the same.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71, profile
2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71, profile | Photo: D.Rufiange

Design of the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse - 7.5/10

The overall shape of the Traverse is largely the same as before, meaning interior space, one of the model's strengths, remains generous. But the styling signature has been completely changed both front and rear. From where we sit, it’s a job well done. In fact, from a quick you might think you’re looking at the larger Tahoe, which is fine.

At the rear, the styling looks done right; we're a long way from the design of the lights and tailgate of the first generation, a styling mishap in our eyes.

From the side, however, something catches the eye. Designers of the new Traverse clearly were aiming for elegance card, but on the flanks, that piece of bodywork that sticks its nose in among the side windows is anything but elegant. Worse, from the inside, it only reduces visibility. Not the model’s best feature, let's say.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, view of that side panel
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, view of that side panel | Photo: D.Rufiange

Otherwise, you'll find slightly different styles in each model. Most distinct is the Z71 variant, which features different 18-inch wheels belted with all-terrain tires, a snout with a more generous approach angle, an aluminum skid plate, red tow hooks, 1.0-inch higher ground clearance and a wider track for greater stability.

The Z71 model sits at the top of the range, after the base LT variant and the mid-range RS trim. That version rides on 22-inch aluminum wheels and has a sportier suspension setup, as well as black accents and prominent RS logos.

If you're interested in the Chevrolet Traverse, take a look at the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave too; one of the three might appeal to you more than the others.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, interior
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, interior | Photo: D.Rufiange
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, second-row seats
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, second-row seats | Photo: D.Rufiange

In redesigning the cabin, Chevy used the opportunity to update everything, discarding the traditional layout (dials, centre console and multimedia screen) to integrate a 17.7-inch screen that stretches from the left to the center of the vehicle. Naturally, it contains all the information needed for driving and multimedia. It's pretty, with attractive, clear graphics, but for traditionalists, this kind of presentation doesn't add anything aesthetically sought-after in terms of design. Some will like it, and that's fine.

The LT model offers an 8-seat configuration. Otherwise, there’s room for 7, with captain's chairs in the second row. There's plenty of room for occupants here, as well as in the third row, where headroom is decent. Above all, the Chevrolet Traverse is very spacious for loading gear. Behind the first row, there are 2,763 litres of cargo space with the second and third row seats folded down.

In Canada, a heated steering wheel is standard, as are heated front and rear seats.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse, multimedia screen
2024 Chevrolet Traverse, multimedia screen | Photo: D.Rufiange

Technology in the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse - 8.5/10

With any new vehicle today, the list of technological features gets longer and longer. This Chevrolet Traverse will not disappoint. These are just the most notable functionalities.

With this new generation, connectivity is the order of the day, with wireless charging for phones and six USB ports as standard. Wi-Fi access is available.

All versions come with an enhanced version of the "Buckle to Drive" feature, which requires front occupants to have their seatbelts fastened before the vehicle can be engaged. A seatbelt alert is also new. This alerts the driver if passengers in rows two and three are not buckled up.

The Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system is also included and available with certain versions, allowing the vehicle to be driven on almost 1.2 million km of road in Canada and Mexico. The system isn't perfect, but it's probably the most advanced after Tesla's.

And, of course, a host of safety features are included.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71, front
2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71, front | Photo: D.Rufiange

Powertrain of the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse - 8.0/10

As mentioned, Chevrolet is introducing a new engine to its trio of SUVs. The 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that's been optimized to work with this powertrain. It's actually a ZF transmission, originally configured with 9 gears, but reworked to offer 8 with this powertrain for the sake of efficiency.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71, three-quarters rear
2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71, three-quarters rear | Photo: D.Rufiange

Driving the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse - 8/10

Our test day of the new Chevrolet Traverse had us drive half the day in the Z71 model, the other in an RS version.

With the former, we tackled an off-road trail that a Jeep Wrangler would scoff at, but that would be trickier to negotiate with a Chevy Malibu. This Z71 version is designed to be more comfortable off the beaten track, but best not to get carried away. If your cottage is a bit remote in the woods and the path to get there is rocky, maybe littered with tree branches and debris, this Z71 model is perfect for that.

Back on the road, its behaviour is perfectly civilized.

With the RS variant, we expected different sensations, but we went looking for them in vain, to be quite honest. Yes, performance is a little firmer and stiffer, but only a little. Admittedly, the roads we drove on were smoother than carpet; perhaps we'll see a bigger difference on our Canadian roads.

It's worth noting, however, that the four-wheel drive system on this model benefits from a dual-clutch system that redistributes power more proactively to the wheels that need it, rather than reactively with other models. This will be more effective in winter, although the approach is primarily designed to be more competent on slippery off-road surfaces.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, three-quarters front
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, three-quarters front | Photo: D.Rufiange

The new 4-cylinder engine does good work, It delivers 328 hp and 326 lb-ft of torque, and it's livelier and smoother than the 3.6L V6 it replaces replaced - but it's a little louder, too. The good news is that the Chevrolet Traverse isn't the kind of vehicle you drive aggressively.

This engine, if it proves reliable, will serve the company well. Note that this is not a truncated version of the 2.7L turbocharged 4-cylinder, it’s more of a close cousin. Incidentally, we were told that the 2.7-liter was too big for the crate because of its longitudinal rather than transverse layout, like the 2.5-liter.

Ah, when engineers tell us little secrets...

2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71, wheels
2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71, wheels | Photo: D.Rufiange

2024 Chevrolet Traverse pricing

Here's what the offering looks like in Canada.

  • - 2024 Traverse LT: $47,999
  • - 2024 Traverse Z71: $53,999    
  • - 2024 Traverse RS: $62,899

Frequently asked questions about the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse

What is the towing capacity of the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse?
The new Traverse is rated to pull 5000 lb.

Will Chevrolet be offering a more affordable front-wheel drive version of the LT?
No. The Chevrolet Traverse only comes with all-wheel drive in Canada.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, rear
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, rear | Photo: D.Rufiange

The final word
The Chevrolet Traverse makes gains on all fronts as it enters its third generation. The product is more interesting than ever, but it doesn't do anything so extraordinary to make the competition quake in its boots. For example, there’s no electrification is on the menu.

The Chevrolet Traverse will continue to appeal to the same buyers, even if its vocation has been broadened with more assertive variants.

Competitors of the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse

  • - Buick Enclave
  • - Ford Explorer
  • - GMC Acadia
  • - Honda Pilot
  • - Hyundai Palisade
  • - Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • - Kia Telluride
  • - Mazda CX-90
  • - Nissan Pathfinder
  • - Subaru Ascent
  • - Toyota Highlander / Grand Highlander
  • - Volkswagen Atlas
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, three-quarters rear
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS, three-quarters rear | Photo: D.Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists