- Helping you drive happy

2009 Chevrolet Traverse 2LT Review

Get the best interest rate
Mathieu St-Pierre
Drove my Chevy to the levy by the beach...
There is an ongoing, perhaps never ending, discussion about SUVs and large vehicles and their place in this ravenous World of ours. “Big SUVs are bad”, “Large vehicles pollute too much” and the ever-popular “What the heck do they need such a large truck for?” are sentences typically uttered by those that consider themselves green and friends of the planet. The irony here is that they are usually the ones that drive around in a 20 year-old Tercel or 15 year-old Accent that actually pollute more than some of the latest CUVs and SUVs offered on the market nowadays.

The Traverse certainly does everything well but the as-tested price of close to $50,000 is somewhat of a turn-off.

Not only is this often the case but these individuals clearly have no need for a passenger mover that can also tow over 2,300 kg (5,200 lb). The issue at hand is need and it will always be as such; So long as consumers have a need for large vehicles and manufacturers can make money, they will be built. Obviously, car builders will not be able to get away with manufacturing oversized fuel gluttons and massive polluters. Their products will have to meet the increasingly demanding emission norms as well as tough customers.

For the love of gasoline
Many do not know this but General Motors has long been a fuel economy champion in full-size categories. For example, their pickups and SUVs are amongst the most frugal in the business. It is only logical then to have noticed and state that the Traverse is a fuel miser. I was lucky enough to keep the Chevy for a little over 2 weeks and over that period of time, I averaged just under 12.0L per 100km and this, over a distance of 1,750 km. Please take into consideration that the Traverse was loaded with 4 passengers and a week’s worth of beach gear for about ¾ of that distance. Not to mention, the road travelled took us through Crawford Notch State Park in the heart of the White Mountains. To say the least, I was impressed!

It all begins with what is, in my opinion, GM’s best-ever normally-aspirated V6. The High-Feature 3,6L unit generates a none-to-shabby 281 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 6-speed autobox and FWD (AWD is optional), this powertrain is not only smooth and refined but delivers the goods. Off the line, the front wheels chirp and take-off is immediate. Although the engine has lots of heart, it’s the transmission that proves to be the weaker point. Unless the go-pedal is only mildly and progressively depressed, the slush-box tends to hesitate and hunt for the right gear. Once the shuffling is done, the Traverse really moves.

The High-Feature 3,6L unit generates a none-to-shabby 281 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.
Mathieu St-Pierre
Mathieu St-Pierre
Automotive expert