The Traverse is Chevrolet’s crossover sport-utility vehicle, smaller and more manageable in crowded traffic situations than larger SUV models. It debuted in 2009 with four trim levels: LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ. For many buyers, the top-of-the-line LTZ is out of reach but the other three choices are tempting. As of the 2012 model, changes from year to year have been minimal, although a few new technologies show up in most years.
Across the Board Basics
The powertrain for the LS and LT models is the same 3.6-liter V-6 coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. All three SUVs are available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive and include four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system, plus stability and traction control systems. All Traverse models have the full array of airbags and the security of the OnStar vehicle-reporting system as standard equipment.
The LS and the 1LT models have standard seating for eight occupants, with three seats each in the second and third rows. The 2LT’s standard arrangement seats only seven, with two captain's chairs replacing the second row bench seat. However, owners of either LT model can choose the alternate seating arrangement, so the 1LT seats seven and the 2LT seats eight. At the LT level, the driver’s seat has power adjustments and the 2012 models offer heated front seats and a power-adjustable passenger seat as options.
All Traverse models include a standard audio system. At the LS and 1LT levels, it’s an AM/FM/CD system with six speakers that also features CD MP3 playback and SiriusXM radio. In the 2LT, owners get an upgrade to a Bose premium system with 10 speakers, including a subwoofer, and separate audio controls for the rear seats. Both LT models offer an optional entertainment system and the 2LT also offers a touchscreen navigation system and a universal home remote. Bluetooth connectivity is available for the LS and standard on both LTs.
While all Traverse models include power outside mirrors, the LT’s mirrors are heated and have an integrated turn signal. Starting in 2012, the LT mirrors are also equipped with blind-spot mirrors. The 2LT’s driver gets the added benefit of auto-dimming technology for the inside rear-view mirror and outside driver-side mirror. A remote power liftgate and remote engine start also are standard on the 2012 2LT.
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