2024 Chevrolet Traverse: More Performance and Personality

Strong points
  • A new, more powerful engine.
  • Upgraded interior and infotainment.
  • Versatile driving dynamics.
Weak points
  • New engine reliability to be determined.
  • The RS variant is quite expensive.
Full report

The three-row utility vehicle is kind of the family Swiss Army knife. But beyond the utility part of its task, this once mundane all-purpose hauler has more recently been given a new task: developing a personality. For 2024, the Chevrolet Traverse has undergone a thorough redesign that has taken its styling up several notches, with a new Z71 variant and a new powertrain. While in the U.S. the new Traverse is offered in LS, LT, RS and Z71 models, the entry-level LS variant won't be coming to Canada.

The Car Guide visited the Atlanta area to put the RS and Z71 variants of the new Traverse through their paces.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

A Smooth, Adaptative Ride

Aside from its more muscular physique, the most notable change on the Traverse is its new turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which replaces the old 3.6-liter V6. It develops 328 hp and 326 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. This gearbox channels power to all four wheels, thanks to the standard all-wheel drive system.

On the road, the 60 lb-ft increase in torque over the outgoing engine is noticeable very early in the rev range. This translates into good accelerations - especially for a large family vehicle. Aside from a slight numbness feeling in the steering - a very forgivable detail on a three-row SUV - the driving experience is improved in every respect.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

Our test models were fitted with new ZF dampers adapted to each model, with a smoother ride on the road in the RS, and a more trail-oriented character in the Z71. We noted that the dynamics were neither too sporty in the RS variant, nor too robust in the Z71 model. In addition to its distinctive look and the suspension in question, the Z71 variant wears skid plates to protect its vital organs, a dual-clutch all-wheel drive system that optimizes grip on trails, slightly higher ground clearance, the standard towing package, hill descent control and model-specific wheels.

More Digital Than Ever

In the cockpit, the new 17.7-inch central screen dominates the dashboard. Oriented towards the driver, the monitor houses the Google Built-In interface developed jointly with the Californian firm. The intuitive nature and clarity of the graphic elements are particularly noteworthy for this addition to the cockpit.

Avid users of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be pleased to know that both software suites come as standard. The screen works in tandem with a fully digital 11-inch instrument cluster mounted behind the steering wheel. We applaud Chevrolet for retaining a good number of manual levers and buttons for critical systems, but we deplore the fact that the headlight control is located in the center screen. We think it should remain more easily accessible.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

Still on the tech side of things, Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving technology comes as standard on the RS model. This enables the Traverse to maintain its lane and speed almost autonomously, with little or no driver interaction on a predefined network of roads covering over 440,000 kilometers in North America.

The only model that can be configured to accommodate 8 passengers is the LT. RS and Z71 models are delivered exclusively with captain's seats in the second row. In Canada, heated first- and second-row seats and a heated steering wheel are standard equipment on all three models.

Finally, the Traverse also boasts the best overall cargo space in its segment, with 2,763 liters when both rows of seats are folded down.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

The Bottom Line

The Traverse's new powertrain features some interesting details from a technical point of view, such as a variable electric cam phaser system. This optimizes cam timing  in the cylinder head according to engine load in a more precise way than a traditional hydraulic system. An air/liquid cooler for the turbocharging system is also present, in addition to an active thermal management system that transfers heat from the exhaust manifold to the engine and transmission oils so that they reach their optimum operating temperature more quickly.

On paper, these are useful and ingenious. But these new components can adversely affect the reliability of the new Traverse if they fail prematurely. Otherwise, with a more comfortable and versatile ride, a more powerful engine and a bolder appearance, the Traverse has developed a personality all its own. The LT variant starts at $47,999, plus taxes and fees. The new Z71 variant costs $53,999, rising to $62,899.

Watch: the Car Guide drives the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse

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