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2012 Chevrolet Traverse Review

For 2012, the Chevrolet Traverse promises to get you around comfortably. It is a full size crossover SUV built on the GM Lambda Platform. It i also one of the most affordable family oriented crossover SUV available around. Unlike the other SUVs in its class, Traverse is noted for its spacious interior and ample space for the third row occupants; it can seat 8 full size adults. More importantly, it is also lighter than other competing full size crossover SUVs. The uni body architecture makes it nimble and more maneuverable. Other highlights include good fuel economy and good safety rankings.

Engine and Performance

Unfortunately, the Traverse is only offered with one engine choice; a 3.6 liter V6 that produces 281 horsepower and delivers 366 pound-feet of torque at wheels. The engine is mated to a six speed automatic transmission. The engine also features VVT with direct injection. Chevrolet offers Traverse in both front wheel FWD or all wheel drive AWD versions. Despite having a decent output, the choice of a single engine leaves the prospective customer wish for more power. The top of the line LTZ trim improves on the engine performance figures by adding 7 horsepower and 4 pound feet torque. This is achieved with the help of a double exhaust system. 0-60mph is achieved in 8.6 seconds for the 2LT trim, while the LTZ does that in 8.2 seconds.

The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse also boasts a respectable towing capacity of 5,200 pounds. The EPA fuel economy figures for the Chevrolet Traverse are pretty much impressive. Despite being a  full size Crossover SUV, the Traverse has a fuel economy comparable to the mid size SUVs. The EPA fuel economy for the front wheel drive FWD version is rated at 17mpg in city driving,24mpg highway and 19mpg in the combined mode.The economy figures for the AWD version are close to the FWD version, rated at 16mpg City, 23 Highway and 19mpg in the combined mode.

The Chevrolet Traverse outshines the other competitors when it comes to safety. It has earned 5 star rating for overall safety in government crash test; four in frontal and 5 in side impact tests. Traverse has front seat and side curtain bags for all three rows occupants as standard. Antilock disc brakes and traction and stability control are standard. Traverse is offered with GM’s OnStar service with turn by turn navigation. Braking is acceptable, with Traverse coming to a standstill from 60 mph with in 130 feet. Traverse has performed well in the government crash tests, earning a decent five start rating; four stars for protection in case of frontal impact and 5 stars inside impact protection. Traverse has equally performed well in the Insurance Institutes  for Highway safety tests; it has earned a respectable good rating.

Trim Levels and Optional Packages

For the year 2012, the Chevrolet Traverse is available in three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ

LS Trim: This is the baseline trim level and features 17 inch steel  wheels, seating for eight passengers, OnStar, CD player with speaker sound system, auxiliary jack and satellite radio. The second  and third row seats can be folded down to make more space for the cargo .

LT Trim : This is a mid range trim level and features almost all of the standard equipment found on the LS trim. It is further broken down in to 1LT and 2LT trim levels. The 1LT trim includes 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, parking sensors, leather wrapped steering wheel and Bluetooth. The 2LT is an up scale package and includes an auto dimming driver side mirror, climate control for all three zones, remote start up, powered lift-gate , rear-view camera and a BOSE sound system with 10 speaker and interface for USB/iPod .

LTZ Trim: The LTZ is top of the line trim level and features 20 inch alloy wheels, leather interior, heated and ventilated front seats, power folding mirrors and driver memory functions.

Optional Package: Apart from the standard trim level equipment, optional features can be added to the lower grade trim levels. Some of these are: dual sunroof, rear seat DVD entertainment system and navigation system.

Pros and Cons

The 2012Chevrolet Traverse lives up to its concept of family focused transport at affordable cost. The adult sized third row, best interior space and good cargo load carrying capacity are some of the major highlights of this vehicle. However, unlike other vehicle of its class, the interior may give an impression of cheap materials. Also the choice of only one engines leaves the desire for more power as one feels the vehicle is underpowered.

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