2010 Chevrolet Traverse

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
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Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Ride quality
  • Cargo volume
  • Crash-test ratings
  • Relative gas mileage
  • Cabin quality
  • Towing capacity

The Bad

  • Somewhat unresponsive transmission
  • Comfort of cloth upholstery
  • Large turning circle
  • Third-row comfort
  • Highway wind noise
  • Price of loaded models

Notable Features of the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse

  • Malibu-inspired styling
  • Three rows of seats
  • Standard 281-hp V-6
  • FWD or AWD
  • Related to GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave

2010 Chevrolet Traverse Road Test

David Thomas
As car buyers gravitate away from SUVs and minivans toward three-row crossovers, the Chevy Traverse has become one of GM's biggest successes. Its good looks, winning drivability and interior quality help it compete well with the rest of the class.

For 2010, the Chevy Traverse remains relatively unchanged from the 2009 model reviewed last year, when the crossover was all-new. You can see what's changed between the two here, or read our 2009 review here. For this review, I tested the top-of-the-line LTZ, front-wheel-drive model that starts at $37,985; the base Traverse starts at $29,224. Our tester's MSRP, with options and destination fee, was more than $41,000.

Utility for Families
There's no escaping it: If you're shopping for a Traverse, there's a good chance you have kids. If you don't, well … you're getting a lot of crossover for your friends. But if you're in the parent group, there are a few things you'll definitely want to know before you consider the Traverse.

As the parent of two kids under age 2, the Traverse isn't a perfect fit for my family. The height of the rear passenger seats is a little too much for lifting kids in and out of their child-safety seats. While it's not so high that young families should immediately cross it off their shopping list, there are a number of vehicles that make the task easier — for example, Ford's low-riding Flex.

While the Traverse is available with a second-...

As car buyers gravitate away from SUVs and minivans toward three-row crossovers, the Chevy Traverse has become one of GM's biggest successes. Its good looks, winning drivability and interior quality help it compete well with the rest of the class.

For 2010, the Chevy Traverse remains relatively unchanged from the 2009 model reviewed last year, when the crossover was all-new. You can see what's changed between the two here, or read our 2009 review here. For this review, I tested the top-of-the-line LTZ, front-wheel-drive model that starts at $37,985; the base Traverse starts at $29,224. Our tester's MSRP, with options and destination fee, was more than $41,000.

Utility for Families
There's no escaping it: If you're shopping for a Traverse, there's a good chance you have kids. If you don't, well … you're getting a lot of crossover for your friends. But if you're in the parent group, there are a few things you'll definitely want to know before you consider the Traverse.

As the parent of two kids under age 2, the Traverse isn't a perfect fit for my family. The height of the rear passenger seats is a little too much for lifting kids in and out of their child-safety seats. While it's not so high that young families should immediately cross it off their shopping list, there are a number of vehicles that make the task easier — for example, Ford's low-riding Flex.

While the Traverse is available with a second-row bench, my test car was equipped with two captain's chairs in that spot, which isn't as accommodating for child-safety seats as the standard third-row bench. If you have older kids, they'll likely prefer this setup, as it gives them plenty of breathing space. It also allows for an open pass-through to the third row, which is a nice feature often found in minivans. Families with dogs may also appreciate this. The Flex — and the similar Lincoln MKT — don't feature a large pass-through like this, so it isn't as easy to maneuver between rows.

With the captain's chairs, you can seat a maximum of seven. To seat eight, you'll need the second-row bench. There's an acceptable amount of cargo room with the third row in place, but for road trips you'll likely have to fold one or both of the third-row seats flat to make room for luggage.

There's 24.4 cubic feet of cargo room with the third row in place, which tops competitors like the Flex, at 20 cubic feet, and the Mazda CX-9, at 17.2 cubic feet. Its overall cargo volume is a significant 116.4 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded flat, compared with only 83.2 cubic feet in the Flex and 100.7 cubic feet in the CX-9.

Performance
The Traverse is a terrific around-town vehicle. I was really surprised by how easy it was to park the three-row crossover; it handled like a much smaller car. Compared with the Flex and even the CX-9, the Traverse is the easiest to drive and navigate in tight spaces.

The Traverse comes with only one engine option: a 281-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Mileage is above average for the class, at 17/24 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 16/23 mpg with all-wheel drive. That compares with 17/23 mpg in a front-wheel-drive Honda Pilot and 16/22 mpg for an all-wheel-drive Pilot. The front-wheel-drive Flex V-6 gets 17/24 mpg, while the all-wheel-drive model gets 16/22 mpg.

When the Traverse's V-6 debuted in the nearly identical Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia crossovers, senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder noted a serious delay in gear changes when needing to pass at highway speeds. The problem was remedied in a swift recall, but in the 2010 Traverse I still found noticeable hesitation when needing to pass on the highway. Is it dangerous? Not likely, but it doesn't instill confidence and remains a black mark.

There's plenty of power for cruising at highway speeds, but the more people you load in the Traverse the less energetic it becomes. The Flex offers an optional 355-hp, turbocharged V-6 engine that's rather expensive, but it offers a lot of performance and is unmatched in this class in terms of power. It also gets mileage identical to the non-turbo all-wheel-drive Flex. The Flex SEL EcoBoost with all-wheel drive starts at $36,595 and comes with many of the same features as our LTZ Traverse, like standard leather heated seats.

Safety
The 2010 Chevy Traverse earned the top score, Good, in front, side and rear crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the past, this would have garnered it Top Safety Pick status, which it had for 2009, but now IIHS requires vehicles to pass a roof strength test as well, to which the Traverse has not yet been submitted. It does have a four-star rollover rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Click here for a full list of safety features.

Traverse in the Market
It's not the cheapest or fastest three-row crossover on the market, but Chevy is winning over customers with the Traverse's styling. Who would have thought?

Add in its utility and relative nimbleness, and there are even more legitimate reasons to consider the Traverse. This class is increasingly competitive, though, and shoppers would do well to cross-shop the Flex, CX-9 and Pilot.

Send David an email 



Latest 2010 Traverse Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.4)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Perfect for a large family!

by Mogulskier from Ashburn, Va on October 7, 2018

My wife?s daily driver for the past 8 years. Very reliable and safe with all-wheel drive and seating for 8! Goes great in the snow! Read full review

(5.0)

Favorite car I?ve owned

by Michelle Powell from Caseville, MI on August 21, 2018

This car is very comfortable and meets all of my driving needs. It?s reliable and is great for my work traveling. I really enjoy driving my Traverse. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse currently has 4 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2010 Chevrolet Traverse LS

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Chevrolet
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 100,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)

  • Powertrain warranty

    6 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    172-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Traverse received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker