Best Bet
  • (4.0) 47 reviews
  • MSRP: $11,925–$26,549
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 19
  • Engine: 281-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 7-8
2013 Chevrolet Traverse

Our Take on the Latest Model 2013 Chevrolet Traverse

What We Don't Like

  • Touch-screen too small
  • Touch-sensitive panel replaces some dash buttons
  • Large turning circle
  • Ride with 20-inch wheels (LTZ)
  • Expensive base model

Notable Features

  • Refreshed exterior and interior design
  • Seats 7 or 8
  • MyLink multimedia system added
  • 3.6-liter V-6
  • FWD or AWD
  • Airbag between front seats

2013 Chevrolet Traverse Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

In Cars.com's comparison test of 2012 full-size crossover SUVs with three rows of seats, the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse took second place behind the Honda Pilot by a margin of just 12 points — out of a possible thousand. What was the most common complaint? Interior quality. For 2013, Chevrolet has updated the Traverse's interior, exterior and a few other aspects to bring it up to date.

Thanks to a number of small upgrades, the redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Traverse can stand up to any model in its class — though it depends on how you equip it.

The 2013 Traverse, which can seat seven or eight, retains its earlier strengths — key among them its generous size. "Car-based" SUVs hit the scene several years ago promising most of the good aspects of truck-based SUVs without the drawbacks — namely unnecessary size, weight and thirst for petroleum. As much as any crossover, and probably more, the Traverse delivers on this promise, offering more interior space than a Chevy Tahoe from similar exterior dimensions. It's not as tall and is easier to get into, and its mileage, though not stellar in its class, beats the Tahoe by 2 mpg in combined driving.

To beat the Traverse for size, you have to go to the Chevy Suburban (essentially an extended Tahoe) or a minivan. See these models compared side by side here.

The main thing the Traverse sacrifices by not being a true truck is towing capacity. However, among large crossovers its capacity is generous at up to 5,200 pounds. The Mazda CX-9 tops out at 3,500. The Flex and Pilot hit 4,500 and the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer (now technically a crossover itself) come close at 5,000 pounds. See the towing specifications and the Traverse's size dominance compared side by side here.

Distributed Space
To boil it down, the Traverse has less second-row legroom than the competitors above by as little as 1.7 inches and up to as much as 7.5 inches. But what matters most is the distribution of the various seats and storage space. Legroom here is enough for an adult, thanks in part to a sliding bench seat or optional captain's chairs. The Traverse's third-row legroom has an advantage over the Pilot and CX-9 by roughly an inch. By the numbers, the Pilot and Flex have more headroom back there, but here again a 6-foot-tall adult fits fine in the Traverse. That's not true of the CX-9.

The Traverse manages to fit adults in all rows while still providing more cargo volume than its competitors behind the third row: 24.4 cubic feet. That's a 4.4-cubic-foot margin over the Flex, which is the next roomiest. When the second and third rows are folded, the Traverse beats them all with 116.3 cubic feet.

For kids, accommodations are good but far from perfect. The second-row seats slide forward in a special way to provide third-row access: The bottom cushion pops up vertically against the backrest to open up passage. It's effective, but some of our staff parents reported that the Traverse's high step-in height was a challenge for kids. As for child-safety seats, the spaciousness is a benefit, but the second row's Latch anchors are difficult to access. See our complete Car Seat Check here.

Interior Upgrades and Downgrades
The interior changes for 2013 are mostly positive, starting with a redesigned center control panel on the dashboard. It seems a small thing, but it's a focal point in the cabin for drivers. Classier wood-look trim replaces the previous generation's plain black-plastic backdrop. The ventilation controls look and feel richer. Unfortunately, the bezel and buttons directly below them are a cheapo carryover from the old style.

I'm also not too excited about what goes on above the ventilation controls. The optional touch-screen navigation system is surrounded by touch-sensitive "capacitive" buttons rather than physical buttons. It's horrible to see this on a newly introduced system that's likely to stick around for years. These non-buttons respond erratically, feel wrong and don't work if you're wearing gloves, similar to a smartphone. Fortunately, the Traverse's touch-screen does work with gloves (unlike smartphones and tablets, most car touch-screens are pressure sensitive and will work if you're wearing gloves or have dry skin — though a gloved finger's ability to hit the right spot is another matter).

The 6.5-inch screen's size is another missed opportunity. With competitors incorporating screens as large as 8.4 inches diagonally, this is just too small for a large vehicle in which the screen is so far from the occupants.

Perhaps it seems unlikely to the people who design vehicles, but the usability of features like this are enough to make or break a sale. Ford is learning this the hard way with its troublesome MyFord Touch system.

Other trim upgrades in our Traverse LTZ, the top trim level, include soft-touch surfaces on the front doors and dashboard, contrast stitching and some of the best faux aluminum you'll find. Our only gripe was a squeaky center armrest — always disappointing on a brand-new car.

Now that the Traverse has this interior, its more expensive sister models, the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, seem even more unnecessary. See the siblings compared here.

Behind the Wheel
A 3.6-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission do a fine job moving the large Traverse, even one equipped with all-wheel drive, as our test model was. The brakes are functional but feel numb and a bit under-assisted. The 2012 Traverse in our test drew raves for its quietness and comfort. Overall comfort is still good, but the ride quality in our 2013 wasn't what we remembered. It's likely that our LTZ's standard 20-inch wheels firmed up the ride. Lower trim levels have 17-inch steel and 18-inch aluminum rims. See the four trim levels compared side-by-side here.

There isn't much variance in mileage among large crossovers, but the Traverse is on the lower end of the pack, with city/highway/ combined ratings of 17/24/19 mpg with front drive and 16/23/19 mpg with all-wheel drive. Comparing combined figures, the Flex is 1 mpg better with front drive, and the Pilot is better than the Traverse by 1 mpg with all-wheel drive and by 2 mpg with front drive. The front-drive CX-9 matches the Traverse, but with all-wheel drive it falls behind by 1 mpg combined.

Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Traverse a Top Safety Pick, designating top scores in all tests. The federal government hasn't yet crash-tested the Traverse but has granted it four out of five stars for rollover resistance (determined without a true rollover test) — typical for this vehicle class.

Standard safety features include the required antilock brakes and electronic stability system, plus newly adjustable front-seat head restraints. In addition to up and down, they can now be moved forward and back. Anyone who wants to bother can position them close to their head for rear-impact protection, but the true benefit is the ability to push them back if needed. Some head restraints sit too far forward and are uncomfortable.

Also standard are a backup camera, front-seat torso airbags and side curtain airbags protecting all three rows of seats. The Traverse and its siblings also introduce the market's first front-center side-impact airbag, which deploys between the front seats in a side impact, preventing, for example, spouses from literally butting heads. (No word yet on a feature that prevents figurative head-butting.) See all safety features listed here.

Traverse in the Market
It took a while for automakers to replace their truck-based SUVs with lighter crossovers, and now the full-size class is flush with highly competitive three-row models, including the recently reworked Nissan Pathfinder and Hyundai Santa Fe (now a larger model replacing the Veracruz). The 2013 Traverse's navigation system is a major deterrent, but if you don't mind it and opt for the smaller wheels (and subsequent better ride quality), the 2013 Traverse can compete with anything on the market. As upgraded, it might even take the crown from the Honda Pilot.

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Consumer Reviews

(4.0)

Average based on 47 reviews

Write a Review

Not enough space

by Air00Max from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 24, 2017

I was very surprised by the lack of space and headroom in the Traverse. The styling was nice and handling was good, but too pricey for the lack of room.

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8 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2013 Chevrolet Traverse trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Chevrolet Traverse Articles

2013 Chevrolet Traverse Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Traverse 1LT

Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Roof Strength
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Traverse 1LT

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

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

Moderate overlap front

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

Other

Roof Strength
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Traverse 1LT

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Traverse 1LT

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Side Barrier
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 2 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $3,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/100,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

60mo/100,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

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.

Powertrain

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.

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).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

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.

Other Years