Capability Meets Crossover Ride Quality
For crossover SUVs, the 2017 Traverse is quite impressive in the performance department. Its sole engine choice might be your typical 3.6-liter V6, but it provides it with above-average towing capability. Combine that with the fact that it’s available in either FWD or AWD, and you have a crossover that’s able to (almost) compete with traditional SUVs. Furthermore, it has exceptional ride quality, thanks to the construction of the vehicle.
Engine and Capability
This new Traverse has a single engine choice: a 3.6-liter V6 engine. That might sound disappointing at first, but the fact of the matter is this still puts out 281 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque on the LS and LT trim levels. When this engine is equipped to the Premier model, the power output is increased due to a dual exhaust system (exclusive on the Premier trim). This bumps the output up to 288 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. Sure, it might not be a different engine, or even a significant increase in horsepower or speed, but that extra torque really gives it some pulling and pushing power in the lower gears. It does more than you think, especially when compared to the lower trim levels. Considering that when it's properly equipped, the Traverse is able to tow up to 5,200 pounds, a higher-than-average number for this class.
Performance is far from average. This engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which is the sole transmission option for this vehicle.
The fuel-efficiency is going to differ slightly, depending on if you opt for all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive. Therefore, if you don’t need the extra capability AWD provides, go with front-wheel drive because it will net you better fuel economy. For those looking to grab AWD, it’s not that drastic of a change when it comes to fuel economy. Refreshing, considering fuel economy tends to plummet when all four wheels are spinning.
A front-wheel drive Traverse will net 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway, which translates to 18 mpg combined. On AWD models, you’ll see 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway, which translates to 17 mpg combined. Meaning, it’s really only a 1 mpg combined drop in fuel economy. Not bad at all.
Apart form that very refreshing 1 mpg drop, these numbers are perfectly average for a larger crossover SUV.
Exceptional Ride Quality
The fuel-efficiency and towing capacity aren’t the only things to get excited about. After all, the ride quality is exceptional. You might feel hesitant taking on such a large crossover SUV, but, it’s important to note that it (surprisingly) feels right at home on the highway, thanks to that bulky 3.6-liter V6. Would it be quicker with a V8? Yes, but it doesn’t need one to merge on to the highway. Plus, then the fuel economy would really drop.
Thanks to the construction and engineering of the vehicle, the ride quality is great. It’s solid enough that when you hit a bump, you won't hear any rattling. It’s also heavy enough — but not too heavy — that when you go over a bump, you won’t be thrown from your seat, or even really feel it at all, honestly. That’s just the nature of larger vehicles in general. But the reason why the ride quality is so nice, is because the Traverse takes those large vehicle qualities, and mingles them wth crossover fuel-efficiency, handling, and performance. It’s a true best of both worlds scenario, and the cherry on top is the sound-deadening materials for the cabin that keep the wind and road noise out.
It’s not sporty, nor is it zippy. But, it does possess a well-rounded ride, which a lot of vehicles fail to provide these days.