After releasing the new 2017 GMC Acadia in Detroit this year, GM is prepping a replacement for its Chevrolet sibling, the Traverse, that’s scheduled for a mid-2017 launch, as a 2018 model.
Our man Brett Borgard was in stealth mode in Colorado snapping pictures of a 2018 Chevrolet Traverse prototype covered up for testing.
Whereas the new Traverse will share its core architecture with GMC’s downsized 2017 Acadia that is about 7 inches shorter and 700 pounds lighter than its predecessor, reducing the maximum number of seats from eight to seven, Chevy’s SUV will ride on a longer wheelbase offering more passenger and luggage space.
The reasoning behind GM’s decision to keep the new Traverse roughly the same size as the current model, while at the same time, downsizing the Acadia, is to differentiate the positioning of the two SUVs, which in their first generations, were practically identical.
As such, the Acadia will meet consumer demands for better fuel economy in a more compact and efficient package, with the 2018 Traverse catering to customers looking for a roomy three-row crossover, while also leaving a distance between it and the compact Equinox so Chevy can slot another midsize crossover into their range.
Nevertheless, the new Traverse should enjoy notable weight savings over the current model, just like its platform twins, the 2017 GMC Acadia and the 2017 Cadillac XT5 that replaced the SRX, albeit not the 700 pound loss of the former.
It’s hard to tell what design direction Chevy is taking with the new Traverse, but the tester looks boxier overall with a more dominant and upright front end than today’s model.
The new Acadia’s base 2.5-liter four-pot isn’t expected to be offered on the 2018 Traverse since it will be a bigger and heavier car, with the Chevy SUV likely getting the former’s upgraded 3.6-liter gasoline V6 producing 310hp versus the current model’s 288hp 3.6L V6, fitted as standard, and connected to either a six-speed automatic or GM’s upcoming nine-speed auto for front-wheel drive-based cars. All wheel drive will be available as an option.
Thanks to Brett for the scoop!