How “full-sized” the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse actually is will be a point of contention for a while.
Make no mistake, the Traverse, its second iteration after eight years, is a large vehicle. But it makes few attempts to appear to be anything it isn’t: a people mover. The Traverse adopts much of the styling cues that have proliferated through the Chevrolet sedan lineup, complete with Impala-esque lettering on the doors. This is no truck, the Traverse is clearly trying more than ever to be a cosseting vessel to quiet children and weary parents. Making it more like an Impala bodes well.
Consider what the Traverse is up against (Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, etc.) and the quality and finesse is certainly up there on the well-equipped models that were displayed Monday on the show stand. Consider, also, the Cadillac XT5 with which the new Traverse shares some of its underpinnings and Chevy’s crossover should prove to be just what most people want when they shop cars of this class: quiet and comfort and plenty of seatbelts.
Chevy is also expanding its reach with a sportier Traverse (the RS) and a more opulent version (High Country) to see how far it can go in a crossover-loving market. Most will probably stick to a reasonably optioned model, likely retailing in the low-$40,000 range when it does go on sale in the fall, however.
Frankly, the seat-folding arrangement for getting into the third row isn’t as slick as the outgoing model, which set a standard for third-row entry and exit among vehicles of the same type. If you were a fan of the vastness of the old Traverse, this one will disappoint.
I liked the old one, but it’s probably going to be hard to argue against steering practical people towards the 2018 Traverse.