Some vehicles have an immediate impression on people. Take the Chevy Traverse LTZ.
I and three co-workers took the 2010 Traverse on a Decatur-to-Jekyll Island road trip two weeks ago, and we were barely out of DeKalb County when one colleague explained, “I love this car.”
Speaking from a second row captain’s chair about the vehicle’s XM radio and wireless headphones, he proclaimed that with such an array of features it wasn’t necessary to bring along his iPod. At one point, he and another colleague watched a movie, while I and a front seat passenger keep watch over the road and listened to music on my mp3 player that I connected via the car’s USB port to the audio system.
After spending countless hours in the vehicle over three days all of us agreed that the Traverse deserves high praise for:
• Adequate space for one large duffel bag, two suitcases, a rolling cooler and several suits hanging from a hook inside. And I was able to slip a folding chair in a bag into a hidden compartment in the rear.
• Comfortable seating for the four of us (including one long-legged worker who was worried that she would be cramped).
• Easy-to-use technology
Our test vehicle was an all-wheel drive Traverse LT-Z with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, loaded with bells and whistles: rearview camera, leather seats, touch-screen navigation, head curtain side airbags on all rows, The power rear lift gate was particularly appreciated with the luggage, beach chair and cooler we were carrying.
As the driver and the one who reviews vehicles for this paper, I found nothing to complain about in any area. Braking, pickup and maneuverability were excellent. In fact, it didn’t feel like I was driving an eight-passenger vehicle at all. The Traverse received five stars in front and side crash tests and four stars in rollover tests.
One feature that I experienced for the first time—but couldn’t quite get the hang of–was the blind spot mirrors, small convex mirrors built into the upper/outer corner of the outside mirrors that are supposed to show objects in the vehicle’s blind zone.
I was especially pleased that with separate (three) climate control zones in the Traverse, there was no arguing over turning the air conditioning up or down. I and my front seat passenger had individual climate control zones (mine often set at 72 and his at 76) and the backseat riders were able to adjust their temperature as well. The front seats also had heating and cooling as well.
The Traverse LTZ gets an estimated 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
With so much going for it, it was easy to see why the 2010 Traverse was named a Consumers Digest Best Buy.
Stats: Dual exhaust with chrome tips, 20-inch wheels, oil life and tire pressure monitoring systems, antilock brakes, third-row bench seat
Pricing: Standard price for the 2010 Traverse LTZ is $39,985. Our test vehicle was priced at $42,675 and came with the following options: DVD entertainment system with remote control surround sound system, wireless headphones and 115-volt power outlet ($1,445); red jewel tint coat ($795) and engine block heater ($75).