2012 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse is an affordable, midsized SUV. Though it’s not flashy — and how many midsized SUVs are? The Traverse is stylish enough and great for those who need to haul people and other cargo.

It is a family friendly SUV and has more room inside than any other crossover. It can tow up to 5,200 pounds if properly equipped.


General Info
Vehicle Type: SUV Base Price: $29,660.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 22 gallons (83l) MPG: 17 city / 24 hwy
Length: 205 in. (520.7 cm) Wheel Base: 118.9 in. (302 cm)
Height: 70.4 in. (178.8 cm) Width: 78.4 in. (199.1 cm)
Curb Weight: 4658 lbs (2113 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.2 in. (18.3 cm)
Cargo Capacity: 68.8 cu ft(behind 2nd row) Maximum Seating: 8 people
Engine: V6 DOHC FWD Displacement: 3.6 Liter
Horsepower: 281 HP Max RPM: 6300 RPM
Torque: 266 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 5200 lbs (2358 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:LS AWD MSRP: $31,660; MPG: 16 city / 23 hwy
Option:1LT FWD MSRP: $32,760; MPG: 17 city / 24 hwy
Option:1LT AWD MSRP: $34,760; MPG: 16 city / 23 hwy
Option:2LT FWD MSRP: $35,905; MPG: 17 city / 24 hwy
Option:2LT AWD MSRP: $37,905; MPG: 16 city / 23 hwy
Option:LTZ FWD MSRP: $39,035; MPG: 17 city / 24 hwy
Option:LTZ AWD MSRP: $41,035; MPG: 16 city / 23 hwy


The Traverse has a 3.6 liter V6 engine which gives the LS and LTD models 281 horsepower and the LTZ model 288 hp. It is aided by a 6-speed automatic transmission. The front wheel-drive Traverse gets about 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, with the all wheel drive model getting a little less.


The V6 engine did what it had to do but left many people longing for a little more vigor. However, the Traverse accelerates satisfactorily and maneuvers well. The shifting is smooth and fast and the steering responsive. Some reviewers were especially impressed with the braking.


Many found the exterior more stylish and attractive than most midsized SUVs.


The cabin has room for eight passengers with the third row that can comfortably accommodate adults. However, many found the interior unappealing, with a little too much hard plastic.

Among the attractive features included were satellite radio (subscription needs to be renewed after three months), climate control for the front and rear, and cruise control. High tech options like a navigation system are available for the 2LT and LTZ models of the Traverse. The gauges are bright and readable.

For more luxury, a driver should look into the Buick Enclave (MSRP $36,500; 17 city / 24 hwy), or the GMC Acadia (MSRP $32,835; 17 city / 24 hwy) or the Ford Flex (MSRP $29,465; 17 city / 24 hwy).

The Traverse’s vaunted cargo space is enormous. It has 116.4 cubic feet of space when the second and third row seats are folded. The 2LT and LTZ models, and only those models, also have a standard a power lift gate. Even when all the rows of seats are up there’s still 24.4 cubic feet of space.


The 2012 Traverse received good marks across the board for safety. It consistently received the highest or near highest scores for front, side, rollover and roof strength tests.


J.D. Power gave the Traverse high marks for reliability. The Traverse comes with a three year or 36,000 mile basic warranty and a five year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. However, the vehicle has gotten one recall because of a problem with the windshield wipers and washers.


The third row is big enough for grown-ups, which is uncommon in a midsized SUV, and it handles well. Reviewers also appreciated its high safety ratings and good fuel economy. The cargo space is also fantastic.


Many found the interior pedestrian at best. Also, the automatic transmission isn’t as sensitive as it should be. Overall, the Traverse, a good workhorse of an SUV, isn’t as sexy as some of its competition.

Overall Rating
79 out of 100

What others say:

“The strengths of the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse lie in its roomy, comfortable interior. It’s almost a minivan in terms of raw space, but the lack of sliding doors does put it at a slight disadvantage in a couple of ways.”Car Connection

“Traverse is a large vehicle, but it’s reasonably agile with little lean in corners. Accurate steering and responsive brakes contribute to making Traverse easy to maneuver despite its size.”Consumer Guide

“The Traverse is one of GM’s impressive large, car based three-row SUVs. It has a spacious and quiet interior, with a third-row seat that’s roomy enough to accommodate adults.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“If you need a vehicle big enough to haul your family and a 5,400-pound trailer, but you don’t want a big, gas-thirsty SUV, the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse is the perfect solution. Roomy yet manageably sized, the Traverse is the ideal family wagon.”KBB

“With its stylish good looks, spacious cabin, carlike handling and decent fuel economy, the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse has much to offer buyers who need maximum passenger capacity in a more maneuverable package.”Edmunds