Large crossover SUVs have become the vehicle of choice for many large families. And it’s easy to see why, as these crossovers offer plenty of room for passengers and their belongings, as well as the availability of all-wheel drive to get them confidently to their destinations in foul weather conditions. Among these new-age station wagons, the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse stands as a sensible choice.
Among the Traverse’s many attributes is its very spacious interior that can seat up to eight passengers. Or, with the second- and third-row seats flipped down, it can provide a cavernous 116 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The cabin is attractive, too, benefiting from last year’s refresh that brought more harmonious styling along with a standard rearview camera and Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment interface. The latter controls a wealth of audio, navigation and phone functions through a simple touchscreen.
With seating for up to eight passengers, the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse is classified as a large crossover SUV. It is offered in three basic trim levels — LS, LT and LTZ — but the LT is subdivided into 1LT and 2LT versions.
Standard features on the LS Traverse include 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, roof rails, cruise control, front and rear air-conditioning, keyless entry, full power accessories, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split-folding third-row seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth, OnStar telematics, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera and a six-speaker audio system (with a CD player, USB/auxiliary audio inputs, satellite radio and HD radio). There are also dual USB charge-only ports on the rear of the center console.
Stepping up to the 1LT trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood-grain interior trim and an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustments. On top of that, the 2LT tacks on an auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirror, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and the MyLink infotainment interface (which includes voice control, Bluetooth audio connectivity and smartphone radio app integration).
The range-topping LTZ trim includes 20-inch wheels, a blind-spot monitoring system, a rear cross-traffic alert system, forward collision-alert system, lane-departure warning system, power-folding mirrors, second-row captain’s chairs (reducing seating capacity to seven), leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustments, driver memory functions, an eight-way power front passenger seat, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Powering most 2014 Chevrolet Traverse models is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The LTZ trim features twin exhaust outlets that increase output to 288 hp and 270 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission, but buyers can choose front-wheel or all-wheel drive. In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive LTZ sprinted to 60 mph in a class-competitive 8.1 seconds.
Standard safety features on all 2014 Chevy Traverse models include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags for all three rows. OnStar is also standard and includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen-vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.
An inboard driver-seat side airbag that helps protect front occupants from colliding into each other in the event of a side impact is optional on the LS trim and standard on all others. Rear parking sensors are standard on all versions, except the base LS. A blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring system is standard on the LTZ, as are forward collision-alert and lane-departure warning systems. The latter two are optional on the 2LT.
Overall, the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse delivers a smooth, confident and quiet highway ride.
Driven around turns, this big crossover SUV feels more secure and planted than you would expect, and it maneuvers well in tight parking lots. The steering is accurate, though the dainty thin-rimmed steering wheel feels a little out of character in such a large vehicle. Although you certainly need to heed its generous dimensions, the remarkably satisfying Traverse is well suited to transporting people and cargo in abundance and comfort.