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First Look: Traverse enters crowded crossover field
Thursday, July 03, 2008
By Don Hammonds, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Being late isn't always a bad thing.

Chevy just introduced its all-new crossover, the Traverse, quite a bit after a number of other crossovers had hit the pavement. Edmunds.com lists a whopping 73 crossovers on the market -- and the list is growing.

There's room for more in the hot crossover segment, said Jack Nerad, editorial director for Kelley Blue Book.

"The Traverse is a good product -- all the crossovers from GM are really good. … [Crossovers] are the vehicle type that has the most momentum in the marketplace, and there's room for one that is priced like a Chevrolet would be. I think they can do some really significant volume with that vehicle."

An advantage to coming to market later means you have a chance to see what the competitors are doing -- and it looks as if Chevy did its homework.

First, the Traverse has a distinctive appearance -- a tapering roofline and an overall athletic look -- which sets it apart from both other GM products on the same platform -- the Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia -- as well other crossovers on the road. That's no easy feat when you consider that the shape and layout of most crossovers are pretty much alike.

The Traverse comes with StabiliTrak electronic stability and traction control; 17, 18 or 19 inch wheels; room for up to eight adults; a second row Smart Slide feature to make getting in and out of the third row seats easier; OnStar with Turn by Turn navigation; and either a 281- or 288-horsepower V-6, both 3.6-liter in size. Three models, LS, LT and LTZ, are available.

Fuel mileage ratings are 17 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway for the front-wheel-drive model and 16/23 for the all-wheel-drive model.

The Traverse feels a lot lighter on its tires than it really is. The presence of a sporty instrument cluster, ****pit-like interior and nifty looking floor gear shifter complete the performance ambience.

Handling is stable; it snaked its way through the grueling GM proving grounds test track, maintained its composure over potholes and bricks, and generally did everything asked of it.

Cargo room is a definite plus; you easily can get a stroller or several golf bags into the Traverse with the third row seat up.

Emergency handling and sudden stopping also were strengths of the Traverse, with the anti-lock braking system and traction and stability control bringing the car to a safe stop without any severe skidding or loss of control.

I suspect that the Chevy Traverse's only problem will lie not with the car, but with the price.

Base price will be $28,255. The Ford Flex comes in at $28,295, the Toyota Highlander starts at $27,500 and the Saturn Outlook starts at $28,625. All prices came from Edmunds.com and don't include destination charges. Although the Saturn Outlook costs a few hundred dollars more, it looks more expensive inside and out.

But analysts are less worried about the cost of the Traverse than I am.

"I'm not sure it's a matter of Saturn being more upscale. But Saturn is GM's import fighter, and Chevy is its rock-solid domestic brand," Mr. Nerad said.

In other words, he added, it will be marketing and image that will drive who buys the Traverse and who buys the Outlook, not price points.

Article continued at link.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08185/894452-97.stm
 

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Actually, I think the Outlook looks cheaper than the Traverse...but that's just me.
Was there that big of a hubbub when the current Lambdas hit the market? It seems that the Traverse is getting a ton of attention all of a sudden.
 

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Actually, I think the Outlook looks cheaper than the Traverse...but that's just me.
Was there that big of a hubbub when the current Lambdas hit the market? It seems that the Traverse is getting a ton of attention all of a sudden.
The media is looking for any decent news from GM and GM's products are good.

Everyone has acknowledged that current models such as the Malibu and CTS are great but GM need more models like these and less like the Tahoe and Surburban.
 

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The media is looking for any decent news from GM and GM's products are good.

Everyone has acknowledged that current models such as the Malibu and CTS are great but GM need more models like these and less like the Tahoe and Surburban.
The Tahoe and Suburban are also among GM's best vehicles. But, they're big and not fuel efficent.
 

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I would have expected the base price to be more around $27K. So with desination and a few ad ons this will be well over 30K just like the Outlook. With the demise of the Uplander, I would have thought GM would want to price this replacement in the ballpark of the minivan which started in the 24K range. GM had better watch it with there huge price increases too. Many of there existing products are $700-800 more MSRP than just a few months ago making them the most expensive in there class in many cases.
 

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I think the article makes a good point in regards to the highlander. With the Traverse being $1000 more and a new nameplate, what incentive is there to jump ship for current hl owners? I think Chevy should offer a slightly de-contended model to pick up a few more of the Uplander owners. At this point I don't think they could save much by offering the 2.8 in it.
 

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That's the most positive write-up I've read yet and without all the "Gosh, another GM Lambda vehicle" sentiment. This is my favorite in styling next to Enclave. I hope it does well. This is in the same range as the new Flex so I think it will do fine as long as people don't prefer the giant Mini Cooper look! ;)
 

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I'm not thrilled with the Traverse - it is a Buick Enclave in the rear and the sold ancient looking Chevrolet Caricature front end. The instrument cluster is downright ugly with its misshapen instrument openings which ruins the look for the rest of the interior.

After sitting in and seeing a Flex, I'd rather have that - it is distinctive and looks far better inside than the Traverse.
 

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One has to wonder... since the Vue outsold the Lambdas in June, what platform is the Vue on? Why isn't GM giving all their brands a Vue clone?
I know GM still wants America to buy giant vehicles, (SUVs -> Xovers) but, if Saturn can sell so many Vues, imagine how many Chevy would sell.
 

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One has to wonder... since the Vue outsold the Lambdas in June, what platform is the Vue on? Why isn't GM giving all their brands a Vue clone?
I know GM still wants America to buy giant vehicles, (SUVs -> Xovers) but, if Saturn can sell so many Vues, imagine how many Chevy would sell.
The VUE is a Theta - like the Equinox and Torrent. The new Vue is Theta II. The next Equinox will be also (but long wheelbase) and GMC is getting a Theta called "Terrain." The Cadillac SRX replacement (based on the is on a mix of Theta and Sigma I've seen called "Theta Premium."

So, Theta is getting around, but I think, as in the first generations, it will remain the only short wheelbase Theta.
 

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One has to wonder... since the Vue outsold the Lambdas in June, what platform is the Vue on? Why isn't GM giving all their brands a Vue clone?
I know GM still wants America to buy giant vehicles, (SUVs -> Xovers) but, if Saturn can sell so many Vues, imagine how many Chevy would sell.
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the Equinox on the same platform or is there a new Equinox coming on the Vue platform?:confused:
 

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The VUE is a Theta - like the Equinox and Torrent. The new Vue is Theta II. The next Equinox will be also (but long wheelbase) and GMC is getting a Theta called "Terrain." The Cadillac SRX replacement (based on the is on a mix of Theta and Sigma I've seen called "Theta Premium."

So, Theta is getting around, but I think, as in the first generations, it will remain the only short wheelbase Theta.
Thanks Eric77! You posted the answer before my question.:cool:
 

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The Traverse looks really sharp on the road. I live in Spring Hill and have seen a white one 7 or 8 times (or maybe it's 7 or 8 different white ones?) and a gray one. Actually, a white one just drove past my house a few minutes ago! Except for those kinda too small taillights, it looks hot!!!
 

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I love my Trailblazer. Size and engine power is right (I-6).
Ive never TOWED something behind me- but I do use that 2 inch receiver.
Bike and cargo rack have been used ALOT.
Ive carried stuff on top, inside (passengers and cargo) and used the hitch rack all at the same time.
I will soon hit 127,000 miles on my 03 Trailblazer. I probably will not get another TB.... simply because its still the same exterior design.
But I am really looking at the Traverse. I will pass on the 1st year for the bugs, and put another 20,000 miles on the TB- and so will most likely order a 2010.
But its size- passenger space- and the 2 inch receiver that comes with the TOW package are a big draw to me. Im single now- yet find myself carrying my gf dogs and mine all the time. I mean I really use my Trailblazer for the space it affords.
Once I marry (probably in the next year or so) I know I will really use the space.....
And probably be towing some small items as the family grows.
The Toyota Highlander---- cannot exceed 45 MPH while towing....
The Traverse will have to fill in for my TB.
The following is somewhere in the Sonoran Desert in mexico.
 

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What happened to the 27mpg the new 3.6 DI engine was suppose to get? The Traverse does look sharp.

Good question, here is the link to the thread that I started that took the 27 MPG number from a business week article. The article said Saturn was making an advertisement saying the 09 Outlook was rated 27 MPG Highway.

Quote from the Business Week Article:

"There is also an image of the Outlook SUV sprouting a sail on its roof and a graphic that shows 27 mpg on highway for the seven-seater. "Rethink Big" is the headline. The ads run in such magazines as Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, and Fast Company, with high readership among women between ages 20 and 40."

http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/apr2008/bw20080418_087885.htm

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f75/business-week-saturn-article-63495/
 
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