Howdy, 2021 Chevrolet Traverse! Modern Times Has Arrived in the Countryside!

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Until this 2021 upgrading phase, the Chevrolet Traverse seemed a bit undecided between the too-urban looks of the first generation and the rather radical redesign of the second. Now it looks just right and it’s loaded with enough advanced stuff! For those who don’t feel like rushing toward any fancy speedy high-tech SUVs, it might feel like a warm and comfy rolling residence.
Everyone knows that feeling when, toward the end of a long journey, the limits of the familiar area are crossed and home is just a few miles away. Nothing bad can happen anymore and you can already activate a more relaxed mood.

Some of us still feel this way at the sight of a typical American full-size SUV. However, the year is 2021 and we don’t intent to be considered conservative or anachronic while showing sympathy for any dinosaurian SUV. But that Chevy Traverse…

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
Photo: Chevrolet


Looking back, we wonder how they had ever imagined the name “Traverse” may go together well with the mild expression of the Chevy Traverse’s first generation. Its appearance just didn’t have that trustworthy suggestion to make you feel OK with the idea of going beyond the limits of the tarmac.

It was looking rather a big, modern, urban lounge on wheels. Who needs such a big vehicle in an urban context, where spaces are tight and everything related to the personal living is connected by paved roads? According to an old saying, if you want to become a citizen of Rome, then do what the Romans do. Get yourself a smaller family car, by the way, not a 205 in (5207 mm) first-gen Traverse.

But for the great open spaces, something different would be appropriate. Something inspiring ruggedness, solidity and that kind of built-in ability to withstand the elements of nature. The fluid, progressive style of the first Chevy Traverse did not rhyme with such things. The second generation was introduced in 2018 with a very different styling approach: the massive and simple kind of shape of the traditional American big SUVs was obviously there, wearing many nicely integrated up-to-date details.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
Photo: Chevrolet
The recent facelift worked further in this direction and that’s how the car got its 100% convincing attitude. Holt Ware, the director of exterior, crossovers and Chevrolet cars, confirmed recently that the big Chevy SUVs have been led in this direction: “The new Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban has received an overwhelmingly positive response from consumers. The new design of the 2021 Traverse gains this new commanding appearance and presence we know Traverse owners will appreciate.”


The 2021 Chevy Traverse welcomes you aboard in several manners. First of all and, probably, the most important thing: the generous sizing of the interior space. Then, when you reach in the driver’s seat, you won’t feel like a stranger.

Even if the design of the dashboard is not exactly representative for a traditional SUV mindset, all the buttons are positioned traditionally. So, everything will be easy to find and utilize. We have here a good example of well-balanced conceptual modernism. Being treated this way, some of us might remember the song of Baloo, the cool bear from the “Book of the Jungle” cartoon: “the bare necessities of life will come to you…”

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
Photo: Chevrolet
And not only the bare necessities, since we are talking about a 2021 Model Year, quite pretentious SUV. A rotary controller situated near the transmission selector offers the possibility to choose from four driving modes (on AWD equipped vehicles). Regarding the instruments cluster, it may look conventional, yet it has a discrete high-tech touch: in the middle of it, there is an 8-inch digital display, not a classic dial.

What can’t be seen, but it’s there and it will keep you safe, is the new consistent collection of driving assistance devices: Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Following Distance Indicator, IntelliBeam (auto high beams) and Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control. The interior can accommodate up to 8 persons on three rows. However, the best comfort and space conditions are available on the first two rows only.


As we already expressed it, even if the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse steps forward in both styling and technical terms, this is a vehicle has an essential message about trustable confirmed values, not about the latest fancy trends. How about a good and strong 3.6-liter V6 under the hood? That sounds perfect, both literally and figuratively. This engine develops 310 hp at 6800 rpm and its torque characteristic has a peak of 266 lb-ft (360 Nm) at 2800 rpm.

Nobody should complain about having a high-revving engine under the pedal, even if its concept doesn’t fit the idea of the simple countryside-genre of thing: it has dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing and direct, high-pressure fuel injection with electronic throttle control.

In 2019, there was also a 2.0 turbo mill (192 hp at 5500 rpm, 295 lb.-ft at 3000 rpm), trying to show they care about the downsizing trend, but it’s gone now. We believe customers just didn’t like its signs of effort when starting from rest and the turbo lag. It also had some oil related issues.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
Photo: Chevrolet
The 9-speed automatic transmission does a nice job, no matter if it has to handle a FWD or an AWD configuration. Since we reached this point: offering this quite large vehicle with FWD only seems to us like one of these “let’s join the eco-trendy ideas,” but seriously, this approach conflicts with the basic concept of the vehicle.

What to pay for

No less than seven trim levels are available for the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse: L, LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier and High Country. The price range goes almost from simple to double: they ask for the basic Traverse L $30,995, and a Traverse High Country costs at least $52,395. Hard to understand what’s the RS doing here, but OK, it widens the offer. The common sense choice would be the Traverse LT Cloth (starting from $36,895). A Traverse LT Leather costs $ 3,700 more ($40,595).

For this kind of money, you could add the 4WD on the Traverse LT Cloth and we think it is the right thing to do. Among others, the Traverse LT Cloth comes with these standard features: Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus system1 with 8 inches diagonal color HD touchscreen, 8-way power driver seat with power lumbar control, 7-passenger seating (available 8-passenger seating) and a consistent bunch of driving assistance devices. Agree, it’s not a cheap vehicle, but it will make your countryside cruises enjoyable beyond any doubt.
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