2009 Chevrolet Traverse Preview

FAST FACTS
  • All-new crossover SUV with styling inspired by 2008 Malibu

  • 3.6-liter V-6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission

  • Front-wheel drive (FWD) or available intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD)

  • Second-row Smart Slide seat feature

  • 17-, 18- and 20-inch wheels

  • Standard stability and traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), tire-pressure monitor

  • Six standard air bags

  • OnStar and XM satellite radio standard

  • Available DVD navigation, DVD entertainment system

  • Production begins in third quarter of 2008

Introduction

Introduced at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse is an all-new crossover SUV with the upscale design, standard features, and people- and cargo-hauling capability found in many larger SUVs. According to Chevrolet, it boasts a design inspired by the 2008 Malibu, and comes with a full array of standard safety features like stability and traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS), and six air bags. Traverse production begins in the third quarter of 2008 at the Spring Hill, Tenn. plant. The Chevy Traverse will be the first non-Saturn model built at the facility.

Model LineupThe 2009 Chevrolet Traverse will be offered in three models: base LS, mid-level LT, and upscale LTZ, in both FWD and intelligent AWD. The list of product highlights includes: 4-wheel independent suspension; electronic stability control; traction control; 17-, 18- and 20-inch wheels; second-row Smart Slide seat feature; rear-seat entertainment system; six standard air bags; Bluetooth connectivity; OnStar; and XM satellite radio. Perforated leather seating is available, as well as heated and cooled front seats.

Design

According to General Motors, the 2009 Traverse is instantly recognizable as a Chevy-the new face of Chevy, that is-with chrome-ringed grille inserts, wraparound single-piece fascias, large wheel-and-tire combinations, taut body lines, and tight tolerances between body components. Other design details include turn signals integrated in the outside mirrors; roof rails; a rear spoiler integrated over the tailgate window; dual bright exhaust outlets; 20-inch Ultra-Bright aluminum wheels (standard on LTZ); and a panoramic power sunroof.

On the inside, the 2009 Traverse features the dual-cockpit design that speaks of its Chevrolet heritage, yet it flows into the door panels for a sleek appearance. The instrument panel itself, with its "low and away" mounted position, has two large bright trim-accented gauge binnacles and the optional navigation system screen integrated in the upper center of the panel. Configurable seating for seven or eight adults includes two front bucket seats, 60/40-split second-row bench, or two second-row captain's chairs and 60/40-split third-row bench seats. Adults can comfortably sit in the third row, Chevy says, while there's still plenty of storage available behind the seats (26.1 cubic feet). With both second- and third-row seats folded, there's 117.9 cubic feet of cargo volume.

Hardware

The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine with variable valve timing (VVT) and direct fuel injection. Preliminary estimates for horsepower and torque are 286 hp at 6400 rpm with dual exhaust, 281 hp at 6400 rpm with single exhaust, and a torque rating of 255 and 253 lb.-ft. at 5500 rpm (dual and single exhaust, respectively). The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse features electronic traction control and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Brakes are standard 4-wheel disc with ABS. Additional standard electronic braking features include dynamic rear proportioning, hydraulic brake boost, and panic brake assist. A tire-pressure-monitoring system is also standard.

Safety

The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse comes equipped with a full array of standard safety features, including six air bags: two dual-stage frontal air bags, two seat-mounted pelvic-thorax side-impact air bags in the first row (providing improved occupant coverage over thorax side air bags), and two head curtain side air bags covering all three seating rows. Chevy says the head curtain side air bags are among the longest in any production model. Other standard safety features include GM's rollover sensing system; dual front safety seat pre-tensioners; and OnStar (Generation 7) with a 1-year Directions & Connections plan that includes Turn-by-Turn Navigation and advance automatic crash notification system.

Technology

The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse includes, as standard or optional equipment, XM satellite radio with real-time traffic, a DVD entertainment system, DVD navigation system (with OnStar Destination Download and XM traffic routing); rear ultrasonic parking assist; rearview camera; extended-range remote vehicle start; power liftgate; and power-folding outside mirrors.