2014 Chevrolet Traverse | road test

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 by
2014 Chevrolet Traverse
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3.5 stars
  • Very Good
AEDAED 116,000 - 163,000
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  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 10, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 80%
  • Interior
    Editor: 80%
  • Quality
    Editor: 70%
  • Features
    Editor: 70%
  • Performance
    Editor: 60%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 75%

Review Summary:

The Traverse is a full-sized crossover SUV, or so it appears from the outside at least. In actual fact, it has more in common with an MPV, in the vein of a Toyota Previa or the like. It might look like an off-road-going Audi Q-type car, but it is no such thing.


Great handling car that offers premium comfort
Cabin space makes it an ideal family car, especially for those with larger families.


Engine power is insufficient, and the MyLink control panel has an awful delay.

Introduction and summary

The 2014 Chevrolet Traverse is a full-sized crossover SUV, or so it appears from the outside at least. In actual fact, it has more in common with an MPV, in the vein of a Toyota Previa or the like. It might look like an off-road-going Audi Q-type car, but it is no such thing.

2014 Chevrolet Traverse side

So, if it looks like an SUV but isn’t, has the features of an MPV but isn’t one of those either, what is it exactly? I had this car for four days last week and my feelings towards it relied on merely the toss of a coin. To steady my indecisive ship I decided to call in my wife…

Comfort and practicality

I had the range-topping LTZ model at my disposal, and on the first day of duty I thought it best to garner Mrs. Wife’s opinion before I had a chance to poison her mind. At first sight she loved it; she said it was a fabulous looking car and that she would like one immediately. Kudos, the Traverse is almost Audi-like in appearance, a fine looking car indeed.

2014 Chevrolet Traverse interior

Inside the Traverse, and ignoring the vulgar colour interior in the press model, my wife was instantly impressed with the comfortable seats and the acres of space available in all three rows. The middle row contains two independent captain’s seats, with a bench row of three in the very back. This was a big selling point for Mrs. Wife as she instantly stated that it was perfectly-wonderfully-perfect for hauling throngs of children (something we don’t have, I should add).

2014 Chevrolet Traverse interior - 2

The third row of seats folds down flat, as do the captain’s seats in the middle. It results in a fully flat loading deck too big to measure. This prompted Mrs. Wife to ask if we could afford one…


Unlike other offerings from General Motors, the Traverse is packed with a more modest selection of features, yet it remains well-equipped enough to merit a round of applause. The air-conditioned seats were an endless source of amusement for Mrs. Wife, and she also liked the traditional dials, stating that she preferred them to that “digital rubbish” we get nowadays.

2014 Chevrolet Traverse front

However, all is not well with the MyLink system. Yes, Bluetooth connectivity was a doddle and the radio picked up radio stations previously undiscovered, but the delay on selecting or adjusting anything was beyond infuriating. This made Mrs. Wife very cross. She attempted to skip through my music looking for hers, but found the delay to be 3-4 seconds per selection. She discovered that should you be stabbing away hastily, you’ll end up skipping 8-9 tracks and then crashing the system entirely. It’s the same with volume control, you attempt to turn the music down and after several seconds do you reach your desired decibel level.

Safety features heavily, and although I didn’t have time to crash the car, the spiel from Chevrolet says that there are several airbags strategically placed throughout the car, as well as carrying a reinforced monocoque.

Other things of note are that the captain’s seats in the middle operate electronically, and every seat, with the exception of the centre one on row three, comes with cup-holder. Again, Mrs. Wife was impressed with this, stating that it would offer youths a level convenience seldom found in rival family cars.

Performance, ride and handling.

You may have noticed that thus far I have reported only my wife’s opinions and observations, and there is a good reason for that, which I will come to later. But since I was the only one driving the Traverse I am now duty-bound to tell you what I think. In two words: comfortably slow.

The ride in the Traverse is excellent. It handles exceptionally well, and is void of any irritating body-roll which is common-place on soft-touch SUV’s such as this. You glide over road-humps as if they weren’t there, and parking has never been so easy in such a large car. Despite its size – it is 20cm longer than a Land Cruiser – it doesn’t feel so bulky and it deals with city roads surprisingly well.

2014 Chevrolet Traverse rear - 2

But then we come to the elephant in the room; power. I generally don’t read other journalist’s reviews about cars that I’m testing to protect me from influence. But on this occasion I had to check if anyone else had complained about the woeful power levels presented by the Traverse, and I can’t find anything. Is it just me, perhaps? You put your foot down and much like the delay on the MyLink system, the car creeps forward after a long pause, and even then acceleration is pitiful.

Apparently, under the bonnet was a 3.6 litre V6, which according to the blurb can produce 288 horsepower. I just wonder if they mean race-horses or hobby-horses? Certainly all this helps with fuel economy. The Traverse has been fitted with fuel-saving injectors and I will doff my cap at that, I was getting a combined economy reading of 11L/100km, which is pretty good.

The engine is a liar because it sounds gruff and powerful. You get it revving to 6,000 RPM in third gear, but then you look down at the speedo and you’re only doing 40kp/h. Even with traction control off there was no improvement. Mrs. Wife couldn’t see the problem with this and was curious as to why I kept calling the car horrible names when pulling away from traffic lights.


There are four variations of the Traverse on offer in the UAE, with the basic LT model starting at around AED 116,000. I had the top of the range All-Wheel-Drive LTZ model (although it was missing the DVD player it promised) and can be purchased for a gentleman’s AED 163,000. In all fairness the Traverse is good value, and even the entry-level LT model is comfortable and well-equipped, a steal at AED 116,000.


So, to begin our summary of the Chevrolet Traverse we must turn to Mrs. Wife, and her thumb points upwards. She says that with the acres upon acres of space, the comfortable (and air conditioned) seats, the vast cargo space available when the seats are down, and the simple features, that she would buy one. It would be fantastic for children, as the space will keep them comfortable, the safety features will keep them safe, and the cup holders will keep their drinks upright. She also says that along with its wonderfully good aesthetics it is not too fast or powerful, and that mothers will be drawn to it more-so.

2014 Chevrolet Traverse rear

It is certainly a good car; well built, comfortable and easy to use. But I couldn’t get my head around the lack of power from the engine or the delay in its application. Neither could I understand why the MyLink system was so tardy. But, as a family hauler it left my wife suitably impressed.

And what do I think? I think I will see a lot of these Sports-Utility-Multi-Purpose-Vehicles parked outside schools.

One Response to 2014 Chevrolet Traverse | road test

  1. Suleyman Reply

    November 12, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Yeah a nice remembrance. F Bodies ruled every year, now Ford Boys are all jolly cause the GT is 2 ttehns faster than the SS down the the strip, I would still take an F Body over the 2010. How long was it 93,94,95,96,97,98,99,00,01,02 about 10 years in a row Ford lost. But you don’t as good as these old reviews.These dick heads now a days have nothing good to say about any car any more ,only what they don’t like. Jim Scoutten is the man

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