Chevrolet Traverse LTZ : 2011 - test drive

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MSRP Engine HP Manufactured
$37,975 3.6L V6 288.0 2011
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I was really looking forward to trying this vehicle. I like how the Traverse looks and it represents a real change in this segment for Chevrolet.

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ.

When the vehicle first pulled up in our driveway I continued to be enthusiastic about it. It even had a great color, what Chevrolet calls Steel Green Metallic.

I opened the door and got in and was struck by the aesthetics of the interior. It is very well designed and has a great feel to it. I don't necessarily mean feel as in touch, since it has a considerable amount of hard plastic. It's more of a sensual feeling. It is simply a world of difference from what was offered just a few years ago. I'm not always offended, as others are, by what they call "hard plastic" (although these cars will definitely not date as well as classic cars from decades ago), because I understand that when used correctly, it is an effective way to address the consumer's desire to have an inexpensive vehicle. Something has to go.

However, what struck me right away was the "fit and finish" on several points on the dash. The left side of the dash (that meets the left door trim) was almost 3/8 of an inch off, and the right side was off as well, but just a bit less.

This kind of stuff bugs the hell out of me. I honestly think that I am cursed. Here I have elements of a brand new car that are no more that two feet in front of my face that are clearly off. A place I stare at all the time. It just makes me wonder about the rest of the build quality.

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse left interior fit detail.

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse left interior fit detail.

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse left interior fit detail.

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse right interior fit detail.

Having said this, I don't want to come off too harsh. I do like this SUV. It has a lot of comfort in it and is quite practical.

The driving experience was not particularly memorable. It was fine, but it wasn't great. Fine is OK, but these days, I want more than fine. It always felt like it was searching for more power, even thou our LTZ come with a 3.6L V6 engine with variable valve timing, direct injection producing 288 hp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. The other models have 281 hp and 266 lb.-ft. of torque

The Chevrolet Traverse MSRP are:
• 2011 Traverse LS - From $29,224
• 2011 Traverse 1LT - From $31,865
• 2011 Traverse 2LT - From $34,445
• 2011 Traverse LTZ - From $37,975

It has some pretty cool features, many of which are quite useful, like the embedded rear camera in the rear view mirror...

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse reverse camera in rear view mirror.

the Smart Slide second-row captain's chairs with a walk-through area that makes for easy entrance to the third row, a full-size split bench rear seat that comfortably seats three adults, 116.4 cu. ft. of cargo space, a power-remote liftgate (on 2LT and LTZ) and even a simply hidden storage bin on the top of the dash board.

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse interior detail - dash storage bin.

The vehicle we got was the LTZ with a Standard Vehicle Price of $39,975. Add to that $1,445 for the DVD Rear Seat Entertainment system, which included a remote control, Bose surround sound system, a 114 volt power outlet and wireless headphones, $75 for the engine block heater, plus a $775 destination charge, and the total rose to $42,270. According to Chevrolet, it gets 16 MPG city and 23 Highway.

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Chevrolet "bowtie" logo (revised in 2010).

Chevrolet Traverse : 2011   
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