The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse is an appealing, comfortable and capable family crossover SUV with three rows of seating, up to eight-passenger capacity, and nicer interior space than its much more expensive sibling, the Chevy Tahoe. It competes with a long list of similar vehicles, such as the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, and Volkswagen Atlas. Your option in this segment has never been greater, and the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse Traverse is worth a test drive.
Several new features have been added to the optional package this year. And the new Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system makes its debuts, offering sharper graphics and a sleeker smartphone-style touch screen interface. A significant change is that the RS model turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been dropped, a V6 engine is standard across the board for the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse. Given the turbo four-cylinders struggle to move the Traverse’s with any authority, it’s not likely to be missed.
The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse is a midsize SUV with seating for seven or eight passengers, depending on the second-row seating configuration. It’s available in seven trim levels: L, LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier, and High Country.
The base L trim is front-wheel drive only and comes respectably equipped with LED running lights, xenon headlights, 18-inch wheels, an engine stop-start system, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, seating for eight, a rearview camera, OnStar communications with a 4G LTE connection and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, Chevy’s Teen Driver system, and a 7-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. This models doesn’t have access to most optional extras and a build-to-order trim, so you’re unlikely to ever even see a Traverse L on a dealer lot.
The LS has the same equipment as the L, but it can be equipped with all-wheel drive and a few optional extras, such as second-row tablet mounts with dedicated USB charging ports and a cargo management package. The Traverse LT Cloth gets you second-row captain’s chairs, which is reducing seating capacity to seven but improving accessibility and comfort (the bench remains an option). It also gets roof rails, mirror-integrated turn signals and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.
Two option packages are available for the LT Cloth. The Convenience and Driver Confidence package adds rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a power liftgate, remote engine start, an upgraded 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, a color driver information display, and heated front seats. The Trailering package adds a trailer hitch and heavy-duty cooling system. If you order the LT Cloth with all-wheel drive, the Convenience and Driver Confidence package comes standard.
The Traverse LT Leather include the Convenience and Driver Confidence package plus a leather upholstery, and a power-adjustable passenger seat. The optional Premium package adds 20-inch wheels, a navigation system, a 10-speaker Bose sound system, a 120-volt power outlet, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a built-in rearview camera display, and a top-down parking camera system. A panoramic sunroof is available as a stand-alone upgrade.
The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse RS trim is a bit different. It’s equipped much like the LT Leather and comes standard with Premium package features plus a unique styling cues and accents, such as 20-inch wheels and a blacked-out grille and bow tie badge. The Traverse Premier adds LED headlights, auto-dimming side mirrors, hands-free operation for the liftgate, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power-adjustable steering column, wireless device charging, and driver-seat memory settings.
Optional package for the Premier is the Driver Confidence II package, which adds forward collision alert with pedestrian detection and low-speed automatic braking as well as lane departure warning and intervention. The Redline Edition package adds an appearance package that blacks out all the chrome trim and panoramic sunroof. If you order the Premier with all-wheel drive, the Driver Confidence II package, Trailering package and adaptive headlights come standard.
The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse High Country get the Premier’s content and adds a special all-wheel-drive system with an auto-locking rear differential, automatic high beams, panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, a power-folding third-row seat, and unique interior leather upholstery.
Like most of its competitors, the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse interior is a mixture of inexpensive but durable plastic panels with nicer bits and pieces placed in strategic locations. In High Country trim, simulated-wood trim, piano-black accents, and metal-look detailing provide a properly upscale look — especially with the high-contrast Loft Brown leather.
Every the 2020 Traverse offers Jet Black as an interior color. If you’re seeking an alternative, most trims offer Dark Galvanized (dark gray) and Medium Ash Gray over Dark Atmosphere (brown). Chevrolet doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the Traverse’s controls, and that means you can easily find, identify and use the knobs, buttons and stalks. Everything in this SUV is intuitive, and that includes the new Infotainment 3 technology.
As was true with the MyLink infotainment system that came before it, the Infotainment 3 is simple, easy and intuitive to use. New software and graphics improve the system, and each version includes Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Chevrolet Connected Access services through OnStar, including a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. A reversing camera and Teen Driver safety technology are also standard.
An 8-inch versions of touch screen add a high-definition display and reversing camera, along with enhanced voice recognition and premium SiriusXM 360L satellite radio. Navigation, Bluetooth supporting two different devices, in-vehicle app support, and more are available depending on the trim level.
Front-seat occupants are afforded abundant head- and legroom. The 2nd-row captain’s chairs are exceptionally comfortable, and they slide forward and back depending on seating and cargo requirements. Chevy’s Smart Slide right captain’s chair moves forward and tilts even when a child safety seat is installed in that location. Adults can fit into this SUV’s 3rd-row seat, unless the people in the 2nd-row seat are willing to slide forward, the 3rd-row seat is best reserved for kids.
The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse offers abundant space for adults, child seats, water bottles and whatever else you can think of. There’s 23 cubic feet of luggage space behind the upright third row. That’s class-leading. Fold both the second- and third-row seats and you have a massive 98.2 cubic feet, more than the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot. This goes for small-item storage as well, with big door pockets, a big center console and good-sized cupholders offering plenty of space for your items. Child safety seats are also afforded plenty of room and easy to install with easily accessible LATCH points in the second-row captain’s chairs and the third row.
The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse standard towing capacity is up to 1,500 pounds, but an optional trailering package bumps that capacity up to a more respectable 5,000 pounds. That’s right in line with most three-row rivals.
With the departure of the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, all 2020 Chevrolet Traverses come standard with a 310-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine. That engine is paired with a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission with front wheels (FWD) as standard. All versions of the SUV except for the L models are available with all-wheel drive (AWD). For maximum traction, consider the Traverse High Country, which adds a dual-clutch transfer system, rather than the single-clutch unit on other AWD models.
310 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
266 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm
Fuel tank size: 19.4 gal.
EPA fuel economy (city/highway/combined): 18/27/21 mpg (FWD), 17/25/20 mpg (AWD)
Test Result (High Country AWD)
Zero to 60 mph: 6.5 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 17.3 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 31.7 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.8 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.2 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 4.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.1 sec @ 94 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 176 ft
Towing capacity: 5000 lbs
2020 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE PRICING
Traverse LT Cloth
Traverse High Country