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#8

in 2011 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $17,260 - $25,021
Original MSRP: $29,370 - $40,250
MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
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2011 Chevrolet Traverse Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Chevrolet Traverse has a large cabin that earns praise for its functionality and utility, especially in the cargo area. It's also surprisingly high-quality for such an affordable price although some reviewers say some of the materials and assembly aren’t quite up to snuff.

  • "The instrument panel consists of dual gauges featuring bright white numbers on a black background that are simple and easy to read. Minor complaints include a few lower-grade interior plastics and audio and climate controls that consist of too many small and similar-looking buttons.” -- Edmunds
  • "Inside, Traverse mimics Chevy's successful Malibu with a sweeping dual-cove theme for the dash and materials featuring good texture and a solid feel." -- Jalopnik
  • "Unfortunately, the Traverse seems to have a lot more visible seams than its competitors and the quality of the plastics on these pre-production samples looks and feels less than stellar." -- Autoblog
  • "Tasteful design, high-quality materials and one of the most accommodating interiors in the class are the hallmarks of GM's newest crossover SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book

Seating

The Traverse comes in two configurations: eight seats in three rows or seven seats with optional second-row captain's chairs. Surprisingly enough, reviewers find the third row comfortable and even large enough for adults.

The base Traverse is very low on frills when it comes to seating. It’s not available with leather, power seats or heated seats. You’ll have to upgrade to the 1LT for a power driver’s seat and the 2LT for standard heated seats or leather.

  • "Among the largest midsize SUVs, Traverse's cabin feels especially roomy. Big, supportive seats make for good long-trip comfort. Entry step in is a little high, but it's lower than in most traditional truck-type SUVs." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Available SmartSlide seating for the middle row causes the captain's chairs to glide forward with the pull of a lever, allowing good access to the surprisingly comfortable third row seats. But the lack of a sliding side door means piling tweeners in and out without bashing into the cars beside you will never be as easy as it is with a van." -- Jalopnik
  • "Even the third seat is comfortable for adults, where most vehicles with a third row make it barely adequate for children." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • "The third row in all the Lambdas is generous, putting many other crossovers (and the Chevy Tahoe full-size SUV) to shame." -- Car and Driver
  • "Second-row seats that slide fore and aft improve leg room while permitting easy entry in to the third-row seat. And unlike many third-row seats, the Traverse's can actually accommodate two adults in comfort while affording them full side-curtain airbag protection." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

Aside from some fit and finish complaints, the interior features on the Chevrolet Traverse are well-reviewed. The base model is a little sparse on standard features but comes with front and rear climate control, cruise control, power windows, an auxiliary audio input jack and an adjustable steering wheel. Optional high-tech gadgets are available mostly only for the 2LT and LTZ models. These include a navigation system with rearview camera, rear entertainment system, and a power liftgate.

If you’re looking for a more luxurious and better equipped SUV, consider the Traverse’s platform-mate, the Buick Enclave. It costs about $6,000 more, but comes standard with seven-passenger seating, a tilt and telescopic steering column, OnStar and tri-zone automatic climate control.

  • "Materials are on par with those of the Outlook, which is to say pretty good, save some shiny plastic here and there, and the standard and optional features list is nearly identical, including dual sunroofs, Bose audio, a navigation system (now linked to OnStar), and a new in-mirror rearview camera." -- Car and Driver
  • "Big, bright, clear gauges are easy to read. Major controls are where you would expect them to be." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Unfortunately, the fit and finish of this particular Traverse is not as good as on the other Lambda crossovers we've examined. Just sitting in the driver seat, you notice all sorts of misaligned pieces (many with flashing on their edges), and the situation isn't much better for the exterior." -- Edmunds

Cargo

The Traverse boasts cargo capacity at the top of its class and provides ample room, even with all three rows in use. If you’re looking for a roomy, functional family SUV, the Traverse is the best game in town.

Specifically, the Traverse provides a maximum of 116.4 cubic feet of space with the second- and third row seats folded down. That’s more than the Ford Flex (83.2 cubic feet) and Honda Pilot (87.0 cubic feet). A power liftgate is optional for 2LT and LTZ models only.

  • "The available power liftgate is a handy feature. Several bins and cubbies provide ample interior storage." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Storage bins and cup holders abound, and there is enough room behind the third-row seat to accommodate two golf bags." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The car has the best cargo capacity in the midsize crossover segment, with 117.5 cubic feet of space in total, compared with 95.4 for the Toyota Highlander and 87 for the Honda Pilot, which Butler said are expected to be the Traverse's key competitors." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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