February 21, 2011
The Chevy Traverse can be brushed off as an overpriced, oversized crossover as well as yet another spin on GM's long-in-the-tooth Lambda platform. Or it can be considered a practical, roomy vehicle that comfortably straddles the line between functionality and entry-level luxury.
Truth is our long-term 2010 Chevy Traverse LTZ falls somewhere in between. That it has all the bells and whistles helps make the case that it's a contender in its class; that it also has a bloated sticker price of $42, 050 doesn't. But you don't have to spend a dime over the base price of $37,985 to get the standard Bose Surround Sound System on the LTZ trim level. And even if the Bose system is buried in the base price, we still wondered if it's worth it and how the system performs.
The Bose system in the Traverse LTZ comes with 10 speakers. These include a 3.5-inch "Twiddler" high/midrange speaker in the center of the dash, a 1-inch tweeter in each A pillar, a 6.5-inch wide-range speaker in each door, another 3.5-inch Twiddler on each side of the third-row seat and a 5.25-inch woofer in a sealed enclosure in the center console. Bose doesnt supply power ratings for some unknown reason, and will only say that the Traverse system has eight channels of "custom equalization."
January 26, 2011
I realize that some people put a low priority on car audio. For me, that priority depends largely on what kind of car it is and under what conditions it's being driven in. When I had a Shelby GT500 to drive around in, I rarely had the radio on. With our Traverse, though, I think it's more important since I'm more prone to rotting in traffic than making my run through Beggar's Canyon. The verdict? Pretty good, overall.
The iPod interface scored some points right off the bat. Plus it immediately recognized my iPhone once I plugged in -- no lame "This device doesn't work, yadda, yadda, yadda, dismiss button" step. The display itself is legible, with decent-sized on-screen buttons. The physical buttons flanking the screen are on the small side and not as well labeled.
Once I centered the bass and treble levels, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. If anything, the bass started to fall apart when the music got boomy (the Dark Knight soundtrack is good at revealing bass flaws). Still, it was pretty good. Good enough to make the commute seem just a bit shorter, anyways.
June 22, 2010
One update made to the GM Lambdas since our go-around with the Enclave is the addition of a USB audio jack and iPod interface. The jack is located in the chasm-like center storage bin, which keeps your iPod out of prying eyes -- unlike the standard aux jack, which remains on the stereo/navi faceplate. And unlike our GMC Terrain and the Cadillac SRX I recently tested, the Traverse is good to go with the standard white wire that comes with every iPod. Using it in the Terrain alphabetizes all of the songs in your playlists and doesn't include "Podcasts" amongst playlists, artists, genres, etc. We're looking into getting a separate connector for the Terrain to get proper functionality.
I thought the usability of the Traverse's iPod interface was quite strong as well. While the SRX's redundant rotary control knob and button setup (in addition to touchscreen) does a better job of mimicking the iPod's actual controls, the Traverse's touchscreen is still intuitive and pressing the down button skips full pages of playlists rather than going down one at a time like some others annoyingly do.
EXCEPT, you can't do it while driving. You can press playlists, songs, etc, but once inside that menu those scroll buttons on the right disappear. You can skip "pages" using the up/down buttons on the steering wheel, then press the song's touchscreen icon to play it. It's a weird system and not very efficient. It's strange how the lawyers have a problem with using the iPod interface while driving the Traverse, but not in the Terrain and SRX.
So close, but no cigar.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 5,673 miles
June 07, 2010
I think the 2010 Chevy Traverse is the first vehicle I've ever driven with blind spot mirrors tucked into the top outside corner of the sideview mirrors.
And I don't think I like them.
The constant double-image kept catching my eye, and even after two days, I still found it more distracting than helpful.
Maybe I'll get used to it. (Maybe not)
Anyone know offhand what other models have those mirrors?
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 5,379 miles