2011 Chevrolet Traverse Review

Pros & Cons

  • Compliant ride
  • seating for up to eight passengers
  • adult-friendly, split-folding third-row seat
  • massive cargo area
  • top safety scores.
  • Compromised outward visibility
  • large size hampers maneuverability
  • a few subpar interior materials.
List Price Range
$6,799 - $10,999

Used Traverse for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

With its stylish good looks, spacious cabin, carlike ride and handling, plus decent fuel economy, the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse has much to offer SUV owners looking to downsize.

Vehicle overview

Over the past couple of years, a lot of people have come to the realization that even though they like the practicality that a traditional SUV provides, they're not particularly fond of how unwieldy these lumbering, truck-based behemoths can be. If you're one of these people, we'd encourage you to check out the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse.

As a large crossover, the Traverse combines the people- and cargo-schlepping strengths of an SUV with the carlike ride and handling of a minivan. Granted, by choosing a crossover, you'll be giving up the heavy-duty towing capacity of those old-school sport-utes and the ultimate practicality of a minivan. Still, at the end of the day, the benefits offered by crossovers like the Traverse make them smart choices for many drivers.

While the Traverse is the least expensive of GM's three large crossovers built on the same underpinnings (the other two are the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia), it's appealing in ways that go beyond the bottom line. Families will appreciate the roomy interior that offers comfortable seating for up to eight passengers; they'll also likely warm to the surprising number of upscale features found on the upper trim levels. Relatively decent fuel economy and high marks in government and insurance industry crash tests are also part of the deal.

The Traverse does have its faults, including less-than-optimal visibility and a third-row seat that's not quite as comfortable as the one in the 2011 Ford Flex. It's also no match for the 2011 Mazda CX-9 crossover in the handling department, nor does it offer as many advanced electronics as the new 2011 Ford Explorer. Just the same, folks in the market for a vehicle that offers the everyday usefulness of a traditional SUV or minivan without the associated downsides would do well to put the Traverse on their test-drive lists.

2011 Chevrolet Traverse models

The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse is a large crossover SUV available in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels. Standard equipment on the LS includes 17-inch steel wheels, eight-passenger seating, split-folding second- and third-row bench seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, full power accessories, OnStar and a six-speaker CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

The midrange LT trim level is actually comprised of a choice of two sub-trims: the well-equipped 1LT and the more upscale 2LT. The 1LT package offers 18-inch alloy wheels, heated sideview mirrors, an eight-way power driver seat, a trip computer, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and rear parking sensors. Select the 2LT package and you'll get all that plus tri-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker Bose system (with USB port), rear audio system controls, seven-passenger seating (featuring second-row captain's chairs), a power liftgate and a rearview camera integrated into the rearview mirror.

The Traverse LTZ ups the luxury ante with 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power front seats (with driver memory settings), Bluetooth connectivity and remote ignition. Many of the standard features on upper trim levels can be added to the lower ones via option packages. Other highlights from the add-ons list include a trailer-towing package, a navigation system (with real-time traffic, a rearview camera and a USB port), dual sunroofs and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system (with USB port).

2011 Highlights

Aside from the audio system's relocated USB input and the addition of heated cloth seats to the options list for LT models, the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse remains largely unchanged.

Performance & mpg

There is only one engine/transmission combination available for the Chevrolet Traverse -- a 3.6-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic with manual shift control.

In the LS and LT trims, the V6 produces 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. In the more upmarket LTZ, output jumps to 288 hp and 270 lb-ft thanks to a dual-outlet exhaust. In our performance testing, a Traverse LT2 posted a sufficiently quick 0-60-mph time of 8.6 seconds.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the front-wheel-drive Traverse are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive Traverse models are very close at 16/23/19 mpg. Properly equipped, the Traverse can tow up to 5,200 pounds.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags for all three rows are all standard on the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, as is one year of GM's OnStar service, including turn-by-turn navigation and hands-free phone connectivity. In Edmunds brake testing, its Acadia twin came to a stop in 135 feet -- the Flex and CX-9 perform better.

In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Traverse earned a top five-star rating for overall performance, with four out of five stars being given for front-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. The Traverse also aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, where it got the highest rating of "Good" in both the frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Driving

While the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse rides more smoothly and handles better than most traditional SUVs, it won't exactly make you forget you're driving a plus-size vehicle.

Buyers looking at the top-of-the-line LTZ version should also bear in mind that its larger 20-inch wheels have a somewhat adverse effect on ride quality. The 3.6-liter V6 under the hood delivers wiling performance in a wide range of driving situations.

Read our Chevy Traverse Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

Interior

While the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse has a number of good qualities, its interior is the real selling point. The design is attractive, with an eye-catching two-tone color scheme, brushed aluminum and chrome trim and simple, easy-to-read gauges. There are a few low-quality plastics used in spots, and the audio and climate controls use too many small and similar-looking buttons, but overall, the Traverse's passenger cabin gets good marks for both style and function.

Depending on which trim level you choose, the interior offers seating for either seven passengers with the second-row captain's chairs or eight with the 60/40-split-folding second-row bench seat. Either way, first- and second-row passengers enjoy comfortable accommodations. The third row is much more adult-friendly than the ones you'll find in most traditional SUVs, though the Ford Flex still bests the Chevy in this regard.

There's also plenty of room for stuff, including 24.4 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third-row seat. Fold both the second and third rows down and you get a nice flat load floor with room for 116.4 cubic feet of cargo.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse.

5(36%)
4(24%)
3(11%)
2(17%)
1(12%)
3.6
58 reviews
Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Auto Transmission a potential death trap
plumbobby0,05/29/2011
I have been subjected to a unexpected scare in my Traverse and wonder if anyone had the same fate. On accelerating to overtake there was a multiple shift of the gears (at least 2 back) which caused the motor to hesitate and put me in a precarious position of slowing down instead of speeding up to pass other vehicles. I have possessed a Cadillac SRX 2011 that had the same problem so I assume the the problem is in the transmission as both vehicles have the 6 speed auto tranny. I would be interested in hearing from other owners with same or similar problem
Power Steering rack out with less than 50,000 mile
J,02/02/2016
LT1 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
We purchased this 2011 Traverse in June of 2015. It was a one owner vehicle and we felt it was a good buy. Less than a year later we are learning it's a major flop! We have already had the water pump replaced, the power steering system, and now the whole power steering rack is out. The dealership says this is a $1,800 Fix. I could see if this was a high mileage vehicle, but it has less than 50,000 miles! From what we have read this is a HUGE problem with this vehicle. Chevrolet really needs to look into this, as I feel the amount of other people with this exact problem may warrant a recall on this system. Buyer beware!
Built for safety!
keripatterson,10/11/2011
We were involved in an accident. The other car was totaled and very little damage to my right front bumper area. My vehicle drives like a dream, performs fantastically, and is built like a tank for safety. The front end folded like it should have for optimal protection and safety. I love this car and it is so worth the money we paid for it.
Great Bang for the Buck
muthagoose,07/07/2011
Traded in 2004 Saturn VUE AWD to make room for 3rd carseat and needed 3rd row. Also test drove Acadia,Enclave,Explorer,Pilot, and Highlander. Narrowed our choice between Highlander and Traverse. Both had very good ride and comfort, but Traverse won out primarily on room behind 3rd row (could not fit golf bag or stroller in Highlander if 3rd row up). Insisted on 2nd row captain's chairs for easier access to 3rd row (Pilot does not have this option). Would recommend captain's chairs if you plan on puting carseats in 2nd row, otherwise access to third row difficult. Almost have 1K miles on it and love it. Great get up & go when I need to pass someone. Very Happy so far.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse

Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse Overview

The Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse is offered in the following submodels: Traverse SUV. Available styles include LT1 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LT1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LS 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LT2 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LT2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LTZ 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LTZ 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and LS 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse LS is priced between $7,000 and$8,990 with odometer readings between 97723 and123247 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse LT1 is priced between $6,799 and$7,000 with odometer readings between 131163 and146214 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse LT2 is priced between $7,995 and$7,995 with odometer readings between 133260 and133260 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ is priced between $10,999 and$10,999 with odometer readings between 102031 and102031 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2011 Chevrolet Traverses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Chevrolet Traverse for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2011 Traverses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,799 and mileage as low as 97723 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Chevrolet Traverse.

Can't find a used 2011 Chevrolet Traverses you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Traverse for sale - 9 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $15,802.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 5 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $8,815.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Traverse for sale - 5 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $22,004.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $15,798.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet Traverse lease specials