2013 Chevy Traverse Review
2013 Chevy Traverse Review
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- Agreeable ride quality
- generous cargo capacity
- top crash test scores
- seating for up to eight.
- Compromised rear visibility
- interior materials lack a premium look and feel.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse receives multiple changes this year, including refreshed exterior styling, improved interior materials, a new electronics interface and new safety features.
Restyled inside and out, the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse retains most of its underpinnings and remains a worthy consideration among large crossover SUVs.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse LS 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$194/mo for Traverse LS
Avg. Midsize SUV
From outward appearances, the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse looks almost fully redesigned. Gone is the signature Chevy split grille, replaced by a nose that looks more at home on a large sedan. The new design may lack personality, but it has a slimming effect that makes its predecessor look bloated by comparison. With a sharper, more defined tailgate and angled lights, the same holds true for the rear of this large crossover.
The interior also received the nip/tuck treatment, with sculpted surfaces and shapes integrated more fluidly into the overall design, and additional features including a standard rearview camera and Chevrolet's new MyLink infotainment interface at the driver's disposal. Similar to MyFord Touch, the MyLink system provides a wealth of audio, navigation and other system control through a simple touchscreen.
The rest of the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse remains unchanged and that's a good thing. Interior cargo capacity continues to be a top draw, with an impressive 116 cubic feet available behind the first-row seats. We like the way the Traverse drives, too, as its comfortable ride quality and 281-horsepower V6 put this big Chevy right at home on city streets and on the highway.
That said, there are great choices for large crossover SUV buyers. The Ford Flex is a funkier take on the same theme and definitely worth checking out, along with the more athletic-handling Mazda CX-9. And if you're willing to drop down a bit in size, the new Hyundai Santa Fe impresses with its all-around excellence. But with a sharper look inside and out, the updated 2013 Chevrolet Traverse holds its place as a smart choice among family-friendly large crossovers.
Performance & mpg
Powering most 2013 Chevrolet Traverse models is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 281 hp and 266 pound-feet of torque. The LTZ trim features twin exhaust outlets that increase output to 288 hp and 270 pound-feet. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission, but buyers can choose front- or all-wheel drive.
The EPA estimates fuel economy at 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg in combined driving for the front-drive Traverse and 16/23/19 mpg for the all-wheel-drive model -- average results for crossovers in this class.
Standard safety features on all 2013 Chevy Traverse models include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags for all three rows. OnStar is also standard and includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.
An inboard driver-seat side airbag that helps protect front occupants from colliding into each other in the event of a side impact is optional on the LS trim and standard on all others. A blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring system is only available on the top LTZ trim.
In government crash tests, the Traverse earned a top five-star rating for overall performance, with five stars for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Traverse also aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, where it earned the highest rating of "Good" in moderate frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.
Overall, the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse delivers a smooth and quiet highway ride. On curves and passes, the big SUV minimizes body roll and feels more secure and planted than you expect. The V6 engine generates good horsepower, but lacks punch and tends to sound harsh and unrefined under acceleration -- an indication of the mass it's tasked to carry. The thin steering wheel also feels a little outdated and the transmission is slow to react, though gearchanges are smooth.
Whether running errands in the suburbs or traveling the interstates, the Traverse is well suited to delivering several people in comfort or cargo in abundance. Despite its dimensions, it maneuvers well in tight parking lots -- it's just harder to see out of than most competitors.
The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse features an attractive new interior, but a few flaws detract from an otherwise successful effort. Most touch-surfaces are decently padded, but the quality of the materials lacks a premium look and feel. Drivers will also notice poor rearward visibility, particularly in reverse. Fortunately, the standard rearview camera provides a clear and comprehensive view.
The rearview monitor and all infotainment functions are controlled by a touchscreen display in the dash, but the screen itself is mounted low in the driver's sight line, and requires a longer glance away from the road ahead. The MyLink interface, which allows smartphone radio app integration, features a clean layout and intuitive menu structure. Touch inputs are occasionally slow or missed entirely, however, making the interface a bit frustrating. We're also not fond of the USB port placement in a dash-top bin where direct sun and high temperatures can bake electronics.
Front-row passengers will enjoy abundant head- and legroom, as will second-row occupants, but the middle-row seat cushions are a bit low. Sliding those seats all the way back alleviates this issue, but that effectively kills third-row legroom. The slide release is also difficult to access. The narrow, flat third-row seats are easily deployed and stowed, but are really suited to kids and smaller adults.
The Traverse scores points for generous cargo capacity. Even with the third-row seats in place, the Traverse can carry up to 24.4 cubic feet of luggage. That figure jumps to 70.3 cubes with the rearmost seats folded flat and a cavernous 116.3 cubes with the second row stowed.
2013 Chevrolet Traverse models
With seating for up to eight passengers, the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse is classified as a large crossover SUV. It is offered in four trim levels: LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ.
Standard features on the LS Traverse include 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, roof rails, cruise control, front and rear air-conditioning, keyless entry, full power accessories, cloth upholstery, 60/40 split-folding third-row seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth, OnStar telematics, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, USB/auxiliary audio inputs, and satellite and HD radio.
Steeping up to the 1LT trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood grain interior trim and an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustments. On top of that, the 2LT tacks on power-folding mirrors, an auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirror, a power rear liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and the MyLink infotainment interface (voice activation, Bluetooth audio connectivity and smartphone radio app integration).
The range-topping LTZ trim includes 20-inch wheels, a blind-spot monitoring system, a rear cross-traffic alert system, second-row captain's chairs (reducing seating capacity to seven), leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustments, driver memory functions, an eight-way power front passenger seat, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
As comprehensive as this list is, there isn't a lot of room for options. Available on the 2LT and LTZ trims are a navigation system and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system. All but the LS trim can also opt for a dual-panel sunroof, rear-seat DVD entertainment center with USB input and a 110-volt household power outlet.
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3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
1 out of 5 stars
This engine holds a bad secret
Domonic Webster, 04/14/2018
2012 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
While this vehicle has many great features it hides a bad thing that will sink you. The engine has timing chains that have a known defect. I wish I knew this before I spent my money. The repair cost is a new engine which will cost about $5,000 and takes about 8-15 hours to replace. When all is said and done you will spend $10,000 to repair. If you own a earlier version 2007-2009 it’s … covered. If you buy a 2012 it will not be.
1 out of 5 stars
Just Another Traverse Horror Story
2012 Chevrolet Traverse LT 4dr SUV w/2LT (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
Words will fail to express the complete disappointment we have for this vehicle and for GM's unwillingness to do anything about it. Bought it used in the Fall of 2014. Gave us some hiccups over the 4 years and e.g., @ ~50K miles we drove it e.g., power steering pump failed completely (not uncommon for these vehicles). Otherwise great car up for the spouse. Good size, handled well in … modest snow. MPG was horrible but an overall smooth, quiet comfortable ride. She loved it.....Up until the transmission failed catastrophically and w/o warning late in the fall of 2018 @ ~115K miles. As described in other posts and throughout the web the car - again w/o power warning decelerated the dash lit up with all types of warning messages and pretty little lights. Door locks began to lock and unlock and warning chimes started sounding. Was not sure if the car needed a mechanic or a priest to perform an exorcism. This car has been faithfully maintained with the same dealer for all 4 years. Was initially told the original battery may have done bad things to the transmission control unit which in turn smoked the tranny. Replaced the battery since that was the recommendation ~$450!. Yup - tranny was smoked. Still owed 18 mos on the loan so - after much deliberation and saving for the repair - we elected to replace to the transmission. Some headaches with the install - getting the new TCU to talk to the main computer. They get that solved and dealer tech takes the car out on the road to test the repair and the motor seizes up! Again no warning, nothing!. Mechanic tells me he is sorry and is sympathetic and advises me to call GM.... something about how the transmission must have stressed the motor even though there was not data to support the engine over revving or otherwise being stressed. I am now $4K into a repair with nothing to show for it and now looking at another $7K to replace the motor... and, oh, we still owe $6K on the original loan. So, all in, looking at $17.5K on a 7 year old vehicle. BTW $17K was was we paid for it in 2014!!!! Not holding out hope that my good friends at GM Customer Service (the incident is now at Tier 2 Cust Service) will do anything - why would they, right? I am a 5 time Chev owner - just bought a Silverado from them.... There is just no way that a vehicle at this age and miles should have failed so completely - not in this day and age. GM should be ashamed!
1 out of 5 stars
2013 Chevrolet Traverse LT 4dr SUV AWD w/1LT (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
We purchased my 2013 Traverse pre-owned in January 2016. It was a GM Certified Pre-owned that did have warranty coverage. I will say that I LOVE how it drives for such a large SUV. I love the back up camera and sensors as well. We were generally comfortable, even on long road trips. My husband did complain of knee-room while driving, but he is 6'5" so he is taller than the norm. My … problems began with the first oil change, they found an oil leak and had to remove the engine to find it. They also noticed that my timing chains were loose and went ahead and tightened those. A few months later, the blower for the rear A/C went out completely and had to be replaced (almost a week in the shop). That September we were returning from vacation and an A/C hose "popped" while we were driving down the interstate and we were stuck in Alabama an extra day. At the beginning of this year, as I was driving home from my mom's, all the lights on my dash starting going off, I couldn't move my steering wheel, and my engine shut off ( I was in the middle of a curve on a backroad with my toddler in the car). I was able to coast to a safe spot and had the car towed to the dealership. This was caused by "catastrophic engine failure" and had to replace my engine. Everything up to this point has been covered under warranty (Thank goodness!) Two days ago, the same thing happened with the addition of a squealing noise. This time my A/C compressor locked up. So this twice that my car has completely shut off while driving down the road (with my son in it) and this repair is going to cost me almost $2200.00. If I had to pay for all of these repairs I would have spent $7-10,000.00! I have spent about a month and a half in demo cars total because of time that my car was being repaired. I will say that the dealership and service that I deal with is FANTASTIC and they are helping me find a comparable vehicle to do an even trade and are giving me a good value for my car, and I am so thankful for that. I may have bought the one truly defective Traverse, but it has been nothing but a headache from the get-go.
3 out of 5 stars
2012 Chevrolet Traverse LS 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
Today 9/9/2018 I was on my way to church this morning. I get not even a third of the way there and my car takes me from 45 mph to a quick 15 mph without warning!!!!!!!!!!!! I pulled over and just shut my car off because I was scared. This is not the first time that this has happened to me. The last time it happened I was on the highway coming back from chemotherapy and I had my kids in … the car. THIS IS NOT SAFE!!!!! Whenever I did call my dealership and took it up there for them to see, I could not duplicate the issue. I do not feel safe in my car and I honestly don't want it anymore. I need to have a car that I can depend on to get to my appointments. I have already had to fight one HUGE monster with my health, I surely don't need anything else to happen to me or my children.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, so we've included reviews for other years of the Traverse since its last redesign.
2013 Traverse Highlights
|Combined MPG||19 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$194/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover16.9%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood