2016 Chevrolet Traverse Review

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth ride even when the road isn't
  • can accommodate up to eight passengers
  • plenty of cargo space behind the third row
  • peace of mind that comes with top safety scores.
  • As cumbersome to drive as its size suggests
  • infotainment and climate controls are behind the times in terms of design and functionality.
List Price Range
$11,950 - $31,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Do you need a big SUV that can shuttle lots of people and cargo? The 2016 Chevrolet Traverse is made for you. Besides its utilitarian abilities, it's also pleasant to drive and will make the most of your money with its abundant features. Keep reading to find out why it's one of our top picks in the segment.

Vehicle overview

A decade ago, if you wanted a vehicle with eight seats and a giant cargo bay, your choices were either a minivan or an SUV big enough to require its own ZIP code. Today, though, there are several large crossover SUVs that give you generous interior space in a reasonably sized package, and the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse remains one of our favorites.

Although a fully redesigned model is right around the corner, the 2016 Traverse continues to be a competitive choice in this class.

The Traverse could be viewed as the blue-collar member of GM's large crossover trio, which also includes the upscale Buick Enclave and the "Professional Grade" GMC Acadia. But the Chevrolet is quite nice in its own right and can be equipped with nearly the same set of upscale luxury features as its siblings. The Traverse offers a cavernous interior, and while drivers are unlikely to feel like they're at the wheel of a Mini -- the 40.4-foot turning circle makes for a rather unwieldy feel in tight parking lots -- it's certainly easier to wheel around town than bulky body-on-frame SUVs like Chevy's own Suburban. Additionally, the Traverse rides comfortably and boasts enviable crash test scores.

If you're shopping in this segment, there are some fresher rivals to check out. Honda's Pilot is redesigned for 2016, with a new look and a roomier third-row seat. The face-lifted Ford Explorer isn't as roomy in back, but it offers upgraded engines that provide either improved fuel economy or more power. Other recommended options include the handsome and well-equipped Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota Highlander, which is one of the great all-rounders. Among these tough competitors, though, the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse holds its own with a nice blend of comfort, space and value.

2016 Chevrolet Traverse models

The 2016 Chevrolet Traverse is a large crossover SUV with seating for seven or eight passengers, depending on the second-row seating configuration. There are essentially three main trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ. However, the LS is further divided into Base (1SM) and LS, while the LT is subdivided into 1LT and 2LT variants.

High-end versions of the 2016 Traverse don't come cheap, but you get luxury-grade appointments in return.

Standard features on the entry-level Base LS (1SM) include 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, roof rails, a rear spoiler, front and rear air-conditioning, 60/40-split folding second- and third-row seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, the OnStar telematics system with 4G LTE connectivity, a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB audio interface and two additional USB charge-only ports. The Base LS model is only available with front-wheel drive.

The LS (1LS) model adds satellite radio. All-wheel drive and other extra-cost options not offered on the 1SM are available on the 1LS.

Stepping up to the 1LT trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, an occupant-protection airbag mounted between the front seats, foglights, heated outside mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote start, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way power lumbar) and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The 2LT includes all of the above plus an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, second-row captain's chairs (the second-row bench seat is still optional) and rear-seat audio controls and headphone jacks. You also get the MyLink infotainment interface, which includes Bluetooth audio connectivity, voice controls, Internet radio app integration and a 10-speaker Bose audio system.

The top-of-the-line LTZ model comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, power-folding mirrors, a blind-spot monitoring system, a rear cross-traffic alert system, forward collision warning and lane-departure alert. Inside, the LTZ boasts leather upholstery, driver seat and side mirror memory function, an eight-way power front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a navigation system. The second-row captain's chairs are also mandatory.

Some of the upper trim levels' standard features are available as options on lesser models. Also available, depending on trim level, are a panoramic sunroof, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, a rear-seat entertainment system (includes a household-style electrical outlet) and a towing package.

2016 Highlights

For the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, the OnStar system gets faster connectivity (4G LTE) with in-car WiFi hot spot capability. There is also a new entry-level model, the Base LS.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Chevrolet Traverse features a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque in the LS and LT trim levels. The LTZ's dual exhaust outlets bump output up to 288 hp and 270 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission, but buyers have a choice of standard front-wheel or optional all-wheel drive in all but the Base LS model (which is front-drive only).

In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive LTZ sprinted to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, which is a bit slow for a large crossover. Properly equipped, the Traverse can tow up to 5,200 pounds. EPA fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg combined (15 city/22 highway) with front-wheel drive and 17 mpg combined (15/22) with all-wheel drive. These are average fuel economy numbers for a large, V6-powered crossover.

Properly equipped, a Traverse can tow up to 5,200 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety features on all 2016 Chevy Traverse models include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. OnStar is also standard and includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

A unique center airbag between the front seats, which is designed to protect occupants from colliding with one another in the event of a side impact, is an option on the 1LS trim level and standard on LT and LTZ. Rear parking sensors are also standard on the LT and LTZ. A blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring system is standard on the LTZ, as are forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning systems. The latter two are optional on 2LT models.

In Edmunds brake testing, an all-wheel-drive LTZ required 119 feet to stop from 60 mph, a better-than-average result for a large three-row crossover SUV.

In government crash tests, the Traverse earned a top five-star (out of five) rating for overall performance, with five stars for overall front-impact protection and five stars for overall side-impact protection. The Traverse also fared well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, in which it received the highest rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The Traverse's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

The 2016 Chevrolet Traverse displays exactly the kind of road manners you'd want in a large, three-row family crossover. The ride quality is comfortable, composed and quiet on the highway, providing an assuredness that drivers switching from bigger truck-based SUVs will appreciate. At the same time, the suspension delivers sure handling and surprisingly good maneuverability for such a large vehicle. That said, smaller rivals are more responsive on twisting roads or in tight urban spaces, and the Traverse's wide turning circle can make it rather cumbersome to maneuver.

Around town, the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse is a little cumbersome to drive.

The 3.6-liter V6 engine is fine for most day-to-day driving conditions, but feels a little anemic when maximum acceleration is called for, such as attempting to pass slower traffic on a two-lane road. The six-speed automatic transmission generally delivers smooth gearchanges, but can feel sluggish when you need a quick downshift in situations like getting up to speed on freeway on-ramps.

Interior

The 2016 Chevrolet Traverse features a roomy interior with handsome styling and respectable materials quality. The overall look and feel ranges from pleasant in the lower models to downright upscale in the top-of-the-line LTZ trim level.

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 legroom issue, but effectively kills third-row legroom. Access to the back is a breeze thanks to big rear doors, though the second-row slide release is difficult to access. Once you're back there, the Traverse's third row isn't as comfortable as that of the 2016 Honda Pilot, for example. It's realistically best suited for small-stature adults or children, especially if you want to fit three across.

The 2016 Traverse is quite simply the boss of this segment in terms of cargo capacity.

As is invariably the case with three-row vehicles, rearward visibility is almost nonexistent when you have a full crew onboard, so the standard rearview camera is a huge help. The camera's image and infotainment system controls are displayed on a 6.5-inch touchscreen that's mounted a little too low on the dash to view with a quick glance and surrounded by touch-sensitive secondary buttons that may look vaguely interesting, but are less functional than normal buttons. The occasionally slow response of the MyLink system to your inputs is another drawback.

When it comes to cargo space, the Traverse is definitely a leader in its class. Even with the third-row seats in place, it can carry more luggage than most rivals. Space remains abundant when lowering either the second or third rows, as the Traverse offers more cargo space than any crossover apart from its corporate siblings, the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

First 10K across the USA
Brad,01/21/2017
LT w/2LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I feel like I can write a solid review since we have driven this vehicle in every climate and weather extreme. We were in the market for a new family car and made our purchase in July 2016. We tested everything in class to include Honda Pilot, Volvo XC70, Subaru Outback, and the Toyota 4runner. At the end of the day the Traverse made the cut due to its interior, cargo capacity (over 100 cubic feet!), and entertainment features. We were able to get into the 2LT trim line that has four captain's chairs and a third row all clad in soft leather. We bought ours during the 20% off sale, all said and done we walked out the door at $28K for a 42K vehicle. For active duty military you cannot beat Chevy's incentives. Watch for reduced prices on the 2017s as the new 2018s are getting a new body design. We drove the vehicle from PA to our new home in AR without any issues. A week later my wife drove the Traverse from AR to FL with heat indexes over 110 degrees. The vehicle pacified a our 4 year old granddaughter, our 15 year old and our 25 year old. All three seating areas have vents and there is second row and third row climate control which is a big plus during the summer months. This past December our family took a vacation from AR to MT during the big winter storm that came through before Christmas. The distance was over 2,000 miles and we encountered white out conditions, 50 mph crosswinds in WY, and general winter conditions. Comfort wise the Traverse allowed me to put over 1,000 miles of driving on our first day without any lower back pain or leg pain. The vehicle is very solid and didn't budge during the high crosswinds which had blown tractor trailers off the road. The AWD is amazing at keeping traction where it is needed. The road noise is almost nonexistent and there are no little creaks or rattles what so ever. Temperatures on that trip ranged from 40 degrees to minus 15. In WY on our return trip I was able to cruise at 85mph and the Traverse held at about 2k rpms. It had no problem staying in gear even at high speeds. Combined fuel economy after 10k is 20.2 MPGs. I purposely did not reset the "gallons of fuel used" in the driver information center so I could get an accurate number later on. There is plenty of power at highway speeds for passing. The side blind spot sensor is a big help as the vehicle layout does present a significant blind spot and is tricky when passing. This is hands down the best family vehicle that we have owned. I really cannot find a negative thing to say about it.
Positives outweigh negatives
Richinbk,02/19/2016
LS 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I got a very basic model so theres nothing too impressive to mention except that the truck is roomy in all directions, rides very well and looks good. My only major complaint would be poor fuel mileage. Sticker claims i should be getting 19 city and 24 highway. I'm actually getting about 12 or 13 mpg city and jury is out on highway mileage since I do mostly city driving. I have AWD so maybe thats the culprit. Otherwise, so far so good. Can't wait to take it on a nice road trip.*"*** Updated***highway mileage is no better than city..stuck at the 12 to 13 mpg range
Great Road Trip Vehicle
John Myers,03/20/2016
LT w/2LT 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I rented a 2016 LT2 for a trip from the SF Bay Area to Arizona with 4 adults including baggage. (Grand canyon, Flagstaff and Sedona by way of Las Vegas) and was quite impressed with the acceleration performance, cargo capacity and overall gas mileage. It averaged 22 mpg for the trip but was the front wheel drive model. Hard for me to believe the poor mpg rating others have given the Traverse but maybe the AWD really does impact the efficiency.
Not buying a chevy again.
Quinn,04/12/2018
LT w/1LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I have owned this car for less then 3 years. I am very good about making sure I do all the regular maintenance at a chevy service dept. In the first year Chevy had to offer all owners compensation due to inflating the actual fuel economy on the vehicle sticker. My traverse does 15 miles per gallon at best. I have had repeated issues with the stabiltrack traction control misfiring and causing my car to decelerate on its own to below 30 miles / hour. This has happened while going over 55 on the highway several times. Upon searching this issue, many people have reported a similar experience. The dealer was unable to find or fix the issue. With my latest issue, a part within the transmission broke, causing me to break down and require a tow (on a road with no shoulder with all 3 kids in the car). This car is less then 3 years old!!!! While fixing the transmission I was also informed I had a leak in my power steering hose. I have been put in several very unsafe situations because of this car. I would NOT buy another chevy. At this point , I am not even confident I can keep this one for fear of breaking down again or having ongoing issues. I did contact Chevy Customer Service with my concerns, they informed me "They were sorry".

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 Chevrolet Traverse features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 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 2016 Chevrolet Traverse

Used 2016 Chevrolet Traverse Overview

The Used 2016 Chevrolet Traverse is offered in the following submodels: Traverse SUV. Available styles include LT 4dr SUV w/1LT (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LS Base 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LS 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LT 4dr SUV w/2LT (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LT 4dr SUV AWD w/1LT (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LS 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LT 4dr SUV AWD w/2LT (3.6L 6cyl 6A), LTZ 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and LTZ 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Chevrolet Traverse?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Chevrolet Traverse trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Traverse LT is priced between $11,950 and$25,998 with odometer readings between 15352 and126918 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ is priced between $17,500 and$31,998 with odometer readings between 16734 and118398 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Traverse LS is priced between $14,924 and$17,998 with odometer readings between 37741 and127583 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 2016 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) 2016 Chevrolet Traverse for sale near. There are currently 51 used and CPO 2016 Traverses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,950 and mileage as low as 15352 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 2016 Chevrolet Traverse.

Can't find a used 2016 Chevrolet Traverses you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Traverse for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $12,053.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $13,359.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Traverse for sale - 4 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $24,769.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 8 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $9,776.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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.

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