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The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse has a good entry price and can provide a full-size SUV space, but is it actually a good value for the money?

What’s New for the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse?

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse was due to receive a mid-cycle refresh, but that has been put off until next year due to the ongoing supply chain disruptions. As such, the Traverse is virtually unchanged from 2020. It still carries the same V6, infotainment system, and unimpressive interior materials.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Chevrolet Traverse – media.chevrolet.com |  Shop 2021 Chevrolet Traverse on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $30,995

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD or AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

18 City / 27 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 7-8

The Breakdown

Low starting price

Plenty of interior space

Decent fuel economy

Interior components cheap

A lot of safety features are only optional

Top trims are pricey for what you get

Some more standard safety tech would be nice

2021 Traverse Specs

Trims & Pricing

L - $30,995
LS - $34,395
LT Cloth - $35,400
LT Leather - $40,295
RS - $45,195
Premier - $47,295
High Country - $52,395

2021 Chevrolet Traverse Powertrain

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse 3.6L V6 - Carsforsale.com

With the short-lived turbo-four being dropped from the lineup last year, all 2021 Chevrolet Traverse models receive the same powertrain combo in the shape of a 310 horsepower V6 paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. While other rivals can be optioned with more powerful engines, the Traverse is one of the faster mid-size SUVs and can pull off a 0-60 sprint in 6.5 seconds. Those are decent numbers for a family hauler and enough to make passing and merging maneuvers smooth affairs.

Continuing with the family theme, the Traverse’s road manners can be characterized as more car-like than truck-like. In other words, the suspension is on the softer side, and the body roll can be characterized as moderate. As such, the Traverse is better suited for urban environments as opposed to venturing off paved surfaces. However, if off-road performance is a deciding factor, we would recommend looking at its Chevrolet sibling, the Tahoe.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse 3.6L V6 - Carsforsale.com

On another note, some may be disappointed to learn that the automatic start/stop (despite being one of the better fuel saving systems out there) cannot be turned off. 

Towing & Payload

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse - thedroesslers on YouTube.com

All 2021 Chevrolet Traverse models start with a maximum towing capacity of just 1,500 pounds. That’s not the best when compared to the rest of the mid-size SUV segment, but Chevrolet has you covered if you plan on hauling heavier loads. The HD towing package ups the towing capacity of the Traverse to 5,000 pounds, which is closer to most of its competitors and allows owners to pull items like a small camper or boat.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse Fuel Economy & MPG

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse has a decent EPA fuel economy rating for a non-hybrid mid-size SUV. The FWD model comes in at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Tacking on the optional AWD drops those figures to 17 mpg and 25 mpg, respectively. While those are alright, it might be time for GM to add a hybrid option with the coming refresh.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

If you are looking for the roomiest mid-size SUV, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is basically it. There is no shortage of interior space and it surprisingly comes close to matching its more expensive, full-size SUV sibling, the Tahoe. The Traverse provides front and rear passengers with ample leg and headroom and seating materials are both comfortable and supportive. LT and above trims swap out the second-row bench seat for a pair of captain’s chairs, which is well worth it unless you need that extra passenger spot.

Calling the Traverse’s cargo space cavernous is not an exaggeration. This mid-size SUV offers a class-leading 23 cu-ft of space behind the third row, and folding down all the rear seats increases that number to a maximum 98 cu-ft of cargo room. In other words, the Traverse offers full-size SUV capacity in an affordable mid-size package. 

Our only complaint with the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is the spartan options on the lower trims. In order to add meaningful extras, you have to step up to the LT trim, and even then, many are still optional.

Entertainment & Technology

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse - media.chevrolet.com

Technology is a mixed bag for the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse. On a positive note, the infotainment system has crisp graphics, is easy to use, and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Likewise, the premium Bose stereo sounds great for an SUV in this price range.

On the other hand, the Traverse lacks some driver’s tech and safety features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist that come standard on many rivals. Also, many option packages are not even available on the L and LS trims. Meanwhile, other options, like adaptive cruise control, are limited to the top-level High Country trim, which costs over $50,000.

Safety Features

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse gets an overall five-star NHTSA safety rating. The Teen Driver system is a nice feature, as it prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver is not wearing their seatbelt and allows parents to keep tabs on what their offspring are doing behind the wheel. However, a lot of the typical safety features found standard in competitor vehicles are only available on higher trims as options in the Traverse, and makes it a letdown in this area.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse Trims & Pricing

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse L - Carsforsale.com

L – $30,995

The base 2021 Chevrolet Traverse L comes with a 7″ infotainment system that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and built-in Wi-Fi. Other standard features are tri-zone automatic climate control, Chevrolet’s Teen Driver system, and 18-inch alloy wheels. There are few more available options for the L, but this model is only available in FWD.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS - Carsforsale.com

LS – $34,395

Bumping up to LS does not add much value. It essentially opens up options like AWD, a rear-seat entertainment system, and styling packages.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse LT Cloth - Carsforsale.com

LT Cloth – $35,400

The LT Cloth actually adds to the Traverse with added fog lights, roof rails, 8-way power-adjustable seats, and second-row captain’s chairs. Buyers can also choose a Premium package that adds a larger infotainment system and an upgraded Bose audio. Chevrolet Safety Assist is also made available, which includes additional driver’s assistance features like rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. 

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse LT Leather - Carsforsale.com

LT Leather – $40,295

The Traverse LT Leather adds leather seating materials and brings heated, adjustable front seats. Similar to the LT Cloth, the LT Leather can be optioned with the Premium and Driver’s Confidence II packages.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS - Carsforsale.com

RS – $45,195

RS is the sport looking version of the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and it brings leather upholstery, larger 20″ wheels, wireless charging, and heats the second-row seats. The RS also includes the features of the Premium package while adding a rear-camera mirror, forward collision warning, and lane-keeping assist.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse Premier - media.chevrolet.com

PREMIER – $47,295

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse Premier takes everything from the RS and adds painted exterior trim accents, heated and ventilated leather seats, LED headlights, a hands-free power liftgate, and a power-adjustable steering wheel.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Chevrolet Traverse High Country - media.chevrolet.com

HIGH COUNTRY – $52,395

The top-of-the-line Traverse High Country gets a heavy-duty trailer package, a more advanced AWD system, a sunroof, power-folding third-row seats, adaptive cruise control, and just about every tech feature is standard fare. 

Warranties

All 2021 Chevrolet Traverses come with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty and 5-years/60,000 miles of powertrain coverage. GM is providing an industry standard warranty here, but it does include a single complimentary maintenance visit.

What we think

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Chevrolet Traverse – media.chevrolet.com |  Shop 2021 Chevrolet Traverse on Carsforsale.com

While the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse may come up short on standard features, it makes up for it with a roomy interior. If you can live without some of the latest tech or safety features, the base model Traverse is a good buy. Otherwise, it’s probably best to look at other mid-size SUV options as they’re ahead of the curve in comparison to the current state of the Traverse.

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Andrew Pecquex

Andrew Pecquex's interest in cars ignited the moment he turned the key of his first vehicle. Since then, he's navigated tracks through auto-X and drag racing. As a researcher, Andrew used his master’s degree in international commerce and policy from George Mason University to write business reports and country studies. Now he writes cost-benefits analysis of buying and selling cars. Andrew’s work as a mechanic gave him a strong knowledge of auto parts and repairs, allowing him to upkeep and upgrade his own vehicles in his spare time.

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