Tried-and-true recipe for success

Chevy SUV continues doing what it does.

With all the hullabaloo about General Motors going full bore toward full electrification of its lineup, there’s the 2023 Chevy Traverse still holding onto what’s made it successful and popular, without a single bit of EV or even hybrid technology to be found.

For some that might be a negative and for others it might be a positive, but the 2023 Traverse seems to have a blueprint for success. And in 2023, it continues that plan as this midsize seven/eight-passenger SUV holds true to what it’s been for many years. This doesn’t mean that the Traverse just foregoes any updates to the 2023 model year, but it returns to the Chevy lineup mostly unchanged from last year with only some new exterior colors and some interior touchups as the only marked difference for this year.

New for 2023 is a Radiant Red and Sterling Gray Metallic paint coat, along with a wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Seems minor, but with a winning recipe, why change it too much.

What exactly are the ingredients to that recipe? It’s a spacious interior and a powerful propulsion system, you know the stuff that matters to the American consumer.

That propulsion system is a 3.6-liter V6 engine. Innovative? No. But it’s a tried-and-true system that generates 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. For an SUV that is 205.9 inches long and weighs more than 4,300 pounds that is just enough horsepower to not make it feel sluggish. The 9-speed automatic transmission holds its own with this engine offering smooth shifts. While front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, my tester had the optional all-wheel drive and that’s the ideal setup for this SUV.

On looks, the Traverse is long and lanky with authentic SUV styling. That styling holds up, although is encroaching on being outdated. For those who don’t like the garish styling of today’s newest SUVs, the Traverse is a bit of a throwback with a toned-down front end. The squinty head lights add a bit of distinction to the Traverse. The back end is the part of this SUV that could use a little more personality. Were it not for the stylish taillights, the Traverse would just blend in with the crowd of other non-EV SUVs.

The interior of the Traverse is where the continued success as well as value shows up. In an era where minivans are passe, the Traverse offers a family-friendly feature that can rival some minivans as well as useable and useful interior space. Case in point, the Traverse can brag that it has the best overall cargo room of any vehicle in the segment with 98.2 cubic feet with the second and third row seats folded flat. With the third row upright there’s 23 cubic feet and with those seats folded down, the cargo area increases to 57.8 cubic feet.

The interior space numbers tell the story with second-row passengers enjoying 38.4 inches of legroom and 39 inches of headroom. Third row passengers lose a little bit of space but still enjoy 33.5 inches of legroom and 38.2 inches of headroom.

There is an eight-passenger configuration optional for the Traverse, but my tester was the seven-passenger setup, which is standard.

The center stack is clean and well-organized as well as driver-focused with a colorful 8-inch touchscreen. This drives Chevy’s intuitive infotainment system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and comes with a WIFI Hotspot set up. Additionally, GM partners with Amazon to offer built-in Alexa capability in the Traverse.

If the engine and look remains a bit of a throwback, the technology inside remains near the cutting edge. And it’s on full showcase inside the spacious interior for all seven passengers to enjoy.

My tester was the High Country trim with a base price of $53,600. With options like the aforementioned new Radiant Red paint coat, along with a destination fee, and the final MSRP of my tester was $55,240.

Fuel economy for the all-wheel drive version is 17 mpg/city and 25 mpg/highway. In a week’s worth of mostly suburban driving, I averaged nearly 20 mpg.

When people talk to me about today’s new automotive technology, they usually remain skeptical. Perhaps that’s who the Traverse is aimed at. It’s hard to say, but if so, it will resonate with the crowd that wants a spacious interior and doesn’t want a hybrid or EV.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist. Email him at Follow him on Twitter @driversside

2023 Chevy Traverse High Country AWD

Price/As tested price................................................ $53,600/$55,240

Mileage.......................................... 17 mpg/city; 25 mpg/hwy

Engine............................................. 3.6-liter V6

Horsepower................................. 310 hp/266 lbs./ft.

Transmission................................. 9-speed automatic

Drive Wheels................ All-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point................ Lansing, MI

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