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Black bow ties and bigger footprints: Chevy's 2018 Traverse and what people think

Photo credit: GM

Chevrolet's largest crossover, the Traverse, is slimming down and becoming more trucklike in appearance for 2018. It will come in five varieties, including the sporty RS powered by a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and a suede-accented High Country that’s likely to top $50,000. Here’s what people are saying about the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse.

“Chevrolet is looking to put the hurt on the three-row crossover segment with an all-new 2018 Traverse with sharper styling, and the expectation of offering best-in-class passenger volume and cargo space. The second-generation model, which will slug it out with competitors such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander, is making its world debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

With styling inspiration from Chevy's full-size SUVs, the Traverse strikes a less bubbly and more defined appearance, particularly in back. To give customers more visual choices, a couple of new trim levels have been added including a sporty, blacked-out RS model with a black chrome grille, black bow tie badges and big 20-inch wheels.”

-- Jon Wong, Roadshow by CNET

“Chevrolet calls the 2018 Traverse a midsize SUV because it can’t actively cannibalize the Tahoe, which has fat, juicy profit margins. Rightfully, Chevrolet expects the new Traverse to compete with the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander. I’ll happily throw another log onto that fire: the Volkswagen Atlas. If Chevrolet prices the Traverse against those competitors, it should have no trouble selling this SUV. One reason is that the styling is absolutely perfect. With its slightly scowling face, wheels pushed out to the corners, flared fenders, and wrap-around rear glass, the new Traverse is a handsome conveyance.”

-- Christian Wardlaw, New York Daily News

“Chevrolet’s designers have wrapped the 2018 Traverse in sheetmetal that adopts a more squared-off look than its predecessor. The new front end, with a large hexagonal grille flanked by narrow headlights, mirrors that of the smaller 2018 Chevy Equinox crossover. A body-color C-pillar breaks up the side-glass area for a more upright, trucklike profile, and the rear end is similar to that of the Acadia, albeit with different taillights.”

-- Joseph Capparella, Car and Driver

“The first thing you'll notice about the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse: it's huge. The Traverse has always been on the larger size of the midsize crossover segment, but in its new generation, it grows even more, surpassing big-brother Tahoe in a number of dimensions. The Traverse also comes to market with a wider trim range than before, with a choice of two powertrains. In other words, it's all the crossover you could ever need... and then some.”

-- Steven Ewing, Motor1.com

“Admittedly the Traverse isn’t meant to be particularly exciting, as its customers probably value things like interior volume and fuel economy over things like aggressive sheetmetal or sporty handling.

So basically, Chevy took what they did to the Equinox, and applied it to the Traverse. Nothing outlandish, but probably a fine car for hauling large humans.”

-- David Tracy, Jalopnik

“The Traverse was already one of the roomiest crossovers available, but this new one packs in even more space in the second and third rows. The wheelbase is massive, meaning the third row doesn't have to sit right on top of the wheels. Cargo space behind the seats grows as well. While access to the third row isn't as easy as it would be in a minivan, the second row will slide forward even with a child seat in place. That should be good news for growing families. Extra bins and cubbies are scattered throughout the cabin, providing space for snacks, sunglasses, or smartphones.

The design gets a much-needed update. The outgoing model received a refresh a few years back, but it still felt behind both the competition and Chevrolet's other offerings. Outside, the Traverse looks far more masculine, poaching some design cues from the full-sized Tahoe and Suburban. Up front, the Traverse adopts the current corporate face, but out back you wouldn't be faulted to thinking this was a Ford Explorer, not a Chevrolet.”

-- Reese Counts, Autoblog

"I was surprised to see the redesigned Traverse remain the big SUV it's long been, especially since the GMC Acadia was significantly downsized when it was redesigned. The cabin is a strange mix of upscale materials and amenities next to cheap-looking plastics that are out of place in a modern SUV. That said, families should like all the cabin space the Traverse offers."

-- Mike Hanley, Cars.com

"Primary motivation comes from a 3.6-liter V-6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet says this combination marks a 10-percent power increase. With the outgoing Traverse V-6 rated at 281 horsepower, that would put the new model at over 300 horsepower. Of greater significance is the promise of improved fuel economy, a shortcoming with the first-generation vehicle. Chevrolet estimates that the highway mpg will be rated at 25 mpg on the front-drive Traverse V6, which would be a 3 mpg improvement based on the EPA numbers. Tow capacity, when properly equipped, is said to be 5,000 lbs."

-- Jeff S. Bartlett, Consumer Reports

You can reach Jack Walsworth at jwalsworth@crain.com -- Follow Jack on Twitter: @jackwalsworth

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