DETROIT -- Chevrolet is giving its largest crossover, the Traverse, a more trucklike appearance and feel, while improving handling and fuel economy by dropping 362 pounds.
It’s also adding two upscale trims to make the vehicle more profitable and challenge rivals that command higher prices.
The 2018 Traverse, heading to dealerships in the fall, takes on a more muscular stance, shedding the rounded edges of a design that dates back almost a decade in favor of a profile much closer to Chevy’s full-size SUVs and the Ford Explorer. It will come in five varieties, including the sporty RS powered by a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and the suede-accented High Country that’s likely to top $50,000.
Chevy said the reduced weight and new 3.6-liter engine tied to a nine-speed transmission will push the Traverse’s fuel-economy rating for highway driving to 25 mpg from the current 22, while increasing horsepower by 10 percent. The all-wheel drive system can be disconnected from the rear axle when it’s not needed to improve mileage.