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2009 Chevrolet Traverse First Drive

It is the fourth (!) vehicle built from GM's three-row crossover collection of parts, known to GM and car wonks as Lambda. It is functionally identical to the '09 versions of the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook. It has the same V6 engine. It has the same six-speed automatic transmission. It seats the same number of people. And it returns the same miles per gallon.

Read more and post your comments here.

First Drive: 2009 Chevrolet Traverse

Karen-Edmunds Community Manager



  • briancambriancam Posts: 21
    Nice looking SUV
  • ttbuyerttbuyer Posts: 29
    After years of arrogant indifference and wildly inferior products GM is FINALLY taking the customer (and the competition) seriously.

    Until very recently, any newly introduced GM product would be instantly dismissable as laughably inferior to the Japanese competition.

    Even the Korean competition was kicking sand in GM's face with their own quickly-improving quality. Hyundai, which was a pathetic joke not so long ago offers vastly improved products.

    It used to be that driving/owning a Hyundai was almost shameful. These days one would rather "be seen" in a Hyundai than a Pontiac.

    The Koreans respected the customer by improving their products while GM took the American consumer for granted and trotted out sub-standard junk for sale.

    I have always wanted to "buy American" but I'm not going to subsidize GM's laziness; if a GM product is competitive, I will consider it.

    The Traverse is attractive and it is competitive. I hope it's not too little too late.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,250
    I was thinking of one of the Lambdas but considering the quality I've experienced with my 2003 GMC Yukon, I will look past US auto to replace it soon...never to return again after 30 years of loyalty.

    Too little, too late IMHO.

  • rsuther2rsuther2 Posts: 1
    Cross-overs seem to me to be an oxymoron. Since 2000 I have driven Dodge Grand Caravans for my work in medical sales. I don't understand the negative conotation to minivans. You cannot beat them for practicality. They have more interior space, get better mileage, handle better, have better visibility, and in some you can get all-wheel drive, and they ride better. I have driven many cross-overs and have yet to drive one with the overall practicality of my minivan. The floor is lower on minivans which lowers the center of gravity for handling and makes loading cargo easier. I love to drive and have owned a Porsche 911 for 15 years and my wife drives a Toyota Avalon, but when we travel we always take the minivan. Everyone who rides with us always comments what a nice riding vehicle it is.

    I do like the styling of alot of the cross-over vehicles, but they cost more, don't drive as well, use more gas, carry less and arent a passenger friendly. My next vehicle might be the new Volkswagen minivan built by Chrysler, unless Chrysler or Dodge decides to put the Mercedes build V6 deisel in their minivans. Oh yeah.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    I agree with you about the pointlessness of crossovers. I am in the market for a vehicle with 3rd row capability and looked at a number of crossovers and found none of them acceptable or competitive with minivans for storage capacity or for accessibility to the 3rd row. Minivans aren't sexy... but crossovers and SUVs aren't either.

    We have pretty well settled on Toyota Sienna for our new vehicle. We looked at the Grand Caravan/Town and Country and decided that they have many neat gimmicks but not enough real quality.
  • easym1easym1 Posts: 218
    Has anyone have any idea if there would be a diesel engine for this model?
  • mk2001cmk2001c Posts: 1
    People choose crossovers because of their styling and performance. Many (myself included) find minivans unattractive because of their odd proportions. Most of the high-end crossovers such as the Cadillac SRX handle much better than the minivans do. They provide near-sport sedan handling with a lot more storage space. You can also get them with a V8. Not everyone needs the practicality of a minivan. Good for GM for responding to the market demands.
  • kmausskmauss Posts: 74
    The pictures of it look pretty but if it's the twin of the Buick Enclave then yikes - it's a HUGE beast! I was out 'window shopping" yesterday and was looking at an Enclave. I felt like I was walking up to a bus! I know it's a probably a visual illusion, but that Enclave seemed bigger than my sister in law's Chrysler Town and Country. I'm casually searching for an eventual replacement to my sedan with something that has hauling capacity, but I'm not wanting a land yacht either. When my local Chevy dealer gets these in, I'll be very curious to see them for myself. (I never thought I would hear myself say it, but I am actually considering a minivan! )
  • They do NOT handle better, the GC had some of the worst powertrains on the market, and it's not cross-overs. The GC also has a huge turning circle and a floaty ride/loose handling. This particular crossover is entirely too bloated and ugly.

    The CX-9 is what a crossover should be, although it doesn't have the most cargo space, it makes the most sense.
  • My wife and I have a 2007 Saturn Outlook and we love it. The handling is great and you can't beat the cargo room and towing ability. All this and we have easily achieved 22-23 mpg on long trips. Looks to me like Chevy has taken what is great about the Outlook and made it even better with some additional safety gear. CX9/Highlander just don't measure up if you really need the capabilities these vehicles offer (cargo room/towing capacity and all around fexibility).
  • jacobmjacobm Posts: 15
    Anyone have one yet? I am still trying to decide between the traverse or the MDX. I don't really want to buy an american car... just drove my friends 3 year old malibu and it is coughing and sneezing! I was really hoping to lease this and waited 1 year for it.
  • zone4zone4 Posts: 46
    I'm thinking about getting one next year. I love the exterior and interior styling. I hate the cramped seats in the 2nd and 3rd rows. I was hoping they would come out with a V-8 or hybrid version next year. I test drove their LTZ version and it drives very smooth. :)
  • If you think the second and thrid row are cramped then no vehicle short of a bus will please you. The lambda's have the most third room space of any crossover.
  • zone4zone4 Posts: 46
    I totally disagree with you. I have a Hyundai Santa Fe and it doesn't feel cramped in the back. The space you are refering to is when the seats are folded down. I don't care about cubic space. When the seats are in their upright position there is no room for your feet because of the seat design.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 837
    The second row in the Saturn and assume the same in the Traverse has a tremendous amount of room. The second row will slide forward at least 6 inches if you need foot room in the third row. Even then the second row has decent room between it and the front row. It would be nice if there were foot wells or the seats were higher off the floor for those of us with long legs. But, I'm usually driving anyway.

    I have not been in a Santa Fe but I can not imagine it having near the room since specs on Edmunds show it is 16 inches shorter than the GM.
  • zone4zone4 Posts: 46
    As I said before, it isn't enough foot room for me. Maybe for you it is. I can't stretch my legs like I want to because there is not enough width under the drivers seat. My feet are too close together. Again, I'm only speaking for me. My Santa Fe isn't built like that. The underneath part of the seat is wider so I can spread my feet. I don't care whether it's 16 or 30 inches shorter. My concern is not having my legs so close together.
  • Ok I will take your word that the large Traverse doesn`t work for you compared to a small SUV like the Santa Fe - there is always one.

    For nerely everyone else the lambdas and other large three row vehicles will work out best compared to smaller SUV's which have a third row like the Santa Fe and the Rav 4. The measurements do not lie (for most people).
  • zone4zone4 Posts: 46
    How many times do I have to tell you. It's not the measurements or cubic space that bothers me. It was the 2nd and 3rd row seat comfort. But most people understood that in my previous comment even if you didn't. There always is one. I've never found one vehicle that liked everything about including my Santa Fe. I was only stating what I didn't like about the Traverse. Overall I think it is a great vehicle. I test drove one and was very impressed. I plan to purchase the LTZ version once the price drops.
  • Ok I didn`t realise you were going to buy one even if you didn`t like the comfort. I have read reviews which say the seat comfort in the second row is not the best but as the owner how often will you site there? Most of the time I expect you will be driving or in the front passenger seat. Anyway when you buy one post your experience and pricing so we have some idea of a good deal. Thanks
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