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Chevy Antes Up in the Midsized 7-Passenger SUV Game: 2024 Traverse First Drive Review

The all-new 2024 Traverse mid-sized SUV hopes to appeal to more buyers with its off-road-focused Z71 and premium RS packages.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71; (photo/Andy Lilienthal)
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The battle for the seven-to-eight-passenger midsized SUV segment is extremely competitive. From the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade to the Ford Explorer and the Mazda CX-90 — it’s a space popular with families who don’t want a minivan.

Since the 2009 model year, Chevrolet’s answer for this buyer has been the Traverse. And for this year, it’s getting redone in hopes of appealing to a broader audience.

In short: For 2024, the Traverse, now in its third generation, gets a complete redesign, a brand-new turbocharged engine, and a new off-road-centric Z71 trim level. There are a host of upgrades throughout including updated infotainment, new technology, and a simplified trim level lineup.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse


  • Vehicle 5-door midsized SUV
  • Trims LS, LT, RS, Z71
  • Powertrain 2.5L turbocharged, intercooled 4-cyl. w/ variable valve timing and direct injection, 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Power 328 hp (@5,500 rpm) and 326 lb.-ft. of torque (@3,500 rpm)
  • Fuel economy FWD 20/27/23, AWD 19/24/21
  • Fuel tank size 19.4 gallons (FWD), 21.7 gallons (AWD)
  • Ground clearance 6.77 in. (LS, LT, RS), 7.76 in. (Z71)
  • Curb weight 4,504 lbs. (FWD), 4,793 lbs. (AWD)
  • Cargo capacity 98 cu.-ft. (with 2nd and 3rd rows folded), 56.6 cu.-ft. (with 3rd row folded), 22.9 cu.-ft. (behind 3rd row)
  • Tow rating 1,500-5,000 lbs.
  • MSRP $40,995-57,595 (including $1,395 destination fee)


  • Impressive ride quality
  • Quiet cabin
  • Hands-free Super Cruise works impressively well
  • Infotainment screen looks great and is mostly intuitive
  • New Z71 options will be great for long dirt road adventures


  • 4-cylinder engine sounds noisy when pushed
  • Steering has odd on-center feel
  • Third-row could have more leg room
  • Lots of piano black interior finishes means lots of scratches and smudges

2024 Chevrolet Traverse Review

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

To stay competitive, you must stay fresh, especially in the hotly contested SUV segments. Chevrolet just debuted its latest Traverse, the third generation of its seven-to-eight-passenger SUV.

Popular with families who don’t want minivans, mid-sized SUVs need to have lots of tech, heaps of USB outlets, and plenty of space for stuff. Plus, they must be comfortable and tow the family boat or trailer.

Chevrolet believes its latest Traverse has these traits and will put itself in a place to not only be more competitive against rivals, but also possibly appeal to more adventurous buyers with its new Z71 trim level.

New Style, Fewer Trim Levels

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

The 2024 Traverse is totally redesigned, and its sheet metal now aligns with Chevy’s corporate style. It has a floating roof design at the rear glass, just like Chevy’s other SUVs/CUVs, such as the Blazer, Trailblazer, and the upcoming 2025 Equinox. The interior is all new as well.

Traverse now comes in four trim levels (down from six in 2023): base LS, mid-level LT, sporty RS, and off-road-centric Z71. All Traverses can be had in FWD or AWD except the Z71, which is AWD-only. All trims offer fully independent suspension, although there’s different shock tuning depending on the trim.

Across the board, all Traverses also get a sizable 11-inch configurable gauge cluster, a big 17.7-inch diagonal color touchscreen, six USB ports, and plenty of cupholders. The interior feels modern, airy, and well put-together. There is a lot of piano black finish, which is easily scratched and shows every fingerprint and dust particle.

Turbo Four Replaces V-6

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

Chevy has ditched the past Traverse’s 3.6L V-6 for the all-new, more powerful LK0 2.5L turbocharged and intercooled DOHC four-cylinder powerplant (the only engine). In fact, this mill is currently only found in the Traverse, and employs new ePhaser technology, which electronically controls the intake cam timing for smoother engine starts and better fuel economy. 

Additionally, the intercooler is an air-to-water unit (versus air-to-air), aiding in performance. The boosted powerplant makes 328 horsepower and 326 pound-feet of torque through a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.

When equipped with the towing package (standard on Z71 and RS), the Traverse will tow up to 5,000 pounds — great for boats, camper trailers, etc.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS; (photo/Andy Lilienthal)

A Tale of Two Trims: Z71 vs. RS

During my trip to Georgia to drive the new Traverse, I checked out the two higher trim levels: the ruggedized Z71 and the sportier RS. The two have distinctly different personalities.

One is made for active adventurers, the other for on-road routes. Of course, they share many commonalities, but there are some significant differences. 

Z71 Offers Off-Road Features

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
2024 Chevrolet Traverse Z71; (photo/Andy Lilienthal)

The biggest driving variation between the two trims is handling. Both models ride very well on the highway, offering a smooth, compliant on-road demeanor. However, the Z71, with its beefy 265/65R18 Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain tires and dampers with hydraulic rebound control, soak up big bumps both off- and on-road. Even large potholes and big dips didn’t faze the Z71’s suspension, which will make it a good vehicle for long stretches of dirt roads or bad pavement.

While Z71 and RS have different drive modes, Z71 gets an exclusive Terrain Mode, aiding in off-road driving prowess by electronically changing certain driving dynamics.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

All Z71s have functional red tow hooks up front, aluminum and steel skid plates underneath, and 7.76 inches of ground clearance — nearly an inch more than non-Z71 models. 

In addition, the Z71 has better off-road capability thanks to an approach angle of 20.70 degrees, a departure angle of 23.67 degrees, and a breakover angle of 17.07 degrees. While no one is going to go rock crawling in a Traverse, these angles, paired with the twin-clutch AWD system, provide more confidence when you hit the trail.

My off-road excursions were limited to some grass and narrow dirt and gravel tracks, so I never got to push the Z71’s capability, but few owners will either. I can tell you the various cameras do a good job of ensuring you don’t bump your front end into trees. They also help to see over steep crests preventing off-road damage. The L drive setting also provides additional slow-moving control when the trail gets tougher.

Traverse RS: Sportier On-Road Option

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
2024 Chevrolet Traverse; RS; (photo/Andy Lilienthal)

With its sportier suspension tuning, big 22-inch wheels, and wide 275/45R22 Continental CrossContact LX20 tires, the RS is designed for pavement prowess. As expected, on-road handling is better than the Z71. While it’s far from a sports car, the RS sticks well in corners for a seven-seat SUV

Kick it into Sport mode, the throttle response improves, and the Traverse starts to border on sporty — for a three-row vehicle, anyway.

I hoped the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters would let me manually change gears no matter how fast you’re going. However, they only change to the different levels of L-mode driving at lower speeds. Sequential shifting would’ve upped the sportiness, but so be it. Hey, this is meant to haul people and cargo, not chase Corvettes.

Both models have very good brakes, but the RS’s wider rubber feels like it enhances braking further.

The steering feel on both trim levels takes some getting used to as there isn’t a lot of on-center feel. This is more noticeable in the RS with its bigger tires and sharper handling. Once you enter a corner, the steering gets more responsive, but it feels like there’s a dead zone in the center.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

Like the Z71, the RS has its own unique features. This includes a flat-bottom steering wheel reminiscent of a sports car, air-conditioned front seats, and electric power-folding rear third-row seats. The Bose premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and Super Cruise are also standard fare; more on that in a second.

Tons of New Tech

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

The new Traverse is loaded with technology. This includes the aforementioned 11-inch driver info center showing gauge clusters and the very good 17.7-inch diagonally mounted LCD infotainment screen.

Both screens are brilliant and mostly easy to use. Some things are buried in the menu structure, like the stereo’s tone adjustment for the sound system, which is buried four menus deep and is under the Vehicle menu and not the Audio menu.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard.

The 10-speaker Bose sound system, which, after finding the audio adjustments, sounds pretty good, albeit a bit muddy when the settings are set to flat.

I also give Chevy kudos for keeping actual buttons and knobs to adjust the climate control and stereo volume. 

In addition, Traverse has wireless phone charging, four exterior cameras with HD Surround Vision, blind-zone steering assist, traffic sign recognition, side bicyclist and rear pedestrian alert, and Teen Driver modes (which showcase a host of customizable driving features). Chevrolet stated that it places a distinct emphasis on safety with the Traverse.

Super Cruise: Hands-Free Driving

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

I could write an entire article on GM’s Super Cruise feature, which is available on all but the LS trim levels. It allows you to drive hands-free on a host of roads, and not just Interstates. GM claims to have the largest hands-free operating domain in North America. My first experience with it was in the Hummer EV SUV, and it worked very well. 

We only had a few opportunities to use Super Cruise with the Traverse. My first try was thwarted by the car’s Teen Driver Mode, which had been turned on by mistake and must’ve (smartly) disabled Super Cruise. Once working, you set it, and it keeps you squarely in the lane. It will even pass cars when safe and move you back into your own lane. You can also set it up to only do this when you use your turn signal.

I really dig it, and it’s wonderful on long trips. Note: You still have to pay attention to the road when using it. It will turn off in construction zones and some other places. No napping behind the wheel!

Quiet & Comfortable Interior

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS; (photo/Chevrolet)

Both Traverse Z71 and RS are remarkably quiet on the highway with little wind or road noise (even with Z71’s all-terrain tires). Both are good freeway cruisers. The Evotex (vinyl) seats are attractive, comfortable, and supportive without any single thing being annoying.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
Second row in 2024 Chevrolet Traverse RS; (photo/Chevrolet)

The middle-row seats also offer ample legroom and comfort.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

As with most three-row SUVs, the rear is a mixed bag. With the second-row seats slid all the way back, the third row is hardly usable for adults. If the second row can be scooted forward a bit, the third row isn’t terrible.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

When you fold both rows down, you get a whopping 98 cubic feet of storage, which lets you bring lots of stuff with you. You can also just fold the rear seats down if you want to haul people in the second row.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

There is also a useful bin under the rear cargo cover for hiding gear from prying eyes. 

Revised & Road Trip-Ready

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

The Traverse’s highlight is its great ride and its comfortable interior, which makes it a great road trip rig. It’s got all the space for gear and/or family, ample power, and the Z71 even lets you go down that unnamed dirt road for a little adventure. 

I think the addition of the Z71 package is the most exciting thing about the new Traverse lineup. It could be an excellent choice for active, adventurous families looking for an AWD SUV that can comfortably tackle miles of dirt roads en route to camping, biking, hiking, or other outdoor activities.

2024 Chevrolet Traverse
(Photo/Andy Lilienthal)

2024 Chevy Traverse Review: A Worthwhile Redesign

The three-row SUV segment might not be the most exciting or sexiest group of vehicles for sale. For all intents and purposes, they’re minivan alternatives. But, Chevy has done a good job injecting rugged features and sporty style with the 2024 Traverse.

Now we’ll see if it has what it takes to gain market share in this hyper-competitive space. You can configure your own 2024 Traverse or find your local Chevrolet dealer online.

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