Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,200 – $31,900*

2009 Chevrolet Traverse Front

2009 Chevrolet Traverse Rear

2009 Chevrolet Traverse Interior

2009 Chevrolet Traverse Profile

  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride
  • Fuel economy
  • Road noise (tire noise on coarse road surfaces)

With seemingly little compromise except for a slightly downgraded interior, Chevrolet’s version of General Motors’ midsize crossover quartet is arguably the strongest value. Traverse offers space, power, and decent handling in a Best Buy (2009-12)package that looks and feels more expensive than it is-new or used. Put this one on your shopping list.


New for 2009, Chevrolet’s Traverse was the first eight-passenger crossover SUV from General Motors’ volume division. Traverse shared its basic midsize design with the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook, but the Chevrolet version differed in pricing, features, and details. Three rows of seats were standard. The second row included either bucket seats or a bench, for a total passenger capacity of seven or eight, respectively. In the entry-level LS and mid-grade LT models, power came from a 281-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine that teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. Top-level LTZ models included a standard dual exhaust system that allowed the V6 engine to make 288 horsepower. Maximum towing capacity was 5200 pounds. Traverse was available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Standard safety equipment included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. The Traverse came in the single, four-door wagon body style of its corporate cousins. Standard wheels held 17-inch tires, with 18-inch and 20-inch wheels available-the 20-inch wheels were standard on LTZ. Available features included DVD entertainment, rear climate control, leather upholstery, a navigation system, remote engine start, satellite radio, rear obstacle detection, and a rearview camera. With the Traverse, Chevrolet competed against the Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, and Toyota Highlander.

Yearly Updates

2010 Traverse
Little changed on the Traverse for 2010, apart from a USB port added to premium audio systems to connect portable music devices. OnStar version 8.2 for communications and emergency use now was available. As part of corporate restructuring, the Saturn division faded out of the GM picture in 2010, along with its Outlook model.
2011 Traverse
The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse was largely unchanged.
2012 Traverse
There were no significant changes to the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse.
2013 Traverse
For the first time since its model-year 2009 debut, Traverse saw some substantial changes. The exterior styling got a freshening, and the interior was almost completely redesigned. The chassis and drivetrain, though, carried over from 2012.
2014 Traverse
For 2014, Traverse gained available lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning.
2015 Traverse
The Chevrolet Traverse was mostly unchanged for 2015, save for the addition of Siri Eyes Free functionality for Apple iPhone users and text message support for other smartphone users.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

All Traverse wagons have used the same powertrain: a 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, with either front-drive or all-wheel drive. Horsepower output in standard form is 281, but dual-exhaust versions are rated at 288 hp.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/217
Engine HP 281
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 266
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 16/23 16.8
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/217
Engine HP 288
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 16/23

Road Test

Acceleration generally excels for this class, as the V6 delivers ample power along with usefully prompt throttle response. Front-drive models feel slightly quicker from a stop. Shifts are smooth and generally immediate, though the transmission can be tardy with downshifts. The 288-horsepower engine has a slightly richer exhaust note, but otherwise differs little from the 281-horsepower V6.

Fuel economy could be better. A test AWD model averaged 16.8 mpg in mostly city driving. Traverse uses regular-grade gasoline.

Ride quality is firm and controlled but always comfortable, with no harshness over even major road imperfections. Little real difference is discernible between the LT’s standard 18-inch wheels and the LTZ’s 20-inchers, though very small bumps are more clearly felt in the LTZ. LS models have 17-inch tires.

Traverse is a large vehicle, but it’s reasonably agile with little lean in corners. Accurate steering and responsive brakes contribute to making Traverse feel easy to maneuver, despite its size.

Wind and road noise are well squelched. Traverse’s engine becomes vocal during acceleration, but it sounds rich and is otherwise subdued. LTZs with their 20-inch wheels are marginally louder than other models on coarse surfaces.

Big, bright, clear gauges are easy to read. Primary controls are where you would expect them to be. The stylish cabin design presents well at a distance. Close inspection reveals mostly hard plastic, but its texture lends substance. Available leather upholstery provides a more upscale feel than the LT’s cloth.

Among the largest midsize SUVs, Traverse’s cabin feels especially roomy. Big, supportive front seats make for good long-trip comfort. Entry step-in is a little high, but it’s lower than in most traditional truck-type SUVs. Good outward visibility is helped by big mirrors and unobtrusive rear headrests, but view to the front corners is partially obscured by thick roof pillars.

Back-seat occupants enjoy easy entry through large doors, and Traverse’s second-row seats tilt and slide forward to ease access to the third row. Whether they’re buckets or a bench, the second-row seats slide fore/aft about 3 inches to benefit either second- or third-row legroom. With the second row slid forward, the third row can accommodate six-footers-though they will ride knees-up. When that seat is slid back, all but small passengers will be cramped for space. Foot space can be tight in either row

Cargo space is a strong point. There’s more usable space behind the raised third-row seat than in most midsize SUVs, plus a handy under-floor compartment. Both the second- and third-row seats fold forward easily to create a nearly level load floor-but not completely flat. The available power liftgate is a handy feature. Several bins and cubbies provide ample interior storage.


Model Tested: 2010 Chevrolet Traverse LT w/AWD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 9
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 10


Value - 10

Total: 69


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
118.9 205 78.4 70.4 4720
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
116.4 22.0 8
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.4 39.4 41.3 36.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 Traverse 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine stalling
Description: Engine intermittently loses power due to water leaks causing corrosion on the accelerator position sensor wiring connectors. (2005-10)
Engine stalling
Description: Faulty main or rod bearings may result in seized engine. (2013-14)
Oil consumption
Description: Faulty oil filter may cause engine damage. (2009-13)
Description: The seat may be hard to move, may not move, or feels rough due to seat tracks binding or bad bearings. (2009-10)
Steering noise
Description: Knocking or clunking noises from the steering may be due to worn steering gear bushings and improved bushings will have to be pressed into the steering gear assembly. (2009-10)
Transmission leak
Description: Transmission fluid may leak at the transfer case due to a faulty seal on the intermediate shaft, especially in colder climates. (2009-10)
Water pump
Description: Water pump seal could leak. (2009-13)
Description: Power windows may be misaligned and move slowly or not at all. (2009-14)
Entertainment problems
Description: The party on the land line side of a conversation may hear static when an older Bluetooth (GSM) phone is used, requiring a new microphone in the vehicle or newer phone. (2009-10)

Recall History

Description: Rivet may be missing from buckle of seatbelt assemblies in second or third row, possibly allowing buckle to separate during a crash.
Description: Transmission shift cable adjustment clip on some vehicles may not be fully engaged, so shift lever and actual position of transmission gear may not match; thus, when removing ignition key with shifter in “Park,” it may not actually be in “Park” mode, and vehicle could roll away.
Description: Park brake cable link (connector) on some vehicles may fracture when the parking-brake pedal is depressed, allowing vehicle to move if shift lever is not in “Park” position.
2009 vehicles equipped with a heated washer fluid system
Description: A recall was implemented in 2008 to add a fuse to the control circuit harness to address the potential consequences of a printed circuit board (PCB) electrical short. However, there have been new reports of thermal incidents on HWFS modules after this improvement was installed. These incidents resulted from a new failure mode attributed to the device’s thermal protection feature. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
2009 Traverse
Description: With heated wiper/washer fluid system, short circuit on printed-circuit board may overheat ground wire, which could cause other electrical features to malfunction, creating odor or smoke and increasing fire risk.
Description: The second row seat side trim shield restricts the upward rotation of the safety belt buckle when the seat back is returned to a seating position after being folded flat. The safety belt may not restrain the occupant as intended during a crash, increasing the risk of injury to the seat occupant. Dealers will modify the second row seat side trim shields. If a safety belt buckle is damaged, dealers will replace it free of charge.
2009-13 Traverse
Description: Faulty wiring harnesses may result side airbags and seat-belt pretensioners not deploying in a crash.
2009-14 Traverse with optional power liftgate
Description: Liftgate gas struts may wear prematurely and open liftgate could fall sudenly.
2009-14 Traverse
Description: A flexible steel cable connecting seatbelts to front seats may fatigue and separate.
2011-12 Traverse
Description: Snow or ice buildup on windshield could cause wiper failure.
2014 Traverse
Description: Faulty chassis control module could cause the engine to stall.
2014 Traverse
Description: Faulty engine control module (ECM) software may cause the fuel gauge to give inaccurate readings. The vehicle could unexpectedly run out of fuel and stall.
2015 Traverse
Description: Tires may have tread cracking which could lead to tire failure.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.