2009 Chevrolet Traverse review: 2009 Chevrolet Traverse (2023)

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2009 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ

At first glance, the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse looks like just another SUV, albeit with surprisingly smooth body work. But the Traverse is actually intended as a crossover, its unibody design and independent suspension delivering a more comfortable ride than a truck-based SUV and a downsized engine intended to bring in better fuel economy. But in the case of the Traverse, crossover seems to mean an intersection between minivan and SUV, as it has ample room for people, with its three-row seating, and cargo. Although our model was a front-wheel-drive version, all-wheel-drive is available.

The Traverse is also an example of the new Chevrolet, showing the updated grille design originally adopted on the Malibu. It's a look we like. Inside, the navigation and music package is basically the same as we've seen in GM vehicles for the past few years, but it gets a few extra features to keep up with the competition.

Test the tech: Traffic avoidance
One of the most useful features adopted by GM for the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse is traffic reporting integrated with the navigation system. We saw a version of this system in last year's Cadillac CTS, but this is the first time we've seen it in a Chevrolet. The system gets traffic data from XM's Satellite Radio network and feeds it into the navigation system, showing traffic flow on major roads, along with incidents that might cause congestion, such as accidents and road construction. To test the system, we plotted various routes and looked at how it would help us avoid traffic jams.

The Traverse shows traffic-flow information and incidents on its navigation system.

(Video) 2009 Chevrolet Traverse Review - Kelley Blue Book

For our first test, we drove to a location about 30 miles south of San Francisco, and entered a destination in Berkeley. The usual route for this type of trip would take us over the Bay Bridge, which can often become a choke point. We used the map to input a destination, which worked very well, then let the navigation system compute the route. When it didn't alert us to any problems along the way, we scrolled the map along the route and saw an area of slow traffic, indicated by an amber line, along the Bay Bridge. There are four colors for traffic flow: green, yellow, amber, and red. It seems that the system would let us drive into an amber area, which indicates traffic moving around 30 mph, but would probably avoid a red area.

With this route plotted, we touched the Traffic button on the screen, and it brought up a list of traffic conditions along our route, including the slow traffic on the bridge. Touching that item on the list brought up detailed information about the location and speeds, along with a button labeled Avoid. We hit the Avoid button, and the system recalculated the route, taking us across the bay on another bridge.

2009 Chevrolet Traverse

(Video) MotorWeek Road Test: 2009 Chevrolet Traverse

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When an incident happens on your route, the Traverse pops up this screen, letting you avoid it.

We canceled that destination and entered another one into downtown San Francisco. It calculated the route and we started driving. A few miles later a warning popped up on the screen showing a slow traffic incident. We hit the Avoid button immediately, and were given an alternate route. We also noticed that the system would flash traffic alerts even when we didn't have a destination programmed. If you're driving down a road where traffic information is available, the system looks ahead and alerts you to any nearby traffic problems. This feature is excellent, as you're not going to program in a destination for familiar locations.

In the cabin
Although we like Chevrolet's new exterior styling, the company's interiors leave a lot to be desired. The Traverse we had--the top-of-the-line LTZ trim--used a two-tone dashboard with black top and bottom and a beige waistband. This scheme is also taken up on the front doors, but the joint between front door and dash goes from graceful curve to sharp angle. Looks aside, though, we were impressed with the seeming quality of the build, and particularly liked the inset climate control buttons.

We like the onscreen interface for navigation and music, which uses a tabbed structure, making the process to find different music sources or switch to map display very intuitive. But this navigation system is DVD-based, and we often found delays before it brought up a map or computed a route. The maps themselves look pretty good, and entering addresses is easy with its onscreen keyboard. Beyond the traffic feature we looked into above, the navigation system is pretty basic, lacking features like text-to-speech, voice command, or a complete points-of-interest database.

(Video) Top 5 Problems Chevy Traverse SUV 1st Generation 2009-17

One feature unique to GM cars is the music navigator, which treats an MP3 CD as if it were an MP3 player.

Chevrolet supplements the in-car navigation system with OnStar, which takes the place of voice command and provides additional points of interest. If you want to find a business or other location not listed in the database, you can hit the OnStar button and ask an operator to find it. That operator can send the destination to the navigation system, which will take over from there.

OnStar also offers a telephone service, which should be redundant in the Traverse LTZ, because the car is supposed to come with a Bluetooth connection. However, we weren't able to test Bluetooth in our vehicle because it didn't seem to be installed. There is a voice/phone button on the steering wheel, but it merely muted the stereo.

Similar to the navigation system, the stereo hasn't been given much of an update for the Traverse. Its audio sources are limited to XM Satellite Radio, a six-disc in-dash changer, and an auxiliary input, along with the usual AM and FM radio. When we tested the Chevrolet Cobalt SS, we noticed that its standard GM stereo had been updated with a USB port, and would like to see that feature added for the Traverse. But one cool thing about the Traverse's stereo is the Music Navigator feature. When you insert an MP3 CD, the system will scan the music and then present it onscreen in standard MP3 player style, letting you browse by artist, album, and genre. The only drawback here is that it takes a while to scan a disc, and you have to rescan it if you take it out.

The rear-seat entertainment system uses this drop-down LCD.

If you want to make use of the rear-seat DVD system, you will need to remove discs from the in-dash player, as it also works as the DVD drive. With a DVD in, you can watch movies on both the dashboard LCD and the ceiling-mounted LCD. Composite video and RCA jacks on the back of the console let the kids plug in a game console or portable DVD player, restoring the use of the in-dash unit for the front seats. The rear-seat DVD package also includes a remote and headphones, so the kiddies can quietly watch in back without disturbing the parental units.

What took us by surprise was the audio system, which sounded really good. There weren't any obvious logos on the speakers, but a little research showed that Bose supplies the system, explaining the superior quality sound. This system uses 10 speakers, with a center fill and subwoofer, creating an immersive surround experience. We were impressed by the crisp bass and general clarity when playing music.

(Video) 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT Review

The LTZ trimmed Traverse also comes with a back-up camera that's sporting a feature we haven't seen before; it doesn't have any trajectory guidelines on it, but as you get close to obstacles, the system overlays a caution icon on the screen at the location of the obstacle. This feature is especially useful in dark parking garages where you might not be able to see an object that you are backing towards. It also employs a low-tech solution for blind-spot detection, with little mirrors inset at the edges of the side mirrors that offer a view of cars at your rear quarters.

Under the hood Just as the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse's exterior shows a new direction in styling, the engine is a new, modern powerplant. As a crossover, the Traverse uses a V-6 engine, this one with 3.6 liters of displacement. That engine keeps up with the times by incorporating variable-valve timing and direct injection, helping it produce 288 horsepower at 6,300rpm and 270 pound-feet of torque at 3,400rpm. Although the Traverse is large, this engine gets it moving easily, and the power comes through surprisingly smoothly, as direct injection is supposed to produce more engine vibration than port injection.

The Traverse's engine uses modern technology, such as direct injection and variable-valve timing.

The six-speed automatic is about what we would expect in a big family vehicle like the Traverse: fairly simple reaching for the high gears, and slow to downshift. It shifted smoothly, but a number of times while we were driving it felt like it was hunting for the right gear. It has a neat trick for taking control of the gear shifting; shift it to the low range and you can move through all six gears sequentially with a rocker switch on the shifter. The only problem with this manual-mode option is that you don't want to put it in low when you are careening down the freeway at 85 mph, because it initially goes to third gear.

Unlike many crossovers we've seen, the Traverse is very long, so in maneuvering it around town we found the need to make wide turns. The power steering is hydraulic, as opposed to newer electric power-steering systems, so it gets a little uneven as the wheel is cranked around. But it does feel precise enough--without much lag--that you won't be drifting around your lane on the freeway. The ride quality is very good, too; it doesn't rough you up, although we wouldn't call it a luxury ride.

Fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, but in our driving we only achieved 16 mpg. Although our mileage got better on the freeway, city driving consistently dragged it down to 15 mpg. The Traverse seems best suited to long-range cruising--take an economy car for trips to the grocery store. The Traverse does better for emissions, getting a ULEV II rating from the California Air Resources Board.

In sum
The front-wheel-drive 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, with the LTZ trim, goes for a base price of $39,025, and that includes the navigation and Bose audio systems. Our car also came with the $1,295 rear-seat entertainment system and a $75 engine-block heater, making our total--with $735 destination charge--come out to $41,130. The next trim down, the LT, bases for $31,545, but you lose the navigation system and traffic. The Traverse finds a worthy competitor with the Ford Flex, which costs a couple thousand more but has better cabin tech. Other cars to consider with similar capacities are the Dodge Journey and Mazda CX-9.

(Video) Chevy Traverse Review - The Good, The bad, and The UGLY

We give the Traverse a very good score for its cabin tech, which earns points for the traffic system and impressive Bose audio. The drive quality is good, but nothing outstanding. We like that Chevrolet fitted it with a direct-injection engine, but there's not much else noteworthy. The design is also very good, from the nicely done exterior to the easy-to-use on-screen interface.


What problems do 2009 Chevy Traverse have? ›

The common problems found on the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse include excessive oil consumption, steering problems, and transmission failures. Overall, these problems are severe compared to other SUVs from 2009. Excessive oil consumption is the most widespread issue reported by owners at around 110,000 miles.

How many miles will a 2009 Chevy Traverse last? ›

The average mileage you can expect from a Chevy Traverse is 200,000 miles.

Are Chevrolet Traverses reliable? ›

The Chevy Traverse has an average to low-reliability rating, making it one of the less reliable midsize SUVs available on the market right now. Drivers also report a number of issues with the Chevy Traverse, particularly for model years 2009 to 2015.

What year did the Traverse have problems? ›

Chevrolet Traverse's Worst Years Include 2009 to 2012 Models Due to Common Engine and Power Steering Failure. The Chevrolet Traverse SUV first launched in 2009, with quite a few early problems being reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Are Chevy Traverse expensive to fix? ›

A Chevrolet Traverse will cost about $8,790 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. This beats the industry average for popular SUV models by $343. There is also a 26.05% chance that a Traverse will require a major repair during that time.

Are there any recalls on a 2009 Chevy Traverse? ›


Is Traverse fuel efficient? ›

The Chevy Traverse has good gas mileage for an SUV of its size. It gets 18 miles per gallon for city driving and 27 miles per gallon on the highway. These figures may fluctuate depending on the drivetrain you choose. The 18/27 numbers listed above are for a front-wheel-drive configuration.

Which Chevy Traverse is best? ›

Here's The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Chevrolet Traverse Are: The best Chevrolet Traverse model years are 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016, and 2013. The worst model years of the Traverse are 2018, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.

How far can a Traverse go with a full tank? ›

Looking at the gas mileage and the dimensions of the SUV, the Traverse has a maximum range of over 540 miles.

Which is Better Explorer or traverse? ›

If you're looking for the SUV with the most cargo room, go with the Chevy Traverse. The new 2022 Chevy Traverse provides eight-passenger seating and up to 98.2 cubic feet of cargo volume. The Ford Explorer only gives you 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

Which Chevy SUV is most reliable? ›

In 2022, the Chevy Suburban was found to be the single most reliable large SUV available today! The Chevy Tahoe earned an honorable mention in this category. The popular Chevy Traverse was also ranked as one of the top three most reliable upper midsize SUVs.

Which Traverse is better LS or LT? ›

As we mentioned, the LT trim option is a step above the LS, so you'll see some additional features and available add-ons. Below, you can find a list of all the special features of the Traverse LT that aren't standard on the Traverse LS. Technology features include (in addition to LS features):

How long do Chevy Traverse transmissions last? ›

But on average, we've seen the Chevy Traverse transmission last for between 130,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.

How long does an engine last in a Chevy Traverse? ›

Traverse can last about 200,000 miles before the cost to keep it running exceeds what it's worth. Going from 150,000 to 200,000 miles is more likely if you routinely service the powertrain, including regular oil changes, new spark plugs, etc. Up until 2017, the only offered engine in the Chevy Traverse was a 3.6L V6.

What is high mileage for a Chevy Traverse? ›

Here Is the Short Answer to How Long the Chevrolet Traverse Lasts. You can expect a Chevrolet Traverse to last 200,000 miles. If you drive 15,000 miles per year like the average American driver, that translates to 13.5 years of problem-free performance before you need to carry out major repairs on the vehicle.

Is a traverse a luxury SUV? ›

Solid American Luxury SUV: The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse AWD RS -- from Planet Dave.

Why is the Chevy Traverse so hard to find? ›

The extremely low supply of the Chevy Traverse is the result of the GM Lansing Delta Township plant that produces the Traverse being idled on July 19th, 2021 due to the ongoing global semiconductor microchip shortage that is expected to remain well into 2022.

When should a Traverse timing chain be replaced? ›

Of the vehicles that experience timing chain total failure, the majority are at or above the 150,000 to 175,000 mile mark. There are a few models of vehicle that experience fairly frequent timing chain guide failure, and these vehicles can call for repair within 75,000 miles.

How much does it cost to replace a timing chain on a 2009 Chevy Traverse? ›

The average cost for Chevrolet Traverse Timing Chain Replacement is $2503.

Does a Traverse have a timing chain or belt? ›

Newer models use timing belts made of polyurethane and Kevlar for long life and durability. They can go as long as 100,000 miles although it's always a good idea to change it before then. Belt failure can cause extensive damage to the valves, pistons and other internal parts of the engine.

Is traverse a v8 or V6? ›

The 2021 Traverse has a 3.6-L V6 engine to ensure smooth driving every day.

Why is my Traverse wasting so much gas? ›

A bad fuel pump can lead to a rough running engine because it is not getting enough fuel. This will lead to a decline in gas mileage. If this issue is not addressed it will lead to a rough, idle, sputtering and stalling. Clogged Fuel Filter: A clogged fuel filter will also cause problems with gas mileage.

Is traverse a SUV or minivan? ›

2022 Chevy Traverse | Mid-Size 3-Row SUV | Chevrolet.

Which is better Acadia or Traverse? ›

Chevy Traverse vs.

2022 GMC Acadia, the Chevy Traverse is the stronger option off the bat with its standard V6 engine. Not only does this V6 offer greater horsepower, but greater torque as well. The Acadia is equipped with a standard 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder, which can't quite keep up in terms of power.

Is a Traverse or Equinox better? ›

The 2022 Chevy Traverse is larger than the 2022 Equinox and can seat seven or eight people with three rows of seats, depending on the trim level you choose. The Equinox can seat five people in two rows of seats.

Is Traverse bigger than Tahoe? ›

The back two rows offer more overall passenger space than the Traverse. The area behind the Tahoe's 3rd-row provides plenty of room for hockey gear, as much as 722 litres compared to 651 in the Traverse. The Tahoe's cargo volume expands to 2,056 litres when the rear seat folds, versus 1,637 in its sibling.

Does the Chevy Traverse use regular gas? ›

2021 Chevy Traverse gas type: Minimum 87 octane rating. 2021 Chevy Traverse gas tank size (FWD/AWD): 19.4 gallons/21.7 gallons.

Is Traverse bigger than pilot? ›

The 2022 Honda Pilot and the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse offer V6 power and ample seating for up to eight passengers.
Which One is Right for Me?
2022 Honda Pilot2022 Chevrolet Traverse
Max Seating Capacity88
Wheelbase111.0 inches120.9 inches
Overall Length196.5 inches205.9 inches
Width78.6 inches78.6 inches
24 more rows
11 Nov 2021

How many can ride in a Chevy Traverse? ›

The Traverse seats up to eight people across three rows (seven with the available second-row captain's chairs). Cloth upholstery comes standard. Leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated second-row seats are available.

What is comparable to a Traverse? ›

2022 Chevrolet Traverse vs Kia Telluride, Subaru Ascent, Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot - The Car Connection.

Which is bigger Traverse or Acadia? ›

Both the 2021 Traverse and 2021 Acadia are spacious three-row SUVs with comfort-focused features and eye-catching exteriors. They both include three rows of seating, though the Traverse has more passenger capacity with up to eight seats total. The Acadia can only seat seven people.

What is the sister car to the Chevy Traverse? ›

While the big Tahoe and Yukon offer stupendous power and cabin space, they might not fit everyone's budget. Luckily, there's the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and 2021 GMC Acadia. The Traverse and Acadia share a common platform, but they are far more than just badge-engineered siblings.

What Chevy SUV has the least problems? ›

While opinions may vary, the Chevy Blazer is widely regarded as this automaker's most reliable SUV. J.D. Power ranked it among its top three best midsize SUVs. It also received a consumer rating of. This was partly due to some significant enhancements the latest model received.

Are Chevys as reliable as Toyota? ›

Toyota: Reliability. The Toyota brand has consistently ranked in the top five in the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), while Chevrolet has never reached that lofty status as a brand.

Is Chevy as reliable as Honda? ›

Brand Image

In awarding its “Best Overall Brand” award for 2022, Kelley Blue Book noted that Honda's quality, reliability, durability, and resale value were all key parts of the winning formula. For comparison, Chevrolet did not earn any praise in these awards.

What does LT stand for Traverse? ›

The LT stands for “luxury touring” and signifies models that are above the LS entry-level trims. Some popular Chevy models with LS trims include: Chevy Trailblazer. Chevy Trax. Chevy Equinox.

What does LS mean on a Chevy Traverse? ›

LS, LT, and LTZ stand for different trim levels on Chevy cars/trucks. A trim level will determine what options and packages are available for purchase. The higher you go on the trim levels, the more luxurious everything gets. LS: “Luxury Sport” LT: “Luxury Touring”

What model Traverse has a sunroof? ›


How much does a transmission cost for a 2009 Chevy Traverse? ›

On average, a 2009 Chevy Traverse transmission replacement costs between $5,377 and $5,779 for parts and a mechanic's labor.

Which SUV last the longest? ›

Here are five of the longest-lasting SUVs that give you the best chance of driving for 200,000 miles or more.
  • Toyota Land Cruiser. 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota. ...
  • Toyota Sequoia. 2022 Toyota Sequoia | Toyota. ...
  • Chevrolet Suburban. Summit White 2022 Chevy Suburban | Chevrolet. ...
  • GMC Yukon XL. ...
  • Toyota 4Runner.
8 Aug 2022

Is there a recall on the Chevy Traverse transmission? ›

Braun Corporation (Braun) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Chevrolet Traverse wheelchair accessible vehicles with Power In-floor Ramp conversion. The screw and clip that hold the inner wheel-well plastic shroud in place may chafe against the transmission case, possibly resulting in a transmission fluid leak.

Is Chevy Traverse a reliable car? ›

We expect the 2023 Traverse will have about average reliability when compared to the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2020, 2021 and 2022 models.

Is Chevy Traverse good car? ›

Is the 2023 Chevrolet Traverse a Good SUV? Yes, the 2023 Traverse is a good midsize SUV. The Traverse impresses across the board, with a long list of standard tech and driver-assistance features, plenty of passenger space in all three rows, a potent V6 engine, cavernous cargo room and a smooth ride.

What is the most common problem with Chevy? ›

The Most Common Problems With Chevrolet Vehicles
  • Key/Passlock Problems. ...
  • Power Steering Issues. ...
  • Speaker Issues. ...
  • Transmission Problems. ...
  • Air Conditioning and Heater.
12 Aug 2022

How long does a transmission last in a Chevy Traverse? ›

But on average, we've seen the Chevy Traverse transmission last for between 130,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.

Is Chevy better than Toyota? ›

Toyota: Reliability. The Toyota brand has consistently ranked in the top five in the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), while Chevrolet has never reached that lofty status as a brand.

Which Chevrolet model is the most reliable? ›

Are Chevy Cars Reliable? The Chevy Cruze is one of the top three most reliable compact cars on the road, and the Chevy Malibu is one of the top three most reliable cars in its own midsize segment. The Chevy Camaro also received an honorable mention for being one of the most reliable midsize sporty cars!

What is the least reliable Chevy? ›

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado topped Consumer Reports' list of the 10 least reliable vehicles for 2021, and there are four recalls on the Chevy pickup truck for this year.

Which is better Equinox or Traverse? ›

The 2022 Chevy Traverse is larger than the 2022 Equinox and can seat seven or eight people with three rows of seats, depending on the trim level you choose. The Equinox can seat five people in two rows of seats.

Which is better the traverse or the explorer? ›

If you're looking for the SUV with the most cargo room, go with the Chevy Traverse. The new 2022 Chevy Traverse provides eight-passenger seating and up to 98.2 cubic feet of cargo volume. The Ford Explorer only gives you 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

Which is more reliable Acadia or traverse? ›

Acadia Over Traverse: Crash Test Safety

In overall safety and side crash testing, both vehicles receive the highest possible score of five stars. As is common for SUVs, both earn four stars in rollover testing. However, in frontal crash testing the Acadia receives five stars, while the Traverse gets only four.

How much does it cost to replace a transmission in a traverse? ›

The cost of a new Chevy Traverse transmission could be over $3,500 depending on the vehicle, however, transmission services such as fluid changes and a transmission fluid flush are considerably less expensive, in some cases costing less than $150.

How can you tell if a transmission is still good? ›

What Are the Transmission Failure Symptoms?
  • Refusal to Switch Gears. If your vehicle refuses or struggles to change gears, you are more than likely facing a problem with your transmission system. ...
  • Burning Smell. ...
  • Noises When in Neutral. ...
  • Slipping Gears. ...
  • Dragging Clutch. ...
  • Leaking Fluid. ...
  • Check Engine Light. ...
  • Grinding or Shaking.
16 Mar 2017

Is a traverse a gas guzzler? ›

The Chevy Traverse has good gas mileage for an SUV of its size. It gets 18 miles per gallon for city driving and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.

What SUVs will last 300000 miles? ›

So, let's take a look at the models to buy in 2021 for those who need something that will do 300,000 miles without issue.
  • 10/10 Chevy Suburban.
  • 9/10 Ford Expedition.
  • 8/10 Lexus LS.
  • 7/10 Toyota Sequoia.
  • 6/10 Subaru Outback.
  • 5/10 Toyota Corolla.
  • 4/10 Ford F-150.
  • 3/10 Honda Civic.
12 May 2021

Is Traverse LS or LT better? ›

As we mentioned, the LT trim option is a step above the LS, so you'll see some additional features and available add-ons. Below, you can find a list of all the special features of the Traverse LT that aren't standard on the Traverse LS. Technology features include (in addition to LS features):


1. 2009 Chevy Traverse Review
2. MVS - 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT
3. MotorWeek Road Test: 2009 Chevrolet Traverse
4. 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ review by cnet.com
5. 2009 Chevrolet Traverse Review and its For Sale (SOLD)
(Chevy Dave)
6. 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LS FWD Full Review
(Omar Frias)
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