Although bigger in several key dimensions than a 5.3L V-8 Tahoe (it's 3 in. longer and has 7 cu ft more cargo capacity) the direct-injection V-6-powered Traverse gets to 60 mph in the same time and quarter mile times are identical at 16.1 sec. The real difference between the two is refinement -- as you'd expect from a unibody vehicle with independent suspension all around, the Traverse has a much more carlike demeanor than its truck-based sibling. It feels way more agile through the turns -- a feeling borne out by its being 1.3 sec quicker through the Motor Trend figure-eight test -- and there's none of the shimmy through the steering and shudder through the seat that you get in the body-on-frame Tahoe, either. The ride is compliant, yet controlled, with none of the mid-turn axle steer you get from the Tahoe's live axle rearend.

You won't buy the Chevrolet Traverse because it's a lot more fuel efficient than a Tahoe. It ain't. But you will buy it if you want a big Chevy SUV that's smooth and quiet and surprisingly carlike to drive.


2009 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE LTZ AWD
Base price $41,075
Price as tested $45,300
Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.6L/288-hp/270-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight 5111 lb
Wheelbase 118.9 in
Length x width x height 205.0 x 78.4 x 72.8 (w/roof rails) in
0-60 mph 7.9 sec
Quarter mile 16.1 sec @ 86.2 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 133 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.76 g (avg)
MT figure eight 28.9 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 17/24 mpg
CO2 emissions 0.99 lb/mile