Comments such as "You know, this isn't bad...much better than I remember," were consistently heard, as were dollops of praise for the Traverse's smooth ride and NVH suppression. Said assistant road test editor Carlos Lago, "Nice driver. Comfortable on smooth pavement, not so hard on rough stuff."

At the test track, the Traverse proved itself to be a solid mid-packer. It hit 60 miles per hour in 7.7 seconds-respectable for a nearly 5000-pound vehicle with only 288 horsepower. Its 16.0-second sprint to the quarter mile at 86.9 miles per hour was an equally solid performance.

From 60 miles an hour, the Traverse came to a stop in 124 feet-well off the pace of a Corvette Z06, but right in line with the Pilots, Highlanders, and Explorers of the world.

Same goes for its performance around our figure eight-27.8 seconds at 0.61 g didn't raise any eyebrows, though our test and handling guru Kim Reynolds gave the Traverse his tacit approval: "Quite nice. More roll and understeer than others but turn-in is crisper. The nanny is hard to detect and brake pedal is firmer."

Yes, none of that will get anyone's palms sweating, but remember this is a three- row Little Leaguer limousine that plays in the same sandbox as Odysseys and Siennas. Which is perhaps the Traverse's biggest problem. To many on our staff, it just doesn't stray far enough in the sport/ute or crossover direction. The Traverse's styling was singled out as "boring," because it looks and handles a lot like a minivan.

Some liked it for those reasons. "I like the seating position. Its upright position gives a commanding view of the road. Feels like I'm above everything, looking down," said Lago. "The Traverse is the most minivan-like and that's a compliment. It's got a cavernous interior, floors that look like they can take a beating, and an easy-to-access third row."