Road-tripping is an American art form. We hop into the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse High Country and hit the highway for a weekend away to really check it out. How did it do? Very well, thank you.
The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse FWD High Country is the latest version of Chevrolet’s mid-size SUV, that was redesigned in 2018. Along with a look that is now physically longer than the model it replaced, comes new technologies and features to provide ultimate comfort for up to seven (or eight passengers, depending on configuration) passengers who will ride inside.
Capable and Comfortable.
A family-oriented SUV crossover, the Chevy Traverse is designed to tackle such competitors as the Ford Explorer, Kia Telluride, its twin, the Hyundai Palisade, and the Volkswagen Atlas, among others. The Traverse is available in trim levels that range from base L, LS, LT, RS, Premier and top-shelf High Country.
We were lucky enough to spend the week in the high-zoot High Country model. Think of it as a Denali for the rest of us.
The High Country version of the Traverse is fully-loaded to include a combination of space and luxury. The luxury starts with a large interior that is more accommodating than the one offered in the full-size Chevy Tahoe.
The front row seating features a pair of heated and ventilated seats that allowed us to adjust to a perfect driving position. Perhaps the seat cushion was a tiny bit short for average thighs, but there is nothing better than ventilated seats on a hot and humid South Florida day.
Our Loft Brown/piano black interior is the perfect match for the Traverse’s Black Cherry metallic paint on the outside. Second-row seating includes a pair of Captain’s chairs that slide back and forth, allowing extra foot- and legroom in the third row. The owner’s manual claims the third row can seat three, but we think that’s possible only if they are little kids or whispy supermodels.
The curbside second-row seat slides and tilts forward for those to get into the third row. Speaking of the third-row seats, these are power-folding and raising functions that require a minimal amount of touching to expand the cargo area further to carry more suitcases, a load of mulch, or what have you.
From a control and entertainment standpoint, the interior of the Chevrolet Traverse is all-business with simple dials and buttons that we have come to know from more than five years of prior experience. If you were familiar with a 2014 Chevrolet, you would have virtually no learning curve to contend with this one.
This Chevrolet Traverse High Country includes Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and more including an 8-inch display with reversing camera and premium Sirius XM 360L Satellite Radio. There’s also GM’s Onstar 4G LTE hotspot, a Qi charging pad and oh, there are six USB ports located throughout the cabin.
At the end of the day, though, an SUV is only as good as all the utility it provides. Generally, we measure that in carrying capacity. In this case, the Traverse offers 23 cubic feet behind the third-row seating, which is good enough for a couple of full-sized suitcases. Fold them forward and the area behind the second row grows to 57.8 cubic feet. Finally, fold the Captain’s chairs in the second row and watch the cargo capacity expand to an enormous 98.2 cubic feet.
Power from below.
Previously, the Chevrolet Traverse included a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that made 257 horsepower. The 310 horsepower, 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6, is offered as standard throughout the lineup now, as it provides more pulling power for up to 5,000 pounds of trailer. This new standard engine is mated to a Hydra-Matic 9T65 nine-speed automatic transmission.
This package will provide a powerfully-potent combination on roads and highways in your neighborhood. There is plenty of performance that enabled us to get up to speed quickly and pass with an equal degree of confidence. We did feel the transmission offered a few hiccups that tended to cause us to pause mentally, more than disrupt our travel. On the other hand, the Auto Start / Stop function was confusing and dare we say annoying. We get that GM is fully committed to saving fuel but would appreciate a disabling button, typically an “A” inside a circle, that would be easily pushed to disable the function.
The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse FWD High Country is one of our new favorite day-trippers. Large enough to carry seven or eight, depending on how you order it, and with plenty of power for almost every situation, it is the perfect vehicle to jump in, hit the road and discover new routes.
Find yours at Napleton’s Chevrolet of Wayzata.
2020 Chevrolet Traverse Specifications:
Type: Seven or eight-passenger SUV crossover
Doors: Four doors with liftgate
Engine: 3.6-liter Direct-Injection DOHC V6
Power: 310 horsepower, 266 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 9T65 9-speed automatic
Drivetrain: Front (FWD) or All-Wheel-Drive (AWD)
Steering: Electric Power-assisted with Active Return Assist
Front Suspension: MacPherson Strut with hydraulic control arms and stabilizer bar
Rear Suspension: Multi-link Independent suspension with stabilizer bar
Overall Length: 204.3 inches
Wheelbase: 120.9 inches
Width: 78.6 inches
Height: 70.7 inches
EPA Fuel Economy: 18 city / 27 highway / 21 average.