Trucks & SUVs

The Traverse is the Worst Chevy Vehicle You Should Never Buy

Finding the third-row seating SUV of your dreams always seems a lot harder than you originally think it to be. While there are so many benefits to having a 7 – 8 seat SUV, besides the obvious that you can fit more passengers, the Chevy Traverse isn’t the one you should buy.

Major Safety Recalls

Do you ever read recall warnings on cars and think – maybe that isn’t really a big deal? Okay, maybe not, but you definitely won’t feel that way about some of the major safety recalls on the Chevrolet Traverse.

If you thought you could avoid the older problems and issues with the Traverse by buying the newest model, you would be incorrect. Almost 4,000 of the 2020 Traverse are being recalled due to a potential crack of the frame rail in the engine compartment. If that sounds like a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo, think of it like this: the frame rail of the car is also known as the car’s chassis, and makes up for a good portion of the car’s structural rigidity. Did your eyes just open wide? They should have. That means that this not-so-little problem can decrease the overall structural rigidity of the car, making it more dangerous in case of a crash.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse is on display at the 110th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Chevrolet Traverse | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Buying a gently used older year of the Traverse doesn’t mean you’re escaping safety problems either. Between 2008 and 2014 model years there was another concerning recall made on the Traverse. Over a short time, the steel cable that was responsible for connecting the seat belts to the front outboard seating position would separate. That has a scary and dangerous effect: in case of an accident or sudden stop, your seatbelt may not tighten to hold you in place. The seat belt not tightening kind of defeats the purpose of wearing a seat belt. If the seat belt is unable to tighten, the driver and passengers are at a significantly higher risk of injury in case of an accident or even minor collision. Not necessarily a quality you want out of a family-oriented vehicle.

But wait, there’s more! Between 2008 and 2013 Chevrolet Traverse models, along with several other General Motor’s cars using the same mechanism, experienced airbag recalls. Increased resistance to the wiring harness of the seat-mounted impact airbag would cause them to remain inactive during a crash. Not only would the side airbag refuse to deploy, but this also affected the seat belt tensioner. The inability to be restrained by both the side airbag and seat belt can lead to major injuries during a car accident.

The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse

The base model of the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse starts at what appears to be a competitive $29,800 which is much lower to other more common third-row seating SUVs such as the Ford Expedition which starts around $52,810 – yikes! This seems like a great deal, but there’s a reason the base model isn’t so popular. The base model lacks just about every driving-assist feature and collision-avoidance feature that you’d expect from a brand-new family-sized SUV. These features are available for more expensive, higher-end models of the Traverse and will cost thousands of dollars worth of upgrades in trim packages. Not to worry though, along with the additional price, the Traverse also depreciates faster than many other SUVs on the market.

Many new owners have a lot to say about the car’s transmission – and you guessed it, it’s not good. Among the many years that Chevrolet has produced the Traverse, it has been plagued by what seems like an extensive list of problems with the transmission. Owners complain about the transmission grinding, shaking, whining, clunking and otherwise making concerning noises. These noises are usually matched to severe problems, such as the car refusing to go into gear, the car not going into reverse or losing gears. On top of many more issues owners have experienced with the Traverse, drivers aren’t happy with the car’s overall shifting and ‘sloppy’ transmission even when it is working fine.

While you can buy upgrades and higher trim levels to give this SUV all of the perks and features you want, you’d be better off spending the money on almost any other third-row seating SUV, or just about any other Chevrolet on the market. Some new Traverse owners may not have experienced all of these issues with their car – yet – but the general consensus says that this may actually be the worst Chevrolet you can buy.