Car Review: 2022 Chevrolet Traverse RS

This bow tie bus offers an alternative to the modern van

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Bocca della Verità — the mouth of truth, in Italian – is an ancient sculpture located just outside the doors of the Basilica di Santa Maria in Rome. Featuring a vaguely humanoid face with an open mouth, superstition tells us that anyone who puts their hand in their mouth while telling a lie will have their hand gnawed off.

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Italian politicians are notably absent from the list of frequent visitors to the sculpture.

This tidbit of worldly knowledge crossed this writer’s mind as he explored a hidden storage bin in the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse while claiming his waistline hadn’t changed since high school. The cubby’s existence is only revealed after the driver presses a button to move the car‘s eight-inch infotainment screen up and out of the way like an inverted sash, opening like the mouth of our Roman artifact. Since your author is typing this missive with left and right hands intact, we can safely assume that this useful and unexpected feature from General Motors doesn’t subscribe to Italian superstition.

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For those still sleeping from the effects of our last mid-winter snowstorm, allow us to reiterate that the 2022 Chevy Traverse is the fifth model year of a second-generation nameplate, refreshed for this year with updates to its exterior styling and interior adornments. . On tap, a new front fascia sporting standard LED headlights and a range of new trim-dependent grilles. This test unit is badged RS, easily identifiable by its lack of glossy workmanship which has been replaced by blacked-out trim and badging.

Unlike the models of the boom years, “RS” can still stand for Rally Sport, but no longer promises anything more under the hood. The 2022 Traverse comes with just one powertrain option, coming in the form of a naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 engine rated at 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. Mills of this type typically produce peak torque near redline, but GM has managed to turn around and have all of this engine’s twist on deck at 2,800 rpm. This allows the big V6 to display some characteristics of a small-displacement turbocharged unit (good power delivery around town), but without the complexity of a turbo or its thirst for premium.

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That engine is hooked up to a 9-speed automatic and there are few complaints from this corner about the amount of grunt on tap in this three-row machine, although a few extra units of torque don’t stray when shifting. setback to pass someone who is loafing below the speed limit on a rural two-lane highway. The 9-speed tends to find a gear and stick with it, although any shifting is subtle and usually goes unnoticed. If one were to search our thesaurus for a word to describe this powertrain and chassis, the term “discreet” would suffice. In Canada, all-wheel drive is standard on most versions, good value for the brand as well as being in line with our market’s unique pick-up rates.

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In fact, the 2022 Traverse is a strong value given its number of features in addition to its powertrain. Chevrolet Safety Assist is now standard on all trims, including automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping tools, with rear pedestrian alert included on all but the base model. Infotainment goodies like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are freebies, as is a slew of audio speakers and satellite radio capability. In a market where many brands choose to reserve these types of features for their expensive trim, it’s refreshing to see them included as standard equipment on this Chevy. The tasty cherry red paint of this RS version is also available on all but the entry-level LS.

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When it comes to paint colors, your writer will ask for latitude from their editors to allow the use of a professional anecdote to point out any hiccups on the Traverse option sheet. Many moons ago this gearhead was working at a dealership where a customer fought over a deal for an all new high end coupe, ripping the machine off a special order sheet with a number of peculiar options, including paint code for Torched Steel Blue.

When the two-door zoomy arrived several weeks later in the back of a transport trailer, the salesman and the person who filled the order (do not this author, I hasten to add) were shocked to see a car painted several shades lighter than expected – powder blue instead of dark navy blue. Turns out the unfortunate sales manager had checked Steel Blue, not Torched Steel Blue, creating a situation where the customer refused to take the car and placed a bizarrely specified (and expensive) coupe on the lot that got always taken for sale.

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The reason I took 174 words to describe this scenario is in response to my own recommendation that the 2022 Traverse looks very sharp in Cherry Red but less so in the much darker shade of Black Cherry – even though both have roots on the same side of the primary color chart. Be sure to sign the note for whichever you prefer.

Space inside the Traverse can be measured in acres, especially in the front and middle rows of seats where your 6’6″ author had no trouble finding comfort in the driver’s perch or the peanut gallery. Be aware that GM, like many other manufacturers, is juggling its microchip allocation, which has forced them to make some uncomfortable decisions about certain features. In this case, our Traverse lacked seats heaters despite the presence of controls for them on the car’s dash. Chevy will credit the purchase price of the Traverse for this inconvenience and agree to install the appropriate equipment at the dealership, free of charge, when the parts will be available.

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A quick-release handle pushes the passenger-side second-row bucket seat out of the way, clearing the way for third-row seating. This space has thoughtful touches like USB ports and cup holders, but if you plan to transport NBA-sized players there frequently, you’ll need to consider the larger (and more expensive) Tahoe. As a residence for the little members of the family unit, it is more than enough.

In fact, the entire interior of this refreshed Traverse featured far better materials than other recent GM products in this class, including soft-touch materials on most dash surfaces as well as a nice spear of material. perforated leather-like in front of the passenger. A gauge cluster shared with its smaller and much cheaper Equinox sibling is slightly disappointing. Convenience features like that hidden compartment, wireless device charging, and super-simple infotainment menus have made this Traverse popular with the troops.

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We burned 69.7 liters of regular fuel driving the Traverse 530 kilometers in wintry conditions with plenty of idling on frosty mornings thanks to the standard remote starter. The back-of-the-napkin calculations tell us that’s 13.1 L/100 km, better than NRCan’s 13.6 rating in the city, but a far cry from the car’s wildly optimistic trip computer. A 230-mile highway round-trip returned 10.3 L/100 km, calculated by filling the fuel tank of this Michigan-built rig before and after the trip.

Buying advice? Stick with the lower trims, as they include plenty of must-have features, but cut out extravagances such as our tester’s panoramic glass roof. In particular, the LS version costs $6,600 south of this RS. Still, it has the same powertrain and interior room, but still includes popular kit like a power tailgate and wireless device charging as well as hardware with which to tow a trailer.

Lots of features, reasonable fuel economy, plenty of space, nice drivetrain – it sounds like a machine that, unlike the Bocca della Verità, won’t bite your hand.

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