The good folks at Chevrolet came up with an incredible way for us to experience the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse. Rather than scheduling a day to drive the vehicle along a preset route, they flew us to Michigan and helped us plan a grand adventure.
We were invited to bring friends and family, too, so I met up in Detroit with my friend Eileen for an incredible weekend. It started with a presentation that showed off the many features of the Traverse. This is a family car with room for up to eight passengers so Chevrolet added plenty of details you and the kids will love.
There are cubbies everywhere for tucking away snacks or changes of clothes or whatever your kids decide they simply cannot do without for the day. There’s even an extra compartment beneath the rear cargo area with 3.2 cubic feet of storage that can hold larger items out of sight. If you don’t have the kids along and are making a run to the local wholesale store, then there’s a best-in-class 98.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the second and third row folded.
Getting kids into that third row is a breeze thanks to Enhanced Smart Slide. This lets you slide the second row forward without having to remove the empty car seat. You can do it with one hand if you’re an adult and bigger kids can manage the job without having to ask you for help.
It’s most comfortable sitting up front, but the second row has good supportive seats, too. The third row is a bit stiff, but don’t despair. Let the big kids and grownups sit further up and put little ones in cars seats in the third row. They will be perfectly fine.
We travelled from Detroit up to Traverse City, which showed off the Traverse’s road trip chops. It’s incredibly smooth, even for a long trip and despite being an 8-passenger vehicle, it never felt like a too-large vehicle. Whether we were cruising down the highway or navigating a wrong turn down a dirt road, the ride was comfortable and easy.
If you’ve never been to this area of the country, then add it to your list. It was beautiful. We had dinner on the rooftop of Hotel Indigo overlooking the water and then wandered around a street fair downtown. This is how we discovered cherries are a big deal in Michigan. It’s also how we ended up putting a couple of local bottles of wine in our luggage to take home for later.
Since this is a vehicle that totes around a family, safety is a priority and Chevrolet delivered. There’s rear cross-traffic alert, rear park assist, forward collision alert, low speed forward braking, and lane keep assist to set your mind at ease.
There’s also a unique Rear Camera Mirror in addition to the standard rearview camera that appears on the infotainment screen and we got to try it out on a little course. It’s a secondary screen with sharper resolution that displays an area larger than the usual camera. The combination of the two cameras gives you an incredible view so you can see something as low and small as a tricycle at the same time as objects further away. It’s a fantastic feature.
The top trim is the new High Country. which has a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. It was up to the task of moving the Traverse down the highway, but you did hear it working hard if you pressed the gas for extra speed. The High Country starts at $52,995 with a beautiful interior and loads of safety features. The dash has leather and suede, the seats are embossed with the High Country logo, and the overall impression is very upscale.
Part of keeping a family happy is keeping them entertained. The MyLink infotainment system features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and can function as a 4G LTE Wi-fi hotspot. You can connect up to seven devices with the hotspot so no one is left out. There’s also a secret storage compartment behind the screen so you can keep smaller items out of sight.
Our journey took us even further north past Traverse City to Mackinac Island. I’ve wanted to visit this island since I was a kid and saw the movie Somewhere in Time, which was filmed there at the Grand Hotel. It feels like you stepped back in time when you arrive because there are no cars allowed. We left our trusty Traverse at the port for a day of exploring and packed all those cubbies full of goodies when we returned.
We made one last stop to check out Sleeping Bear Dunes before we headed for the airport. You think of dunes as something you see at the beach, but along Lake Michigan there’s a beautiful drive that overlooks huge dunes. Some of them are so steep they warn you not to climb down them unless you’re prepared for the two-hour trek to get back up to the top.
Our weekend in the Chevrolet Traverse proved to be a wonderful adventure. We saw history at Mackinac Island, experienced the beauty of northern Michigan, and got a taste of local fare all while driving the perfect road trip vehicle for families.
Our trip was hosted by Chevrolet but all opinions are our own.