Morgan Pritchett
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History of the Chevrolet Traverse

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Front side view of a silver 2011 Chevrolet Traverse LT
Photo: order_242 via CC

Since 2008, the Chevy Traverse has been a popular option in the SUV segment. Offering plenty of space, elevated style, and advanced tech, the Traverse will likely be a part of the Chevy lineup for many years to come. Let’s take a brief look back at this model’s history and see how much it has changed.

Award Winner: 2021 Chevy Traverse earns IIHS Top Safety Pick rating

Chevrolet first unveiled the Traverse at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show and it arrived at dealerships in October of the same year as a 2009 model. The Traverse was based on GM’s Lambda platform and served to replace the Uplander and the Trailblazer (before it returned as a subcompact crossover in 2019). It was also among the first models to combine the sleek crossover styling that drivers loved with the eight-passenger capability of a full-size SUV.

Initially built at GM’s Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, production of the Chevy Traverse would eventually move to the Delta Township Assembly Plant in Lansing, Michigan, in 2009. The SUV is still manufactured there today. For nine years, the Traverse remained in its first generation, receiving a handful of facelifts and updates along the way. The SUV featured a rounder shape during its debut and housed a 3.6-liter V6 under the hood. Technology like Siri Eyes Free, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, dual USB charge ports, and 4G LTE connectivity were all added to the Traverse from 2014-2016.

Burgundy 2022 Chevrolet Traverse Premier with mountain backdrop
2022 Chevrolet Traverse
Photo: Chevrolet

In 2018, the Traverse entered its second generation and debuted with a whole new look. The exterior was boxier and featured more angular lines to align with what was becoming more popular in the market. While the V6 remained as an option, a new turbo 2.0-liter was introduced, offering an even more thrilling experience for drivers. In the last few years, minimal updates have been made and were mostly aesthetic, such as the Blackout Package in 2019. However, for the 2022 model year, the Traverse is getting another facelift and the SUV will get more advanced standard safety and tech features as well.

These new updates should help the Traverse maintain its valued reputation. Over the years, the SUV has won various awards, with one of the most recent being named to U.S. News & World Report’s “12 Best All-Wheel Drive SUVs in 2021.” There’s no doubt this winning tradition will continue as the Traverse is updated in the future.