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First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Traverse

Competent but uninspiring.

by on Jun.03, 2011

Our reviewer calls the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse competent but uninspiring.

Competence may be a virtue, but not necessarily at the expense of personality.

This is the lesson of the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, a perfectly capable crossover SUV that inspires nothing of note in those who look at it or drive it.

That’s not necessarily bad, there’s no soccer parent stigma associated with minivans, for example. The Traverse is a fine-looking vehicle, in the way that an Abercrombie & Fitch model looks good and generic.

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The only problem with the Traverse’s inoffensive styling is that the two domestic three-row crossovers sold by Chevy’s Detroit rivals—the redesigned Ford Explorer and the also redesigned Dodge Durango—stand out more in a crowd. Even one of the other GM Lambda-based crossovers that share this platform offers more styling verve—the Buick Enclave (while the similar GMC Acadia is also a bit plain-jane).

Of course, sartorial concerns are but one reason to purchase a vehicle in this class, and only the hippest parents on the block are really worried about what the Joneses will think. The rest are looking for utility, practicality, value, and fuel economy. If the driving dynamics happen to offer some personality, well, that’s a bonus.