Look during a 2018 Chevrolet Traverse lineup, and you’ll see one indication that is not like a others. Of a half dozen trims charity for Chevy’s midsize 3-row crossover SUV, a new Traverse RS is a usually one with a turbocharged engine. While a rest of a lineup is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that creates 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, a new Chevy Traverse RS uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Chevrolet bills a Traverse RS as a sportier, some-more fun-to-drive various of this family-friendly crossover. We recently had a possibility to find out in a trek that took us from Hollywood to Joshua Tree in this latest Chevy Traverse trim, that itself is all new for 2018. Over a day of driving, we snaked a approach around a traffic-snarled Los Angeles to a high-speed suburban highways and finally onto a wonderous view of a California desert. The subsequent day we did a same outing in reverse, pushing a 2018 Traverse with a customary V6 so we could review a two. Here’s what we learned.
Small engine, commendable power
At usually 2.0 liters in displacement, a tiny distance of this 4-cylinder engine competence be a startling choice for a substantial, 3-row crossover like a Traverse. But while this is a initial time a downsized turbocharged 4 has been employed in a Traverse, Chevy isn’t alone charity midsize crossovers with increased 4-cylinder engines. Ford Explorer has charity such an engine for years, and it’s a usually one accessible in a Mazda CX-9. Others to use them embody a Volkswagen Atlas and a stirring Subaru Ascent.
While we competence consider a smaller engine would be indifferent for an entrance model, as in a VW Atlas, a Traverse RS falls in a aloft finish of a range. While a bottom Traverse LS starts usually underneath $31,000, a RS starts around $43,000. For that additional money, a new 7-passenger Traverse RS includes a prolonged list of facilities like leather seating, energy tailgate, blind-spot monitoring, 10-speaker Bose reward audio system, and an 8-inch infotainment complement with navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto phone integration. Moreover, a RS aims to inject a sporty aptitude into a Traverse lineup with aesthetics that embody darkened 20-inch wheels, blacked-out badges and other dim elements.
While a turbocharged 4-cylinder in a RS and a V6 in a rest of a lineup differ in distance and how they make their power, both pierce a Traverse in a important manner. What a turbo-4 gives adult in horsepower to a V6–a opening of 55 ponies–it creates adult for in torque, where it has an advantage of 29 turn units. The Chevy RS hustles adult to speed remarkably well, and has energy in haven for passing. Does it feel sportier? Maybe a little, mostly supposing by a whoosh of a turbocharger and a indirect energy surge.
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Different heart, same body
Other than that, a Traverse RS uses a same components and so feels like a V6 models. The RS steering, suspension, 9-speed delivery and framework setups have not been tweaked for a sportier feel. So, while a engine feels peppy, a altogether float favors comfort and suppleness rather than a spryer and some-more jaunty Mazda CX-9. The Mazda advantages from being scarcely 200-pounds lighter while carrying a 250-horsepower engine that scarcely matches a Chevy, and nonetheless offers some-more torque during 310 lb-ft. The Traverse, though, tops a Mazda in interior space. A some-more approach opposition to a Chevy is a Ford Explorer, that has a larger, some-more absolute 2.3-liter turbo 4-cylinder creation 280 horses and 310 lb-ft of torque.
In further to a sportiness–perceived or otherwise–Chevy touts a Traverse RS as being some-more fit altogether than other trims. This is true, though there are caveats. The RS is EPA-rated during 22 mpg combined, vs a 21-mpg figure for a V6 models. In city/highway ratings, a 4-cylinder lands during 20/26 mpg, vs 18/27 for a V6. Anecdotally, we saw improved numbers on a lapse from a dried in a V6, with a mechanism display over 25 mpg, vs. usually over 22 in a 4-cylinder on a approach out. As for rivals, a Mazda CX-9 is rated aloft during 22 mpg city/28 highway and 24 mpg combined, while a 4-cylinder Explorer is identical during 19 mpg city/27 highway and 22 mpg combined.
Also see: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse First Review
Then there’s a emanate of fuel. According to a EPA, you’ll indeed spend some-more income on fuel in a given year for a RS’ 4-cylinder than a customary V6–$2,100 vs. $1,850. That’s since reward unleaded is endorsed for a turbo, while a V6 creates do on less-expensive regular. Again, for comparison a EPA lists a annual fuel costs for a Mazda CX-9 during $1,650, and a 4-cylinder Ford Explorer during $1,800, both regulating on unchanging unleaded.
Another premonition is that a Chevy Traverse RS is accessible usually with front-wheel drive, while a rest of a lineup (and a rivals usually mentioned) can be had with all-wheel drive. As for towing, that, too is singular in a RS: 1,500 pounds vs. adult to 5,000 for a customary V6 Traverse.
Finally, there’s a stop-start system, that is customary on all 2018 Traverse models. When we come to a stop where a car would differently idle, a engine shuts off to preserve fuel. GM is frequency alone in regulating such a complement to eke out efficiency, though it does mount out for not vouchsafing we invalidate a system. So, when we were in stop-and-go LA trade or inching a approach from one stoplight to a next, a engine was constantly shutting itself off usually to restart moments later. In such scenarios, it can be frustrating.
The new 2018 Traverse RS is indeed a indication that stands out from a rest of a lineup, though a interest will be singular to a specific set of buyers. Namely, they’ll be ones who usually need front-wheel drive, already devise to spend in a mid-$40,000 domain for a well-equipped Traverse, wish a indication that feels peppier than a naturally aspirated V6 and has a looks to behind adult a turbocharged appeal. If that sounds like you, give a Traverse RS a shot.