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Chevy Traverse - Enterprise "part un" ... of deux

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I was going somewhere and needed a rental car.  Since it fell out of the Thurs.-Mon. time frame, the rates were a little high at the airport.  I looked at neighborhood locations.  I found a good rate at Enterprise, albeit in the suburbs.  As it turns out, I could take rapid transit train service and then walk, yes walk, some 15 minutes from a rail station through an established neighborhood to get to Enterprise.  Wheeled luggage is great!

So I got up to Enterprise and saw nothing like the intermediate I selected.  I saw few cars to begin with ... either much larger or much smaller.  When I got up to the counter, they were super nice and the agent told me he would be putting me in a Chevy Traverse.  I looked out the windows and though, "Gulp."  I asked if I could have it switched at the airport location.  He said I could try once I was on my way, but that they can't guarantee what they'll have.  So I got on my way after making all the necessary adjustments to the mirrors and whatnot.

As I pulled out of the lot in this unit, the first thing that was apparent was the build quality.  This Chevy Traverse was solid, with no squeaks and rattles at about 21,000 miles, and was more surefooted than I was expecting.  Rarely have I driven vehicles of this genre, unless you're talking U-Haul trucks.  Just kidding.  It had a 3.6 V6 mated to a 6 speed transaxle.  It was a recent model and I don't believe there are 8 gears in those.  The shifts were imperceptible.  I like imperceptible shift points during normal throttle driving.  It was very quiet and nothing on the road, be they pot holes or pavement gaps, caused this thing to become unsettled.  It also cornered very flatly.  It took a little while to warm up to its size and height, but I began to enjoy driving it. 

The interior also exhibits very good build quality.  The dashboard is classic in its styling in that it's not particularly memorable.  This isn't like the days of the 2004-2007 Grand Prix which has a dash that was uniquely its own and like no other.  Auto makers have gone more flat than anything else and there isn't much sculpting on dashboards.  What you do notice is that the bits on the dash such as stalks, radio knobs, and the like are now GM standard issue ... from Cruze to Cadillac.  That's obviously to control costs.  But, aside from this, the build quality in the cabin, with its stitching and aligned pieces befit a vehicle costing in excess of $40,000.

Well, that's just it.  I didn't like driving around a rented vehicle costing in excess of $40,000, so I decided that I'd enjoy it for a day or two and then try to exchange it at the airport location.  Obviously, the Traverse had leather seats.  I will choose cloth seats over leather any day of the week and twice on Sundays.  I like them much better but then, I grew up on them, including the loose cushion look ones.  Also, the thick last pillar makes it slightly difficult to see outside when making lane changes.  The rear camera, however, helps when maneuvering to park.  As far as the styling goes, it looks o.k. from some vantage points.  For as big as the vehicle is, the front grille is sort of underwhelming. The rear of the car has some extra character with the backlite in the hatch door canting away from the center on both sides.  This sort of works, since the belt line from the side windows then cants upward to meet it.  Overall, it's a decent looking vehicle, but not one that grabbed me in any way.

Lastly, I tanked up twice in two days to see how much fuel it used.  Because I tanked up twice, I didn't have to put in much fuel in terms of gallons.  However, the gas mileage in combined driving came in at around 20 or 21 m.p.g.  That did and doesn't work for me.  So, it was literally a cheap thrill to driver this Chevy Traverse for two days and discover how competent and surefooted it is.  However, I was looking forward to getting into a regular car and one that consumed less fuel.  That will be the "part deux" review that I will write under separate cover.

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Note:  I was looking for photos of this vehicle.  I took some.  When I find them, I will upload them.

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  • 1 month later...

Haha ... different cameras put different file numbers on jpgs, so my photos of the Traverse weren't in chronological order.  I found some.

Front quarter view - underwhelming grille


Rear quarter view - the upward cant of the rearmost window might be a bit much and does intrude on the amount of greenhouse


The instrument cluster as seen from the driver's door - standard issue GM/Chevy and easy to get used to


The instrument cluster as seen from the passenger door - some curves are better than none and these are o.k.


Maybe I didn't remember but these look like (partly) fabric seats to me


The seats are comfortable and I like a headrest that can be brought down low like that ... in some cars, they impede visibility, especially over the rear seats


What are these?  The pillars of Hercules?  Not my cup of tea.


It was fun to drive for a few days, but it confirmed I'm a car person.

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