It’s easy to be passionate about things that are cool, like heading off-road in a flashy, open-air SUV or taking your muscle car out to spend a Saturday with your local car club. Those things are great, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not for everyone. Plenty of people find passion in other things: a reliable vehicle that is fun to drive, does what we need, and protects our loved ones. I’m here to say there’s nothing wrong with being passionate about family-friendly vehicles like the old station wagon, minivan, or midsize SUV.
Some people might argue that a straightforward SUV like the 2023 Chevy Traverse is boring or bland, but I’m here to say, “So what?” If you’ve got a growing family or kids with a lot of hobbies, then flashy features are probably the last thing you’re worried about. You want a vehicle that you can depend on, with plenty of room inside, fantastic safety technology to protect your passengers, and some features that also make your life easier. Join me, my family-focused readers, as we look at the 2023 Traverse—and how Chevy has built a fantastic SUV for those of us who are passionate about safely and reliably transporting our relatives.
Plenty of Seating Inside
I don’t care if you have one kid, three kids and counting, a whole pack of dogs, or whatever; no matter what your family looks like, more seating is always a plus. You never know when you’ll have unexpected guests who need a ride or when your family will grow; life has a way of testing the passenger space of any vehicle you own. This is something Chevy gets, and the Traverse showcases this; it’s a midsize SUV with three rows of seating. You have two different options for how this is set up too, so you can choose a seven-passenger configuration with second-row captain’s chairs or a second-row bench to fit eight people.
Now, if you’re thinking, “But doesn’t Chevy also have the Suburban with three rows of seating?” then you’re right—but that thing is massive. The Suburban measures more than 225” long and 81” wide, while the Traverse comes in at just over 205” long and about 78” wide. That’s nearly a two feet in length difference, which can really matter if your garage looks anything like mine and you’re already fighting for your life to fit everything you possibly can into it. You can’t beat the ability to cram eight people into your vehicle, all of them safe and comfortable, while not having to build an addition onto your house to fit your SUV!
Cargo Room Your Friends Will Envy
Getting your family around isn’t all just about loading up with passengers, however, because we all know what it’s like to have to stuff numerous backpacks, overnight bags, sleeping bags, coolers, and who-knows-what-else into a vehicle for a weekend (or just a day). Having useful and functional cargo space should be a basic human right when it comes to family vehicles and SUVs, yet it’s something that can go underappreciated much too easily. Chevy comes through with the Traverse, however, which delivers tremendous amounts of space for you to utilize.
There’s 23 cu.ft. of space in the rear of the Traverse, which is already a great start in case you have many passengers—plus everything they need to bring along. With the third row folded down, you’ll find more than 57 cu.ft. of space in the Traverse, making this a fantastic choice if you typically have four or five people in your SUV and need a lot of room for stuff. Finally, behind the front seats you can get up to 98.2 cu.ft. of total cargo volume if you’ve kicked everyone else out and you just need room for supplies. This is best-in-class cargo room, so you’re not going to find more without moving up to a larger model.
Fantastic Safety Features
I’ll be honest with you: I think advanced safety features on cars and SUVs are sexy; there, I said it. If you’ve ever spent some time looking at statistics on traffic crashes and the kinds of things that cause them, then I suspect you probably feel the same way I do. I don’t care about a car being able to go from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds; that’s just reckless and dangerous—and where would you be driving if you needed to zoom from idle to highway speeds in a few seconds? What I care about is how well a car keeps people on the road safely and securely—so everyone gets home and keeps enjoying their lives.
One of the best things about the 2023 Traverse is that it comes with the Chevy Safety Assist package of safety features standard on every model. Yes, there are still some additional options available if you want them, but the basic package on every Traverse is honestly what every vehicle should have. If this isn’t a trend, then it really should be.
You get six advanced safety features in this package, including a Forward Collision Alert to warn you about a potential crash and Automatic Emergency Braking to help you avoid it. This technology also includes Front Pedestrian Braking, which helps with avoiding someone who steps out in front of you unexpectedly in a parking lot—or when a kid runs after a ball without looking. Plus, it has a Following Distance Indicator to warn you when you’re too close to a car in front of you.
Intellibeam Auto High Beam Assist is standard on every model, which turns your high beams on automatically but also turns them off when oncoming traffic is detected to avoid blinding anyone. You also get a Lane Keep Assist system with Lane Departure Warning, which alerts you if you seem to be drifting and can help you stay in your lane. Plus, Chevy’s Teen Driver system is standard on every Traverse, which lets you set certain features—like limiting the music volume and sounding an alert when someone goes over a set speed—to help new drivers learn safe habits.
If you want to take things even further, then there are more safety features available on the Traverse like a Safety Alert Seat that uses vibrations to alert you to warnings from other systems. You can also get a Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn you about someone passing behind you while in reverse, plus a Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert for when someone is lurking in your blind spot. Adaptive Cruise Control is also available, which is perfect for daily commutes, long road trips, and simply running errands, making your drive much less taxing.
Other Features Your Family Will Enjoy
There are also plenty of other features and options that help transform the Traverse into a vehicle that your family will actually look forward to riding in. An available 8” Infotainment display is easy for your co-pilot to use, with support for Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which makes it simple to enjoy some music, a podcast, or an audiobook. The available 10-speaker Bose premium sound system will ensure everyone inside can enjoy whatever you’re listening to, whether they like it or not, while an available SkyScape dual-panel sunroof and fixed rear skylight give your passengers a stunning view of the sky overhead.
Tri-zone automatic climate control is standard to help ensure everyone stays comfortable, and all-weather floor liners are available to help protect the interior of the Traverse from the inevitable mess and filth that children relentlessly bring with them. The only thing I’d like to see is a rear-seat entertainment system to keep kids in the back occupied, but with the chip shortage going on, that probably wouldn’t be available right now—even if it was offered. Plus, it’s easy enough to buy an aftermarket system for that and add it. Regardless, it’s still clear that Chevy has made this SUV for those of us who’re out here unapologetically happy to spend time with the people we love.