13 Best & Worst Chevrolet Traverse Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Chevy Traverse is a handsome minivan-alternative that made its debut in 2008.

It’s been praised for its roomy cabin, strong performance and surprisingly efficient V-6.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best and worst Traverse years.

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Chevrolet Traverse Are:

The best Chevrolet Traverse model years are 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016, and 2013. The worst model years of the Traverse are 2018, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Chevrolet Traverse?

Listed below are the Traverse model years that deserve to be viewed as the best of the best.

2022 Chevrolet Traverse

Not only do the latest Traverse models offer the most up-to-date features and tech, they are also much more reliable.

This should come as no surprise as vehicles are fine-tuned over time and kinks are ironed out.

The 2022 three-row Traverse received a light refresh, including updated exterior and interior styling.

New standard driver-assistance features were introduced such as automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.

An 8.0-inch screen inside the gauge cluster is also an available tech option.

  • Edmunds: 4.3
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2022 Chevrolet Traverse, Edmunds review:

“Just bought a LS. Lower trims are ok with me. Less to fuss with and I like simplicity. Getting almost 20mpg in town. Very nice ride, smooth and quiet. Feels really solid. Lots of power if need be. Transmission is smooth. No engine noise in cabin. Stock radio sounds great. Three climate zones. Tons of cup holders and USB ports. Seats are very comfortable. All around It’s a very comfortable ride. The infotainment system is much improved…”

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2021 Traverse is another solid option and has received strong consumer reviews and minimal complaints.

Owners have praised this model year for its quiet cabin, soft ride and impressive infotainment tech.

Due to the pandemic, there were virtually no changes or updates introduced for this model year.

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2021 Chevrolet Traverse, Edmunds review:

“I felt very comfortable with purchasing a 2021 Traverse LT. My parents have a 2019 Highlander XLE and my sister has the 2020 Kia Telluride SX. My main reason for my purchase, it was the only 7 seat SUV with captains chairs under $40k. Does it have the refinement of my family members’ cars, no. However it didn’t have the price tag either. The engine on the Traverse is awesome. It is powerful yet also quiet. Overall, the interior is also the quietest of the 3…”

2020 Chevrolet Traverse

Auto critics have given the 2020 Traverse the thumbs up thanks to its generous passenger room across all three rows.

This model year dropped the less popular exterior color options (Black Currant, Havana Brown, and Pepperdust) but added the sleek-looking Black Cherry color. 

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine was also dropped, which means that all models were equipped with the 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine. 

Other notable changes include an upgraded infotainment system, a high-definition backup camera (displayed on the infotainment system), and 360-degree cameras. 

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2020 Chevrolet Traverse, Edmunds review:

“If you have heard the rumor that Lincolns are a very smooth ride, with decent mileage and pretty good on service, you heard right. What you also need to know is that the Chevy Traverse is, in my opinion & experience, as comparable in the ride & the service, with one distinction, much more affordable than the Lincoln!”

2019 Chevrolet Traverse

Not a lot of changes were introduced for 2019 as the Traverse was redesigned in 2018 adding 3 inches of legroom for second-row passengers, and more third-row legroom as well as making it 400 pounds lighter.

The 2018 Traverse was known to have a few powertrain issues so we’d suggest opting for the 2019 Traverse instead.

This model year also saw the introduction of all-wheel-drive and a V-6 engine to the sporty-ish RS trim.

  • Edmunds: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2019 Chevrolet Traverse, Edmunds review:

“After owning the Traverse for a year, and multiple cross-country trips, we couldn’t be happier with this vehicle. It has performed better than expected, the fuel efficiency is amazing, and the roominess and comfort are better. We owned an Expedition, Tahoe, Armada, Pathfinder and the Traverse has exceeded expectations. This vehicle has renewed my faith in Chevrolet…”

2017 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2017 Traverse is less optimal than the 2019 model as it doesn’t benefit from the 2018 overhaul, however it is still a very reliable model year albeit slightly outdated.

This model year did not receive much in terms of improvement and upgrades.

However, it was during this time that the limited edition Graphite Edition was introduced, boasting 20-inch dark charcoal wheels, dual exhausts, black bowtie badges, embedded steps, and four exterior paint choices – Metallic Black, Metallic Gray, Metallic Red, and Pearl White. 

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2017 Chevrolet Traverse, Edmunds review:

“Coming from a 2015 Journey, I can say that overall, I prefer the 2017 Chevy Traverse so far. I have the LT1, which I understand to be the mid-range model. Much roomier, wonderfully smooth ride, captains chairs in the middle row bring more comfort for the backseat passengers and also make it easier to access the 3rd row. I feel it has a classier interior with the dual brown/gray color combination. Better fuel economy, much more storage space with both the 3rd row up and down and from the drivers perspective, much more fun to drive as it handles very well and as I said previously, has such a smooth ride…”

2016 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2016 Chevrolet Traverse was the first model year to have a fully-integrated OnStar system, granting better connectivity (4G LTE) and improved Wi-Fi hotspot capability.

In addition, a new model was introduced and deemed the entry-level trim, the Base LS.

  • Edmunds: 3.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2016 Chevrolet Traverse, Edmunds review:

“I feel like I can write a solid review since we have driven this vehicle in every climate and weather extreme. We were in the market for a new family car and made our purchase in July 2016. We tested everything in class including Honda Pilot, Volvo XC70, Subaru Outback, and the Toyota 4runner. At the end of the day the Traverse made the cut due to its interior, cargo capacity (over 100 cubic feet!), and entertainment features…”

2013 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2013 Traverse was one of the least problematic models from the 2009 – 2014 era. Despite being slightly outdated, it still offers agreeable ride quality, generous cargo capacity and top crash test scores.

For 2013 the exterior and interior styling were refreshed, the infotainment display was updated, and new safety features were added. 

  • Edmunds: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2013 Chevrolet Traverse, Edmunds review:

“If you’re looking for an 8-passenger SUV with the most storage of any vehicle in its class than this is the car for you. It doesn’t do any one thing better than any other car but it doesn’t do anything badly either. You’re not going to race around corners or do zero to sixty in anything worth mentioning but that isn’t the point of this car. It is a great family and stuff hauler.”

Consumer Scores For Best Chevrolet Traverse Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Chevrolet Traverse model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds’ 
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book’s
Consumer Rating
JD Power’s
Consumer Rating
2022 Chevrolet Traverse4.3 / 5.04.3 / 5.084 / 100
2021 Chevrolet Traverse4.2 / 5.04.3 / 5.083 / 100
2020 Chevrolet Traverse4.1 / 5.04.3 / 5.084 / 100
2019 Chevrolet Traverse3.5 / 5.04.3 / 5.082 / 100
2017 Chevrolet Traverse3.9 / 5.04.2 / 5.080 / 100
2016 Chevrolet Traverse3.6 / 5.04.2 / 5.082 / 100
2013 Chevrolet Traverse3.5 / 5.04.2 / 5.084 / 100

Related: How Long Do Chevrolet Traverse Last? (Solved and Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Chevrolet Traverse?

The Chevrolet Traverse has been on the receiving end of several complaints over the years, the models listed below are the ones you should be cautious of.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse did not have as many problems as the others on this list but it did possess one of the most glaring issues.

According to several reports, the “Shift to Park” indicator kept popping up even when the gear selector was in “Park.”

This was accompanied by an audible sound that refused to stop. 

Here’s one owner’s account:

“Car is in park, and when you turn off the car it states “SHIFT TO PARK”. Car will not turn off or stop beeping until you wiggle the shifter and cross your fingers. It can take up to 20 times of wiggling/putting car in drive and back in park until it finally registers as parked.”

The 2018 Traverse had a total of 45 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 310 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • “Shift to Park” message keeps appearing
  • Transmission failure
  • Infotainment system and battery failures

2014 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2014 Chevrolet Traverse had major engine issues.

Owners reported that the StabiliTrak, traction control, check engine lights would come on and the vehicle would lose power and go into limp mode.

Here’s one owner’s testimony:

“Very frightening and dangerous to be driving 75 mph on a busy highway and have all power suddenly go out. Since then I have read of similar incidents with this make and year and don’t understant why GM did not recall the vehicles for repair.”

The 2014 Traverse had a total of 53 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 601 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Loss of power while driving
  • Transmission jerking
  • Air bag lights come on

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse is notorious for having engine problems.

Vehicle stalling was fairly common according to reports posted by owners of this model year, and according to expert opinion, this was caused by a faulty timing chain. 

Owners account:

“While driving at normal traffic and highway speeds, the vehicle will sometimes reduce speeds on its own and the transmission will drop to 2nd gear. The service engine light will flash and the dash will read traction control off. Sometimes the engine will also misfire.”

The 2012 Traverse had a total of 83 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 544 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine stopped working
  • Blown engine
  • Engine power is reduced 

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

Of all the model years on this list, the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, unfortunately, takes the cake as the most problematic model year.

On top of this, CarComplaints.com “awarded” this version with a “Beware of the Clunker” title as a result of numerous problems related to engine and electronics failures. 

Owners typically complained of engine failure, vehicle stalling and power steering failing.

The 2011 Traverse had a total of 149 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 910 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine failure
  • Reduced engine power
  • Steering wheel locked up
  • Check engine light on

2010 Chevrolet Traverse

Another recipient of the “Beware of the Clunker” title is the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse, sharing many of the same issues as the 2011 model.

Numerous owners reported that engine problems (caused by timing chain failure) and power steering failure were the biggest and most common issues.

Here’s one owners account:

“Vehicle with 110,000 miles with regular maintenance. Has codes p0017 and p0008 requiring a new timing chain. Timing chains are supposed to last the life of the motor. When do motors only last 100k miles? This known issue from 2009 has not been fixed and needs to be recalled.”

The 2010 Traverse had a total of 156 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 881 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine failure
  • Power steering stopped working
  • Timing chain failure

2009 Chevrolet Traverse

Much like the 2010 Chevrolet Traverse, the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse had similar steering and engine issues.

Owners complained that the steering wheel was very hard to turn and that the car would sporadically lose power.

The 2009 Traverse had a total of 89 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 565 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Difficult to turn
  • Timing chain broke

Related: Chevy Traverse Tune-Up & Maintenance Costs (Useful Guide)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

There are several Chevrolet Traverse model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. 

Take a look at the complaints and problems for each model year of the Traverse below

Model YearComplaints (CarComplaints.com)Problems (CarProblemZoo.com)
2022 Chevrolet TraverseNA10
2021 Chevrolet Traverse513
2020 Chevrolet Traverse742
2019 Chevrolet Traverse10180
2018 Chevrolet Traverse45310
2017 Chevrolet Traverse10112
2016 Chevrolet Traverse25174
2015 Chevrolet Traverse53239
2014 Chevrolet Traverse53601
2013 Chevrolet Traverse26267
2012 Chevrolet Traverse83544
2011 Chevrolet Traverse149910
2010 Chevrolet Traverse156881
2009 Chevrolet Traverse89565
2008 Chevrolet TraverseNA1

What Problems Do Chevrolet Traverses Have?

  • Engine failure
  • Reduced engine power 
  • Power steering stopped working

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Chevrolet Traverse?

The Chevrolet Traverse is considered one of the best midsize SUVs in the market. Take note that the Traverse secured the 5th spot (tied with the Hyundai Santa Fee, Honda Pilot, and Jeep Grand Cherokee), with a great score of 8.3 out of 10. 

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Kia Telluride8.6$33,390 – $45,190City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 24 – 26
Ford Palisade8.6$33,600 – $48,990City: NA / Highway: NA
Honda Passport8.4$37,870 – $45,430City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 24 – 25
Mazda CX-98.4$35,280 – $47,210City: 20 / Highway: 26
Hyundai Santa Fe8.3 $27,200 – $43,110City: 21 – 25 / Highway: 25 – 28
Chevrolet Traverse8.3$33,700 – $53,400City: 17 – 18 / Highway: 25 – 27
Honda Pilot8.3$38,080 – $51,870City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 26 – 27
Jeep Grand Cherokee8.3$39,000 – $61,675City: 14 – 19 /Highway: 22 – 26
Buick Enclave8.1$42,800 – $57,100City: 17 – 18 /Highway: 25 -26
Dodge Durango8.0$36,995 – $68,195City: 13 – 19 /Highway: 19 – 26
Volkswagen Atlas8.0$33,635 – $51,505City: 17 – 21 /Highway: 23 – 25
Subaru Ascent8.0$32,295 – $45,445City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 26 – 27
Kia Sorento8.0$29,590 – $43,190City: 21 – 24 /Highway: 25 – 29
Toyota Highlander7.9$35,405 – $49,510City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 27 – 29 
Nissan Murano7.7$33,310 – $46,560City: 20Highway: 28
Ford Explorer7.7$33,745 – $55,995City: 16 – 27 /Highway: 23 – 28
GMC Acadia7.5$34,800 – $48,600City: 19 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 29
Chevrolet Blazer7.3$33,400 – $44,000City: 19 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 29
Toyota 4Runner7.1$37,605 – $52,420City: 16 / Highway: 19
Ford EdgeNA$36,145 – $44,945City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 28
Jeep Grand Cherokee LNA$40,325 – $62,300City: 18 – 19 /Highway: 25 – 26
Nissan PathfinderNA$34,640 – $49,040City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 27

Source: cars.usnews.com

Related: Chevrolet Traverse in Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained) 

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/chevrolet/traverse

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/chevrolet/traverse

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Traverse/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/chevrolet/traverse/

https://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/traverse/

https://www.kbb.com/chevrolet/traverse/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2022/chevrolet/traverse