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

The Chevrolet Traverse is an affordable, mid-size SUV that has been in production since 2008. 

Offering a cushioned ride, composed handling, spacious seating capacity, and plenty of engine power for towing, the Traverse is ideal for family road trips and holiday adventures.

If you’re in the market for a mid-size SUV, then looking into the Traverse makes sense.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how many years of service you can expect from the Chevrolet Traverse...

Here is the short answer to how long do Chevy Traverse Last:

The Chevrolet Traverse has a respectable 200,000-mile life expectancy, however vehicle longevity will vary from owner to owner. Based on the average annual mileage of 15,000 miles, the Traverse is expected to last 13.5 years on average if regularly maintained, well looked after and driven smoothly.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Chevrolet Traverse?

The Chevy Traverse is a great people and cargo mover and features an intuitive infotainment system as well as boasting comfortable seating.

This mid-size SUV is expected to last well over a decade and has received respectable ratings and reviews in the 7.5/10 range from the bigger car review sites.

Vehicle longevity is dependent on a number of factors, however we would suggest that the Chevy Traverse on average is capable of reaching the 200,000-mile mark before breaking down or needing expensive repairs. With enough TLC, there is no reason why these numbers could not be exceeded.

As with any vehicle, longevity reports can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Primarily these include maintenance and driving habits – and ultimately it is down to the owner to get the most life from their car.

This SUV is designed for heavy duty towing and light off roading and its lifespan may vary greatly depending on the owner’s usage.

As a general rule, the more stress a vehicle is put under and the more it is pushed to its limits, the faster it’s components will accumulate wear and tear.

To get the most out of your Chevy Traverse, never exceed it’s 5000 lb towing limit, keep up to date with factory scheduled maintenance and stay on top of light maintenance duties such as keeping oil and fluids topped up.

How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Chevrolet Traverse? 

Chevrolet as a brand has been relatively notorious for rust problems across almost their entire range of vehicles. The Traverse is no exception, with little improvements in terms of rust and corrosion since its debut in 2008. 

Owners of Traverse models from 2009-2018 report undercarriage rust as more or less guaranteed after the first 5,000 – 7,000 miles. Exhaust pipes on the Traverse are also known to heavily corrode not long after initial purchase. 

Given that rust problems are abundant on not only the Traverse but Chevrolet vehicles in general, we recommend that owners invest in ceramic paint-protection coating.

Alternatively, rust-proofing sprays are widely available and are designed to protect your undercarriage and exposed metal parts. Sprays form a layer to guard against moisture and air and help combat rust due to their anti-corrosion properties.

For areas subject to heavy snowfall, the Salt Belt States and regions close to the sea, we recommend taking extra precautions to mitigate salt-induced rust – primarily keeping the vehicle clean.

Salt buildup on vehicle surfaces is corrosive, and the sand, dirt and snow that accumulate can trap moisture in wheel wells and underbody structures.

Regular car washes, rustproofing sprays, keeping the car’s interior dry, and ceramic coating for a longer-term investment are all standard rust proofing and preventative measures to consider.

How Long Does the Chevrolet Traverse Last Compared to Similar Car Models?

The Chevrolet Traverse, although a relative newcomer, competes with both mid-size and full-size SUVs – able to offer the maneuverability of a crossover while maintaining the seating capacity of larger options. 

In this segment, we’ll see how the Chevrolet Traverse stacks up to its competitors. 

Chevrolet Traverse vs. Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer may have been around almost two decades longer, however, it fails to match up to the 200,000-mile lifespan of the Traverse. With most Explorers giving out or requiring full engine re-builds shortly after 150,000 miles. 

On top of offering a longer service lifetime, the Chevy Traverse costs marginally less than the Explorer to maintain per year. However, these kinds of costs build up quickly over time. 

The Traverse and Explorer cost $656 and $732 to maintain per year respectively, resulting in a difference of $76. 

One area where the Ford Explorer outperforms the Traverse is in reliability.

With a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 on RepairPal, the Explorer has a slightly above average score, however, the 3 out of 5 rating of the Traverse means it has average reliability and is more prone to needing repairs.

The difference between these two SUVs is trivial enough for both vehicles to be considered solid choices. 

Chevrolet Traverse vs. Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is no exception from the brand’s dedication to making long-lasting vehicles.

With an average lifespan of 300,000 miles, the Toyota Highlander offers up to 10 more years of service than the Chevrolet Traverse.

It may come as no surprise that the reliability of the Highlander (4 out of 5) is a whole point higher than the reliability of the Traverse (3 out of 5) according to RepairPal. 

On top of better longevity and reliability, the Highlander also costs $167 less than the Suburban per year in maintenance. The Chevrolet Traverse and Toyota Highlander cost $656 and $489 respectively. 

Toyota once again offers a vehicle that matches up to the competition while also being far more practical in the long run. 

Chevrolet Traverse vs. Dodge Durango

With a life expectancy of 200,000, the Chevrolet Traverse falls short of matching the 250,000-mile average of the Dodge Durango. 

Yearly maintenance for the two vehicles is, more or less the same – with the Traverse and Durango costing $656 and $675 respectively, the $19 difference can in most cases be disregarded.

When it comes to reliability, the Dodge Durango (3.5 out of 5) edges slightly ahead of the Chevrolet Traverse (3 out of 5). 

When looking at the performance numbers, the Traverse is unable to compete with the engine choices of the Dodge Durango. 

Despite being fitted with a 310hp V6 engine, the performance potential of the Chevrolet Traverse is eclipsed by the SRT trim available for the Dodge Durango.

Please also read our article: how long do Dodge Durango last?

How Reliable is a Chevrolet Traverse?

The Chevy Traverse has a lot going for it, a great looking mid-size SUV with an abundance of features all at an affordable price, however it does have a bad history when it comes to reliability.

From what it seems, many of the problem years are from the Traverse’s earlier years, with the Traverse of today showing much more promise than models from the early ’00s, we expect newer models to have a fair level of reliability.

  • RepairPal – 3.0 out of 5.0 and ranked 22nd out of 26 for midsize SUVs – these ratings take into account the average across all the Traverse years
  • Car.USNews – 3 out of 5 – a predicted reliability rating for the 2021 model which is described as average.
  • J.D. Power – 85 out of 100 – Consumer verified, quality & reliability rating for the 2020 model

As J.D. Power’s data is highly credible, we cannot call the Traverse an unreliable vehicle, however many competitors in the segment are doing better in this regard. 

Please also read our article: Chevrolet Traverse in snow and winter driving

Reliability Compared to Other SUVs

ModelReliability 
Mazda CX-54.5 / 5.0
Hyundai Santa Fe4.0 / 5.0
Toyota Venza4.0 / 5.0
Hyundai Veracruz4.0 / 5.0
Mitsubishi Endeavor4.0 / 5.0
Dodge Journey4.0 / 5.0
Toyota Highlander4.0 / 5.0
Dodge Nitro4.0 / 5.0
Toyota 4Runner4.0 / 5.0
Subaru Outback3.5 / 5.0
Ford Edge3.5 / 5.0
Toyota FJ Cruiser3.5 / 5.0
Honda Pilot3.5 / 5.0
Jeep Liberty3.5 / 5.0
Jeep Grand Cherokee3.5 / 5.0
Mazda CX-73.5 / 5.0
Nissan Pathfinder3.5 / 5.0
Subaru Tribeca3.5 / 5.0
Ford Explorer3.5 / 5.0
Ford Explorer Sport Trac3.5 / 5.0
Chevrolet Tahoe3.5 / 5.0
Chevrolet Traverse3.0 / 5.0
GMC Acadia3.0 / 5.0
Buick Enclave3.0 / 5.0
Volkswagen Touareg3.0 / 5.0
Ford Police Interceptor Utility2.0 / 5.0
Avg. Midsize SUV3.5

The Best and Worst Years of the Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse had a rocky start to life, with a significant spike in complaints in the two years following its debut. The trend has reflected a positive decline in complaints with each model year after 2016 and in recent years there have very few complaints. 

According to CarComplaints’ extensive database, 2011 ranks as the worst model year of the Chevrolet Traverse. Owners reported complete engine failure, with an average repair cost of $5,200. This severe problem has been reported to occur in as little as 88,000 miles. 

Other problems found primarily between 2009 and 2016 include:

  • Faulty power steering
  • Transmission problems
  • AC/Heater problems
  • Electrical problems
  • Seat belts and airbag problems

The Traverse has come a long way since its Car Complaints ‘Beware of the Clunker’ days in 2011. The current 2021 model year of the Chevy Traverse has so far not had a single complaint listed, and hence is one of the safer options when looking to purchase. 

Below is a table of data showing the number of complaints, taken from the Car Complaints database

Model YearNumber of Complaints
20210
20200
20194
201827
20173
201623
201542
201445
201319
201271
2011137
2010138
200987

What About Recalls?

The Traverse has been subject to a relatively low number of recalls over the years despite its shaky reliability.

A recall is issued when a manufacturer or the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) deems that a vehicle or one or more of its components creates an unreasonable safety risk or does not meet minimum safety requirements – recall related problems are fixed free of charge.

To find out if your Traverse has been subject to a recall, you can use the recall search bar on the Chevrolet website, by simply entering your vehicle VIN number.

Here is the full list of recalls:

  • 2009: 8 recall
  • 2010: 4 recalls
  • 2011: 4 recalls 
  • 2012: 4 recalls
  • 2013: 2 recalls
  • 2014: 4 recalls
  • 2015: 1 recalls
  • 2016: 2 recalls
  • 2017: 0 recalls
  • 2018: 0 recall
  • 2019: 1 recall
  • 2020: 2 recalls
  • 2021: 0 recalls

Chevrolet Traverse Model Year List:

Here is a full list of model years for the Chevrolet Traverse:

1st Generation 2008 – 2012

  • 2008 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2009 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2010 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2011 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2012 Chevrolet Traverse

2nd Generation 2012 – 2017

  • 2013 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2014 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2015 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2016 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2017 Chevrolet Traverse

3rd Generation 2017 – 2020

  • 2018 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2019 Chevrolet Traverse

4th Generation 2020 – Present

  • 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2021 Chevrolet Traverse

Is the Chevrolet Traverse Expensive to Maintain? 

The Chevrolet Traverse will cost an average of $656 a year to maintain, with an expected cost of $5,010 over a 5 year period.

The average annual repair cost for all midsize SUVs is $573 per year in comparison to $652 across all makes and models – so whilst the Traverse is average across the board in terms of reliability costs, it is slightly more expensive compared to other vehicles in its segment.

You can find out more about the Chevy Traverse maintenance costs in our useful guide, here.

ModelAvg. Annual Repair CostFrequency of
Unscheduled Repairs (per year)
Probability of
SevereRepairs
Mazda CX-5$4470.38%
Hyundai Santa Fe$5150.210%
Toyota Venza$4440.510%
Hyundai Veracruz$5240.59%
Mitsubishi Endeavor$5150.212%
Dodge Journey$5620.312%
Toyota Highlander$4890.313%
Dodge Nitro$5820.313%
Toyota 4Runner$5140.413%
Subaru Outback$6070.412%
Ford Edge$6110.313%
Toyota FJ Cruiser$5060.514%
Honda Pilot$5420.513%
Jeep Liberty$6740.312%
Jeep Grand Cherokee$6660.313%
Mazda CX-7$4700.714%
Nissan Pathfinder$5420.415%
Subaru Tribeca$5630.713%
Ford Explorer$7320.214%
Ford Explorer Sport Trac$7200.314%
Chevrolet Tahoe$7440.316%
Chevrolet Traverse$6560.418%
GMC Acadia$7340.419%
Buick Enclave$7200.518%
Volkswagen Touareg$9370.913%
Ford Police Interceptor Utility$1,1601.020%
Avg. Midsize SUV$5730.413%

How Long Do the Brakes Last?

Chevy Traverse brake pads usually last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles.

How you drive your vehicle will play a big part in brake longevity. If you tend to do a lot of stop-and-go driving or are prone to heavy braking then your brakes will need frequent replacement.

Full and complete stops from a high speed are the biggest culprit of premature brake pad wear.

You may also be interested in our article: how long do Chevrolet Trailblazer last?

How Long Do the Tires Last?

Chevrolet Traverse tires can last between 3-4 years, which means an average of 50,000 miles given the 15,000 miles driven per year. 

Maintaining the correct tire pressure will not only keep you safe it will also bolster your tire’s lifespan, the correct pressure for your tires is usually located in the driver’s door jamb.

To ensure even wear of your tires, have them rotated regularly as specified in the owner’s manual or new-tire warranty guidelines, this is usually every 5,000 – 8,000 miles.

How Long Does the Transmission Last?

The transmission on the Chevy Traverse is built to last between 130,000 to 180,000 miles without ever needing replacement, so long as a proper servicing schedule is followed.

Ensure fluid levels are topped up and fix any problems immediately to keep the transmission running smoothly.

How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?

Chevy Traverse spark plugs are built to last between 30,000 and 40,000 miles before needing replacement.

Spark plugs are responsible for creating the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture, causing the explosion which makes the engine produce power.

They are usually inspected and if needed, replaced when you go for a tune up.

What About Insurance Cost?

The average insurance costs for a Chevy Traverse is $129 per month or $1,552 annually according to Finder.

Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Buick Enclaves Last?

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Chevrolet Traverse

  • Observe regular rust-proofing intervals.
  • Avoid over-the-top modifications.
  • Use only high-quality spare parts or after-market attachments.
  • Drive carefully to prolong the life of your tires, brake pads, and to get the best possible longevity.
  • Keep up to date with factory scheduled maintenance.
  • Keep fluids topped up and check fluid levels regularly
  • Check your tire pressures at regular intervals
  • Check engine oil every two weeks
  • If possible, keep the vehicle stored in a garage, out of the elements
  • Use good quality parts and fluids
  • Invest in a ceramic coating to protect against contaminants and minor scratches
  • Consider all rust-proofing options
  • Wash the vehicle regularly particularly when encountering salt and snow
  • Do not overload your vehicle.
  • Do not exceed towing limits

Resources

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Traverse/2020/

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

https://repairpal.com/reliability/chevrolet/traverse

https://www.motorbiscuit.com/this-chevy-suv-has-a-disastrous-track-record-of-reliability/

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