The Chevrolet Traverse: The History and Evolution of a True Automotive Workhorse

Introduced to the world during the Chicago Auto Show of 2008, the Chevy Traverse was General Motor’s offering to America’s SUV-loving populace. It wasn’t long before the Traverse became a staple of large American families that needed a heavy-duty car to match their demands. The rise and popularity of the Traverse are easy to understand—it’s spacious, stylish, and is upgraded ever so often to keep it relevant.

The Traverse was also one of the first SUVs that combined an eight-passenger capability with the sleek crossover styling loved by drivers. In this post, we’ll go over the history and evolution of the true automotive workhorse.


The longest-lasting model of the Chevy Traverse began production back in 2009. Not many people know this, but the raverse was originally a midsize-crossover,a fact that’s difficult to believe considering the size of the latest models. In fact, those manufactured during the 2010-2012 era were some of the smallest ones ever produced. 

These SUVs packed a 3.6-liter V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and featured five doors. This moment in time marks the beginning of one of the most successful vehicle lines ever produced and one that’s still ongoing.


The 2013 model came with a few changes mainly to the taillights, headlights, and the front grille. The intent was to make the SUV appear sleeker, futuristic, and stylish. While the performance aspect of the car remained relatively unchanged, Chevrolet did incorporate a new Bose sound system which was unusual in SUVs at the time and made the Chevy Traverse stand out.

The minor changes Chevy made to the second model remained a strategy that they applied to every upcoming car in the series. The idea was that instead of introducing several sweeping, widespread changes, they would only make minor ones as to not scare off the customer base. They assumed—and rightfully so—that drastically changing a car design that was already loved and accepted by the majority of their customer’s would do more harm than good.


The 2014 Chevy Traverse model introduced a couple of changes but they were mainly safely-related. For instance, Chevy installed a new lane departure warning system that was considered new technology in 2014. On top of that, they added a collision warning system that made the Traverse one of the safest SUVs to drive. 

The 2014 model remained the same and included a small change of incorporating USB charging ports in the car for added convenience. 


Once again, 2015 proved to be another uneventful year in terms of upgrades. The ones that were introduced dealt mainly with the aesthetics and convenience factor. The rim size was increased to 18-inches and drivers could also interact with Siri via the SUV’s entertainment system. This made it possible to receive and send calls, take notes, and search for directions all without turning your eyes away from the road.

Today, all of these features account for standard SUV features but that wasn’t the case back in 2015. Once again, Chevy displaced forward-thinking and added innovative technology trends while changing as little as possible. The 2015 Chevy Traverse was also the first model that debuted additional colors many of which became an instant hit with the public.


The 2016 model came with the addition of trim packages and included a few extra colors. Apart from that, virtually everything else remained the same. Despite the lack of upgrades, the 2016 model proved to be very successful and recorded more sales than the previous models. The goal was to create a sophisticated look for the car by increasing the color options buyers had. There were a few changes made to the interior as well. 


The 2017 model remained practically the same except that it was slightly bigger. 2018, on the other hand, marked major changes for the Chevy Traverse as the design which remained relatively unchanged since 2009, was completely overhauled for a new and modern look. The 2018 model was bigger, taller, and longer than the previous versions. It also had the latest technological features present in other SUVs

Chevrolet didn’t discard the 2017 model and kept it under the name of Traverse Limited. One can assume that might have been a backup plan in case the new model wasn’t well-received by diehard fans, buthistory proved otherwise.

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