Sportier looks, enhanced fuel economy

Introduced for the 2018 model year, the second-generation Chevrolet Traverse is a significant departure from its predecessor, boasting a sportier look, state-of-the-art technology, and offering best-in-class maximum cargo room. The old 3.6-liter V-6 was also replaced with a brand-new unit, but Chevy also announced plans to fit a turbocharged four-cylinder in the SUV. The new engine was unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Motor Show in the Traverse RS, the first-ever Traverse to sport a turbocharged powerplant.

Alongside forced induction, this model also gets a few visual upgrades inside and out. It’s pretty much the SUV version of the Sonic RS. It also gets quite a few extra standard features. It’s not the fanciest trim available, but it’s very similar to the Premier model in terms of equipment and price. You can always go with the High Country model if you’re into a more luxurious cabin, but if you’re looking for a sporty appearance, the new RS is the best choice you have. Let’s see what set it apart in the review below.

Continue reading for the full story.

What makes the Chevrolet Traverse RS special

2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS Exterior
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The "bowtie" logo on the front grille and tailgate are also black, just like on the Sonic RS

While sportier trims usually come with revised bumpers with bigger, more aggressive intakes, the "RS" badge doesn’t do much to alter the SUV’s looks. However, the grille, the window trim, and roof rails are now black instead of chrome for a slightly sportier appearance. The "bowtie" logo on the front grille and tailgate are also black, just like on the Sonic RS. The trim also gained new 20-inch aluminum wheels finished in Dark Android, a high-gloss dark grey that goes well with the black trim. The package is rounded out by standard HID headlamps, LED daytime running lights, and upper and lower active aero shutter up front.

The cabin isn’t that much different either, as the Jet Black leather seating surfaces are the only details that change compared to the lower trim. But while the design is pretty much the same, the RS model gets a ton of extra standard features, starting with heated front seats and a tri-zone automatic climate control system.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS Interior
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The Jet Black leather seating surfaces are the only details that change compared to the lower trim

It also has standard Chevrolet MyLink with eight-inch touchscreen and navigation and OnStar 4G LTE. The Wi-Fi hotspot remains optional though. A digital instrument cluster display, Bose premium 10-speaker audio system, the power liftgate, and the keyless entry and remote start round off the standard premium package. In terms of driver assist features, the Traverse RS includes Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist, Surround Vision, Rear Camera Mirror, Rear Seat Reminder, and Teen Driver.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS Exterior
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The Ecotec mill is rated at 257 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque

Of course, the big news lies under the hood, where the potent 3.6-liter V-6 was replaced by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit. The Ecotec mill is rated at 257 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 50 horsepower less than the naturally aspirated V-6, but no less than 35 extra pound-feet of torque. The four-banger mates to a nine-speed automatic transmission and benefits from 90 percent of its torque from as low as 2,100 rpm. On top of having more torque, the Ecotec engine is also more fuel efficient than the V-6. While the 3.6-liter unit returns 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, the RS is rated at 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.

The Traverse RS is priced from $43,095, which places it just above the LT Leather model, priced from $42,695, and just below the Premier, which retails for $45,995.


Chevrolet Traverse

2018 Chevrolet Traverse High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse.

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Read more Chicago Auto Show news.

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Press release

With turbocharged performance and aggressive, blacked-out styling cues, the 2018 Traverse RS injects a distinctive dose of fun-to-drive sportiness into the midsize SUV segment.

Based on the redesigned 2018 Traverse, which offers best-in-class maximum cargo room (98.2 cubic feet1), more technologies than the previous model and an enhanced roster of available active safety features, the Traverse RS is part of an expanded six-trim lineup focused on capability, convenience and choice.

“The 2018 Traverse offers a full product lineup positioned to effectively compete across the segment,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “By offering customers more choice with higher-end entries like the RS, which has a more street-inspired look, and top-of-the-line High Country, Chevrolet now offers a comfortable and connected Traverse for every lifestyle.”

The RS’s unique styling elements include a black grille, black window trim, black roof rails and black bowtie emblems, along with 20-inch aluminum wheels featuring a Dark Android finish.

The RS is also the first Traverse model to offer turbocharged performance, delivering a spirited driving experience that is unique within the lineup. A power-dense, direct-injected Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine generates up to 257 horsepower (192 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm). Ninety percent of the peak torque is available at only 2,100 rpm, for a confident feeling of power on demand at all speeds.

A nine-speed automatic transmission is matched with the engine, contributing to EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway.

Additional standard content on the Traverse RS includes:

HID headlamps and LED daytime running lamps
Upper and lower active aero shutters
Chevrolet MyLink radio with 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen and navigation
OnStar® 4G LTE and available built-in Wi-Fi® hotspot (3-month/3GB data trial)2
Multicolor driver information center display
Jet Black leather-appointed seating surfaces
Heated front seats
Universal Home Remote
Tri-zone automatic climate control
Bose premium 10-speaker audio system
Power liftgate
Keyless Open with extended-range Remote Keyless Entry
Remote start
Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert3
Rear Cross Traffic Alert3
Rear Park Assist3
Surround Vision3
Rear Camera Mirror3
Rear Seat Reminder4
Teen Driver3

The Traverse RS is on sale now with an MSRP of $43,095. The price includes the destination charge but excludes tax, title and other dealer fees.

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