The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse delivers a robust and satisfying combination of power, efficiency, ride and safety. The driving experience is supported by a sophisticated, 3.6L DOHC V-6 that features variable valve timing and gasoline direct-injection technology. It is designed to provide excellent power and efficiency that translates to usable, power-on-demand performance and what is expected to be the best highway fuel economy in the segment. The engine is backed by a fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission that channels power to a responsive, four-wheel independent suspension.
Great power and fuel economy
The 3.6L engine?s direct-injection technology helps produce power similar to many V-8 engines and uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Traverse is rated at an estimated 286 horsepower (213 kW)* and 255 lb.-ft. of torque (345 Nm)* with dual exhaust (281 hp/210 kW* and 253 lb.-ft./343 Nm* with single exhaust) ? but delivers better-than-expected fuel economy. Ninety percent of the engine?s peak torque is available from approximately 2,500 rpm to more than 6,000 rpm.
With direct injection, fuel is sprayed directly into the engine cylinder, where it is mixed with air. As the fuel vaporizes in the cylinder, the air and fuel mixture is cooled. This enables the use of a higher compression ratio in the combustion chamber, which improves engine performance and efficiency. Less fuel is required to produce the equivalent horsepower ? particularly at normal cruising speeds ? of a conventional, port-injection system. Also, the use of unique pistons with the direct-injection system helps reduce cold-start emissions by 25 percent.
Advanced, high-pressure fuel injectors are used to reduce noise and comprise only one of numerous underhood features designed to minimize or eliminate noise, vibration and harshness. Other elements include an acoustically tuned engine cover and intake manifold and center-feed fuel lines. Also, a new engine mount system reduces vibration at idle.
The 3.6L engine is mated to the Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission, an advanced transmission with clutch-to-clutch shift operation for front- and all-wheel-drive vehicles. The transmission?s six-gear configuration allows for a ?steep? 4.48:1 first gear, which helps deliver exceptional launch feel, and a 0.74:1 overdrive sixth gear ? the ?tall? overdrive gear lowers rpm at high speeds, reducing noise and vibration. Also, the 6T75 offers automatic grade braking, shift stabilization and precise shift control.
The available intelligent all-wheel-drive (AWD) system provides increased traction on slippery roads by actively managing the torque distribution between the front and rear axles, based on factors such as wheel speed, throttle and surface conditions. There is no driver intervention; the system automatically decides how much torque to apply and delivers it to the wheels that have the best traction.
Robust chassis, responsive suspension
Traverse rides on a long 118.9-inch (3,019 mm) wheelbase, with a wide 67.8-inch (1,721 mm) front track and 67.4-inch (1,712 mm) rear track ? a combination that lowers the center of gravity and enables smooth, stable ride and handling. Sharp reflexes are also supported by independent front and rear suspensions. The front suspension features a MacPherson strut design, with a direct-acting stabilizer bar and aluminum knuckles. Isolated mounting points help reduce noise and vibration.
The rear suspension uses a compact, state-of-the-art linked ?H? design, which uses an isolated mounting system to reduce noise and vibration transmitted to the passenger compartment. This design enables the handling prowess that comes with an independent suspension, but with minimal floor pan intrusion ? a feature that helps the Traverse offer generous passenger and cargo space.
Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is standard, with variable-effort steering available. The suspension and steering systems meet the road via 17-, 18- or 20-inch wheels, depending on the model, while four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are standard on all models.
Additional standard electronic braking features include Dynamic Rear Proportioning (DRP), Hydraulic Brake Boost (HBB) and Panic Brake Assist (PBA). DRP optimizes front to rear brake balance by dynamically adjusting the rear brake bias based on driving conditions and vehicle loading. HBB amplifies the hydraulic brake force to assist the driver under low or temporarily low engine vacuum conditions to reduce stopping distance. PBA optimizes stopping by adding or maintaining brake pressure even if the driver unconsciously or involuntarily backs off braking during a panic or emergency situation.
Also standard are several features that enhance ride and handling, as well as safety:
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology
- Traction control system
- Tire pressure monitoring system
The Traverse has 360-degree safety system that helps protect passengers before, during and after a crash, including new anchor pretensioners for outboard occupants and pelvic-thorax seat-mounted side air bags.
A strong structure is the foundation, and it is augmented by a wide stance and low center of gravity that reduce the likelihood of a rollover. Traverse?s responsive four-wheel independent suspension also enhances safety by providing stable ride and handling characteristics.
The Traverse?s structure is reinforced in numerous areas with high-strength steel, including a stiff steel cross-car beam welded across the floor between the B-pillars. It also uses dual-phase steel in select areas, such as the lower engine compartment rails. Dual-phase steel is strengthened in the paint oven and offers easier formability, reduced mass, greater strength and better crash energy absorption than most high-strength steels.
Traverse is equipped with six standard air bags: two dual-stage frontal air bags, for the driver and front passenger, two seat-mounted pelvic-thorax side-impact air bags in the first row, which provide improved occupant coverage when compared against previous thorax side air bags, and two head curtain side-impact air bags that cover all three seating rows. The head curtain side air bags are among the longest air bags in any production vehicle.
Complementing the air bags is GM?s rollover sensing system, which can pre-emptively activate the side-impact air bags if sensors determine a rollover is imminent. In the event of a rollover, the air bags stay inflated longer to provide increased occupant containment. Dual front-seat safety belt pretensioners (anchor and retractor) also are part of the Traverse?s standard safety equipment.
The Traverse comes standard with OnStar Generation 7 (with a one-year Directions & Connections plan), which features Turn by Turn Navigation and the Advanced Automatic Crash Notification system. If the crash activates an air bag, the OnStar system automatically notifies an OnStar advisor, who immediately calls the vehicle and/or summons emergency help.
Also, on vehicles equipped with the available navigation system, the OnStar package includes OnStar Direction Download. With it, the customer can call OnStar with an address and the advisor will send the information directly to the navigation system, proving quick, hands-free guidance.