Chevrolet is bolting on a turbocharger to its all-new, 2018 Traverse. But rather than aiming for horsepower and speed, Chevy targeted torque and fuel efficiency.
The new turbo is found in the 2018 Traverse RS, a trim level made available on the Traverse's newly minted second generation. At the heart of the Traverse RS is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 257 horsepower and a respectable 295 pound-feet of torque. That's 29 more pound-feet than made by the Traverse's standard engine, the venerable 3.6-liter V-6.
Accompanying the power is an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. That bests the 3.6-liter's city fuel economy by two mpg and its combined economy by one mpg. Interestingly, the 3.6-liter V-6 does outperform the 2.0-liter turbo on the EPA's highway evaluation, with the V-6 averaging 27 mpg.
Despite the dip in economy at faster speeds, the 2.0-liter turbo-four is expected to perform well around town in both economy and power. Ninety percent of its peak torque arrives at 2,100 rpm, down low in the engine's rev range. The 2018 Chevy Traverse comes standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Power is sent to the front wheels, though AWD is available on the V-6 model.
In addition to those unique features, the Traverse RS comes with a distinctive appearance package. "Signature Black" accents replace chrome pieces on the grille, roof rails, window trim, and the Chevy bowties. A set of 20-inch Dark Android-painted aluminum wheels finish off the look.
The RS also comes standard with the Convenience and Driver Confidence Package, which include the upgraded 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system, a multi-color driver information screen in the gauge cluster, heated front seats, remote starting, and a power liftgate.
The package also includes some desirable active safety tech, including Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Rear Park Assist. Leather seats are standard on the RS.
Speaking of seats, the three-row crossover boasts seating for eight people when equipped with the second-row bench seat. Upper trims, including the RS, come standard with second-row bucket seats. This does reduce seating to seven but provides easier access to the third row via the middle aisle. Naturally, the second- and third-row seats fold flat for hauling bulky cargo.
Hauling even larger items can be done with a trailer, too, thanks to the Traverse's optional towing equipment. The RS is rated to pull 1,500 pounds, while the V-6-powered Traverse is capable of pulling 5,000 pounds.
Chevy is charging $43,595 for the 2018 Traverse RS. That puts it squarely in the middle of the Traverse's lineup. The base L starts at $30,925 while the luxury-minded High Country starts at $53,595.
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