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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The 2020 Chevy Traverse High Country is shown in Black Cherry Metallic paint.

The 2020 Chevy Traverse is the embodiment of a functional, mid-size SUV: not too big, not too small; not too cheap, not too expensive.

To make your new Traverse as fancy as possible order the SUV in High Country trim. Although the up-market trim pushes the MSRP past $50,000 — $53,395 to be exact — is also delivers near-luxury levels of performance and creature comforts.

Our tester, a Black Cherry Metallic model assembled in Lansing, Michigan, was provided by Chevrolet for a one-week test drive on Chattanooga streets and highways.

Traverses are available locally at Integrity Chevrolet, 2110 Chapman Road, and Mountain View Chevrolet, 310 E. 20th Street. Late last week, both dealerships had seven 2020 Traverses in digital inventory.

FAST FACTS

* Model: 2020 Chevrolet Traverse AWD High Country

* Exterior color: Black Cherry Metallic

* Interior color: Jet Black/Loft Brown

* Engine: 3.6-liter, V-6

* Horsepower: 310

* Transmission: 9-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 25 mpg highway, 17 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Integrity Chevrolet, Mountain View Chevrolet

* Price (as tested): $54,395

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The interior is shown in Jet Black and Loft Brown.

 

WHAT IS IT?

The Traverse is a seven- to eight-passenger mid-size SUV equipped with a 310 horsepower, V-6 engine and a 9-speed, automatic transmission. It competes with the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer among other models.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The cheapest Traverse starts at $29,800. Our tester has a $53,200 base price plus $1,195 in destination charges.

 

WHAT WE LIKED

We liked the Black Cherry Metallic paint color, which has an upscale look. We also liked the captains chairs, chrome wheels, two-tone interior and heated steering wheel. The dual skyscape sunroof, hands-free liftgate and "smart-slide" second row seats are nice touches, as well.

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The Traverse has a 310 horsepower, V-6 engine.

 

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

The gauges are small, the seats are on the firm side and forward visibility is pinched by the A-pillars.

 

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

When in motion, the Traverse is smooth and quiet. The V-6 has plenty of power, and the vehicle can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The 9-speed transmission helps lift fuel economy to 25 mpg highway, 17 mpg city.

 

SAFETY

The Traverse boasts a 5-star overall government safety score. The pedestrian braking system and forward collision alert are two important safety features.

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / Second row captains chairs slide back and forth for easy access to third-row seats.

 

CONNECTIVITY

The traverse is compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The premium navigation system on our tester flows through a 8-inch high-definition touch screen.

 

BOTTOM LINE

The Traverse is nice enough in lower trims but really shines when outfitted with the High Country package. All-wheel-drive improves the driving dynamics — and ultimately the resale value — of this highly evolved SUV.

Online: In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy's Chattanooga Test Drive columns visit www.timesfreepress.com/testdrive.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.


View other Test Drive stories by Mark Kennedy



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