2024 Chevrolet Traverse First Drive: This ‘Baby Tahoe’ Is Designed to Feel Good

Clever new details, conveniences and capabilities in the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse, or really, a truck-like "Baby Tahoe," will make you think this was designed for you (it was).

Scotty Reiss With The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse
Scotty Reiss with the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse Credit: Scotty Reiss

It’s Like It Was Built For You (It Was)

The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse has been completely redesigned and anyone who drives kids, carpools, takes dogs to the park or families on road trips will be thrilled. The Traverse is filled with thoughtful, innovative and smart features for drivers and passengers. 

But first, let’s talk about me. 

I got behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Traverse recently for my first test drive of this new model, and I instantly felt like a new woman. Even without positioning my seat higher, I had a better command position. I could easily see the hood of the car and the road ahead. I could easily see the multimedia screen and the driver display. I could easily get directions, change the radio station, and turn off the air conditioner.

Related: The Chevy Tahoe RST 3-Row SUV Powers Your On-Road Adventures

The Rear Of The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse
The rear of the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse is More Truck-Like

My drive partner Jana called the Traverse, priced from about $38K to about $55K, a Baby Tahoe, and she’s not wrong. The Traverse has a more truck-like look and feel, with sharper lines and a more lifted look, even though it’s 1.5” shorter, has .74” less ground clearance (in all but the Z71, which has slightly more), and about a half a foot less cargo volume than the 2023 model. 

The reduced size lends to a boxier shape and despite being smaller, the Traverse retains its roominess thanks to its crossover framework and some clever interior storage solutions.

On the outside, the truckish look starts with a more expansive face framed by slim headlights, a very similar look to the 2025 Tahoe and Suburban. Then, lower cladding is thinner, and the rear of the Traverse has a slightly more square shape. Overall, there is more body color and less chrome, which also lends to the truck-like look. It tows up to 5,000 lbs.

Related: The 2025 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe First Look: More Tech and  Refined New Look

Scotty And Jana Efore Heading Out On The Off Road Course
Scotty and Jana before heading out on the off-road course. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

A New Z71 Model Designed For How We Live

For those who tow a boat down a gravelly path to the boat launch, who tow ATVs to dusty trailheads on vacation, who will go to the end of the path at the apple orchard for the ripest unpicked fruit (do I sound a little guilty here?) this is for you. You no longer need a Tahoe for those things, the Z71 Traverse has you covered. 

Chevrolet added a Z71 trim to the Traverse lineup for 2024. I’d call this a semi-off-roader; it is equipped with all-wheel drive, skid plates, all-terrain tires, red front recovery hooks, enhanced suspension, and drive modes to give it more capability in slippery conditions. Though it’s not the rock-crawling, desert dune climber that the Tahoe or Silverado are.

This Traverse model builds on the Z71 reputation for muscle and capability. We took it out on a grass and gravel trail and drove it hard, hitting 40 MPH, and it was impressive. At that speed, the Traverse was comfortable and capable. Small ruts and mud holes passed underneath quickly and quietly. It angled between narrow tree stands and up steep hills easily, even with the drive mode set to normal. 

Related: 7 Best Luxury 3-Row SUVs

The Front Of The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse
The front of the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

The Now Sportier RS Continues as the Top of the Line Traverse

The RS trim has long been the choice for buyers whose sports are more on pavement than dirt and who want all the comforts and conveniences. RS is a bit sportier for the 2024 model with 22” wheels and more gloss black exterior details. Inside, the panoramic sunroof is standard, as is a premium sound system from Bose, leather seating, and center row captains chairs, which are power slide-and-tilt for 3rd-row access, and a power-folding 3rd row.

Add to that all the standard goodies—a smart key, 6 USB ports, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, and 3-zone climate control—and everyone feels comfortable and pampered. 

The Google-Powered Multimedia System In The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse
The Google-powered multimedia system in the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

A Google-Powered Multimedia System At Your Fingertips

If you’re wondering why all the screens in cars these days it’s about function. If it can be put on a screen, it can be done. Chevrolet not only gives drivers and passengers more capability in its new 17.7” screen but simplifies other functions, too. 

Such as, do you really need a dial or a stalk to control your headlights? They are automatic and on when you need them; you almost never need to control them. So, this function was moved to the multimedia screen. It’s a static display, meaning it’s there any time the car is on. A small display with a light icon can be tapped, and you can switch the lights from automatic to ‘on’ or ‘off’ if you’d like. This control also allows you to open a new screen with even more functions, such as interior lighting and park assist. 

The new screen operates things you expect, like entertainment and navigation. And, there are screen controls for setting rear seat climate, customizing air flow and turning on or off the automatic lift gate, a new feature: Just stand behind the Traverse with your key in hand and it opens. 

The system is powered by Google, so built-in navigation features Google Maps. And it has “Hey Google” voice-activated assistance; once you’ve toggled on the wake word, you can ask for what you want when you want it. 

Head Room In The Front Seat Of The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse
Headroom in the front seat of the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

A New Interior Design Created for Visibility 

Despite the new large screen that spans the dashboard, I found my view of the road open and expansive. Partly, this is the seat position and angular roof line. But also, it’s thanks to the new single-pane screen. It’s set low against the dash so it doesn’t rise up and cut into your view, a trend we are seeing more and more of from car designers these days. 

With the steering wheel at a comfortably low angle, I had a really great command of the road and the 11” driver display, which I greatly appreciated. 

Center Captains Chairs In The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse
Center captains chairs in the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

Clever Interior Space Adds Convenience

Chevrolet moved the gear selector from the center console to the steering wheel column; it’s now a stalk, similar to those on Mercedes-Benz and other cars. 

This allowed Traverse designers to carve out space on the console for a wide, deep cubby, where you’ll find a wireless charge pad on some models, cup holders, and a covered storage cubby. There is also a deep and roomy console under the armrest. 

Space has been added in other places, too; there is a small storage cubby for second-row passengers under the climate control panel. And there’s a large storage bin under the rear cargo floor; it’s expansive enough that you could store your beach bags and extra bottled water there for those “emergency” trips to the beach. If you know, you know. 

Access To The 3Rd Row In The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse
Access to the 3rd row in the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

How Do Kids Car Seats Fit?

We were not able to install kids car seats, but we did measure seatback to seatback in the center row, and here’s the story: with the passenger seat set for an average-size passenger, you’ll easily have 32” to install a rear-facing child car seat. You can probably even install a rear-facing seat behind the driver; when the seat was set for my driving position (I’m 5’8”), there was 32” between seats. 

With a bench seat, you’ll easily be able to get 3 seats across, and if you need two rear-facing seats, you can install them in the center and an outboard seat and leave the other seat open for 3rd-row access. 

With either the center row bench or captains chairs, the Traverse has slide-and-tilt seats for 3rd-row access; these are designed to slide with a forward-facing car seat installed, which is a nice detail. The RS edition has power slide-and-tilt seats that will not work if there’s a passenger in the seat. I tried it. Phew. 

The Traverse has two full sets of car seat LATCHes, both in the center row. The 3rd row has 3 upper tethers but no lower LATCH anchors. 

The 3rd-row seats 3 and has ample legroom, so it should be easy to install kids car seats or booster seats. I took a ride in the 3rd row and appreciated the captains chairs for the ability to sit in the center seat and extend my legs into the passthrough space. 

Tons Of Cargo Space In The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse
TONS of cargo space in the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

A New Engine for 2024

This year, Chevrolet simplified its engine lineup with one: a 4-cylinder turbo that generates 328 HP and 326 lb.-ft. of torque. 

This replaces the V6 engine that generated 310 HP. Some buyers may be skeptical that a 4-cylinder can replace a V6, but Chevrolet has faith. The new engine is stress-tested for a lifespan of at least 150,000 miles, though they believe it will go further. Either way, towing capacity remains at 5,000 lbs. and it has more power than the outgoing model and is expected to get about the same fuel economy. 

The Digital Rear View Mirror
The digital rearview mirror. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

Super Cruise is Now an Option 

And this is a great thing. RS buyers will get it complimentary for three years; other buyers will have the option of adding it. This hands-free technology allows you to pop on adaptive cruise control and then tap the Super Cruise button. The system will only work when it’s on a Super Cruise-mapped road, and it can see the road’s markings. Once it does, a green bar on the steering wheel illuminates to let you know it’s working. If the bar turns blue, it’s on but not active; if it turns red, you need to take the wheel. A driver monitor watches you to ensure your eyes are on the road so you can take over if needed. 

Super Cruise is the best hands-free system on the road right now, giving drivers a break from highway traffic. We spent quite a lot of time using it, and it was impressive.

Rear Vents In The Ceiling Are Gold
The rear vents in the ceiling over the 3rd row are GOLD. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

2024 Chevrolet Traverse Pricing

  • The LS model, which includes the 2.5L turbo 4-cylinder engine that generates 328 HP, auto sense lift gate, the 17.7” screen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 8 passenger seating, cloth upholstery, heated front seats, remote start, adaptive cruise control, surround view cameras, lane keep assist, emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, buckle to drive, Teen driver system, 11” driver display, smart key, three-zone climate control and 6 USB ports, starts at $38,995
  • The LT adds wireless phone charging, panoramic sunroof, trailering, advanced auto park assist, and Super Cruise; it starts at $41,395
  • Z71 adds AWD, all-terrain tires, a lower skid plate, hill descent control, enhanced suspension, center-row captains chairs, and the Z71 front grille; starts at $47,795
  • The RS model adds 22” wheels, a flat-bottom leather-covered steering wheel, a digital rearview mirror, leather seating, power sliding center row seats, and Bose premium sound; it starts at $55,595
  • AWD adds $2,000 on all but the Z71 version
There'S A Deep Storage Bin Under The Rear Cargo Floor
There’s a deep storage bin under the rear cargo floor. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

A Family SUV for the Long Haul 

We have long loved these family SUVs for the space, capability and conveniences they offer at a decent price. But with a sportier, more modern look, more conveniences, and clever details, the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse is a pure delight behind the wheel, in the center row, or even in the 3rd row. Or on the off-road trail or winding highway. 

I really loved the added visibility from the driver’s seat and all the conveniences and features for families, such as slide and tilt seats, the pano sunroof, and the cargo bin under the rear floor. 

And I loved the look of a Baby Tahoe without the loftier price tag and larger body (and, less convenience for kids and car seats). The new look, and all the new features, let this Traverse be a bit more about me. Which might be what I like most.

Disclosure: I was a guest of Chevrolet for this test drive. Travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own. Additionally, A Girls Guide to Cars may earn a commission from affiliate links in this story.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss