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Diving Headfirst Into the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse

A burgundy 2020 Chevy Traverse is parked at a camp site at dusk.

Sometimes when you want an SUV you don’t want a massive tank designed to hog roadways and blot out the sun. Sometimes you simply want the handling of a sedan with the safety and security of a sport utility vehicle. When that sounds like something you’re interested in a midsize SUV is perfect. It is the best of both the sedan and SUV worlds. The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse is the latest midsize offering from General Motors. This midsize crossover SUV has been in production since 2008, taking over for the TrailBlazer (which itself started as a trim option for the original Chevy Blazer and is now back with an all-new 2020 model after a decade on the shelf). With a full decade of designs and improvements under its belt, the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Traverse has many options and build trims designed to meet the needs of just about any midsize SUV buyer.

Checking In On The Entry Level 2020 Chevrolet Traverse

The entry-level sport utility vehicle is an excellent starting point for someone who is simply going for a larger body type over a more traditional sedan. The base model of the Traverse is a front-wheel drive, four-door SUV that covers the basics while still offering up some nice perks. Many base crossovers a stripped-down of both power and infotainment features, which the Traverse does not do. When compared to other brands at a similar price point, this entry-level trim goes above and beyond.

The base engine features a 3.6L V6 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy is 18 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway, which might be a tick lower than some comparative brands, but most of those brands use an I4 base engine (competitive brands like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda CX-9, Toyota Highlander and others all come with the smaller 4-cylinder engine). With this engine and suspension, it’s possible to still tow a small trailer without any problem (or feeling like your transmission might drop out the bottom of the engine block when shifting). 

A silver 2020 Chevy Traverse that's parked in a driveway is shown.

One reason the crossover market has picked up steam in recent years is because of improved safety features over sedans. Naturally, any vehicle that positions you higher off the ground with a wide-body design will typically prove safer in multiple-vehicle accidents than lower to the ground cars. However, the added interior space also allows for added safety features. The entry-level L Series comes standard with driver, front head, front side, passenger, and rear head airbags, plus 4-wheel ABS and 4-wheel disc brakes. On top of this, it comes with electronic stability control, child safety locks, daytime running lights, and traction control. 

In terms of entertainment, the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse is relatively basic. It’s not going to set the world on fire with its offering. It provides an AM/FM stereo, AUX input (which isn’t as helpful as it once was as more and more smartphones are now moving away from the 3.5mm headphone jack), plus smart device integration. You can upgrade to include an MP3 player, although there is no CD player option. For anyone looking to rock out to their favorite mix and relive their 1990s high school days, it will be necessary to have a third-party CD player installed.

Maxing Out The 2020 Chevy Traverse With The Top Trim Model

There are over a dozen trim options available, so if there is a certain feature or upgraded desired, it likely will come with its own trim package. However, for anyone interested in maxing out the possible features on the 2020 Traverse, the top-tier AWD 4dr High Country trim package has it all (and then some). 

The main difference with the top-trim model and the base has nothing to do with what’s going on under the hood. All trim modes come with the same standard engine (which is also one reason why the entry-level trim is such a value purchase). The fuel economy does dip slightly to 17 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. This is because instead of front-wheel drive, it uses all-wheel drive. In terms of safety and stability, AWD is one of the most beneficial upgrades as it helps improve handling in snow, on ice, and driving through rain. It’s also helpful when towing and extra control is required in certain instances. 

The safety features on the High Country include all of the same features found on the base model and adds in upgrades, including brake assist, integrated turn signal mirrors, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, and cross-traffic alert. All of these features come standard on the High Country, so there’s no need to ask for upgrades. 

The brown leather interior that you will find in the High Country top level trim in a 2020 Chevy Traverse.

What about the infotainment system? Well, it has the same features as the base (MP3 player comes standard), and it also has satellite radio (with available subscription), a premium sound system built-in, and an optional entertainment system. When traveling with small children having the entertainment system included is a fantastic upgrade as it can help make the drive more enjoyable for them, which in turn helps make it easier for the adults as well (except for those times where the kids want to watch Frozen for the 79273rd time).

Now there are a handful of optional upgrade features available. These are not performance-driven but instead, help make the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse better suited for the driver. For example, running boards are an optional upgrade. Some love having the running boards as it makes stepping up into the cabin easier. This is also a nice feature for families with children who’s smaller legs are unable to climb up into the seats. For the average-sized adult, stepping into the cabin likely isn’t an issue, but it’s something to consider.

Wheel locks are an option. This makes stealing the rims off the upgraded trim far more difficult. However, it is imperative to keep the wheel lock key inside the vehicle somewhere. Otherwise, when changing the wheel for a flat or when taking it in for servicing it’s next to impossible to remove the wheel (it’s also important to make sure and get the wheel lock key back after servicing as there’s nothing worse than having a flat several months down the road, only to discover the service department didn’t return the lock key).

Other optional upgrades include interior cargo shades, luggage racks (which can be extremely helpful for anyone who’s constantly traveling or needs added storage space). 

There’s A 2020 Chevy Traverse Trim Options Available For Any Midsize SUV Buyer 

The base 2020 Chevy Traverse is one of the best value buys available in the midsize SUV world. It comes with a powerful V6 that instantly makes it possible to tow small trailers, and the interior has several safety features designed to keep everyone in the crossover safe. And with over a dozen trim options, there’s a version of the 2020 Traverse for everyone. It comes down to what is desired in a new vehicle. From improved safety features to luxury interior offerings, when shopping around for a new midsize SUV, the 2020 Chevy Traverse deserves to be at the top of the list.

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