How an Empty Nester Learned to Love Her Chevy Traverse

We know that SUVs can be the perfect choice for families. These vehicles provide enough room to fit all of the necessary cargo or luggage, and the roomy and comfortable interior will help minimize the complaints coming from your younger passengers. Plus, these vehicles are often equipped with powerful engines, so you’ll have no issues grabbing your kids from school and rushing them over to sports practice.

However, are these vehicles a realistic option for empty nesters? As Beth Schwartz, a mother of two, explained, yes, SUVs are still perfectly reasonable options. Despite the fact that her two daughters are out of the house, Schwartz still decided to pursue a 2016 Chevy Traverse. While the vehicle’s amenities and capabilities may not necessarily cater to a middle-aged woman, you won’t find Schwartz complaining about her decision.

Sure, the 2016 Traverse is an excellent choice for families, but that doesn’t mean that other drivers can’t appreciate the SUV. Continue reading to see how one empty-nester is utilizing her new Chevy…

2016 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ

When customers are shopping for an SUV, they’re often drawn in by the impressive specs or the abundance of cargo room. For Schwartz, it was the Traverse’s style that initially caught her eye.

It sounds a little silly but the first thing I really noticed about the vehicle was the exterior style,” said Schwartz. “The color of it, I think I ended up getting siren red, just kind of caught my eye. It’s just very large, it has a pretty good stance. The wheels are large, I feel like the wheelbase is long. It had everything I wanted from an SUV, at least from a style and looks standpoint.”

After having purchased the SUV, Schwartz quickly realised why the brand was touting the vehicle’s abundance of cargo room. Since her daughters are constantly switching apartments, Beth has already been called on to help move all of their furniture, clothes, and (as Beth described it) “junk” from one home to another. The Traverse is the perfect choice in these situations. The vehicle offers a sufficient 24.4-cubic-feet of space behind the rear row, but this can be increased to an incredible 116.3-cubic-feet of space when the seats are hidden. Plus, thanks to the inclusion of the Smart Slide second-row, drivers won’t have to strain their body to access their storage. 

“I have one child who is in their second year of college and I have one child who just recently graduated college, so the SUV’s been more than helpful moving all their junk,” she explained. “I can lower the rear seats to get the best possible cargo room and I can fit all their clothes, all their boxes, all their furniture. Everything they need I’ve been able to fit into my Traverse. It’s taken multiple trips, but it’s generally worked out best. Plus, the power liftgate has made loading a whole lot easier in those situations, especially when it was just me and one of the girls. We don’t really have extra hands, so the fact that the liftgate will automatically open, it really made everything a whole lot easier.”

2016 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ
2016 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ

Beth wasn’t planning on pursuing any flashy technological amenities, although the Traverse did come standard with several features, including the 6.5-inch diagonal color touchscreen. This system provides drivers access to a number of applications, including satellite radio and a turn-by-turn navigation system.

“With the kids out of the house, the technology hasn’t been as much of a priority,” she said. “We have that whole Chevy MyLink system, and my husband really appreciates the ability to listen to Pandora and his Sirius XM radio. He’s a big fan of all the different stations he can access. I’ve used the MyLink navigation system a bit. I’m pretty bad when it comes to directions, so this [technology] has made driving a whole lot easier. I just have to plug in where I want to go and the directions will take me right there.”

One of the more innovative inclusions in the 2016 Traverse is the steering wheel-mounted controls, which allows drivers to manipulate that infotainment system without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.

The steering wheel mounted controls took a little bit of getting used to,” Schwartz admitted. “Over the past few months, it has actually turned into a bit of a safety feature. Now, I’m not even looking at the touch screen to access the radio. Instead, I’m just doing it from the steering wheel.”

Beth considers herself a relatively safe driver, although she admitted that she’s leaned on several of the Traverse’s preventative safety features.

“The Side Blind Zone Alert is very helpful because sometimes you just don’t have that extra set of eyes to see a car that might be approaching you from the side,” she explained. “The Rear Cross Traffic Alert also helps. Just having those little reminders that it’s unsafe to switch lanes, they can really be valuable. Who knows, they might’ve kept me out of a couple car crashes.”


These technologies played an important role in the Traverse earning a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of course, several other safety features contributed to the accolade, including the six standard air bags, the high-strength body, and OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response system.

There was one attribute that Beth had been seeking from the beginning: power. The Traverse more than delivers in this regard, as the 3.6-liter V6 engine can pump out 281/288 horsepower and 266/270 pounds-feet of torque. As a result of this muscle, the SUV is capable of hauling 5,200 pounds.

“The engine’s fantastic,” she said. “I can keep up with any other car on the highway, plus we got it equipped so we can have the maximum trailering capacity. My husband owns a little fishing boat that he likes to take up to [the beach] sometimes. He’ll just attach that to the Traverse. He’s already done it a couple times this summer and it’s been perfect. He’s had no issues hauling his boat back and forth. The Traverse hasn’t shown any weaknesses or inability to operate when it’s been hauling the boat.”

There’s no denying that the 2016 Chevy Traverse is an excellent choice for families. However, considering all the nameplate has to offer, the SUV is actually a logical choice for any car buyer.

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