A red 2024 Chevy Traverse parked in a driveway.

The Chevy Traverse, Three Row SUVs, and You

It wasn’t long ago that drivers didn’t have many options for midsize SUVs that could handle more than five passengers. Today, there are far more SUVs for sale, many of which have been outfitted with three rows of seating. For drivers who appreciate the extra room provided by a three-row SUV, there are more choices now than ever before, so how do you decide which one is the best fit for you?

One of the most well-known models in this class, the Chevy Traverse, has been completely redesigned for the 2024 model year. From its more truck-like stance with family-friendly features to improved performance with more horsepower and a new off-road Z71 trim, the updates to the 2024 Chevy Traverse have shuffled the positioning in the three-row SUV segment. Let’s take a look at how the 2024 Traverse compares to other three-row SUVs.

Introducing the 2024 Traverse

Though the 2024 redesign has made significant changes to the Chevy Traverse, it is still very recognizable as the highly capable midsize SUV it has always been. For 2024, there are four trims offered––the LS, LT, Z71, and RS––each of which has its own distinct personality and suite of features. The LS is ideal for drivers on a budget, the LT provides a full array of creature comforts, the Z71 tackles rough terrain, and the RS is a combination of sportiness and top-shelf features. With the new alignment of trims, new engine, and new features, drivers have greater access to more of the things they love about the Traverse.

All four trims share a brand-new power source. The new 2.5L turbocharged engine has been tuned to provide a whopping 328 hp and 326 lb-ft of torque. This is a significant increase from the power provided by the 2023 Traverse, which maxed out at 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is available on every trim, and the new Z71 comes standard with a unique twin-clutch all-wheel drive system for enhanced off-road performance.

Furthermore, the 2024 Chevy Traverse is packed with safety and driver assistance technology. Standard across the lineup are the core Chevy Safety Assist features, such as Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking and IntelliBeam High Beam Assist. However, there are an even greater number of driver assistance options offered among the individual trims, like Rear Park Assist, HD Rear Vision Camera, HD Surround Vision, Speed Limit Assist, and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Where the 2024 Traverse Blows Us Away

The needs of each driver are obviously unique. However, the 2024 Chevy Traverse manages to pull together the right combination of everything a driver needs with a lineup of four very intuitive trims.

For example, take the LT trim. This is the only trim option that comes standard with seating for eight passengers. But in addition to adding a place for that extra person to sit, Chevy threw in roof racks for extra storage and an AutoSense power liftgate because it stands to reason that eight passengers are going to have more stuff they need to bring along for the ride.

The all-new Z71 trim is also a highlight, especially in a field with few off-road competitors. With increased ground clearance and a wider stance, the latest addition to the Traverse lineup also comes with all-terrain tires, skid plates, red tow hooks, and a unique Terrain Mode to help navigate the wilderness.

The black interior view of a 2024 Chevy Traverse Z71.

Keeping Up with the Competition: How Does the Traverse Compare?

All the facts thus far point to the redesigned 2024 Traverse being a pretty respectable vehicle. But how does it compare to the other three-row SUVs in its class? It’s time to find out.

Chevy Traverse vs Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is probably one of the most recognized direct competitors of the Chevy Traverse, and the Ford vs Chevy debate has been around for over a hundred years. So, how does the Explorer compare to the Traverse? The Explorer seats up to seven, while the Traverse seats up to eight. The three-person second row in the Explorer can be replaced with a pair of captain’s chairs that can be adjusted to give the third row more room. This is very handy for everyone except the other two people who want to join you on your adventure––there’s simply no room for them.

Cargo is also cramped in the Explorer, which has a maximum cargo volume of 87.8 cu.ft., compared to the Traverse, which takes best-in-class accolades with 98 cu.ft. of space behind the front row. The Explorer does offer a 400 hp twin-turbocharged engine in the pricier trims, which gives the Explorer a small advantage in towing––5,600 lbs to the Traverse’s 5,000 lbs. If power is your preference, there’s no argument that the Explorer is the more powerful vehicle. However, if you also have to consider the feelings of your passengers and the amount of stuff you carry inside the vehicle, the Traverse will be more accommodating.

Chevy Traverse vs Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is another mighty contender in the three-row midsize SUV category. However, the Highlander also suffers from tight quarters, with a maximum cargo capacity of 84.3 cu.ft. The 2024 Highlander is available with two types of all-wheel drive systems. The most basic version is available on the LE and XLE trims and provides power to the rear wheels when slippage is detected. The XSE, Limited, and Platinum trims are offered with Dynamic Torque Vectoring all-wheel drive, which can further regulate power between the individual left and right rear wheels like the Traverse Z71. But power is not the Highlander’s strong suit. The 2.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine is quite capable, with 265 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, but hardly compares to the new Traverse.

Chevy Traverse vs Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride is very rapidly gaining popularity, and for good reason––with 10 trims to choose from, it might be impossible to find a combination that doesn’t suit nearly anyone. Despite being known for its spacious stadium seating, the Telluride is missing some cargo space, coming in at just 87 cu.ft. Powered by a 3.8L V6 engine, this three-row SUV is able to tow up to 5,500 lbs despite offering only 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. While the Telluride does have the X-Line and X-Pro trims, they don’t accommodate terrain with the same enthusiasm as the Z71 with its off-road tuned suspension and twin-clutch all-wheel drive system.

A grey 2024 Chevy Traverse Z71 angled left and parked off-road after visiting a dealer with SUVs for sale.

It’s Hard to Ignore the New Traverse

Chevy has decided that the Traverse is ready for the next level of competition in the three-row SUV segment, and the 2024 model has definitely brought its A-game. Complete with a “just right” amount of power and performance, more space than competitors, and a full list of standard features that drivers can truly use every day, the Traverse manages to check plenty of “must-have” boxes without trying too hard.

It used to be that you could look at a list of SUVs for sale and, based on your own preferences, narrow down a pool of potential choices pretty quickly based on some simple qualifiers like the number of seats, the overall cargo space, or the features that best meet your needs. While there are more three-row SUVS than ever, the new Chevy Traverse manages to establish a class of its own.