New Chevy Traverse vs. First-Gen Traverse: Photo Comparison26
The Chevy Traverse got a complete overhaul for the 2018 model year, consisting of a complete redesign and re-engineering. The new model represents the second generation of the Traverse nameplate, with the design of the all-new model being significantly different that its first-gen predecessor, which was introduced for the 2009 model year and ran all the way through 2017.
Chevrolet describes the all-new 2018 Traverse as having a look inspired by its full-size SUVS, with purposeful proportions complemented by premium cues such as chrome accents, LED signature lighting and available D-Optic LED headlamps.
“The all-new Traverse blends Chevrolet’s characteristic SUV cues with capability and refinement,” John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design, was quoted as saying. “Inside and out, it offers style with a purpose.”
We’ve heard an overwhelming amount of positive acclaim when discussing the 2018 Traverse with other automotive journalists and car shoppers alike, and for good reason: no matter what angle you’re looking at, the new model is a looker… and in this installment of the GM Authority Photo Comparison, we’re going to highlight how the all-new Traverse differs from the outgoing model.
The new Traverse’s sculpted front end is distinctively Chevrolet, and brings the Traverse nameplate into the modern era. The hood features tasteful surface styling, bringing the focus into a large variation of Chevy’s signature dual-port grille looks right at home on the full-size model, while the significantly more narrow headlights with LED daytime running lights (standard on all models) contribute to the Traverse’s dramatic appearance. High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps are standard on all models, while the Premier and High Country models get even more potent D-optic bi-function projector LED headlamps.
The foglights on the lower end of the front fascia are pushed out to the corners, accentuating just how wide the new Traverse truly is. The fact that the new Traverse continues to use wing-mounted side mirrors gives it an even sportier appearance, and doesn’t make the mirrors look like “ears” – a factor commonly associated when vehicles use a pedestal-style side mirror mount.
Front Three Quarters & Side Profile
From the front three quarters position, the beauty and presence of the new Traverse is even more apparent. Rather than a rounded, unoffensive profile, the new Traverse is bold. It’s perhaps from this angle that the influence from full-size Chevrolet SUVs is most noticeable.
One of the key elements that make the new Traverse look so good is its bold and confident stance: the two inch increase in wheelbase length with a slight decrease in overall length naturally helps proportions, but the blocky, muscular surface detailing over the front and rear wheel-wells as well as the vast abundance of straight, bold lines contribute the most to the uncompromising stance.
The side profile includes various minor but vital details that contribute to the bold yet refined appearance. In the front, wrap-around headlamp assemblies with narrow edges flow into a concave character line that ends an inch or two below the door handle on the front doors. Faux-running boards with a chrome highlight and the TRAVERSE nameplate break up the vast amount of vertical sheetmetal on the doors. The sheet metal noticeably widens as it reaches the rear wheel well – just look at the area just ahead of the rear wheel. Like the headlight housing, the taillight assemblies wrap around and become narrower as they flow toward the front of the vehicle, running into a rather straight character line.
On higher-end models, large 20-inch wheels fill out the wheel wells, which are rounded but feature a hint of squared-off style. Lower-end models get 17- and 18-inch wheels that don’t look quite as substantial.
Chrome DayLight Opening (DLO) trim is uniquely applied on the new Traverse, getting thicker just aft of the C-pillar. This helps focus the attention on the passenger compartment, as opposed to the cargo area. The C-pillar treatment is quite unique: it is prominently exposed and leans forward, while its equivalent on the previous model was not at all accentuated on the exterior. Instead, it was disguised by some glass and a black plastic trim piece – which were functional but didn’t do much for the model’s design.
Have a look at the area directly after the C-pillar, and you’ll see the side window that resides over the cargo area (between the C- and D-pillars). Unlike the DLO around the passenger compartment, this window lacks the DLO trim, instead drawing attention to the passenger compartment.
Out back, the liftgate-mounted spoiler is not only functional, but also has a design purpose: it contributes to the new Traverse’s aerodynamic properties while visually extending the length of the model.
Rear Three Quarters
The rear end of the new Traverse continues the bold yet refined theme established at the front and side profiles.
Starting at the top, the aforementioned liftgate-mounted spoiler provides a visual effect that makes the crossover look longer. Another unique element is the junction between the D-pillar and the liftgate: given that both are black, the D-pillar seems invisible, making it appear as if the roof past the C-pillar is “floating”.
The taillights perfectly communicate the Chevrolet design language that is apparent across the entire lineup. As they wrap around, they run into a character (shoulder) line that runs the entire length of the crossover. We should note that the taillamps look incredible in the dark thanks to the LED setup standard on all models.
The lower end of the rear facia delivers a chrome strip that runs the width of the vehicle. Like the fog lights in the front, this element is intended to accentuate the width of the vehicle. Below it, dual exhaust via a set of integrated rectangularly-shaped outlets deliver a uniform appearance by having a consistent shape with the rest of the vehicle (such as the taillights). The outgoing model featured dual exhaust out of round outlets, that looked decent, but always struck us as an afterthought by comparison.
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I know the 2nd gen is better across the board but I actually prefer the 1st generations styling.
The first generation has aged well. Of course the second generation is more sophisticated – arguably one of the nicest incarnations ever of a large GM SUV.
A big improvement in the interior is important. The early Traverse interior looked cheap compared to GMC and Buick counterparts.
Shouldn’t it though? Chevy is the mainstream brand for GM.
You pay more for a GMC and BUICK and should look like it. That does not mean that a Chevy should look cheap. It should have the best looking,best quality in its price range which by the way is by no means cheap.
No, Chevy does battle with Honda–not Buick. Honda and Mazda have put out some impressive cars using good quality materials. Car and Driver is saying a top trim Accord gives Audi a solid challenge meaning that Chevrolet, too, must do the same without worrying about Buick and GMC.
All I’m saying is that Chevy is lower tier than Buick and GMC. It doesn’t mean that Chevy should have crap interiors, just that when compared to Buick or GMC it should look a class down. If they don’t, then Buick and GMC are doing something wrong. Also if it’s true that an Accord has an interior up to Audi quality (which I have major disagreements with btw) that says more about Audi than Honda.
Chevrolet is a tier below Buick and Cadillac, yes, but I see Chevrolet and GMC in the same class. They’re similar in price and style and both appear to actually be competing with each other. GMC is not a luxury brand and does not distinct itself enough with features over Chevrolet. Personally I think GM’s brands are still too crowded. Chevrolet needed more of a modern design to compete in its class. As someone who road in a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LS for years and now rides in a 2016 GMC Acadia SLT weekly, they’re barely distinguishable beyond leather and I’m not even comparing apples to apples here. So the moral here I guess is that Chevrolet and GMC are always going to look similar because they’re in the same class. GM in general needed to up their designs in this market to compete better. And as much as I love the first-generation designs, it was time to move on!
I just bought a 2017 Traverse LS model. A demo with 5k miles but it still qualified as a new vehicle under GM’s credit card points. GM bumped up my card by $2k which was more than they had ever done during a promotion. Got a great deal with dealer discounts and my card points. Would have liked a 2018 as the new design is nice, but couldn’t pass up this deal. I actually still like the original look and it drives great.
Good for you. I’ve gotten good deals on a dealers last ’99 Lumina sedan and my ’13 Silverado. They will do almost anything to sell last model years vehicles, especially when a new version comes out, just keep an eye on inventory and act a little disinterested, but don’t wait too long, timing is everything.
This car really is a looker, and even GM knows it.
However, it seems they tried to use this look on every new vehicle and it just looks plain ugly on most of them. Some trims of the Silverado look great along with the Equinox……. the Camaro, lower trimmed Silverado’s and the Malibu look awful.
One thing I couldn’t stand on the older generation was the hidden exhaust on the lower trim levels. That made it look cheap.
It is clear the Ford Escape continues to influence GM stylists – LOL
Actually it looks like an Explorer. Which looks fine, but not a huge difference in the two now.
Where’s the new Blazer? I anxiously await a V6 positioned between the Equinox and the Traverse.
That’s exactly where I’m at, EBZ06!
The first generation Traverse’s front fascia was a bit on the generic side while the current Traverse has much more detail and gives the Traverse a more upscale appeal about it.
I’d like to see the ATP on the 2nd gen vs 1st.
First-gen Design: Beautiful.
Second-gen Design: “That’s a heck… of a motor carriage.” – Andy Bernard
Don’t need one but definitely buy one if I did. From the side reminds me of Suburban. Might be best looking in its class?
The side profile of the first gen looks way more sophisticated, even modern. While the second gen side profile looks like a jump back into the dark ages (1950s). All that’s missing are the bloody great fins!
I thought that might rock the ship:) Come on though – the side and rear are reminiscent of the long of tooth, but good looking Ford Escape.
The front of this new Traverse is the “new” corporate narrow and tall looking stacked grill and lights front end. It does say GM but I can’t say it’s pretty.
The second gen is actually something I would want to be seen in, love that it has a more “masculine” look. I always thought the first gen kind of looks like an upside down clawfoot bath tub that can’t get back on it’s feet
I like the 2nd Gen better
Vehicles should look distinctively different. Why is the traverse front and rear appear to be like the Equinox. It really appears GM is copying each other. By the way the interior is much better.
I don’t care for the newer ones big goofy grinning face. When I see it, the first thing that pops into mind is The Joker from Batman.
I like the new one and it’s more truck like appearance. The new Chevy face needs to ditch the upper smaller sliver of a grille though.