As we kick off the New Year, one of the trickiest aspects of car shopping is that you’re going to find both 2021 and 2022 models out there while looking at new vehicles. In some instances, the differences between them can be pretty minor, and you might save some money choosing a model from last year that a dealership wants to get off their lot. In other cases, like with the 2022 Chevy Traverse, the differences can be more substantial, and you might want to choose the newer model, even if you have to work a little harder to find it.
Although the 2022 model is not an entirely new generation for the Chevy Traverse, it is getting a pretty nice refresh this year. Not only does this include a new design and some improved exterior details, but there are also some significant differences inside. All of this means that it could very well be worth your time and money to hold off until you can find a 2022 Traverse, even if a 2021 model might be easier to find or less expensive. Let’s have a look at what’s new with the 2022 Chevy Traverse and whether waiting is the right call for you.
Chevy Traverse Basics
Before getting into the specifics of the 2021 and 2022 models, let’s take a quick gander at what the Traverse has to offer in general. This is a midsize three-row SUV, which means it is one of the largest offerings from Chevy, though the Tahoe and Suburban are both bigger options. So if you are looking for something on the larger side of the midsize market, then the Chevy Traverse is a great option, regardless of which model year you pick.
The Traverse is powered by a 3.6L V6 engine that delivers 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, which is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. There hasn’t been any update or changes to the powertrain, so this is the case regardless of which of the two model years you consider. Size also hasn’t really changed, so you get a spacious interior with room for up to eight passengers if you pick a model with a second-row bench seat, and it has 98 cubic feet of total cargo space inside. When properly equipped, the Traverse has up to 5,000 lbs of towing capacity, so this can be a great option if you have a boat to take with you.
Update Exterior for the 2022 Traverse
While the 2022 model year might not be a new generation for the Chevy Traverse, there are still some big changes to consider when deciding which model is right for you. For starters, the exterior has been refreshed and updated, so it looks a bit different from the 2021 model. This includes a new front fascia and new grilles, as well as a new headlamp configuration that features LED headlamps and daytime running lamps. There is also a new LED tail lamp design, plus some other aesthetic touches like new roof rail and wheel designs. Overall, the majority of these changes are purely aesthetic, so your preferences here are really going to come down to what you like visually for an SUV like this. The changes aren’t massive by any means, but they are noticeable, and some people will definitely prefer the updated look of the refreshed exterior.
New Interior Features
One of the most important changes, overall, is that the starting trim from the 2021 Traverse, the L, has been completely eliminated. This makes a number of changes to the 2022 model since it now starts with the LS trim, which is a marked improvement over what the L had to offer. For starters, Wireless Apple CarPlay and Wireless Android Auto compatibility are now standard in every Traverse model, which was not even available last year.
In addition to this, there have also been a number of major upgrades to the infotainment system and connectivity features, especially at higher trims. The 2021 Traverse High Country featured a 4.2-inch color driver information center to go with the 8-inch infotainment display. With the 2022 Traverse High Country, however, you now get an 8-inch driver information center that provides you with much more screen area to keep an eye on things while you drive. Similarly, a rear power sunshade is now provided with the available dual SkyScape sunroof to create a more satisfying driving experience overall.
Big Improvements in Safety Features
While some people might focus on the changes to the interior features you get with these two models, the more substantial difference is in the standard safety features. For the 2021 model, one of the biggest distinctions between the starting L and the higher trims available was the safety features that came with them. The 2021 Traverse L features daytime running lamps, a comprehensive airbag system, and a standard rear vision camera. It also comes with Chevy’s Teen Driver safety system, which is fantastic if you have a young driver.
The 2022 Chevy Traverse now includes the Chevy Safety Assist package, which includes a number of great safety technologies as standard on every model. These include a Forward Collision Alert to warn you when a potential crash is detected and Automatic Emergency Braking to help you avoid a collision. You also get Front Pedestrian Braking to help you avoid unexpected pedestrians in the road, as well as a Lane Keep Assist with a Lane Departure Warning to alert you if you are drifting out of your lane and help you avoid veering. A Following Distance Indicator that warns you when you’re too close to a vehicle in front of you and IntelliBeam Automatic High Beam Assist are also both standard with the 2022 model.
In order to get this safety package on the 2021 Chevy Traverse, you had to either choose the RS trim or choose one of the LT trims and then pay extra for it as an available option. It’s not even available on the L and LS trims for the 2021 model – whereas it’s now standard on every 2022 Chevy Traverse. That’s a huge difference that can really impact your overall safety on the road and might be crucial in helping you avoid a potentially costly (or catastrophic) collision.
Is it Worth the Wait?
If you’ve found a 2021 Chevy Traverse, but you’re wondering about waiting to find a 2022 model, then it really comes down to what you want in your vehicle. The vast improvement to standard safety features in the 2022 model alone more than justifies waiting to get a 2022 Traverse. Of course, that only matters if you are interested in one of the lower trims for the Traverse – the safety package was standard on the RS trim and higher for the 2021 model, so if you’re looking at one of those, then the difference is less substantial.
Still, a starting 2022 Traverse has wireless media streaming support that you won’t find even on the highest trim of the 2021 model, simply due to new features being offered. The larger driver display on the Premier and High Country trims is also much nicer, so if you’re looking at one of those high trims, then choosing a 2022 model is still quite worth it. You’ll have to decide based on your budget and what you can find, but overall the improvements to the 2022 Traverse more than justify putting in the extra effort to find the latest model.