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Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A silver 2024 Chevy Traverse Z71 is shown parked off-road after winning a 2024 Chevy Traverse vs 2024 Honda Pilot comparison.

Elevate the Road Trip: Outfitting Your SUV for Kid-Friendly Travel

Searching for a midsize SUV with room for the kids? If you’re among the millions of families who spend their weekends seeking adventure and fun, you’ll enjoy your road trips more if the drive is free from sibling quibbles. Vehicles like the 2024 Chevy Traverse vs 2024 Honda Pilot offer plenty of in-vehicle amenities designed to keep occupants entertained and connected throughout the journey. Kids love their devices, especially when they can access reliable Wi-Fi.

Consider your family’s travel habits; what keeps the kids busy on long road trips? Gone are the days when 20 Questions and I Spy are sufficient to help the miles pass without incident. Instead, kids want their own chargers and plenty of elbow room to keep from touching big brother or sister. The 2024 Chevy Traverse—all-new and completely redesigned for the 2024 model year—offers three rows of seats, so mom and dad can say yes when the kids want to bring a friend along on the trip, along with tons of extra space for cargo and gear.

The 2024 Pilot also offers three rows of seats and room for up to eight passengers. Available all-wheel drive and a 5,000-lb. towing capability add to the Pilot’s family-friendly features. For 2024, Honda has added unique exterior paint colors, such as the periwinkle-hued Diffused Sky Blue Pearl, which will appeal to families who aren’t interested in the usual black, white, or silver colors mainstream buyers prefer. But which of these two SUVs offers the best bang for the buck without sacrificing style and availability of kid-friendly features?

The 2024 Chevy Traverse: Model Highlights

Chevy scores the early advantage because the newest Traverse is completely redesigned from the ground up. It offers the latest safety and driver-assist technology and a sleek, modern exterior design that separates it from the pack. The Bow Tie Brand prioritizes capability, balancing the Traverse’s classy lines with truck-like features. The new Traverse Z71 embodies this shift, offering off-road-ready equipment for the most adventurous broods.

Standard on the Traverse Z71 is an extra inch of ground clearance and a set of all-terrain tires, along with Chevy’s durable twin-clutch all-wheel drive system, skid plates, and bright red tow hooks. The Traverse delivers up to 328 hp and 326 lb-ft of torque and matches the Pilot’s max 5,000-lb. tow rating. Standard LED headlights and taillights, available 22-inch wheels, and dual-exhaust round out the Traverse’s performance-oriented features. Chevy also offers its hands-free SuperCruise semi-autonomous driver-assist technology on three of the four available 2024 Traverse trims.

Along with the Z71, the Traverse comes in three additional trims: the LS, the LT, and the RS. The LT offers budget-conscious buyers an opportunity to own a three-row SUV with tons of standard safety features, including a suite of driver-assist technologies that use sensors, cameras, and radar to help drivers stay alert and keep occupants out of harm’s way. Moving up to the LT adds a set of captain’s chairs in the second row, a wireless charger, and a unique presence-based power liftgate that opens automatically when it senses the key fob approaching.

A silver 2024 Honda Pilot Trailsport is shown parked near a building.

An Overview of the 2024 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot can’t boast that it’s all-new for 2024, but this perennial midsize favorite continues to attract buyers for its diverse trim range and legendary reliability. Still, the Pilot doesn’t stand out from the pack, offering conservative styling and an affordable-yet-fairly-stripped base trim. The higher you travel through the trim range, the more compelling the Pilot becomes, especially with the Pilot TrailSport, which favors equipment designed for off-roading.

The Pilot TrailSport comes standard with 18-inch wheels, skid plates, and all-terrain tires, and balances capability with a comfortable cabin full of modern appointments, including heated front seats and a panoramic moonroof, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a wireless phone charger. Honda even throws in a CabinTalk PA system—the same system found on its Odyssey minivan—that lets parents use the audio system to break up third-row squabbles instead of raising their voices.

The 2024 Pilot lineup also includes the base LX, the Sport, the EX-L, the Touring, and the elegant and fully equipped Elite. Choosing Honda’s top-of-the-line Elite trim adds a standard heads up display and comfortable heated and ventilated front seats. Your second-row passengers will also enjoy heated seats, and the whole family will benefit from Honda’s robust infotainment system that includes a nine-inch touchscreen and a Wi-Fi hotspot that buyers can activate with a subscription. A Bose audio system rounds out the long list of standard features on the Pilot Elite.

Comparing the 2024 Traverse and the 2024 Pilot

For undecided buyers who want to optimize value, a quick comparison of the 2024 Traverse LS and the 2024 Pilot LX reveals that Chevy’s midsize SUV comes with many more standard features that families will appreciate. Moms and dads will love the Traverse’s standard 328-hp vs. the Pilot’s 285 ponies. The Traverse LS also comes with a massive 17.7-inch infotainment touchscreen, far exceeding the Pilot LX’s seven-inch version. Also, Chevy includes six standard USB ports; the Pilot LX has only four.

When comparing the two off-roading trims—the Traverse Z71 and the Pilot TrailSport—it’s evident that Chevy’s decades-old commitment to capability gives the Traverse an edge. Families who enjoy camping and traveling to parts unknown will appreciate the Z71’s additional one inch of clearance and the trim-specific front fascia and skid plate, which is designed to withstand the scrapes and bumps that often result from off-roading and traveling over uneven surfaces. While the Pilot TrailSport also offers similar add-ons, the Traverse’s more powerful engine gives it an edge.

As for high-end glam, both the Traverse RS and the Pilot Elite stand out for their next-level luxury, but the Traverse manages to bundle many of the same features and a few additional goodies that families in particular will clamber for, like walk-up lighting that illuminates the area surrounding your Traverse RS and a dual-pane sunroof that fills the cabin with light. Overall, the Traverse aims for whole family comfort with its massive interior that includes a best-in-class max cargo capacity of 98 cu.ft.

The gray interior and dash of a 2024 Chevy Traverse is shown.

Find a Midsize SUV that Works for the Whole Family

For midsize SUV buyers with kids, the category has options across a broad price spectrum, but only a few models offer off-roading capability. And, just one model—the 2024 Chevy Traverse—represents the newest, most technologically advanced option, one that’s loaded with driver-assist safety systems and infotainment features that keep the whole family entertained and happy on long drives.

Whether your plans include multiple weekend family camping trips deep in the woods or you’re more inclined to spend your Saturday shopping and enjoying a long brunch, the 2024 Traverse offers a “Jack of all trades” SUV ownership experience. The all-new midsize SUV fits in at the valet line or behind a canopy of evergreens on the side of a mountain. Save your hard-earned dollars and opt for the Traverse LS, and you’ll still get the category’s largest standard infotainment screen and a handful of other family-friendly features.

If you have a little extra cash, consider the Traverse Z71 or the Traverse RS. Both trims offer even more driver-assist technology, including SuperCruise hands-free cruise control, as well as connected services that are accessible via your smartphone, allowing you to lock/unlock the doors and start your engine remotely on chilly winter mornings. The family-friendly 2024 Chevy Traverse earns big kudos for ticking the boxes of busy families everywhere.