Take a seat, minivans. The midsize SUV market has exploded in the 21st century, and for good reason. They meld the comfort and convenience of minivans with the utility of pickup trucks, making them multi-purpose vehicles that are a huge hit with families. Chevrolet has been in the SUV game since the get-go (the Chevrolet Suburban debuted in 1935), and their experience shows with the 2022 Chevy Traverse. However, several manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon since then, all vying for the hearts and minds of modern SUV drivers who may be wondering, what’s the difference? This guide will compare the Chevy Traverse with three of today’s popular, three-row SUVs: the 2022 Kia Telluride, 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, and 2021 Toyota Highlander.
As far as exterior design, the 2022 Chevy Traverse definitely takes home the award for most improved. Updated styling on the front and rear end give the vehicle a more modern aesthetic. New daytime running lights and taillights add elegant intricacy, while a revamped grille gives it a sense of strength. Overall, the subtle tweaks do a lot to give the Chevy Traverse a distinguished look amongst a sea of midsize SUVs. The competition is stiff, though – both the Kia Telluride and the Jeep Grand Cherokee L are applauded for their exterior design. At the end of the day, your visual preference in this bunch is subjective, but one thing I can say with factual certainty is the 2022 Chevy Traverse isn’t the ugliest of the group (looking at you, Toyota Highlander).
Interior: Comfort and Entertainment
The Chevy Traverse is one of the roomiest midsize SUVs available, giving everyone plenty of space to stretch out their legs, plus ten cupholders to boot. Put in layman’s terms, if you’ve got a family of five, that means everybody gets to bring two drinks each (wow). Creature comforts are standard, if not exceptional. One of the highlights is the ample number of USB ports accessible to passengers in all three rows. Say goodbye to fighting over the phone charger! A 7-inch infotainment touchscreen is included in the base models, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An 8-inch touchscreen is available in higher trims, as is new-for-2022 wireless options. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L has an 8.4-inch display, the Toyota Highlander’s display has 8 inches, and the Kia Telluride also has a base 8-inch touchscreen.
The 2022 Chevy Traverse blows the competition away with a top-of-its-class storage capacity of up to 98.2 cubic feet. It gets 57.8 cubic feet and 23.0 cubic feet with the second and third row seats up, respectively. The 2022 Chevy Traverse is roomy enough to haul the whole family comfortably and all their stuff too. The Kia Telluride, Toyota Highlander, and Jeep Grand Cherokee L have maximum cargo space of 87.0 cubic feet, 84.3 cubic feet, and 84.6 cubic feet, in that order. Tell your friends with Highlanders not to worry; you can tag along on their Costco runs if they need help hauling their groceries.
Midsize SUVs are generally very safe vehicles. The Travers, Telluride, and Highlander, in particular, have received high marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for overall safety in the past years, and we expect the 2022 models to continue this trend. The NHTSA specifically tests vehicles for how they perform in the event of an accident. Chevy is heading in a more safety-oriented direction in 2022 by including the Chevy Safety Assist package in all trims of the Chevy Traverse. This includes the following safety features:
- Forward Collision Alert and Automatic Emergency Braking – Warns the driver when a potential front-end collision has been detected and provides automatic and enhanced hard braking in emergency situations, helping to reduce the severity of impact.
- Front Pedestrian Braking – This feature uses cameras to detect pedestrians and works in tandem with the Automatic Emergency Braking feature.
- Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning – Alerts the driver when the vehicle starts to veer out of the lane and gently steers to avoid lane departure.
- Following Distance Indicator – Lets the driver know how much time (in seconds) it would take to cross the distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them to encourage following at a safe distance.
- IntelliBeam Auto High Beam Assist – Automatically flips the vehicle’s high beams on and off depending on light conditions.
The Kia Telluride, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, and Toyota Highlander come with their respective safety and driver-assist features, as well. There is one glaring void in Chevy Safety Assist: adaptive cruise control. While this feature is offered on higher trim levels, it is still woefully missing from the base package.
While generally regarded as gas guzzlers, the Chevy Traverse is relatively fuel-efficient in the midsize SUV market. Its front-wheel drive models get an estimated 18 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway, while all-wheel drive models get 17 MPG city and 25 MPG highway. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L gets up to an estimated 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway, and the Highlander achieves up to 21 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. Last but not least, the fuel economy of the Kia Telluride maxes out at an estimated 20 MPG city and 26 MPG on the highway.
Historically, the Chevy Traverse is one of the more affordable choices for SUVs of this size. For 2021, its starting MSRP is $29,800, and we expect the 2022 model will start in roughly the same price range. This is considerably lower than the next cheapest option, the Kia Telluride, whose MSRP for 2022 is $32,790. The pricier 2021 Toyota Highlander has an MSRP of $35,085, and the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L tops off the group with an MSRP of $38,635.
Trims, Trims, Trims
One of the great things about the Chevy Traverse is the variety of consumers it caters to. It comes in seven trims, ranging from the base level Traverse L to the lofty and luxurious Traverse High Country. Those willing to spend the cash will get several updated features, like power-folding 60/40 seats, a rear power liftgate, and adaptive cruise control. Shoppers who value a bargain can snag the much-cheaper Traverse L. It has the same engine and transmission but lacks some of the bells and whistles. The five other Traverse trims – LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, and Premier – have something for everyone in between. Chevy values options, and we like options. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L has a good spread as well, with six trims that land farther up the price scale. The Toyota Highlander has six trims as well, but relatively little range in cost. The least-varied Kia Telluride has four trims.
An Adaptable SUV
Every family has different needs, budgets, and priorities, and the 2022 Chevy Traverse can check a lot of boxes for most people. It has a solid price, a solid build, and years of development behind it. Plus, it’s customizable to suit you and your family’s lifestyle. At the end of the day, a vehicle that’s just as adaptable as you are may be exactly what you’re looking for.