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Chevrolet Traverse Reliability: How Long Will It Last?


For an SUV that only debuted in 2009, the Chevrolet Traverse has already built an enormously reliable name for itself. As long as it’s maintained, there’s no reason a Chevy Traverse can’t see the odometer go over 200,000 miles.

2015 Chevrolet Traverse - Photo of Chevrolet

Key points

  • The Chevrolet Traverse is divided into two generations. The first ran between 2009 and 2017, and the second is still going strong today.
  • Usually a first generation. Traverse can last about 200,000 miles before the running cost exceeds its value.
  • Going from 150,000 to 200,000 miles is more likely if you perform regular powertrain maintenance, including regular oil changes, new spark plugs, etc.
  • Until 2017, the only engine offered in the Chevy Traverse was a 3.6-liter V6. For 2018, a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine was added.
  • At the beginning of the first generation, models are struggling with powertrains prone to failure. The 2013 update to the SUV makes later years more reliable options.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse - Photo of Chevrolet

How long will a Chevrolet Traverse last? Expect 150,000 to 200,000 miles, or 12.5 to 17 years for the average driver

Before the 2009 debut of the Traverse crossover SUV, Chevy didn’t offer a competitive midsize model that could carry more than five passengers. Sure, you had the Trailblazer EXT and the Uplander minivan, but those weren’t exciting.

Since then, the Traverse has established itself as a comfortable, efficient, and reliable family vehicle.

If the 2022 model’s nearly $35,000 starting MSRP is more than you expected to spend, used units are great alternatives. Naturally, that leaves many wondering how long a Chevrolet Traverse will last.

Go through the forum, a site dedicated to discussing the Chevy Traverse, and see that many owners reach 200,000 miles without problems. Many reports mention an increase in repair costs beyond 200,000, often on the engine or transmission. Owner reviews of the vehicle history also regularly show 150,000 miles or more.

For a driver logging 12,000 miles per year, that’s about 12.5 to 17 years of service compared to the average Chevy Traverse crossover.

On-time routine maintenance is the common theme behind most high-mileage Traverse units. Still, some years have had more problems than others, making them less likely to last without increased repair costs.

2015 Chevrolet Traverse - Photo of Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Traverse’s standard 3.6L V6 engine is known to consistently reach 200,000 miles, but routine maintenance is a must

Engine and transmission maintenance is critical to the longevity of any vehicle, as powertrain repairs tend to incur the highest shop bills.

From 2009 to 2017, the only engine available in the Chevy Traverse was a 3.6L V6. Likewise, the transmission remained the same six-speed automatic. The engine was first seen in the 2004 Cadillac CTS and Buick Rendezvous and remains a staple in GM’s lineup in 2022.

Overall, the 3.6L is a good engine that consistently gets over 200,000 miles regardless of model.

Most of the time, routine oil changes are the easiest way to extend the life of a car engine.

Over time, motor oil absorbs contaminants, such as metal particles, rust, dirt, etc. The oil filter removes most harmful elements but should be replaced, along with the engine oil, approximately every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

For a complete breakdown of maintenance, including when to flush transmission oil and replace spark plugs, be sure to consult your owner’s manual. You can also search by VIN on the official GM website.

2010 Chevrolet Traverse - Picture of Chevrolet

Chevy Traverse faces a tough first few years with reports of engine and transmission failures, but as of 2013 mostly reliable

The first-generation Chevy Traverse ran from 2009 to 2017, but the SUV received a major facelift in 2013, including powertrain reliability updates. The early years of the Traverse model are now filled with reports of powertrain component failures, including the engine and transmission.

See NHTSA reports Engine failure was not an issue with the 2009 model. Still, complaints of excessive oil consumption, spark plug coil failure, and engine misfires were fairly common.

The real problem with the first-year Traverse is with the six-speed automatic transmission. Car complaints show a total of nine mentions of transmission failure in 2009 alone. The unit tends to fail before 90,000 miles and costs about $3,200 to repair.

Engine problems appeared for the 2010 Traverse as well as for 2011–2012. Too many complaints mention engine failure. Although it tends to occur after 100,000 miles, it still has an average repair cost of $6,400. Owners report that despite regular engine maintenance, the engine stalled while driving, presenting as an immediate loss of power.

In the mid-cycle update, powertrain failure was reduced to an all-time low, making 2013-2017 Chevy Traverse SUVs more likely to reach 150,000-200,000 miles or more.

2019 Chevrolet Traverse - Photo of Chevrolet

Updated 2018 Chevy Traverse Adds New Powertrain Options, But Reports of Early Transmission Failures Cast Questions on SUV’s Longevity

Chevy launched a completely refreshed Traverse for 2018. This time, a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four is offered alongside the 3.6L V6 in 2022, but in 2018, there were an alarming number of reports of transmission failures regarding the new nine-speed automatic transmission.

The unit tends to fail before the 20,000-mile mark. Although this is currently covered under warranty, it takes longer to find out if the problem spreads. Ultimately, the second-generation Traverse seems just as reliable as the first.

Photos: Chevrolet


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