After tallying up the data drawn from more than 75,000 new-vehicle owners during the first quarter of 2012, the experts at Autobytel and AutoPacific have recently announced their list of Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSAs)—which include the sharp-looking and versatile Chevrolet Traverse as this year’s highest-rated large crossover vehicle. Notably, the win for the Traverse, as is the case with all the VSA victors, was based solely on that customer feedback, providing a highly accurate look at which vehicles best satisfy real-world owners in all facets of the ownership experience. Many other third-party customer-satisfaction measures look to just one or two pieces of the puzzle or, in the case of publication-sponsored recognitions, the opinion of so-called “experts” who spend just a few hours or days in the vehicle.
Large crossover SUVs are designed to provide owners with the same kind of cargo room and passenger space as a minivan, but in a more capable and stylish package, and that’s an excellent description of the Chevrolet Traverse. This year’s best-rated large crossover SUV shows off a dynamic exterior along with a three-row cabin that can comfortably fit eight passengers or more than 116 cubic feet of gear, and the Traverse also boasts a maximum tow rating of 5,200 lbs. But at the same time, it can achieve an EPA-certified 24 mpg highway. A wide range of family-friendly features are available as well, including a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, “Smart Slide” second-row seating that enables easy access to the third-row of seats, underfloor storage, blind-spot mirrors and ultrasonic rear-parking assist technology.
And if all that sounds inviting, just wait until the 2013 Chevy Traverse reaches the marketplace later this year with a freshened, more athletic appearance, a more refined interior with more soft-touch materials—that still provides best-in-class cargo space—an improved suspension for a smoother ride, and cutting-edge safety features like a front-center air bag.
The battle to become the best-rated large crossover SUV in the 2012 VSAs was a tight one, with the second- and third-place entries finishing tied just two points behind the Traverse. That makes the Ford Flex (last year’s highest-rated large crossover SUV) and the GMC Acadia (the Professional Grade sibling to the Traverse) very strong alternatives. Further, like the Traverse, the Flex has been refreshed for the new model year, while the Acadia also offers a premium Denali edition with numerous style and comfort upgrades.