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click image above for high-res gallery

While the name Traverse is not set in stone, the arrival of a Lambda-based CUV for Chevy is. Joining the Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave will be this model caught for the first time on the Las Vegas strip, of all places. Condenamed the GMT 561, the Traverse is on a fast track to production and will likely be built at GM's Springhill, Tennessee plant starting in August of 2008, which means it should be labeled as a 2009 model. Chances are we'll see its first public debut at either the Detroit Auto Show in January or Chicago show in February.

While it's hard to tell based on the spy shots, the front end will likely carry styling cues over from the new Chevy Malibu, which is fine with us. The only real question is whether or not the Traverse will grow Lambda sales, or merely cannibalize them from its siblings. We expect it would be the value leader among the group, slotting below the Outlook in price and equipment. Does the Traverse make for one too many full-size CUVs in GM's stable? Perhaps, but at least the "new GM" is badge engineering vehicles that are good to begin with, spreading the wealth around its brands rather than saddling them with poorly made copies of below average vehicles.

[Photos: Brenda Priddy & Co.]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ok folks. FYI, Chevy was never supposed to get this vehicle. GM's original plan was to build the new minivan off this same platform, of which only Chevy and Saturn would get a version. That was before the TrailBlazer and minivans got cancelled. Now, as many posts have surmised, Chevy needs this vehicle to backfill for their loss of TB and Uplander. Yes, if it was known Chevy would get this vehicle from the start, perhaps the GMC should never have been built. That said, the interior will still be good for the price point, perhaps not as nice as Saturn but far better than Equinox.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Chevy Tranny lol.
      • 7 Years Ago
      OK, I get the cross connection but
      Traverse = Travesty.

      Too clever by half. Don't do it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Whoope! GM produces another 5000 lbs. vehicle to replace the Trailblazer Clones and sad selling total forgot their name Minivans. These things suck as much fuel as their Big V8 brothers.

      Well Said! To the Person who Pointed out the Difference with Nissan, Honda and Toyota badge engineering.
      And to the person who said that the Ford Edge is no better than this, you are so right. At least this seats 6 to 7. Give GM a point.

      Wow! It's good to see some poeple on this site using their brains.
      • 7 Years Ago
      With three versions out there already, its hard to see what Chevrolet will bring to the party. Of course that's not the point. Chevy, and most importantly, Chevy dealers need this vehicle and that's that.

      The HHR has a fairly decent interior, and this will be positioned above that, so there is hope. It probably won't be that far off from the Outlook in general quality.

      Nomad is a great name, but it definitely belongs on a smaller vehicle. Based on at least one definition of the word, "Traverse" isn't a bad name, but it just sounds odd to me. The words "reverse" or "perverse" keep coming up in my mind.
      • 7 Years Ago
      To all those that keep asking "why another Lambda?" I think it's clear. The Lambdas are one of the best designed platforms to ever come out of GM. According to Lutz himself, from an engineering standpoint, they have never built a better vehicle. Period. It seats 7-8 adult sized passengers, has unmatched 3rd row access and comfort, enormous amounts of cargo space AND class leading fuel economy on top of all that. Not to mention, they are beautiful! When's the last time you could apply that label to anything meant to compete with minivans?

      And according to http://www.traverseforum.com all 2009 model Lambdas, including the Traverse, will get a variant of the CTS's 304HP 3.6L Direct Injection V6 as the standard engine.

      With CAFE standards going up sharply over the next few years, it was imperative that GM did something to replace many of their mid line gas hogs (GMC Envoy, Chevy Trailblazer & Uplander, the Buick SUVs, etc) with something that was well crafted, well received AND improved fuel economy.

      If you haven't test driven an Acadia, Outlook or Enclave yet, you have NO idea how far GM has come with this paltform. It's simply incredible.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hmmm, looks like no sliding doors as had been rumored. Might have differentiated it from its siblings and captured more former minivan customers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      iamhoff, I somewhat agree with you. However the dealerships are losing the GMC Envoy. Most GMC dealers also sell Pontiac. Pontiac is being remade into all performance oriented cars, and those dealers are not only out the Envoy but also Pontiac's SUV and minivan when the Torrent and Montana are phased out.

      The Acadia is the answer GM had for GMC-Pontiac franchises. It allows them to be full volume dealerships with something to offer customers in the market when those vehicles are gone. It's no accident the Acadia has red interior illumination. It also keeps the Pontiac brand SUV free.

      GM is also considering selling the Holden Ute here as a GMC. Though the thought of GMC selling a car might be weird they did sell the Sprint back in the muscle car era. But I think that car is a much better fit for Chevrolet instead.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This vehicle is also replacing the Trailblazer and Uplander minivan at Chevrolet.

      Chevrolet makes up over 60% of GM's total sales so it only makes sense that the brand and dealer network would get this vehicle to sell. Yes it will overlap with it's siblings, but it will also give budget and Chevrolet shoppers an alternative to foreign vehicles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think that GM should have given this to the Chevrolet Division first instead of GMC.

      I've questioned GM's product strategy to have 2 Lamda-based CUVs in the Buick-GMC-Pontiac channel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks like the Saturn version with a Malibu grille.

      If GM would have skipped the GMC version, there would be room in the market to push the Saturn up and leave clearance for the Chevy below. Adding the Chevy with a Saturn and GMC already on the market crowds the marketing positioning of the vehicles.

      But given little or no development costs makes sense to put one in GM biggest sales channel.
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