“The cargo area of the Traverse offered both dogs plenty of space for each to do their own thing; stretch out, curl up, look out the window, chew quietly on toys.”

by Marva Gowans, Driveway 

It’s a challenge to find the right vehicle to take two dogs on an annual holiday trip to Tacoma to visit family, friends and doggy cousins.

Rental vehicles are out of sight, price-wise, and some companies are a little sniffy about the ‘passengers’ (at least, I think it was the dogs they objected to). Therefore, the offer of an extended test drive of the 2015 Chevrolet Traverse was a welcome opportunity.

From a human’s perspective, the Traverse was pleasurable to drive, extremely comfortable, the cabin roomy and very classy, a nice quiet ride, the dashboard controls very user friendly and easy to interpret with everything close to hand.

The seats (seven in all for bipeds) are gorgeously adjustable with heated lumbar support up front, which is a soothing relief for those of us with back problems. From the outside, the car seems like a big beast best for the backcountry but it is surprisingly wonderful to drive in the city, more like a luxury sedan than a lumbering SUV. It was easy to manoeuvre on narrow streets, a dream to nip in and out of parking lots and spots.

And even the vertically challenged – ahem – found it easy to load up with lots of luggage, bags, boxes, blankets, pillows and doggy beds – all the necessary accoutrements of car travel, plus the added advantage of still having room to bring home a souvenir or three. On the highway, as in the city, the Traverse offered great visibility and we felt snug, safe and secure – sorry about the alliteration, but it’s true.

Our travelling canine companions are at each end of the age spectrum.

Sullivan the Jack Russell Terrier is little, young and bouncy, while Desi the Shepherd Cross is a large dog of noble lineage and a senior citizen. In short, she enjoys her comfort. The cargo area of the Traverse offered both dogs plenty of space for each to do their own thing: stretch out, curl up, look out the window, and chew quietly on toys, while contemplating the phenomenon of black holes. Or, in the case of Miss Desi, perhaps where the next carrot was coming from. Given the layout of the interior, with the walk through back seats, a barrier was needed to discourage the cargo passengers from walking through into the first class front cabin.

It should be noted there are ten cup holders for those in need of regular caffeinating. We did receive barked complaints from the back that not one was big enough for a bowl of water. (Please note, Mr Chevy.)

VIDEO: 2015 Chevrolet Traverse – Test Drive/Review – Bowman Chevrolet

Having the navigation system was great as getting to our destination was a little tricky, and finding our way in the dark could have been a minor trial. Our friendly ‘nav-lady’ delivered us easily. I especially liked getting plenty of warning about upcoming turns. Some navigation systems instruct you to turn at the very last moment, which is not helpful. Often our ‘nav-lady’ gave us two warnings sometimes even three ‘turn left in 250 metres’, ‘turn left in 100 metres’. Believe me it was comforting. All the places we wanted to visit, parks, malls, trails, shops, were easily found with no hassles.

In Tacoma, a third dog joined us for adventures around town – Beau, a large yellow lab. Everyone knows labs are eternal puppies who enjoy good times no matter where they land. This happy boy landed in the cargo area with the other two and still there was plenty of room for all three dogs with nary a complaint about someone’s paw being on someone’s side.

It all made for a fun Christmas celebration with lots of treats, even for my backup navigator Patricia and myself.

Next year, the ‘kids’ are holding out for a Cadillac!



2015 Chevrolet Traverse AWD LT

Power: 2.6-litre V6, 281 horsepower, six-speed auto transmission.

Base price: $43,460 (as tested, $53,285)


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