Quality. Safety. Comfort. Convenience.
These words describe the Chevrolet Traverse for a family road trip. A few months ago, I took the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse on a mini road trip for a review and familiarization drive. I was able to enjoy the ride and the comfort of this family vehicle, but had no idea what really went into the planning of overall package. This past week, GM invited me into their inner sanctum of corporate offices and testing facility, giving me an inside look into the thought process and engineering behind the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse.
Our group’s day of immersion began with getting to know many of the personalities behind the various vehicle components. A few of the top executives gave presentations introducing us to their families, how their life journeys brought them to GM, and personal stories about vehicle safety.
For me, safety is the number one factor in choosing a vehicle, be it for everyday use or a family road trip. I’ve heard a number of stories throughout my life of the family on a road trip that was injured or lost family members due to an accident on the highway. We can’t predict the actions of other drivers, but we can provide the utmost safety for our families while on the road.
The Chevrolet Traverse is a top-quality vehicle recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Safety Rating and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a Top Safety Pick.
Beyond safety, I look for quality. I want quality in a reliable vehicle that won’t leave my family stranded when out of town. I also want a vehicle that will still be a viable option for my kids to drive around, once they get their licenses.
I was able to sit in the CAVE, the latest 3D virtual reality technology, so that I could experience how General Motors designers and engineers use this technology, along with customer feedback, to create sleek, functional and durable storage solutions for the Chevrolet Traverse crossover.
A vehicle isn’t just something to get from Point A to Point B when taking a road trip. I want to be comfortable when I’m driving long hours. I want to be able to nap in the passenger seat when my husband is driving. I want the kids to have their own space, along with plenty of outlets for their gadgets and drink holders for whatever their drink of choice may be. I also need plenty of storage to keep our clutter organized while on the road.
At General Motors Proving Ground in Milford, vehicles go through the “Parade of Punishment” as the engineers verify the quality of the Chevy Traverse. I sat inside a Chevy Traverse while it went through a cycle of punishing situations, from simulated potholes to gravel roads. It was actually kind of fun.
Afterwards our group went outdoors to the test roads which are miles and miles of roadway with a variety of tracks and test areas for durability. The test roads provide every situation a vehicle may encounter, including major potholes, steep grades, salt spray, bumpy roads, and even flooded roads. I was really impressed when the Chevy Traverse drove through a flooded roadway two feet deep and handled well.
The day ended at the Vehicle Teardown Facility, where engineers tear down vehicles to look for vulnerability in every area of the vehicle, even the parts consumers can’t see. The purpose is to make sure the vehicle is not only safe when used daily, but that the quality of the vehicle holds up years after the warranty expires.
After seeing what goes into the planning, design, building, and testing of the Chevy Traverse……I’m really impressed.
Disclosure: GM sponsored my transportation, food, and lodging during the visit, but no other compensation was made. These opinions are my own.