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2021 Chevrolet Traverse vs Toyota Highlander

2021 Chevrolet Traverse vs Toyota Highlander

2021 Traverse vs Highlander - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Looking for an SUV that can accommodate the whole family and handle any situation? Then consider two of the top contenders: Chevy Traverse or Toyota Highlander. Both come with a range of trims, meaning there's something in every price bracket - from reasonably priced base models to decked-out premium amenities. No matter which you choose, everyone on board is sure to ride in comfort whether it be your next road trip vacation or a journey into more rugged terrain!


The Powertrain

Drivers looking for a powerful and reliable drive can find their perfect match in the Traverse's 3.6 liter V6 engine that packs an impressive 310 horses and 266 lb-ft of torque, with enough towing capacity to get you out on any adventure - up 5,000 lbs worth! Meanwhile, Highlander owners have the benefit of selecting between two powertrains: standard or hybrid.

The standard powertrain on the Highlander uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine, so it's just about the same size as the Chevy's engine. This 3.5-liter engine doesn't have quite as much power as the larger one in the Traverse; the Highlander has 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It also has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

In the Traverse, the engine has been matched with a nine-speed automatic transmission. In comparison, the Highlander has an eight-speed automatic transmission. Honestly, most people won't notice any difference between these two components, and in reality, a difference of 15 horsepower isn't that significant.

What is important to note is that the Highlander is available as a hybrid. The hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter engine and an electric motor, and it's been matched with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. Net horsepower is 243, and towing capacity drops to 3,500 pounds. People who plan on hauling heavy cargo or are likely to be dealing with very difficult driving conditions may be a bit concerned with these numbers, but this should be enough capability for the average SUV driver.

Get ready for an all-new level of efficiency: a hybrid SUV. With the Highlander, you can experience maximum savings at the pump with up to 36 MPG in urban areas and 35 on highways, thanks to clever energy capture technology that recharges during brief stops while city driving. On top of money saved, take pride knowing your choice has a positive environmental impact!

The Highlander takes the crown in terms of fuel efficiency, cruising along at a respectable 21 city mpg and 29 highway mpg. Meanwhile, the Chevy Traverse offers comparable performance but with marginally less frugality - 18/27 for inner-city and cross country drives respectively.

The Traverse is a smart choice for customers who anticipate treacherous weather conditions, as it comes standard with front-wheel drive - and all-wheel drive can be easily added if desired. And its Driver Mode Selector allows you to take your pick of up to four different settings - including an off-road mode that provides extra torque throughout any terrain.

Toyota has a variety of all-wheel drive options, ranging from the traditional to an advanced system known as dynamic torque vectoring AWD. This innovative feature gives drivers enhanced off-roading ability and improved cornering by sensing which rear wheel is having difficulty gripping the road and providing extra power accordingly - making this Toyota powerhouse truly unstoppable.

Although the two vehicles have different powertrains, Chevrolet and Toyota both offer an impressive warranty for their respective engines - 60 months or 60,000 miles of protection. With this kind of assurance from two leading car manufacturers, you'll be sure to drive worry-free in your Traverse or Highlander!


With the Chevrolet Traverse and Toyota Highlander, confident driving is effortless. Despite their grand size, these SUVs are surprisingly agile; allowing drivers to take control in any situation.

The Chevrolet Traverse is one seriously big ride—204.3 inches long and 79 inches wide with a 7.51 inch clearance off the ground! Meanwhile, its competitor, the Highlander still has some impressive features of its own; while it may not be as mammoth-like at 195” in length and 76" wide, but boasts more than an extra inch for obstacle clearance gracefully floating 8” above terra firma!

Up to eight people can fit inside either of these SUVs if they're equipped with bench seats in their middle rows. Otherwise, they would have two captain's chairs in their second rows, and this would decrease total seating capacity by one.

Leg room in the Traverse is 41, 38.4, and 33.5 inches in the first, second, and third rows, respectively. The Highlander has 42 inches of leg room in the front and 41 inches of leg room in the second row. However, it only has 27.7 inches of leg room in its third row. This will likely be an issue if people are planning on having taller teens or adults sit in the back.

The Toyota Highlander and Chevrolet Traverse offer contrasting cargo capacities, with the latter providing significantly more space. Behind their rear seats, the Highlander has a mere 16 cubic feet of storage - expandable to 84.3 when folded down; in contrast, even before being raised up its capacity is at an impressive 23 cubic feet which jumps to 98.2 once lowered! With such generous allotment for stowing items away you'll definitely be wanting for nothing on your next journey together.

When it comes to modern technology, the Highlander is a clear winner in this matchup. The standard eight-inch touchscreen offers an immersive driving experience while its 12.3-inch variant packs even more punch! On the other side of things, Traverse can remain competitive with available seven and 8-inch touchscreens as well — so you'll be equipped for any adventure that lies ahead.

On either model, the basic package includes Bluetooth, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The Toyota also has Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM on every one of its trims. SiriusXM is only an option on the Traverse. With the larger touchscreens in each of the SUVs, there would be integrated navigation as well. This can be so useful when trying to find new places and/or trying to find the most efficient route around town that avoids traffic. Higher trims of the Traverse can be set up with a set of 10 Bose speakers, and the enhanced sound system on the Highlander can have 11 JBL speakers.

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When only looking at their safety packages, the Toyota Highlander is the more attractive of the two models. It has many driver-assist systems in addition to all of the standard components, like airbags, three-point seatbelts in every seating position, and anti-lock brakes.

The driver-assist technology in the Toyota is part of a package called Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+. It's really impressive because it can actively watch out for problems, alert drivers to problematic situations, and help drivers take corrective measures. One of the systems is pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, and it can reduce the chances of accidentally hitting another vehicle or person in the Highlander's path. Every Highlander also comes with adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, lane tracing, the ability to "read" road signs, and automatic high beams. Drivers can appreciate that, if necessary, their Highlanders can correct their steering or adjust their speed, turn on or off their bright lights, and remind them of road signs. A premium trim of the Highlander could even take an active role when parking to make sure no fender benders occur.

The Chevrolet Traverse presents a sharp contrast to the competition; with its standard airbags and three-point seatbelts, it is certainly ready for any emergency. Unfortunately though, not all trims come equipped with advanced driver-assist technologies that are becoming more common in automobiles today - meaning customers may have to pay extra if they want access to these safer systems.

That being said, the mid-level and higher trims of the Traverse do have several high-quality safety features. They have automatic emergency braking to reduce the chances of frontal collisions, and this system works together with the following distance indicator, front pedestrian braking, and forward collision alert. Other components are lane change alert with blind zone monitoring, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, and rear cross traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control is only offered with the most sophisticated trim.

Higher trims of both models have 360-degree cameras. In the Highlander, it's called a Bird's Eye View Camera, and it's called Surround Vision in the Traverse. They use multiple cameras to stitch together a complete image of the SUV and the surrounding objects.

Which Has the Best Value?

Choosing between the Traverse and Highlander might come down to a strict budget. Starting at $30,995, the Traverse offers an attractive price point for those looking to save money without sacrificing features or quality. However if extra safety components are desired - then parting with just over four thousand more may be necessary when opting for its bigger brother in style: The Highlander starting at $34,910.

For drivers looking for the perfect blend of comfort, safety and convenience, mid-level trims are sure to deliver with benefits such as comprehensive infotainment systems and higher quality safety elements. Enjoy amenities like leather or synthetic upholstery, heated front seats and more when you opt for either the seven available trim levels in Chevy's Traverse model - a bit lower on price than Toyota's Highlander which features ten trims loaded with slightly extra convenient luxuries.

The most expensive Highlander is the Hybrid Platinum, and it costs $48,465. Interestingly, the High Country trim of the Traverse costs more than that, with a starting price of $52,095. The High Country's highlights include a two-panel sunroof,

perforated leather seats, adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated captain's chairs in the second row. The Hybrid Platinum trim of the Highlander treats people to a panoramic moonroof, 12.3-inch touchscreen, leather seats with heating and ventilation in the front row, a heated second row with captain's chairs, and a head-up display.

Which is Better?

Even though they have a lot in common, the Toyota Highlander and Traverse differ in important ways. For drivers who care about efficiency, the Highlander reigns supreme - with its hybrid option or standard powertrain both being more efficient than that of the Traverse's. But if you're looking for extra oomph on your drives, try out the slightly more powerful Traverse!

The Highlander has the edge when it comes to technology - boasting a superior infotainment package, complete with alluring large touchscreen. Not only that but Toyota also took advantage of cutting-edge tech advances in the safety sector, giving their vehicle ultimately more protection and an upper hand against rivals like Traverse.

The Traverse takes the lead when it comes to family-friendly features. It has a spacious third row and larger overall cargo capacity than what's found in other vehicles like the Highlander, making road trips with your friends or family more comfortable and convenient. Plus, its attractive starting price will undoubtedly draw some attention - you can even splurge on one of its higher trims for added luxury without breaking the bank!

Before committing to a purchase, potential customers have an important decision ahead of them. Will they opt for affordability and size or efficiency and technology? A careful look at one's budget is the key to choosing which model and trim will be most beneficial in meeting their needs - balancing what matters most.

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