The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LS is the base trim for this SUV model, but shares many of the features of the more expensive trims, including the powertrain - a 3.6-liter V6 paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control – a five-star safety crash rating, and what Chevy claims is best-in-class cargo space (117 cubic feet maximum) and the best highway mileage of any eight-passenger SUV at 24 mpg.
Standard equipment for the LS includes eight-passenger seating, 17-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, split-folding second- and third-row seats, air conditioning, automatic headlamp control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a six-speaker CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary input jack and a three-month trial of XM Radio, and one year of OnStar Directions and Connections plan, with turn-by-turn navigation. The EPA estimates this front-wheel-drive trim gets 17 city/24 highway/19 combined mpg.
Not much changes from the base '09 Chevrolet Traverse LS to the LS AWD. The only difference is the addition of Chevrolet’s all-wheel-drive system, which gives the driver better handling in slippery weather and off-road conditions while barely lowering the mileage (16 city/23 highway/19 combined mpg) and raising the invoice price about $2,000.
The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT1 is part of the midrange LT trim level. In addition to all the amenities in the base LS trim, the LT1 package includes body-color moldings and mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, mirror-mounted turn signals, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, blind spot mirrors with enhanced blind zone visibility, ultrasonic rear parking assist, remote vehicle start, and an optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system with Bose 5.1 surround sound.
The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT1 AWD features all the accessories listed for the base LS, plus the extra features of the LT1 as well as Chevrolet’s All-Wheel Drive. This system will help you control the SUV in all kinds of difficult conditions – on the road or off it – while only slightly lowering your gas mileage. The LT1 AWD gets 16 city/23 highway/19 combined mpg, while the front-wheel-drive LT1, like all the front-wheel-drive Traverse trims, gets 17 city/24 highway/19 combined mpg.
The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT2 is the higher end of the midrange trim levels for this SUV. The LT2 has all the goodies featured in the base LS and the LT1, plus tri-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, a rearview camera system integrated into the rearview mirror, a power liftgate, Bluetooth capability for select phones, rear audio controls, and seven-passenger seating with second-row captain’s chairs and a third-row split bench seat.
The only addition to the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LT2 AWD from the LT2 trim is, that’s right, Chevy’s all-wheel-drive system. This system improves handling in slippery weather or off-road conditions, but unlike other AWD systems, does little to detract from mileage. The LT2 AWD gets 16 city/23 highway/19 combined mpg while the front-wheel drive LT2 gets 17 city/24 highway/19 combined.
The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ is the top-of-the-line trim for this model, and its additional features are not just superficial. The addition of dual-outlet exhaust and an upgrade to direct fuel injection increases the LTZ's horsepower to 288, boosts the torque to 270 lb-ft, increases efficiency, and reduces emissions.
The LTZ receives other significant additions as well, including leather-appointed first- and second-row seating, heated and cooled seats, memory settings for the driver’s seat, 20-inch wheels, and a touch-screen navigation system with a rearview camera and real-time traffic updates.
The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ AWD is the most expensive trim of this SUV model, but you certainly get your money’s worth. In addition to all the standard features for each of the lower trims – from steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls to a 10-speaker Bose sound system to dual exhaust that increases both power and efficiency – this trim gets Chevrolet’s all-wheel-drive system, giving the driver greater control in difficult on- or off-road conditions. While many AWD systems reduce mileage considerably, that’s not the case here. The front-wheel-drive LTZ gets 17 city/24 highway/19 combined mpg, while the LTZ AWD gets a very comparable 16/23/19.