2012 Chevrolet Traverse vs. 2012 Toyota Highlander: Which One Should I Buy?

Large SUVs are a huge and broad market, with a range of different offerings from economy to luxurious. The majority of the SUVs and crossover SUVs offer decent gas mileage, plenty of room for friends and family to ride along and a modest amount of store behind the seats. Technological toys are definitely not a given--several of the options in this class for the 2012 model year have only very basic technology installed at the factory.

The Chevrolet Traverse and the Toyota Highlander are relatively well-matched in terms of price, with the Traverse being ever so slightly more expensive than the Highlander. The look of the two vehicles is quite similar as well, with the Highlander having a slightly more blocky exterior where the Traverse is a little more rounded.

Toyota Highlander 2012
2012 Toyota Highlander

Interior Features

As expected, the Traverse has a raft of additional features that come standard on the vehicle, such as the driver information center, trip computer - all items that are optional on the lower-priced Highlander. The Traverse has an 8-passenger seating configuration, where the Highlander loses space for one passenger but does offer more complex driver-side seat controls. Oddly enough, heated front seats only come in the Highlander and not the higher-cost Traverse and rear seats for the Highlander are a bucket instead of the expected 60/40 split provided by the Traverse.

Infotainment Center

The Traverse again surprises in that it doesn't offer an option for an in-car DVD system as the Highlander does, nor does it have the Highlander's voice activated navigation system or 2nd and 3rd row LCD screens. Both vehicles offer optional Bluetooth compatibility, which is highly recommended.

Safety and Security

The Traverse and the Highlander provide a high level of safety and comfort, even though neither offering is incredibly exciting. Tons of standard features and a comfortable and controlled ride keep both at the top of the "must have" list for many drivers. Both vehicles lose a few stars on the frontal barrier crash test ratings and rollover ratings, but only the Highlander loses a star on the overall crash test ratings.

Large crossover SUVs are the best of both worlds - a larger and safer footprint, while offering decent fuel economy at 24 and 25 mpg for the Traverse and Highlander respectively. None of the statistics nor the looks are incredibly exciting, but you do get a diverse group of features for the price.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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