2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Traverse

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Traverse doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X5 has standard Active Protection, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Traverse doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X5. But it costs extra on the Traverse.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Traverse doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Traverse doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the Traverse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 47 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Traverse has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The X5 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Traverse’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Traverse’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Traverse.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the X5’s reliability 36 points higher than the Traverse.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 15 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

The X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 80 more horsepower (335 vs. 255) and 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 295) than the Traverse RS’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X5 xDrive40i’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 25 more horsepower (335 vs. 310) and 64 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 266) than the Traverse’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 146 more horsepower (456 vs. 310) and 213 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 266) than the Traverse’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW X5 is faster than the Chevrolet Traverse:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 xDrive50i

Traverse RS

Traverse V6

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

4.2 sec

6.8 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

12.7 sec

15.3 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

109 MPH

93 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X5 gets better fuel mileage than the Traverse:

MPG

X5

AWD

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Traverse

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Traverse doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X5 has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Traverse FWD’s standard fuel tank (21.9 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The X5’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Traverse doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Traverse:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 M Sport

Traverse

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

12.4 inches

The X5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Traverse are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the Traverse:

X5

Traverse

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Traverse (265/50R19 vs. 255/65R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Traverse (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 255/65R18).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Traverse’s standard 65 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Traverse LT Leather/RS/Premier/High Country’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Traverse. The X5’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Traverse LT Leather/RS/Premier/High Country.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Traverse doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Traverse doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Chevrolet doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Traverse.

The X5 has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Traverse’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the Traverse’s (56.6% to 43.4%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

The X5 xDrive40i handles at .89 G’s, while the Traverse High Country AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Traverse (8.7 vs. 7.6 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The X5 is 10 inches shorter than the Traverse, making the X5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5’s available third row seats recline. The Traverse’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Traverse doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X5. The Traverse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Traverse’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Traverse’s (6603 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Chevrolet Traverse is only 5000 pounds. The X5 offers up to a 7209 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the X5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Traverse. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Traverse Premier/High Country, the X5 xDrive50i has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Traverse doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The X5’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Traverse’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.

If the windows are left open on the X5 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Traverse can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Traverse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X5 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Traverse doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The X5 has standard a center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Traverse doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Traverse doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Traverse isn't recommended.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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