2020 Chevrolet Traverse vs. 2019 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Traverse’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Traverse are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The X5 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Traverse has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The X5 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Traverse and the X5 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, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the BMW X5:

Traverse

X5

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Traverse 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 9 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Traverse’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Traverse

AWD

3.6 DOHC 6-cyl.

17 city/25 hwy

X5

AWD

xDrive50i 4.4 Turbo V8

17 city/22 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Traverse uses regular unleaded gasoline. The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Traverse has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chevrolet Traverse higher (6 out of 10) than the BMW X5 (3). This means the Traverse produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the X5 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Traverse, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X5.

Brakes and Stopping

The Traverse stops shorter than the X5:

Traverse

X5

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Chevrolet Traverse’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X5 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Traverse has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The X5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 3.8 inches longer than on the X5 (120.9 inches vs. 117.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Traverse is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than on the X5.

For better maneuverability, the Traverse’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the X5’s (39 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Traverse may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 450 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The Traverse uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Traverse has standard seating for 8 passengers; the X5 can only carry up to 7.

The Traverse has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

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

Cargo Capacity

The Traverse’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

Traverse

X5

Third Seat Folded

57.8 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

33.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

98.2 cubic feet

72.3 cubic feet

The Traverse’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Traverse LS/LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s available exterior PIN entry system. The X5 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Consumer Reports rated the Traverse’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Traverse (except L/LS) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Traverse is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Traverse is less expensive to operate than the X5 because typical repairs cost much less on the Traverse than the X5, including $195 less for a water pump, $1604 less for a muffler, $37 less for front brake pads, $307 less for a starter, $101 less for fuel injection, $46 less for a fuel pump, $415 less for front struts, $603 less for a timing belt/chain and $1548 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Traverse outsold the BMW X5 by over three to one during 2018.

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

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