2020 Chevrolet Traverse vs. 2019 Lexus GX460

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 GX460 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 GX460 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Traverse uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The GX460 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Traverse and the GX460 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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.

Warranty

There are over 12 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Traverse’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Traverse’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the GX460’s camshafts. If the GX460’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Traverse has a standard 170-amp alternator. The GX460’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 9 more horsepower (310 vs. 301) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Traverse is faster than the Lexus GX460:

Traverse

GX460

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.3 sec

21.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

7.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

111 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Traverse gets better fuel mileage than the GX460:

MPG

Traverse

3.6 DOHC 6-cyl.

17 city/25 hwy

GX460

4.6 DOHC V8

15 city/18 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Traverse’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The GX460 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Traverse uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GX460 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 GX460 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Traverse, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the GX460.

Brakes and Stopping

The Traverse stops much shorter than the GX460:

Traverse

GX460

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Traverse’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GX460’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Traverse offers optional 20-inch wheels. The GX460’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Chevrolet Traverse has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Lexus GX460 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 11.1 inches longer than on the GX460 (120.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Traverse is 4.9 inches wider in the front and 4.6 inches wider in the rear than on the GX460.

The Traverse RS handles at .84 G’s, while the GX460 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Traverse RS AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the GX460 (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Traverse’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the GX460’s (39 feet vs. 41.1 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Traverse may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 750 pounds less than the Lexus GX460.

Unibody construction lowers the Traverse’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The GX460 uses body-on-frame design instead.

The front grille of the Traverse uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GX460 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Traverse uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GX460 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Traverse High Country AWD is quieter than the GX460 (41 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space

The Traverse has standard seating for 8 passengers; the GX460 can only carry 7.

The Traverse has 3.3 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, 6.7 inches more front shoulder room, 4.3 inches more rear legroom, 1.7 inches more rear hip room, 4.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 3 inches more third row headroom, 4.2 inches more third row legroom, 5.4 inches more third row hip room and 3 inches more third row shoulder room than the GX460.

Cargo Capacity

The Traverse’s cargo area provides more volume than the GX460.

Traverse

GX460

Behind Third Seat

23 cubic feet

11.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.8 cubic feet

46.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

98.2 cubic feet

64.7 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 GX460’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Traverse (except L/LS) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Traverse Premier/High Country, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The GX460 doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Ergonomics

The Traverse’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The GX460’s parking brake has to released manually.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Traverse’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The GX460’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Traverse’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GX460’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

Model Availability

The Traverse is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GX460 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Traverse owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Traverse will cost $475 to $1730 less than the GX460 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Traverse is less expensive to operate than the GX460 because typical repairs cost much less on the Traverse than the GX460, including $232 less for a muffler, $391 less for a starter, $11 less for a fuel pump, $16 less for a timing belt/chain and $622 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Traverse will be $7556 to $16181 less than for the Lexus GX460.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Traverse outsold the Lexus GX460 by over five to one during 2018.

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

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