2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV

MSRP $44,895 - $46,995

Ranked #24 in Midsize Suv

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: October 1, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS is a sportier version of the Traverse and it sits just below the topmost trim level, the High Country. This year, the Chevrolet Traverse lineup was supposed to bring a lot of new changes and additions, but due to the ongoing pandemic and shortage of chips, it has been postponed for next year. The powertrain is the same as the outgoing model, which is a 3.6L V6 engine. The specs and dimensions will also remain the same. Coming to the RS trim, it is marked by its darker accent exterior theme, making it stand out among other trims. 

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Pros

Commendable safety ratings

Spacious third-row seating

Punchy engine and good ride quality

Cons

Low ground clearance

Little less legroom

Poor fuel economy

What's New?

Unchanged from the previous model year


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$44895

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

217 cu.in.

horsepower

310 hp @ 6800 rpm

torque

266 lb.-ft.. @ 2800 rpm

transmission

9 speed Automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

12.64/12.4 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

120.9 in.

length

204.3 in.

width

78.6 in.

height

70.7 in.

curb weight

4362 lbs.

ground clearance

7.51 in.

capacity

passenger volume

157.3 cu ft.

cargo volume

98.2 cu ft.

towing capacity

1500 lbs.

payload capacity

1798 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.1 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.5 sec.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$44,895 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV in Graphite Metallic color
Graphite Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS also offers the largest cargo space and third-row seating of any SUV in its segment, making the Traverse RS an exceptional big family hauler. This SUV is also among the most comfortable and performs exceptionally well, making it the ideal choice for big families. Priced at $44,000, it competes with Ford Explorer Limited, Kia Telluride SX, and Hyundai Palisade Limited.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV Features

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS is a standalone and performance-oriented trim in the lineup. The powertrain under its hood is the same as the other trims which is a 3.6L V6 engine. The RS trim specifically comes with different exterior accents limited to this trim only. It has got Black accents including Black roof rails, Black bowtie emblems, Black Traverse badging, gloss Black window trim, and Black Ice grille and fog lamp bezels, etc. 

Some of the other features include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-appointed front, and second rows, heated steering wheel, HD Rear Vision Camera, Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Premium system, and Bose premium 10-speaker sound system.

Trims

Traverse RS

MSRP (FWD)

$44,000

MSRP (AWD)

$46,100

Key Features

Heated front seats

 

Heated steering wheel

 

Remote engine start

 

Power-adjustable front passenger seat

 

8-inch high-definition touchscreen

 

Rear parking sensors

 

Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert

 

20-inch dark-finish wheels

 

360-degree camera system

 

Digital rearview mirror

 

10-speaker premium audio system

 

Integrated navigation system

Which trim Should You Buy?

If you have made up your mind to go for the RS trim then you are left with only one trim option. But you can choose between the FWD and AWD versions. We recommend you go with the AWD trim at an extra cost of $2,000 which will give you better traction and versatility but a little fuel mileage will be sacrificed.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV Engine and Performance

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS is fitted with a 3.6L V6 engine inside which is responsible for the impressive output of 310 horses and 266 lb-ft of torque which sits as one of the best in its segment. This engine comes paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission that does the shifts without any major lag leaving behind. With this amount of power, it takes this big SUV sprint from 0-60MPH in 6.9 seconds which is more than enough for this segment. 

The Traverse RS also comes with an additional start/stop feature which shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop after braking and gets restarted automatically just after releasing the pedal. This feature is quite good in some sense but it may not be liked by everyone at the same time. The 2021 Traverse RS is a big SUV with a good towing capacity at 5000 pounds.

Models

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS

2021 Ford Explorer Limited

2021 Kia Telluride SX

2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited

MSRP

$44,000

$44,710

$44,390

$45,275

Engine 

3.6L V6

2.3L Turbo Inline-4

3.8L V6

3.8L V6

Drivetrain

FWD

AWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

9-Speed Automatic

10-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

Power 

310 hp @ 6,800 RPM

300 hp @ 5,500 RPM

291 hp @ 6,000 RPM

291 hp @ 6,000 RPM

Torque

266 lb-ft @ 2,800 RPM

310 lb-ft @ 3,500 RPM

262 lb-ft @ 5,200 RPM

262 lb-ft @ 5,200 RPM

0-60 MPH (sec)

6.9

6.8

7.2

7.4

Quarter mile (sec)

15.5

15.3

15.4

15.6

Top Speed (MPH)

130

143

141

130

In terms of pricing, all the SUVs here are almost the same except for the more expensive Hyundai Palisade. The Traverse here makes the highest horsepower - which is 10 horses more than the second-best Explorer but the latter produces the highest torque here which makes it the fastest in terms of acceleration in this segment. But, still, we will consider both the Traverse and Explorer winners here because of almost similar performance output.

How well does the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS handle?

The Traverse drives quite well but due to its big body dimensions, it lacks some agility for sure compared to other cars. The Traverse also comes with standard four drive selection modes which the driver can choose from. This SUV is also big and has a very high seating position which gives the driver a commanding view of the front which makes driving quite easy. 

The steering also feels lightweight and moving this big boy around cities or in packed spots won’t be quite a difficult job. All in all, the Traverse RS is quite good in terms of handling but its size is the only drawback that creates some issues in certain places.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS Braking Performance

The braking system of the Chevrolet Traverse RS is quite good although we expected it to be a little less because of its size and weight. It is equipped with 12.6 and 12.4-inch brake rotors at the front and rear ends. The Traverse can come to a complete stop from 60-0 MPH in about 127 feet which can be considered a very good number for a big SUV like this. 

Safety-wise also this SUV is quite good when it comes to braking. The RS trim comes with Automatic Emergency Braking Assist too, which electronically applies the brake automatically whenever the need arises.

Models

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS

2021 Ford Explorer Limited

2021 Kia Telluride SX

2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12.6

13.6

13.4

13.4

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.4

12.6

12.0

12.0

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4362

4345

4317

4231

60-0 MPH (feet)

127

121

120

129

From the above tabular data, it is quite evident that the Traverse RS did a good job but it is not enough to beat its competitors. The Ford Explorer here has the biggest brake rotors which help it to come to a complete stop from 60-0 in 121 feet only. But, the winner here would be the Telluride for having the best stopping power which is a little better than the second-best Ford Explorer.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV Fuel Economy

In terms of fuel economy, the 2021 Traverse RS doesn’t go that well compared to its rivals. It lags behind its rivals in terms of combined MPG. In the cities, it can drive around 18 miles on a single gallon of gas which is quite less. But, on the highways, things get a little better for Traverse RS by giving 27 miles. In a mixed driving condition though it will give you around 21 miles which are still less than its segment rivals. Its fuel tank on the other hand is quite big and can store almost 19.4 gallons of gas.

Models

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS

2021 Ford Explorer Limited

2021 Kia Telluride SX

2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited

MPG (City)

18

21

20

19

MPG (Highway)

27

28

26

26

MPG (Combined)

21

24

23

22

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

19.4

18.6

18.8

18.8

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

349/524/436

391/521/456

376/489/432

357/489/423

In terms of fuel economy, the 2021 Traverse RS comes out to be the least economical in its segment. The Ford Explorer here despite having the highest power output provides the segment-best MPG rating which is a huge advantage for this SUV over others. The Traverse RS offers the biggest fuel tank in this segment but due to its low MPG rating, it cannot achieve the same range as Explorer and the other two SUVs here.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV Interior

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS unique thing about its interior is the big space which is one of the main selling points of these SUV segments. It has three rows which claim to comfortably seat 8 passengers although seating 7 people is recommended. The front driver seats can be adjusted in eight ways that also come with lumbar support for added comfort. The space in the front row is adequate and there is no spacing issue over there. In the second row, there are captain chairs that come with a sliding feature to pave a comfortable way into the third row. 

Both the front and second-row also come with leather-appointed seats but the third row, which is a 60/40 split-folding bench, comes with vinyl wrapping. The third row is fairly spacious and it is not cramped like many other SUVs in this segment. The cabin also features loads of storage spaces inside for better practicality. If you wish to fold down all the seats the cargo space stands at 98.2 cubic feet which is again the largest space offered by any SUV in its segment.

Models

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS

2021 Ford Explorer Limited

2021 Kia Telluride SX

2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited

Seating Capacity

7

6

7

7

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

41.3/62.1/41.0

40.7/61.8/43.0

39.5/61.6/41.4

39.3/61.2/44.1

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

40.0/62.2/38.4

40.5/61.9/39.0

38.8/59.9/42.4

38.8/60.8/42.4

Third Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.2/57.5/33.5

38.9/54.6/32.2

38.1/55.3/31.4

37.8/55.2/31.4

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

23

18.2

21

18

The Chevrolet comes with the biggest cargo space as standard and is almost 2 cubic feet bigger than the second-best Telluride and Palisade. In terms of cabin space, it does provide good headroom but the best legroom is provided by both the SUVs from the Hyundai family. But, the 2021 Traverse RS comes out to be the most spacious in the third-row seat which is likely to be enjoyed by the passengers sitting over there.

Standout interior features:

  • Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control
  • 8-way power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Leather-appointed seats
  • Front bucket seats

What’s there to keep you entertained in the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS?

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS is equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen display that has impressive graphics and excellent responsiveness. The system comes with Chevy Infotainment System 3 installed which is very intuitive. The RS trim specifically also comes with a built-in navigation system that comes very handy in some situations. 

Apart from that, you can also mirror your smartphone via Apple Carplay and Android Auto which comes standard. In the music department, the cabin is equipped with a 10-speaker Bose Premium system which gives a great output and it is sure to be enjoyed by the passengers inside. Apart from that, there are various other infotainment systems to keep the cabin lively and entertaining.

Standout infotainment features:

  • 8” touchscreen display 
  • Apple Carplay And Android Auto
  • 10-speaker Bose Premium sound system
  • Navigation and Bluetooth
  • Alexa built voice recognition system
  • Chevy Infotainment System 3 

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV Exterior

The 2021 Traverse RS is a big full-size SUV which is evident from its dimensions and looks. The RS trim specifically also comes with a different exterior theme which sets it apart from the other trims in the lineup. It has Black accents including Black roof rails, Black bowtie emblems, Black Traverse badging, gloss Black window trim, and Black Ice grille and fog lamp bezels, etc. 

The Traverse RS is also based on a big 20” wheel which is exclusive to this trim only and the top-end trim also enjoys the same. The front grille and the overall design structure have also remained the same as the outgoing model. The big front grille looks dashing and the headlamps and DRLs beside it are LED. 

Models

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS

2021 Ford Explorer Limited

2021 Kia Telluride SX

2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited

Curb weight (lbs)

4362

4345

4317

4231

Length (inches)

204.3

198.8

196.9

196.1

Width (Inches)

78.6

78.9

78.3

77.4

Height (Inches)

70.7

69.9

69.3

68.9

Ground clearance (inches)

7.2

7.9

8.0

7.9

Wheelbase (inches)

120.9

119.1

114.2

114.2

In terms of body weight, all the SUVs here including the Traverse RS are almost identical. The Chevy here is the longest SUV by dimensions and it also has the longest wheelbase. The ground clearance of the Traverse RS, on the other hand, is the lowest compared to its rivals. The Korean cousins are significantly smaller than the Chevy.

Standout exterior features:

  • Black Roof Rails
  • LED Headlamps and DRLs
  • LED Brakelights
  • Dark Accent Theme
  • 20" Aluminium wheels
  • Body-colored Power Heated Side Mirrors

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV Safety

In terms of safety, NHTSA gave it a perfect 5-star for its safety and the IIHS awarded it with Top Safety Pick title for the year 2021. The Traverse RS is equipped with Chevy Safety Assist which features a lot of state-of-the-art safety tech. All in all, if safety is one of your top priorities while shopping in this segment, the Traversee RS will not disappoint you in any way.

Standout safety features: 

  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Front Pedestrian Braking
  • Following Distance Indicator
  • Rear Pedestrian Alert
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Automatic Emergency Braking Assist

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV Competition

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS vs 2021 Ford Explorer Limited

The Ford Explorer is a bit expensive compared to the Traverse RS. The Explorer can only seat 6 people inside and it also provides the best performance in its segment. On the other hand, the Explorer offers the best MPG rating which is an added advantage. But, still, the Chevy wins the game here in terms of spaciousness and practicality and it also comes at a cheaper cost.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS vs 2021 Kia Telluride SX

The Kia Telluride is better in some ways compared to the Traverse which is fuel-efficient. Other than that, the Traverse RS is better in terms of spacing, cargo, and performance by a huge margin. Also, the x-factor of the Traverse here is the big and spacious third-row seating which is lacking in the Telluride. Both of these SUVs are almost priced in the same range. However, we would recommend the Traverse RS as it has more value proposition than Telluride.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS vs 2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited

The Hyundai Palisade and the Kia Telluride share the same powertrain and dimensions which is why we would still recommend the Traverse RS over Palisade. The Traverse RS is more spacious and has better performance than the Palisade. The Hyundai on the other hand only beats the Traverse in terms of fuel economy. So, it would be a wise choice here to go with the Traverse RS for getting the best out of your money.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS SUV Final Verdict

Yes, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse RS is a great SUV in this segment that excels in all the necessary attributes for a vehicle of this class. There is plenty of space in all the rows, including the third row. Furthermore, its performance is quite decent and the ride quality is also quite good. As a result, Traverse RS is very versatile and practical compared to its competitors. The Chevy, without hesitation, is one of the best full-size SUVs that offer a combination of performance and practicality.