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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 New York Auto Show in New York City.
Chevrolet Traverse

What is it? Chevrolet’s full-sized, car-based SUV gets freshened front and rear fascias for 2013. But the real news is an upgraded interior, with higher-quality materials, soft-touch surfaces, and new infotainment system. Center stage is a 6.5-inch screen and optional MyLink infotainment system with Bluetooth and Internet radio access.

Three rows of seating remain standard, with room for up to eight passengers. A choice of front or all-wheel drive and the 288-hp, 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic transmission are carried over, but the transmission has been recalibrated for smoother shifting.

Chevrolet says the suspension has also been tweaked for a smoother ride at low speeds. Standard safety features include a backup camera, curtain air bags for all three rows, and a new front seat center air bag. Pricing has not been announced.

What is new or notable? An industry first, the front center air bag deploys from the inboard side of the driver’s seat between the driver and passenger, and it is designed to provide additional protection in a side impact.

CR's take: With decent fuel mileage, a spacious interior, and a third row large enough for adults, the Traverse has always been a good alternative to a full-sized, truck-based SUV. The improved interior addresses a weak point and should make this good vehicle even more appealing.

When will it be available? Later this year.

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