Traverse

Flex

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

8.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Traverse

FWD

3.6 DOHC 6-cyl.

18 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC 6-cyl.

17 city/25 hwy

Flex

FWD

3.5 DOHC 6-cyl.

16 city/23 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC 6-cyl.

16 city/22 hwy

3.5 Turbo 6-cyl.

15 city/21 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 Flex 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 Flex Limited requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Traverse AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Flex (21.7 vs. 18.6 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

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

Transmission

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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 Flex.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Traverse stops much shorter than the Flex:

Traverse

Flex

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

192 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Traverse has larger tires than the Flex (255/65R18 vs. 235/60R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Traverse has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Flex SE.

The Chevrolet Traverse’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Flex 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 Flex doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Flex (120.9 inches vs. 117.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Traverse is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Flex.

The Traverse RS handles at .84 G’s, while the Flex SEL AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Traverse’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Flex’s (39 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

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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 Flex 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 Flex doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Traverse High Country AWD is quieter than the Flex Limited AWD (67 vs. 68 dB).

Passenger Space

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

The Traverse has 2.6 inches more front hip room, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear hip room, 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room, .2 inches more third row legroom, 7.4 inches more third row hip room and 6.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the Flex.

Cargo Capacity

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

Traverse

Flex

Behind Third Seat

23 cubic feet

20 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.8 cubic feet

43.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

98.2 cubic feet

83.2 cubic feet

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Traverse Premier/High Country’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Flex doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Flex is limited to 4500 pounds. The Traverse offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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

On a hot day the Traverse’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Flex can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Flex’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Traverse (except L/LS) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Flex doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

When the Traverse Premier/High Country is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Flex’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Traverse Premier/High Country has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Flex has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Traverse has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Flex SEL/Limited.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Traverse owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Traverse will cost $725 less than the Flex over a five-year period.

The Traverse will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Traverse will retain 46.83% to 49.78% of its original price after five years, while the Flex only retains 41.51% to 45.94%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Traverse is less expensive to operate than the Flex because typical repairs cost much less on the Traverse than the Flex, including $454 less for a muffler, $34 less for front struts and $81 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

? 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/10

The Chevrolet Traverse outsold the Ford Flex by over seven to one during 2018.

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

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