New Traverse pushes SUV class

BY Myron Love. Oct 20 03:00 am

General Motors’ redesigned-for-2018 Traverse made its debut at local Chevrolet stores at the beginning of September, and Vickar Community Chevrolet general manager Don LaChance says the popular mid-size SUV is selling almost as fast as the vehicles are arriving.

Vickar sales rep Rodney Neufeld reports that he took a 2018 Traverse for a drive shortly after the new model came in and says he was very impressed.

“It was a lot livelier and more responsive than its predecessor,” he says. “It doesn’t feel like a big vehicle. It handles very nicely.”

Neufeld points out that the new Traverse is also a little lighter than previous editions of the vehicle — which translates into better gas mileage — and a little longer. That means more headroom and legroom for the second- and third-row passengers in an SUV that already boasted one of the most spacious interiors in its class. The 2018 Traverse also still has best-in-class maximum cargo space.

Most trims, Neufeld reports, are powered by a 3.6-litre V-6 engine rated at 305 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The RS trim has FWD and a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder powertrain producing 255 hp and 295 lb-ft. of torque. All trims are equipped with GM’s new nine-speed automatic transaxle and an engine stop/start system, both of which improve fuel economy.

New trims for 2018, Neufeld notes, are the sporty RS — with black bowtie emblems, black ice grille, 20-inch dark Android-painted aluminum wheels, gloss black window trim and black roof side rails — and the top-of-the-line High Country equipped with every safety and convenience package the Traverse has to offer.

The new Redline Edition — available in premium trim — has some of the same features as the RS, with red accents added to the wheels, a red outline around the bowtie emblems and black badging, dark tail lamps and black-painted lower mouldings with black ice inserts.

Standard features on all models include a new traction mode, which allows drivers to make real-time adjustments to the vehicle’s driving mode to account for varying road conditions; active aero shutters; LED daytime running lamps; keyless open and start; tri-zone automatic climate control; teen driver mode; OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot; surround vision; and rear-view camera.

Also standard on most models are heated, leather-trimmed front seats, power liftgate, MyLink radio systems featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Driver Information Centre and remote start.

The Driver Confidence II Package is available on Premier FWD (standard on AWD) and includes low-speed forward automatic braking, forward collision alert, lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, following distance indicator, front pedestrian detection and IntelliBeam headlamps. This package is standard on High Country models.

The base model, Neufeld says, sells for a starting price of $39,000.

Echoing Don LaChance, Neufeld says the response to the new Traverse has been very good. “I even had a couple come in from Thompson to buy a Redline model,” he says.


Vickar Auto Group contributes to cancer research

For the month of September, the Vickar Automotive Group, comprising seven stores, donated $50 from the sale of every new or pre-owned vehicle to the Canadian Cancer Society to help raise money for Child Cancer Awareness Month. On Oct. 11, the Vickar Automotive Group presented a cheque for $26,000 to Abby Stewart and the Canadian Cancer Society.

September was Child Cancer Awareness Month. Over the summer, 11-year-old child cancer survivor Abby and the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation approached all of the auto dealers on Regent Avenue to participate in the Canadian Cancer Society’s “Abby’s Balloons for Childhood Cancer” community initiative. All of the dealers were asked to tie specially marked gold helium balloons to their vehicles throughout the month of September to raise awareness and generate donations to fight childhood cancer.

“We would like to thank all of our team members and our great customers who helped raise the money for this cause,” Vickar Community Chevrolet sales representative Steve Lipischak says.


Ford dealers give back

Winnipeg Ford dealers continue to raise money for local community needs as part of Ford of Canada’s national Drive One 4 UR School program. On Friday, Sept. 15, Capital Ford and Ford of Canada raised $1,800 toward down payments for the Epic Opportunities Foundation.

Epic Opportunities provides support, resources, programs and services to individuals living with intellectual disabilities. They provide holistic, person-centred supports and promote inclusive communities.

On Sept. 23, Birchwood Ford raised $2,140 to help pay for a playground project for Frontenac School. In June, the Regent Avenue dealership raised over $3,100 for École Provencher.

On Oct. 6, River City Ford raised $1,200 for new playground equipment for Voyageur School. River City Ford will have one more Drive One 4 UR School on Wednesday, Oct. 25, for the Headingley Community Foundation.

For every person who test-drives a Ford vehicle at these events, the dealership and Ford of Canada donate $20 toward the chosen project.

Ford of Canada and its dealerships have been supporting local communities with the Drive One 4 UR School program since 2010, generating more than $8 million in donations for schools and charities across Canada.