Mild cosmetic updates, but with a slew of now-standard safety features.

Coming off its best sales year ever, the Chevrolet Traverse prepares for the 2021 model year with a new 'do, three years after its last redesign. The upcoming mid-cycle refresh will include revised exterior elements, updated interior options, new in-car technology, and most importantly, additional, no-cost active safety features.

Most notable on the exterior will be new LED headlights and taillights paired with an equally updated front and rear fascias. Along with a new, more-angular front grille, the 2021 Traverse immediately presents a brawnier and boxier vibe than the current model – even though the sheet metal between the front and rear clips goes unchanged. Turn signal indicators also are now integrated with the daytime running lamps, and four new wheel designs are available.

The interior also will offer new seating choices as well as newly-available creature comforts such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, an 8.0-inch driver information display, and a panoramic sunroof. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse will continue to offer USB charging ports in all rows as well as maintain its best-in-class cargo capacity crown. Overall, then, a couple of thoughtful changes come to the big Chevy's cabin.

But it's the safety gear that sees the most significant improvements. All Traverse models will now include a more comprehensive set of driver-assistance systems as standard: automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, front pedestrian braking, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist with lane departure warning. On the 2020 Traverse, much of that equipment required customers order the range-topping trims or pay extra when going for the mid-pack models. This is a very welcome upgrade.

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That said, Chevy hasn't flung open the door on active safety. While it's no longer limited to the range-topping High Country, Chevy is still limiting adaptive cruise control to its ritzier models – the 3LT, RS, and Premier. A Safety Alert Seat will also be available for the first time, although again, Chevy is limiting that feature to the Traverse Premier and High Country models only.

Chevy's release makes no mention of powertrain tweaks, so we'd suspect the Traverse to retain last year's 3.6-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission. 

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is expected to go on sale in late 2020. Pricing and additional specifications will be available closer to its launch date.

Gallery: 2021 Chevrolet Traverse