The AWD system on the traverse is a "fluid clutch" which is different than the oldskool 4WD "locked" 4wd systems of other model lines.
This is one reason that we actually opted for only front wheel drive, since we do live in the NorthEast and do get a considerable amount of snow in the wintertime, I would have preferred to get a 4wd option, or none at all. With all the weight of the engine above the front drive wheels, and reviews from several friends in my area who also own Lambda platform FWD trucks, I chose to go FWD instead of AWD for this purchase. Personal preference, that's all.
From an article online (facebook) I found: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?not...9457363&ref=mf
The Traverse all-wheel-drive system actively manages torque distribution between the front and rear axles. Rotational differences between the front and rear axle cause clutch plates in the center differential to engage and transfer torque to the wheels with the best traction. Thus, more slip at one end means more power is transferred to the other. Because it is a “hands-off” system, there is no need for driver intervention. Unlike the four-wheel-drive system you find on vehicles like the Chevy Tahoe, however, the AWD system on the Traverse works in snow, rain and on dirt roads without being engaged to drive each wheel all the time.
So for that being said, you will probably climb the driveway with ease, however, may need to consider turning off stability control / traction control to gain the momentum needed to power to the top. Couldn't hurt to see if you can test drive one, take it home, and see if it meets the challenge. Of course, be very careful not to throw stones with a new test drive truck, but at least you'll get the feel for how it's ability to climb your unnerving driveway will be.
All that being said, I know you have probably heard this a lot, but have you considered paving it or removing the stones and even putting two "tire width" strips of asphalt/concrete for the tires to grip without danger? I know that asphalt is much cheaper than concrete, but with all those stones around, you are making it more dangerous for (self admitted) pitting paint when stones fly when losing traction, or worse, some sort of accident related to a visitor or family member who may not be well versed in driving up a slippery loose stone driveway like yours?
--zepcom<br />* 2011 Cyber Grey Metallic Traverse LT1 FWD. *<br /> Ebony Cloth, 2-2-3 seats, Remote Start, Manual HVAC, craptastic-Ultrasonic & Inspiring-Gentex-rearview-Camera, Bluetooth, Factory Trailering "Provisions" which awards "performance shift" button.
<br /><br />* 2009.1 G8GT "the grocery getter"