James Flammang, Contributing Editor -September 10, 2015
When Chevrolet launched the Trax for 2015, the mini-compact crossover category was just beginning to catch hold. No one knew whether customers would fall for something like a Trax, which is 20 inches shorter than Chevrolet’s conventionally compact Equinox. So far, at least, buyers seem ready for smaller vehicles with a tall body and versatile interior. In addition to an efficient powertrain and tempting price, Trax comes across as a sensible choice for the daily commute and family chores.
What's New for 2016
Except for some new color choices, nothing has changed.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Trax
Based on the Chevrolet Sonic platform and kin to Buick’s Encore, the Trax places thrift above spirited performance. Considering its bantam-sized body dimensions, the Trax interior is more spacious than expected. Specifically, there’s 18.8 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats. With the back seat folded, volume expands to 48.4 cubic feet. The front passenger seat folds down, to carry objects up to 8 feet long while still being able to close the tailgate.
The turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine develops 138 horsepower, mating with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available in each trim level. Fuel economy is a strong point, estimated at 26 mpg in city driving and 34 mpg on the highway (29 mpg in combined driving). All-wheel drive drops the estimate to 24/31 mpg (27 combined).
Three trim levels are offered: LS, LT, and LTZ.
This new breed of subcompact offers a refined mixture of fuel economy, utility, and ride quality, at a sensible price. We applaud the inclusion of a rearview camera even on the base LS model, as well as a standard MyLink system. Still, lack of basic features like cruise control makes the LS less tempting. Best overall value, then, is the midlevel LT. Adding all-wheel drive costs only about $1,500 extra, and it’s a sensible feature even for owners who don’t live in the snowbelt.