The 2019 Chevrolet Trax is back as the cheapest way to get into a Chevy crossover, with a surprisingly spacious interior, available all-wheel drive, and a great size for navigating and parking in urban streets. On the other hand, this is about as plain as plain can get, and you may want to shop around the segment before you make your decision.

Best Value

The whole point of the Trax is that you want a small, cheap SUV, and if you wanted to spend some money, you'd be looking at the article for the Buick Encore. With that in mind, you'll want to keep it cheap, but don't go too cheap. The best trim level is just too basic, so stepping up to the LT is a good move.

With the LT you'll get a seven-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED and Halogen taillights, cruise control, and remote start. We'd also go with the LT Convenience Package which adds quite a few niceties for only $450. With that, you'll stay under $25,000 which should keep you happy.

  • Model: 2019 Chevrolet Trax LT
  • Engine: 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 138 hp / 148 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 25 City / 33 Hwy
  • Options: LT Convenience Package ($450, two spare keys, six-way power driver seat, keyless entry and start, deluxe cloth and leatherette seating, leather-wrapped steering wheel)
  • Base Price: $24,195 (including the $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $24,645

Performance

Chevy Trax

The Chevy Trax isn't a performance car. The 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque feels a bit underpowered, especially on the highway. Unfortunately, this miserly power doesn't give equally miserly gas mileage, as you'll manage an EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway, and 28 combined.

All-wheel drive is an optional feature, which also provides disc brakes for the rear wheel over the drums given to the front wheels. The real calling card of the Trax though is the fact that it's got a taller ride height over standard hatchbacks, and it has a fairly cushy suspension that does well on our rutted city streets. All in all, you're not buying this car with any expectation of sportiness; if you're looking for that, check out the Mazda CX-3.

Style

It's honestly hard to imagine a more plain looking compact crossover than the Chevy Trax. It's generic, and unabtrusive, blending into the background of the automotive landscape like a pair of sneakers that grandfather would wear. Bumpers and lower body trim are left unpainted to obviously save money, so no one thinks this is a premium vehicle, but at least this makes it seem a little more rugged. Inside it's a little less plain looking, with a swoopy dashboard with stitching on the Premier models and the cloth seats have some interesting patterns on them, however, it still feels pretty cheap across the board.

The Trax is comfortable, but options and trims can get surprisingly expensive. A fully-loaded Trax pushes past $30,000, but you'll never forget that you're in what is ultimately a cheap car. The cheapest models are rental car specials, with just a touchscreen, air conditioning, and a four-way adjustable driver seat. Higher specs get higher quality cloth or leatherette seats with further adjustability, cruise control, premium Bose audio, and seat heaters.

The Best and Worst Things

Chevy Trax

It's inappropriate to complain about the Trax being too small; the entire point of this vehicle is to be small. That being said, the largest benefit of the Trax is the amount of interior space it offers. While rear passengers may be uncomfortable over longer trips, but for short hops around town it'll be just fine with plenty of head room.

While it does have a some driver assistance features available, automatic emergency braking is missing. You can get forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and lane departure warning, but most of the Trax's competitors have automatic emergency braking in their repertoire.

Right For? Wrong For?

The Trax is a good choice for elderly drivers. The tall driving position makes it great for older folks who find it harder to get in and out of sedans. Additionally, elderly drivers won't notice the lack of features and tend to appreciate simple, anonymous vehicles that come with the benefits of a factory warranty.

For those who like to drive, the Trax won't be your top choice.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 Chevy Trax may be fairly cheap, but it won't let you forget it. It's generic, simple, and forgettable, but great for driving around town with available all-wheel drive and a surprisingly spacious interior for a subcompact SUV. That being said, if you want something nicer for not much more, you may want to look into the Buick Encore.