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- Highs Commanding seating position, capable handling, lots of standard tech features.
- Lows Sluggish engine, lowbrow interior, short on cargo room.
- Verdict While the Trax is a serviceable entry in the subcompact-crossover segment, there are several rivals that offer more at a lower price.
The crossover market has been flooded by a wave of subcompact SUVs, some of which pack an outsize personality into a small package. Not the Chevrolet Trax. Chevy’s littlest utility vehicle has bland styling and a lackluster engine, making it a middle-of-the-road choice among more interesting competitors. The Trax is worth considering given its solid handling and generous list of standard equipment, but less expensive alternatives like the Honda HR-V, Kia Soul, and Mazda CX-3 are better to drive and nicer to live with.
What's New for 2017?
The Trax received a visual freshening for 2017 that brings a more handsome exterior and a modernized interior. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard, and several new active safety features join the option list. The top trim level is also renamed Premier, replacing LTZ.
- LS: $21,895
- LT: $23,795
- Premier: $26,995
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Only one engine is offered in the Trax, and it’s not a great one. The turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four makes 138 horsepower, a low number for this segment, and it’s buzzy and unrefined. Around town, the engine’s turbocharger provides a decent amount of low-end punch, but as soon as you need to pass or merge on the highway, the engine runs out of steam. The six-speed automatic is smooth enough but often executes sluggish shifts and is sometimes reluctant to downshift. A firm ride and good body control give the Trax a feeling of solidity, and quick steering makes it agile in parking lots and urban areas. There’s less body roll in corners than you’d expect given the Trax’s tall stature, although the handling isn’t as responsive and eager as its competitors.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
A high seating position and expansive headroom make the Trax's cabin feel airy and spacious, but it actually has less rear-seat room and cargo space than several of its competitors. The Trax comes standard with a well-integrated, easy-to-use touchscreen mounted at the top of the dashboard. There are also some stitched dashboard inserts that help cultivate a more upscale look. Venture further down the center stack, though, and you’ll find cheap-feeling climate controls and cut-rate plastics around the shifter and center console. Only the top Premier trim level has nicer amenities such as heated front seats and a sunroof, while automatic climate control isn’t available at all. Many rivals offer all of the above features for less money. The Trax’s cargo area is on the small side of its segment, and its rear seats aren’t as easy to fold as they are in several competitors.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The 7.0-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system that’s standard on all Trax models looks basic and is missing a few features, but it functions well. It responds quickly to inputs and includes the latest smartphone-integration capabilities. Bluetooth, in-car Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard on all Trax models; several competitors either make these features optional or don’t offer them at all. The caveat is that the Trax doesn’t offer built-in navigation of any kind, so you’ll have to rely on your phone for traffic, weather, and GPS services.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.