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2015 Chevrolet Trax Review by John Heilig

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2015 Chevrolet Trax Review

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Buteau
The Auto Channel


MODEL: 2015 Chevrolet Trax
ENGINE: 1.4-liter Turbo 4
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 138 hp @ 4,900 rpm/148 lb.-ft. @ 1,850 rpm
WHEELBASE: 100.6 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 164.8 x 69.9 x 65.2 in.
TIRES: P215/55R18
CARGO: 48.4 cu. ft. (max.)
ECONOMY: 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway/25.8 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 14.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,208 lbs.
STICKER: $25,530 (includes $875 delivery)

BOTTOM LINE: Despite a buzzy engine, the Chevrolet Trax does a good job for a small CUV. It is comfortable and easy to drive and has good handling for its size.

I wasn’t totally sure what to expect with the Chevrolet Trax. I knew it was a small CUV, but with all the cars I encounter, I forgot just how small it is. I, and my wife, were pleased to discover that it was far from too small. In fact, it was pretty close to what I would want for a small vehicle.

Shortly into our test, we too the Trax on a fairly long trip to Lancaster, PA, roughly 50 miles each way. We had some long straight stretches, in-town driving, plus a nice stretch of winding roads through Pennsylvania Dutch farmland and woods. The Trax comported itself well on the winding roads, both as far as handling and comfort. We couldn’t go too fast, thanks to posted speed limits and a driver or two in front of us who actually reads speed limit signs, but I felt the handling was excellent at the speeds we traveled.

The 1.4-liter turbocharged four gave us all the power we needed. Iy is rated at 138 horsepower, but since the Trax only weighs a tad over 3,800 pounds, this is perfectly adequate.

My one complaint is that the engine seemed buzzy – all the time. Many times, a small four will buzz on hard acceleration or when asked to work too hard, but the Trax’s mill buzzed all the time. Honestly, though, by the end of the road test week, we were used to it, so if you buy a Trax and note the engine more than you expected, don’t fret, it will seem quieter after a week or so.

The front seats are fairly flat, with little side support. Both my wife and I had problems getting the seats to conform to our unique shapes, but we eventually did. There is a center arm rest, but no console underneath. There is a small drawer under the front passenger seat that’s great for secreting valuables when you leave the car.

The rear seats offer decent legroom, a surprise in a smaller vehicle. A small center hump would permit a third, narrow, passenger back there. I liked that the rear headrests fold when they aren’t in use, eliminating a possible rear vision problem for the driver.

I liked the dash. The instrument panel features a large round tachometer on the left, and a rectangular digital speedometer and in formation panel (economy, gear, compass, odometers) on the right. It is a well-designed package. And when you consider that you spend all your time inside the car looking at the dash (when you aren’t looking out the windshield), a well-designed dash is a pleasure. FYI, the Chevy Impala is one of my favorites.

The audio system kept us entertained on our long rides, and the HVAC system kept us comfortable. The audio screen is very clear. Since our tester was not equipped with navigation, we didn’t check it out, but the clear screen would have been an asset.

Including the generous 48 cubic feet of cargo area in the back, there are numerous storage areas throughout the Trax. For example, there is a two-tier glove box with a USB port and AUX jack in the upper ne for plug-in media. The multi-tiered door pockets are also useful, plus a cubby ahead of the shifter. On top of the dash is a reasonably deep tray that will hold a mobile phone without it falling off in a hard turn.

All in all, the Korea-built Trax is a solid, small crossover utility vehicle. It did everything we asked of it and did it well. It’s nice to have a utility vehicle, either crossover or sport, that is also easy to park.

2015 The Auto Page Syndicate