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2015 Chevrolet Trax; City-smart and Connected - Windy City Review


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Chevrolet Trax

2015 Chevrolet Trax
City-smart and connected

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Since the beginning of this year more than half of the various new vehicles that I drove on a weekly basis have been in the truck category. That is, SUVs of one sort or another.


2015 Chevrolet Trax (select to view enlarged photo)

Sales for May 2015 are just being reported as I put in words my drive of the 2015 Chevrolet Trax. And those monthly sales are over half in the truck/SUV category, as they have been for the first part of this year.

The Trax went on sale in the United States earlier this year, where the emerging small-SUV segment is estimated to grow more than 80 percent in the next few years. Trax is already on sale in 66 global markets, where it has generated approximately 180,000 sales since its 2012 introduction.

Before Trax, the smallest crossover SUV in the GM portfolio was the Buick Encore. Now Chevrolet is looking to grab some of that small crossover market that is ever more popular with city dwellers. And Trax is packed with the technology city dwellers depend on for their connected lifestyles including 4G LTE Wi-Fi and Siri Eyes Free.


2015 Chevrolet Trax (select to view enlarged photo)

The 2015 Chevy Trax is priced starting at $20,995 and is offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Driving through the front wheels is a 138 HP Ecotec turbo 1.4-L engine mated to a six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is an option for $1500 additional.

EPA test fuel economy ratings are 26 city mpg and 34 highway mpg for the front drive model and 24 city mpg and 31 highway mpg with AWD.


2015 Chevrolet Trax (select to view enlarged photo)

The five-passenger Trax has a 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat and also a fold-down front passenger setback for storing and carrying items up to eight feet long. There is up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded and 18.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the split-folding rear seatbacks.

For-big city convenience and easy of parking a rear vision camera is standard and rear park assist is available on certain trims. Overall length is just 168.4 inches making for easy maneuvering and parking it tight parking spots.

My week of driving was spent in a Trax LT with AWD priced at $23,945 plus $670 for the LT Plus Package that includes 6-way power driver seat, deluxe cloth/leatherette seat trim, leather wrapped steering wheel and rear park assist. With the $875 destination charge the bottom line hit $25,315, after a $175 LT Plus package savings.

2015 Chevrolet Trax (select to view enlarged photo)

The Trax comes with OnStar 4G LTE Wireless so passengers can enjoy this Wi-Fi hot spot and download to their hearts content. There’s a 7-inch touchscreen and a BringGo navigation app is available.

Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6, iOS 7 and iOS 8 users enhances connectivity and convenience. It enables voice-controlled connectivity so you can keep phones stored and your hands on the wheel. Trax is the first vehicle in its class to offer Siri Eyes Free.

There are many storage cubbies and a two-tier glove box with a USB port and auxiliary jack in the upper glove box for plug-in media. Let the road trip begin.

More detailed information and specs on the complete 2015 Chevrolet Trax model line is only a mouse click away at www.chevrolet.com. If you want to compare the Chevy Trax to other small crossover SUVs you can do that right here on TheAutoChannel.com.

My driving is mostly just me alone and from time to time also with my wife along side. Therefore, my experience with the Trax is driving lightly loaded and in the relatively flat terrain of Chicagoland. Typical of turbocharged engines the Trax develops its 148 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm) over a wide range, 1,850 to 4,900 rpm, which enables good mid-range acceleration and highway merging and passing. More heavily loaded with the rear seat filled and a load of cargo, or in more hilly terrain I suspect the Trax might be a little light on performance.


2015 Chevrolet Trax (select to view enlarged photo)

I found ride and handling to be comfortable around town on city streets but a bit unsettled on a few highway runs. The electric power steering is light for easy low-speed maneuvering and parking and with good feedback at highway speeds.


2015 Chevrolet Trax (select to view enlarged photo)

I’ve probably been spoiled or had my expectations skewed by the many higher-end vehicles I get to drive, so the interior of the Trax left me a bit flat and unimpressed. That said, I’m a strong supporter of putting young, new, higher-risk drivers behind the wheel of new vehicles and not the family hand-me-down. The Trax makes a good choice for a high-schooler’s first car.

Noteworthy on this Chevy is that the 2 year/24,000 mile scheduled maintenance is included in the purchase price. There is no extra out-of-pocket for scheduled oil and filter changes and 4-wheel tire rotation. Additionally there is the three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. For 2016 models Chevy has announced they will reduce the powertrain warranty to 60,000 miles.

In the end the 2015 Chevrolet Trax is a good value for the money.

© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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