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Chevrolet already has one of the widest ranges of small cars on the market, with the the Cruze compact sedan, the Sonic subcompact small-car family, and the Spark minicar. Now the little 2015 Chevrolet Trax crossover, which is closely related to the Buick Encore—and, by extension, the Chevy Sonic—is on its way to grab an even larger portion of small-car shoppers’ wants and needs.
While the Trax doesn’t arrive to U.S. dealerships until early next year, it’s not entirely new to American highways (it went on sale in Canada and Mexico as a 2013 model and is sold in more than 60 global markets).
The 2015 Trax follows what we see as very much a two-box design; it mates an even taller, stubbier version of the current Chevrolet corporate grille, with a high hoodline, what essentially looks like a tall-hatchback profile otherwise. As with other models in the past, such as the late (to the U.S.) Suzuki SX4, the Trax has an arched-back roofline, nicely sculpted flanks to keep it from feeling too slab-sided, and rubber-look lower-body components that give off a hint of ruggedness—although, of course, the Trax isn’t meant for the trail. Inside, the Trax gets an instrument panel look that has a lot in common with the motorcycle-influenced one in the Chevrolet Sonic, including a sweeping tachometer, a digital speedo, and otherwise, a simple, sporty, upright look to the dash and trim.
All U.S. Trax models will come powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque—with peak torque from just 1,850 rpm on up. It’s paired to a six-speed automatic transmission with a wide range of gear ratios, allowing relatively quick takeoffs but a deep overdrive sixth gear for relaxed, fuel-efficient highway cruising. Fuel economy ratings—already out, as the Trax is on sale in Canada—range up to 26 mpg city, 34 highway on regular-grade gas. The Trax is front-wheel drive, although all-wheel drive is available.
The Trax’s underpinnings are much like those of many typical small cars and carlike crossovers, with a MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion-beam rear setup with tubular V-shaped beam and twin-tube gas shocks. Column-mounted electric-boost power steering provides maneuverability and responsiveness, and all models will include four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated in front).
The Trax is about 169 inches long, with a 101-inch wheelbase and 61-inch-wide track, which gives it the footprint of a subcompact by today’s standards. It is, at 66 inches tall, quite a bit higher than a typical subcompact hatch, though.
This small crossover—or tall hatchback, more appropriately—can fit four adults, or five in a pinch if the three in back are quite small. Rear seats are split 60/40 and fold forward flat, while there’s storage in all four doors as well as various cubbies. Cargo space expands from 18.7 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks up, to 48.4 cubic feet with them folded forward. The front passenger seat can fold flat for long items, too.
A rearview camera system will be standard, as well as an electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation, electronic brake force distribution, and Brake Assist. And the Trax offers an astonishing ten standard airbags. Both the driver and front passenger get standard knee bags; front and rear outboard positions get side thorax airbags; and side curtain bags cover those in front and rear outboard positions.
The Trax will be offered with next-generation OnStar telematics services and MyLink connectivity, including an available seven-inch color touch-screen system with additional USB ports, SiriusXM satellite radio services. That system is compatible with expanded Siri Eyes Free connectivity for iPhone models, and with the BringGo navigation app, which essentially allows smartphone users with the installed app to project maps and directions to the vehicle’s display screen. Chevrolet’s new OnStar 4G LTE embedded vehicle data system will also be offered in the Trax, potentially turning the vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot when needed.
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax will arrive to the U.S. in LS, LT, and LTZ trims, with keyless entry included across the model line. LS models offer 16-inch steel wheels, while LT models get 16-inch alloy wheels and top LTZ models get 18-inch alloys. Options will include remote start and the infotainment upgrades, but other details haven’t yet been announced.
Check back here this summer and fall, as we hope to bring you more details and driving impressions for this upcoming model.
- Should be easy to maneuver and park
- Confident, efficient powertrain
- Versatile interior
- Seating actually good for four adults
- Probably won’t pack much driving fun
- Uninspired (already somewhat dated) design