The 2014 Chevrolet Trax is a cheaper alternative to its more expensive cousin, the Equinox, providing excellent performance and interior design. The car also includes the new MyLink infotainment system with smartphone integration and a seven-inch screen. The 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine isn’t a pushover either, being able to produce 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, which is great for such a low-priced vehicle.
The 2014 Chevrolet Trax is a compact crossover that delivers excellent performance, a spacious cabin and a plethora of special features. If you are a fan Chevy’s crossovers in general, then you’ll find little to dislike about this car. Plus, with a price tag of only $18,694, it’s a fine alternative to its more expensive and renowned cousin, the Chevy Equinox, which costs almost $8,000 more.
The 2014 Trax is based on the same platform as the Buick Encore and Chevy Sonic, with the latter being one of the best subcompacts on the market. As such, the exterior is very similar to Chevy’s other crossovers, having the same face as the Equinox and Traverse.
You’ll also discover that the cabin is incredibly comfortable, offering plenty of space upfront and cosy seats. The front seats are noteworthy for being on the taller side to provide good visibility for the driver without sacrificing headroom. Unfortunately, the back-row passengers who are over six feet tall will likely find the space a bit limiting. But, if you have small kids, then they should feel just fine back there. The cargo space is not bad, but it’s nothing special. That said, you can expand it by folding the back seats flat.
The instrument cluster you’ll find in the car is as basic as it gets, looking almost the same as the one in the Sonic. It does remind you that you’re in entry-level vehicle, but at least, simple and easy to navigate. You also get the tilt/telescoping wheel and pedals, along with eight separate cup holders. The biggest treat is the new MyLink infotainment system, which provides smartphone integration and a seven-inch screen.
Pop the hood open and you’ll find a 1.4-litre four-cylinder that can produce 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. While this engine isn’t as powerful as what you’d find in Chevy’s other crossovers, it’s good enough for an economy vehicle, which is what the 2014 Trax aspires to be. As a standard, the engine is paired with a six-speed automatic, but can also be mated with a six-speed manual transmission (front-wheel drive only).
What makes the Chevrolet Trax special is its handling since it feels more like a tall wagon as opposed to an SUV. The electric power steering allows you to be as precise as possible, making tight parking spots and sharp turns easy to manage.
Overall, the 2014 Chevrolet Trax lives up to everything the manufacturer has put out so far. So, if you’re looking for a crossover, but can’t afford the Equinox or Traverse, then give this little car a try.
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|1LT AWD||$25,845||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|1LT FWD||$23,845||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|2LT AWD||$28,345||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|2LT FWD||$26,345||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LS FWD||$18,695||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LTZ AWD||$30,345||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LTZ FWD||$28,345||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Number of Doors||5|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
There is just one engine available in the Trax – Chevy’s familiar turbocharged, 1.4-litre four-cylinder from the Sonic RS and Cruze models. It makes 138 horsepower and a respectable 148 lb-ft of torque, and, in LTZ trim, is mated to a six-speed automatic. (The base LT model can also be equipped with a six-speed manual, in front-drive spec only. You can also get an LT automatic in front-drive.)
As is the technical fashion these days, turbocharging allows Chevy to use a smaller displacement engine for better fuel consumption than a larger non-turbo motor. The Trax all-wheel drive is rated at 8.1 L/100 km city and 5.9 highway. With just 1,420 kilograms (3,130 lbs.) to move around, it’s no surprise the Trax posts good fuel economy numbers.
Since it’s based on the same platform used by the Sonic, the Trax drives very much like a tall car, rather than a traditional SUV. The electric power steering is precise and thankfully isn’t overly light. The LTZ rolls on standard 18-inch wheels and tires that don’t fully fill the fenders, as if the body proportions require 20-inchers. The standard 16-inch wheel set up on the LT model makes the Trax look a little too basic.
The Trax’s AWD is a fairly basic system, offering just a 50-50 torque split front-to-rear with no active side-to-side torque distribution, but it does include one innovative feature. Unlike almost every other entry-level system, the Trax will start up in AWD, offering the best possible traction when accelerating from a stop, up to the first few km/h. If torque isn’t required at the rear axle, the system reverts to front-drive for better fuel consumption. This is perfect for Canadian drivers who encounter low-traction driving conditions for a good portion of the year. Clever indeed.
Originally appeared on AutoFocus.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
The Trax offers lots of room inside for adult passengers, both up front and in the back, with well-bolstered, supportive and comfortable seats. The dashboard is well laid out, with everything within easy reach of the driver, but some scratchy and cheap plastics do mean it's not as well made as some rivals. There's also too much wind and tyre noise inside the car when driving on the motorway, and the already disappointing engines are slow and noisy, as well. Top-of-the-range LT models come with Chevrolet's innovative MyLink infotainment system, which lets you access your smartphone apps, like sat-nav, instance, through the seven-inch, high-resolution colour display via Bluetooth.
Chevrolets aren’t quite commonplace enough to figure prominently in the 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, with no one single model making it into the top 150 cars. However, Chevrolet did make an appearance on the manufacturers rankings, popping in at number 20 out of 32. This is a great result for the American company, leapfrogging over other more established names, and a reflection of the brand's growing reputation for being solid across the board. No Chevrolet cars jump to the top of their class, but they do perform well. So it is with the Trax, based on other proven cars from General Motors, Chevrolet's parent company – which also means parts and mechanicals from Vauxhall. The engines are well proven too, and are shared with the Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Aveo. Some of the plastics do look a bit cheap, but the overall interior feels solid and should stand the test of time and all the abuse a family can throw at it. The Trax has secured the maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, coming fitted with electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, brake force distribution, hill-start assist and six airbags as standard equipment. Plus, you can add hill descent control as an optional extra, which improves its off-roading ability.
Updated on March 26, 2013
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