Inside the New Chevrolet Trax

First introduced for the 2015 model year, the Chevrolet Trax is the automaker’s entry into the relatively new subcompact SUV class. Largely unchanged for 2015, this middle of the road model earns points for its excellent fuel efficiency, high safety scores, agile handling, and comfortable, cushioned ride. In fact, Kelley Blue Book named the 2016 Trax among the most fuel-efficient SUVs as well as one of the ten most tech-savvy cars under $25,000, while U.S. News and World Report calls it one of the best subcompact SUVs for families.

The Basics

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The 2016 Trax is available for a starting MSRP of $20,300, and includes seating for up to five passengers. It’s equipped with a 138-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the car’s only engine option. While this isn’t the most powerful, it’s just fine for zipping around the city, which is one of the best reasons to purchase the sleek, eminently maneuverable Trax.

It offers generous head and legroom as well as 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space. In addition, the front passenger seat folds flat for those who need to transport long or unwieldy items. All-wheel drive is also available on all trim levels.

Features

Even the base model of the Chevy Trax features the latest in technology, equipped with Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a rearview camera. These are unique features among the base model cars in this class. Drivers who want to upgrade can add options like satellite radio, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, a power sunroof, remote start, and rear parking sensors.

Safety is a strong suit of the 2016 Trax, which has a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is a Top Safety Pick+ of the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety.

The Competition

While the 2016 Trax is a reasonable choice in the small crossover class, it ranks well below popular rivals like the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, and Jeep Renegade. However, it’s a good choice for drivers who value advanced technology and safety features, and care less about interior build quality and powerful engine performance.

Fuel Efficiency

With 26/34 city/highway miles per gallon, the Trax is one of the most fuel-efficient options among the crossover class, ideal for the ecoconscious buyer on a budget. Those who prefer value over speed will easily be happy with the balance struck by this subcompact SUV.

Pros and Cons

The 2016 Trax is a great choice for its airy, open interior, which offers expansive visibility for both the driver and passengers, as well as for its poised handling and smooth ride. The technology features are intuitive and easy to use, which is great for buyers who are not as tech-savvy. However, it’s not the best option if you prefer a plush interior, as it loses points for its stale cabin design and hard plastic materials. However, experts generally agree that the 2016 Trax is a good value for the money.

JFs Pic Factory / Shutterstock.com

JFs Pic Factory / Shutterstock.com

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