2016 CHEVROLET TRAX REVIEWJul 21th, 2016
As gas prices continue to drop, the growing interest in the compact crossover market has taken quite a few automobile manufacturers by surprise. The youthful, stylish Chevrolet Trax, which first graced American showrooms in 2015, represents a steadily expanding segment of small SUVs combining maximum utility with moderate towing capability at a low price point.
The Chevrolet Trax – or the Opel Mokka, as it’s called in Europe – is proving wildly successful, racking up 57,707 sales in 2015. And this year is expected to be another good one for Chevrolet, as the number of compact crossovers and SUVs on U.S. roads are predicted to rise to more than five million for the first time in history. “The small SUV segment is the fastest growing in the industry,” Betsy Flegg, senior marketing manager at Chevrolet Crossovers, told Yahoo. “Introduced just a year ago, the Trax has quickly become an important vehicle for Chevrolet, bringing in new, younger and more female buyers to the brand,” she added.
While not quite as rugged as its size might suggest – you won’t be taking this vehicle off-road – The 2016 Chevrolet Trax has some good features – including a relatively roomy interior, a healthy array of standard features, and excellent crash test scores. Those wanting a true all-road vehicle, however, may not find the Trax powerful enough.
While the Trax’s four cylinder engine performs fine during dirty driving, highway acceleration is sluggish. Common consumer complaints also include subpar handling compared to other all-road vehicles, and choppiness on rough roads. The Trax seems more suited to urban areas, where owning a smaller vehicle makes more sense. According to Edmonds, the 2016 Chevrolet Trax is worth considering if you’re looking for an affordable suburban vehicle that’s easy to drive, easy to park, and offers the latest technology.
If you value these features over a faster or more powerful engine, you may find the Trax a capable, affordable alternative to a full-sized SUV. Keep reading for our comprehensive review of the 2016 Chevrolet Trax.
Despite a tiny footprint, the 2016 Chevrolet Trax boasts plenty of interior space. Headspace and legroom are impressive, while the rear seat provides sufficient room for two adults under six feet tall. The rear cargo area is modest – 18.7 cubic feet – , but the rear seats fold forward to expand that space to 48.4 cubic feet.
The quality of the interior materials left much to be desired. Most interior surfaces are made up of hard plastic, and the few soft surfaces aren’t as impressive to the touch as they are to the eyes. Chevrolet also appears to have cut costs by removing the Center console, impacting the amount of available interior storage.
The Trax’s dash has a standard MyLink interface, featuring a 7-inch touchscreen that connects to a smartphone to provide access to audio, video, photos, and apps. Popular apps in 2016 include TuneIn and Stitcher Internet radio, Pandora, and BringGo navigation. All are available for a flat fee; BringGo is compatible with select iPhone and Android smartphones, and provides full navigational functionality, including traffic information and POI searches. BringGo runs on your smartphone, which means it relies on your device’s data connection, but the app can be viewed and controlled on the MyLink touchscreen. Unfortunately, BringGo is not compatible with all phones, and the Trax’s touchscreen sometimes tails to respond to tactile inputs, which can be frustrating.
The 2016 Chevrolet Trax is offered in LS, LT, and LTZ trim options. Each trim is available with with either all-wheel or front-wheel drive. The Trax seats five passengers.
The LS includes full power accessories, 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a rear cargo cover, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a fold-flat front passenger seat. Standard electronics include the Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Chevrolet MyLink interface, a rear-view camera, GM’s OnStar telematics with 4G WiFi, a six-speaker sound system with a USB port, voice control for iPhones, and an auxiliary audio jack.
The LT trim boasts alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, heated exterior mirrors, roof rails, remote engine start, cruise control, storage under the front passenger seat, satellite radio, and a 110-volt power outlet.
The LTZ trim will get you 18-inch allow wheels, a six-way power driver seat, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, rear parking senses, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and a seven-speaker Bose audio system.
Options on all three trims are minimal. The LT offers an optional Convenience package, which includes leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and rear parking sensors. Chevrolet’s Sun and Sound package will get you an upgrade to the Bose audio system and a sunroof. The sunroof can also be added as a separate option to the LTZ.
The Trax’s engine performance is adequate – no more, no less. While the engine provides enough power for city driving, it lacks the pep required for accelerating, merging, and passing on the highway. This is, unfortunately, a problem that plagues other compact crossovers, including Fiat’s 500X and Honda’s HR-V. The Trax does, however, have a six-speed automatic transmission, which shifts quickly and smoothly enough to compensate for the lack of engine power.
The 2016 Chevrolet Trax has a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine producing 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimates its fuel economy at 29 mpg combined (26 city/34 highway) with the front-wheel drive option and 27 mpg combined (24 city/31 highway) with the all-wheel drive option.
Standard safety features of the 2016 Chevrolet Trax include antilock brakes, front and rear side curtain airbags, traction and stability control, and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger. The front-wheel drive models feature four-wheel disc brakes, which came to a halt at 60 mph in 120 feet at an Edmonds test track – better than the average distance for vehicles in this class.
The rear-view camera comes standard on all models, and the LTZ trim includes rear parking sensors. Every Trax comes with a six-month trial subscription for OnStar emergency communication, which includes roadside assistance ad automatic crash notification.
The 2016 Trax received a five-star rating overall in government crash tests, with five stars for for total side crash safety and five stars for total frontal impact safety.
The Bottom Line
If the quality of interior materials are important to you, or you’re seeking a rugged off-road vehicle with maximum towing and cargo capabilities, the 2016 Chevrolet Trax is likely to fall short of your expectations. If what you want, however, is something that’s safe, economical, and easy to maneuver during city jaunts, the Trax may be the perfect crossover compact for you.
Prices for the Chevrolet Trax start at US$20,300.00.