Call it a Crossover, an SUV or a mini Sport-ute. Whatever you call it, Chevrolet is taking a big step in the ultra-competitive small crossover category. Their latest subcompact Crossover—the Chevrolet Trax—just might be the missing link in its stables as it offers yuppies a massive driving experience in a compact package. Why are we drawn to this little wonder? We drive the Chevrolet Trax LT variant on the busy streets of Metro Manila to find out how this car would stand up to our daily traffic grind.
After its debut last year, Chevrolet acknowledged the needs of a much younger motoring audience. The “no-frills” sheetmetal and “user-friendly” features are among the unique selling points of the Chevrolet Trax.
Outside, it has a somewhat snobbish, straightforward appearance. Its proportions are purposely deceiving, the Trax rides on a sub-compact car footprint, similar to size of its rivals, the Ford EcoSport and Honda HR-V. Chevrolet’s trademark bowtie badge adorning the Trax gives the car a solid American feel. The most recognizable exterior features of the Trax include the signature, dual-port grille, swept-back headlamps, and chrome accents, while the wheel flares, aerodynamic spoiler and wraparound tail lamps give the car a rugged, macho appeal.
Step inside the Trax, one immediately feels its distinct American-ness. The spacious interior can accommodate up to 5 adults, although a third-row seat might have made a great option.
The layout of the Trax’s dashboard is similar to Chevy Sonic and Cruze, which includes a tachometer and digital speedometer. The center console offers a plethora of functionality for its otherwise clean, uncluttered execution. Cabin climate is superb, thanks to the Trax’s airconditioning system that maintains your desired temperature. Chevy also added a leather-clad steering wheel (with audio controls), illuminated sun visor and tire pressure monitoring system to take the driving experience a notch higher.
Best of all, you can personalize your ride intuitively with the technologically-advanced Mylink infotainment system. This system allows hands-free interaction with the 7-inch touchscreen and its apps, including audio connectivity, Bluetooth and smartphone apps.
POWER and PERFORMANCE
The Trax shares the same 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine that generates 140 hp at 4,900 rpm and 200 Nm at 1,850 rpm with compact and surprisingly solid and peppy Sonic. The 6-speed automatic transmission is well-matched to the engine, shifting smoothly at the most efficient point in the powerband. It can be switched to manual/shiftronic mode, but works so well in automatic mode, that manual shifting is never really necessary.
As for fuel economy, the Trax yields roughly 8-9 kilometers per liter in the urban cycle and 12-kilometers per liter on the highway. Restricted to its small displacement, the turbocharged engine feels slightly sluggish when passing on the highway, but packs and incredible punch in the city.
As always, Chevrolet went the extra mile to ensure passenger safety, with active safety features like Hill Descent Control, Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, Rear Wheel Boost, Rollover Mitigation, Straight-Line Stability, Engine Drag Control and Panic Brake Assist. It even has 6 airbags, rear parking sensors and a rear view camera, all standard.
Of all the great vehicles available locally, the P1,218,888 Chevrolet Trax offers amazing value for your hard-earned money. This is one Chevy that will set you on the right ‘Trax’!
Model : 2016 Chevrolet Trax LT
Engine : 1.4-liter, DOHC MFI turbo intercooled
Transmission : 6-speed AT
Power ratings : 140 ps at 4,900 to 6,000 rpm
Torque ratings : 200 Nm at 1,850 to 4,900 rpm
Price as tested : P1,218,888