“2017 Chevrolet Trax CUV”
Refreshed Design with more Technology and Active Safety
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, as is brand loyalty. The Chevrolet Trax, which has been on sale in Europe and only recently came to our shores, shares its global Gamma platform architecture with the Encore from Buick. The 2017 Chevrolet Trax is the Bowtie team’s entry into the Crossover Utility Vehicle arena, and it appears with a refreshed and expressive exterior image and an upgraded premium interior. Both GM vehicles fall into the sub compact crossover category.
The 2017 Chevrolet Trax subcompact crossover SUV comes to market with both refreshed interior and exterior designs, as well as an impressive inventory of new technological features. New for the 2017 model year, the Premier model will replace the LTZ trim level. In terms of design enhancements, Trax features an all-new front-end appearance with Chevrolet’s newly proportioned dual port grille, sleek halogen reflector headlamps (halogen projector headlamps appear on LT and Premier models), the rear fascia displays refreshed and sculpted taillamps with LED signature lighting on LT and Premier models.
The Premium’s interior is centered around the new instrument cluster showcasing a new gauge display with analog speedometer and tachometer readouts and a new driver information center as standard fare. The overall design is a dual cockpit affair with chrome accents, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is compatible with a new Chevrolet MyLink 7-inch-diagonal color touch radio, along with an additional USB port. There is also a Keyless Open and available remote Start feature and newly styled18-inch aluminum wheels appear on Premier models.
A rearview camera now comes as standard across the complete model line model range, which includes the base LS model, a more upscale LT trim and the flagship Premiere model.
Power for all Chevrolet Trax models is supplied by a 1.4-liter Ecotec, DOHC, 16-valve VVT turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine mounted transversely up front. The engine produces 138 horsepower at 4,900 rpm, along with 148 pound feet of torque at 1,850 rpm. Motive force is geared to the driving wheels – either FWD or AWD, via a Hydra-Matic 6T40 electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, including Driver Shift Control (AWD models only). All Chevy Trax models are available in either a Front-wheel drive configuration or an optional Active On-Demand All-wheel Drive configuration The Trax is capable of scooting from 0-60 mph in 9.18 seconds for FWD models and 10.08 seconds for AWD models, with a top speed of 116 mph and steering is electrically powered. EPA estimated fuel economy is rated at 25-mpg city / 33-mpg highway FWD / 24/30-AWD. Keep in mind that the Trax is not a dragster.
Other Trax highlights for the 2017 model year include: standard OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot (includes three-month/3GB data trial); available Siri Eyes Free (with compatible iPhone); a 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat and fold-down passenger seatback capable of storing and transporting items up to eight feet long and up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space and 11 unique storage areas for SUV utility convenience.
Among safety features offered in the Trax are: ten standard air bags, including side-curtain, knee and rear seat-mounted thorax air bags; and active safety features such as Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are available. StabiliTrak stability control comes with full-function traction control. Also available is Rear Park Assist, while a Rear Vision Camera is standard.
My test 2017 Chevrolet Trax came as a FWD model in Premiere trim. The exterior was sprayed Nightfall Gray metallic, while the interior was done in Black and Tan. It came with the Driver Confidence II Package, which included Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. The base price was set at $26,100, which was elevated to $27,290 after adding the optional Package and Destination charge.
SUMMARY: The 2017 Chevrolet Trax unquestionably presents itself as just the right size for a multitude of consumers, not to mention perhaps the perfect size, with all the right features at an almost unbelievable price point considering the elevated level of desirable feature content.
Some fellow auto journalists felt that the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-banger was lacking in power. Admittedly, 138 horses and 148 pound feet of torque are not staggering, but I found the performance to be quite adequate for its intended audience and purpose. The transmission shifts smoothly even in manual mode, but I would have preferred paddle shifters to the thumb switch that’s provided.
The Trax delivered satisfactory road manners featuring a flat, stable ride; while the electronic power steering provided a positive enough on-center feel. The front seat’s bolstering offered ample support and comfort during spirited driving maneuvers, while the 60/40 split rear seats fold flat, along with the front passenger seat to accommodate longer items adding to cargo versatility and flexibility.
Surprisingly, there’s no center console per se, just recessed cup holders. Another questionable issue – the Bose noise-canceling sub-woofer that was mounted inside the spare tire, requires removal to access the spare.
In the final analysis, the 2017 Chevrolet Trax Premiere delivers a winning package much like its GM sibling Buick Encore, with a good deal of technological content for a reasonable price.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Chevrolet Trax
Base Price: $26,100.
Price as Tested: $27,290.
Engine Type and Size: 1.4-liter Ecotec, DOHC, 16-valve VVT turbocharged inline 4-cylinder.
Horsepower (bhp): 138 @ 4,900 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 148 @ 1,850 rpm
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6T40 electronically controlled six-speed
automatic with overdrive, including Driver Shift
Control (AWD models only)
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / FWD.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with coil-over spring; direct-acting stabilizer bar; steel six-point rigid attachment front cross member.
Rear – Compound crank (torsion beam); coil springs with twin-tube shock absorbers.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with
ABS, TCS, ESC with rollover mitigation and
Tires: Continental ProContact P215/55R18 94H Mounted on
5-“V”-spoke silver painted alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 100.6 inches
Length Overall: 167.2 inches
Width: 69.9 inches
Height: 64.8 inches – w/o roof rail / 65.4” with
Curb Weight: 3,201 lbs.
Turning Circle: 36.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 14.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 25 mpg-city / 33-mpg highway FWD / 24/30-AWD
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not Tested.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.