Nowhere has the switch from cars to utility vehicles been more evident than in the small SUV segment, which has grown 85% since 2017. More than half of the owners of the 20 vehicles in this segment came from cars.
Cognizant of this, General Motors pulled the little Chevrolet Trax, which had been around for five years, from the market for the 2023 model year.
After a year-long sabbatical, Chevrolet unveils an entirely new Trax.
The only thing carried forward is the name.
The 2024 Trax is 28 millimetres longer and 5 centimetres wider. That makes it longer than the Chevrolet Trailblazer, but lower. The extra size has brought 12% more cargo space, and 76 mm more legroom for rear seat occupants.
The new Trax is packed with features aimed at first-time buyers, folks who might be considering a used car, and the leagues migrating from cars.
Visually, the new Trax is a significant improvement over the old one which, simply put, looked cheap. The new Trax has attractive lines and different looks across the various trim levels.
The flowing roofline is 9 cm lower than the old model, and plays a major role in this improved appearance. Inside, the use of contrasting textures and colours is used to effectively upscale the 2024 Trax compared to the old one.
2024 Chevrolet Trax: More upscale, more features and plenty of poke off the line!
The all-new Trax has been priced to appeal to those potential customers, ranging from $24,498 to $30,798 across five trim levels. All get a suite of six safety features: automatic emergency and front pedestrian detection braking, lane keep assist with departure warning, forward collision alert, automatic high beams and a following distance indicator.
In addition, the standard equipment list of even the base LS trim includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, heated front seats, and LED headlights.
Power, a surprising amount of it, comes from a tiny three-cylinder engine. I say surprising because thanks to a turbocharger, the little engine acts like a much larger powerplant, much larger.
Only after checking the specs after 500 km of driving, did I discover 1.2-litres! There is plenty of poke off the line and the delivery continues uninterrupted to and above legal speeds. Passing and hill climbing are a breeze.
Energetic powerplant outperforms the competition
Under full throttle the energetic little powerplant produces a distinct, not unpleasant, sound unique to odd-cylinder-count engines. It also outperforms most of the competition.
Fuel mileage, as you would expect from an engine and vehicle this size, is pretty good. I saw an average of 7.8 litres/a00 km over the week of mixed city/highway use.
One downside, and it is a big one in this country, is the lack of all-wheel-drive. The new Trax come as a front-driver only. This might explain how GM kept the price below that of the outgoing model.
New Trax feels more substantial than the old one
Despite its diminutive size and light weight, the new Trax feels much more substantial on the road. The ride is pleasantly smooth and corners are welcome.
After taking a year off, the Chevrolet Trax comes to market as a much-stronger competitor in this extremely crowded segment. Bigger, better looking, better equipped and less expensive, the 2024 Trax is worth a close look.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2024 Chevrolet Trax 2RS
As tested: $30,798 plus freight
LED headlights, Automatic emergency and front pedestrian detection braking, lane keep assist with departure warning, forward collision alert, automatic high beams, following distance indicator. rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert with blind spot detection
28-cm infotainment screen
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, heated front seats, power driver’s seat, 20-cm instrument cluster, 19-in alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, a WiFi hot spot, keyless open and start, heated steering wheel and mirrors, automatic climate control
Turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder, 137 horsepower, 162 lb.-ft. of torque, regular fuel recommended. Six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel-drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 8.3 / 7.4
Length, 4,737; mm; width, 1,823 mm; wheelbase, 2,700 mm; weight, 1,391 kg