Chevrolet has announced it will unveil a new global SUV in September at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The new model, called Trax, will be offered in more than 140 markets, with Mexico and Canada being the first ones privy to it. As of right now, there are no plans to introduce it in the U.S. market.
The future Trax will feature the same pioneering spirit and expressive design that defines each new Chevrolet, but it will be distinguished by a muscular exterior design and wide athletic stance. Chevrolet states that the interior will come with standards usually found in more expensive vehicles.
"The Trax provides Chevrolet an entry into a growing small SUV segment and delivers the flexibility, great fuel economy and car-like handling that urban explorers around the world require," said Mary Barra, GM senior vice president of Product Development. "After a record sales year in 2011 and a record first quarter, Chevrolet continues to meet customer needs by expanding its portfolio with strong new entries."
Exterior and Interior
Chevrolet has made it clear that the Trax SUV is all about versatility and fuel efficiency wrapped in an unmistakable Chevrolet profile. It measures 4,248 mm in length, 1,776 mm in width and with a wheelbase of 2,555 mm. The Trax’s powerful body lines conveys an agile and imposing ride, highlighted by the automaker’s decision to separate the upper from the lower port of its prominent front grille.
"For many decades, Chevrolet has been known for its dependable and capable SUVs," said Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe. "[The] Trax will deliver on all of the traditional Chevrolet values and more. It is a modern, highly versatile yet fuel-efficient small SUV, offering car-like handling and all-wheel drive."
For all the distinguishable characteristics of the Trax’s exterior, the interior cabin is where this SUV separates itself from the rest of its competitors. A cluster combining digital readouts with analog displays conveys a message of sophistication and convenience. Moreoever, the Trax offers the kind of space consumers might want in a small SUV. It has a 358-liter trunk that comes with a number of bins above and on both sides of the center stack. Likewise, an under pass seat tray is also available as is more stowage just under the cargo floor. The overall cabin also boasts of a 60/40 split rear seat. The front passenger seat can also be folded flat, allowing for additional space inside the cabin.
For those who opt for a higher trim of the Trax, Chevrolet is offering the company’s MyLink infotainment system that includes a seven-inch, high resolution, full color touch-screen display.
Chevrolet is offering the Trax SUV with a choice of three different powertrain options, including a 1.4-liter turbocharged gas engine that produces 140 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque while mated to a six-speed manual transmission. There’s also a 1.6-liter gas engine variant and a 1.7-liter turbo-diesel engine that produces 130 horsepower and 300 Nm of torque.
All powertrain options available for the Trax come with manual transmission - the 1.4-liter and 1.7-liter diesel models come will also be offered with a six-speed automatic transmission - and Start/Stop functionality.
Keeping in line with the industry’s increasingly stringent safety requirements for vehicles, the Chevrolet Trax comes loaded with plenty of safety features, including six airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) including Hill Start Assist (HSA), Traction Control (TC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution. Meanwhile, Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC) are standard on LT trim vehicles.
Chevrolet has yet to release pricing for the Trax. But rest assured, we’ll give you pricing details as soon as they become available.
Unfortunately, the Chevrolet Trax won’t be available in the US. Nevertheless, European countries that do have the Trax available will have plenty to choose from as a number of competitors offer as much, if not more, options than the Trax.
One model, in particular, is the Nissan Juke, which actually has a unique following on its own. The quirky Japanese crossover is undoubtedly more eye-catching at first glance and its powertrain options include a top-of-the-line 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline turbocharged engine that produces 190 horsepower and 240 Nm of torque.
For all the cool features of the Trax - yes, it has some redeeming value - the SUV’s is just a little too bland for our taste. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when it comes to first-look appeal, the Trax doesn’t accomplish that.
Multitude of powertrain options
Plenty of safety features
Another option from the Bowtie
Not available in the US
Plenty of other options
Design doesn’t stand out