2015 Chevrolet Trax

The General looks like it’s back to badge engineering these days, as the Chevrolet Trax treks across the state at the 2014 New York Auto Show. Though it might only be a reworked Buick Encore, the Trax is aimed at a completely different audience — one that is noticeably younger.

The Trax may be a new vehicle for the U.S., but it’s been sold in Canada and other markets around the world since 2012. Thought it’s not new, the Trax gets some needed updates before entering the U.S. market. The interior receives the majority of the updating with an upright dashboard, optional center touch screen and infotainment system, a Chevy Sonic- like gauge cluster, and a steering wheel copped from the Cruze .

The Trax seems aimed at those shopping for Sonics or Cruzes, but want something more high-riding and SUVish. That combination of small dimensions, an upright posture, and a large cargo hold (with the seats down) has worked well for Buick so far.

Like the interior, the drivetrain is rather familiar. Power comes from the 1.4-liter, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder making 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. While it’s a direct bolt-in from the Cruze, the Trax does offer an all-wheel-drive option. That combined with the higher ground clearance, and the Trax seems well suited for trudging through those pesky Polar Vortexes.

Chevy’s newest crossover offers plenty of standard features across its trim levels. Available in LS, LT, and LTZ, the Trax comes standard with a backup camera, StabiliTrak with ABS and electronic brake force distribution, and 10 airbags.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Trax.

Exterior

Chevrolet Trax
Chevrolet Trax
Chevrolet Trax

The smallish rear window and thick C-pillars likely hamper rearward visibility while the large side windows and generous windshield appear to give plenty of outward visibility.

The Trax is rather familiar, both because of its hot-selling Buick cousin and Chevy’s short-U.S.-lived Captiva Sport, but it does have its own unique styling. The front grille with its bowtie-split louvers and large headlights make the crossover seem to be smiling. The large fog lights lend a more premium appearance while a bright chin protector down low gives it a rugged flair.

That ruggedness continues over the wheel arches and around the rear bumper with yards of black trim. The plastic trim work is most noticeable out back as the entire rear bumper is comprised of the low-cost material. The smallish rear window and thick C-pillars likely hamper rearward visibility while the large side windows and generous windshield appear to give plenty of outward visibility.

2015 Chevrolet Trax - Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (in / mm):100.6 / 2555
Overall length (in / mm):168.5 / 4280
Overall width (in / mm):69.9 / 1776
Overall height (in / mm):65.9 / 1674
Track (in / mm):front: 60.6 / 1540
rear: 60.6 / 1540
Curb weight (lb / kg):FWD: 2805 / 1293 (est.)
AWD: 3208 / 1455 (est.)
Minimum ground clearance (in. / mm):front: 6.2 / 157
rear: 6.2 / 157

Interior

Chevrolet Trax
Chevrolet Trax
Chevrolet Trax

it looks like the upscale LTZ model has plenty of creature comforts with leather seats, a two-tone dashboard, the large seven-inch infotainment screen, and a unique gauge cluster.

Inside, the Trax shares many materials, shapes, and designs with its other GM cousins, namely the Sonic, Cruze, and of course, the Buick Encore. None of that is necessarily a bad thing, however, as the design seems to work well. From the photos, it looks like the upscale LTZ model has plenty of creature comforts with leather seats, a two-tone dashboard, the large seven-inch infotainment screen, and a unique gauge cluster.

That seven-inch screen is home to Apple’s cutting edge, in-car software called Siri Eyes Free. Designed to work with the driver’s iOS 6 and iOS7 iPhone, the system uses Siri to operate many of the infotainment system’s features, including reading and writing text messages. Also included is OnStar 4G LTE with a wifi hotspot, along with Chevy’s MyLink software. SiriusXM radio and navigation are also available.

The Trax’s interior volume is identical to the Encore’s, so most every size of passenger will have ample room. If cargo room is needed, the 60/40 rear bench folds independently and will hold up to 48.4 cubic feet of stuff. Hauling long items is made easy with a folding front seat. With the rear seat folded up, the Trax still has 18.7 cubic feet of cargo room.

Cargo Hold

Chevrolet Trax

2015 Chevrolet Trax - Interior Dimensions

Seating capacity (front / rear):2 / 3
Headroom (in / mm):front: 39.6 / 1005
rear: 38.8 / 985
Legroom (in / mm):front: 40.8 / 1037
rear: 35.7 / 907
Shoulder room (in / mm):front: 54.1 / 1374
rear: 52.8 / 1340
Hip room (in / mm):front: 51.7 / 1313
rear: 50.2 / 1274
Passenger volume (cu ft / L):92.8 / 2628
Cargo volume (cu ft / L):18.7 / 530 (behind rear seat)
48.4 / 1371 (rear seat folded)

Drivetrain

Chevrolet Trax

Just like the Encore and Chevy’s own Cruze, the Trax comes powered by the 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4. In this application it generates 138 horsepower at 4,900 rpms and 148 pound-feet of torque at a low 1,850 rpm. Running on regular gasoline, the Trax is expected to return 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. Impressive numbers, even for a crossover.

The 1.4-liter’s efficiency comes by way of dual overhead cams with four valves per cylinder. Continuously variable timing on both the intake an exhaust cams help precisely control the engine’s performance. It’s constructed with an iron block and cast aluminum heads.

There is but one transmission choice: the Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic with TAPShift control. That last part allows the driver manual control over the gear selection via a toggle button mounted on the side of the gear selector.

The Trax is available with AWD with a mostly front-axle bias. Coilover MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam rear suspension system keeps most road imperfections at bay.

2015 Chevrolet Trax - Drivetrain Specifications

1.4L turbocharged DOHC I-4
Displacement (cu. in. / cc):83.2 / 1364
Bore and stroke (in. / mm):2.85 x 3.25 / 72.5 x 82.6
Block material:cast iron
Cylinder head material:cast aluminum
Valvetrain:dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, double continuously cam phaser intake and exhaust (DCVCP)
Ignition system:coil on plug
Fuel delivery: sequential multi-port fuel injection with electronic throttle control
Compression ratio:9.5:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):138 / 103 @ 4900 (SAE certified)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):148 / 200 @ 1850 (SAE certified)
Recommended fuel:regular unleaded
Max engine speed (rpm):6500
Emissions controls:close-coupled and underfloor catalytic converters; pre- and post-oxygen sensors
EPA fuel economy (city / hwy):26 / 34

Prices

Chevrolet Trax

Chevrolet has yet released information on pricing, but we’d bet a week’s pay the Trax will start considerably less than the Buick Encore’s $25,585 starting price. It’s likely the Trax will pick up just north of the Chevy Cruz’s $17,520 base price – perhaps starting at $18,500.

Competitors

2015 Jeep Renegade

Jeep Renegade

Unlike the Trax, the Renegade is a capable off-roader — maybe not to the level of its big-brother Wrangler, but still more apt to hit stuff harder than a gravel road. That said, the Renegade and Trax are close competitiors. They share a similar size and fight for the same young, adventurous customers.

The Jeep appears to have a distinct advantage by way of its much more expressive styling, both inside and out. The Jeep’s interior with its optional MySky roof panels are unique features the Chevy can’t touch.

The Renegade offers a choice of two powerplants: a 1.4-liter turbo I-4 or a 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated I-4 producing 160 and 184 horsepower, respectively. The 1.4-liter gets a six-speed manual and the optional automatic while the 2.4-liter comes exclusively with Chrysler’s 9-speed auto. Both powerplants can be had with the capable AWD system.

Jeep hasn’t mentioned pricing for the Renegade just yet, but we expect the starting bid to ring around $18,000 – darn close to the $18,500 we listed for the Trax.

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

The Juke is another funky little crossover with loads of personality. Though its more on the sporty side, the Juke still competes against the Trax and Renegade for those all-important youth dollars. While it does start out at $18,990, a decently-equipped Juke can run in the mid $20,000 range. Sure that’s not too much more than the suspected price of a 2015 Trax, but money is money. To some, the extra scratch might be worth the extra liveliness under the Juke’s hood.

Speaking of that, the Juke comes equipped with a 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 making 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque sent to the front wheels. What’s more, a manual transmission is available, with the other choice being a CVT.

Conclusion

Chevrolet Trax

The Trax offers younger, more adventurous buyers the same level of performance and efficiency as the Chevy Cruze sedan while allowing them to haul larger, bulkier loads while traversing more treacherous, foul-weather terrain. That combination, plus the sheer popularity of small to midsized crossovers these days helps put the Trax on track to become a solid seller for Chevrolet.

Folks these days are looking to the SUV-like capability while getting good fuel economy. And who could blame them? The Trax does offer those things, though it does likely sacrifice some driving characteristics over the smaller, more nimble Cruze and Sonic. Whether or not this crossover will be a good handler is irrelevant. It will compete in a hot market armed with a quiver of an iOS-compatible, navigation-enabled, funky-gauge sporting, dashboard with plenty of room for friends and junk. It’s sure to do well.

LOVE IT
  • Versatile interior with plenty of room
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Potent powerplant with available AWD
LEAVE IT
  • Less classy than the Buick but just as slow
  • Not very pretty

Press Release

At the New York International Auto Show today, Chevrolet announced it will add the Trax, a new small SUV, to its portfolio. The 2015 Trax will offer versatility, connectivity and turbocharged performance in an efficient package.

Chevrolet Trax

Sporty and modern, Trax blends small-car agility with the utility of an SUV, including up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of cargo space. It’s Chevrolet’s seventh small-vehicle launch in less than four years. During that time, the brand’s share of the small-, compact- and mini-car segments has more than tripled – up 221 percent.

“Trax offers customers another option in the Chevrolet family and will be a strong competitor in the emerging small-SUV market, which is expected to grow more than 80 percent by 2016,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “Trax also leverages our global resources and builds on Chevrolet’s strong SUV heritage.”

When it arrives in dealer showrooms early next year, Trax will accommodate customers’ increasingly connected lifestyles with available OnStar 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as MyLink technology featuring the segment’s only seven-inch color touch screen. Trax also will be the first in its class to offer Siri Eyes Free.

Trax technologies also enhance passenger safety, with more standard air bags than its competitors, a standard rearview camera and available rear park assist.

Additional vehicle highlights include:

Chevrolet Trax

Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine that delivers the efficiency of a small-displacement engine with the power of a larger engine on demand
Available all-wheel drive
Electric power steering
Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink
Ten standard air bags, including side-curtain and knee air bags – and the segment’s only rear seat-mounted thorax air bags
Clever and convenient storage areas, including upper and lower glove boxes – with a USB port and auxiliary jack in the upper glove box for plug-in media
60/40-split fold-flat rear seat and fold-down front passenger seatback for storing and transporting items up to eight feet long
Standard remote keyless entry and available remote start.

Trax will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.

A Chevy inside and out

With its signature dual-port grille, prominent bowtie emblem and swept headlamps, the Trax is immediately identifiable as a contemporary Chevrolet. Its grille design – with chrome accents – emulates other Chevrolets and provides a more cohesive appearance across the brand’s lineup of crossovers and small cars.

Available cues such as front fog lamps and simulated front and rear skid plates lend a sportier presence, while vertical tail lamps flank the tailgate, accenting taught body lines and pronounced wheel arches that give the Trax a confident stance.

Chevrolet Trax

The 10 exterior are: Brilliant Blue Metallic, Orange Rock Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, White Pearl Tricoat, Black Granite Metallic, Summit White, Silver Ice Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic, Deep Espresso Metallic and Blaze Red.

Inside, Trax’s distinctive styling carries over to a dual-cockpit instrument panel. In the center, it houses a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color display for the standard MyLink voice-activated infotainment system. It also features displays for available SiriusXM satellite radio and standard rearview camera, as well as the available GPS-enabled app navigation system that customers can download.

The instrument cluster is inspired by the bold design in the Sonic, featuring a large, performance-style analog tachometer combined with a prominent digital display for the speedometer and other readouts. A small-diameter, thick-rimmed steering wheel enhances the sporty ambience. The wheel is leather-wrapped on LTZ and some LT models.

LS models feature standard cloth seating, with deluxe cloth standard on LT, along with an available cloth/leatherette seating trim. LTZ models feature standard full leatherette trim. Interior colors are Jet Black, Jet Black/Light Titanium and Jet Black/Brownstone.

For versatility, the 60/40 flat-folding rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders, storage in all four doors, four bins in the dash, pockets in the seatbacks and bins under the rear load floor and a hidden storage drawer under the front passenger seat. It also offers 18.7 cubic feet (530 liters) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) with the rear seat folded. The front passenger seat also folds flat to extend the cargo length and accommodate items up to eight feet long.

Connectivity and infotainment details

Chevrolet Trax

Available Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users enhances connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity so customers can keep phones stored and their hands on the wheel.

Additional standard and available features include:

Seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen and additional USB ports
Available Chevrolet connected by OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink
Available BringGo navigation app
Available SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of trial service), SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Tune Select (requires XM subscription)
Supports playback of MP3 files stored on USB flash memory drives.

With Chevrolet’s connected by OnStar 4G LTE connection, Trax provides an available Wi-Fi hotspot that allows passengers to connect multiple personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet.

Turbocharged performance

Trax is powered by a power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine backed by an efficiency-enhancing six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is expected to be rated at an SAE-certified 138 horsepower (102 kW) and 148 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm.

The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a more confident driving experience, with a strong feeling of power across the rpm band. The turbocharger’s on-demand performance also contributes to efficiency because it enables greater power when needed with the lower fuel consumption of a small-displacement engine when it’s not.

The turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A solid cast crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional durability to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque.

Chevrolet Trax

A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift control is matched with the 1.4L turbo engine. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight.

A “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows Trax to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds.

Refined ride and handling

Trax is built on a robust global platform and engineered with precise suspension tuning to deliver one of the segment’s quietest and most refined driving experiences. Available all-wheel drive seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling.

A 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,539 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a confident driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quiet ride.

A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar and side-load-compensated front strut modules.

The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Noise-damping urethane spring isolators improve ride isolation and dampen noise.

Trax also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system that saves fuel compared to a conventional engine-driven power steering pump.

Chevrolet Trax

Sixteen-inch wheels are standard on LS and LT (aluminum wheels on LT). LTZ has standard 18-inch aluminum wheels.

Built to protect

Trax incorporates technologies that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Crash-avoidance technologies include:

Standard rearview camera
Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, incorporating traction control and rollover mitigation features
ABS and electronic brake force distribution
Cornering brake control and brake assist

The body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment, with 66 percent of the structure composed of high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. That structural protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags:

Driver and front passenger frontal air bags
Driver and front passenger knee air bags
Front and rear thorax air bags for all outboard positions – including the segment’s only rear-seat-mounted thorax air bags
Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers.

Trax’s safety and security features also include exclusive OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.


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