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.
2015 Chevrolet Trax
Transmission:Hydra-Matic 6T40 6-speed automatic
Horsepower @ RPM:138 @ 4900
Torque @ RPM:148 @ 1850
0-60 time:10 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:110 mph (Est.)
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
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.
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)
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|
|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|
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.
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.
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.
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.