A Trax that is ready to go off-road... if only it had more power.

The Chevy Trax first broke into the global market back in 2012 but didn’t make it to the U.S. until the 2015 model year. It went through its first facelift before even making its U.S. debut, but Chevy gave it another overhaul for the 2017 model year. The Trax is essentially a Buick Encore with a revised front and rear end and a slightly different rear door. Of course, the Trax is known as a “girl car” as Chevy reports that 60 percent of examples sold to date have been sold to female consumers. But, Chevy is looking to generate some interest of those with a little more testosterone with the introduction of the Chevy Trax Activ Concept at this year’s SEMA show. Fitted with a decent handful of Chevy accessories and a few conceptual add-ons that give this “girl car” an off-road prowess that is sure to interest some men, despite its compact nature.

Now, let’s not beat around the bush here – the Trax Activ (does the missing “e” make it cooler somehow?) Concept is truly a Buick Encore as far as DNA sequencing is concerned. But, on the surface, it has all the right components to give it an edge in the off-road world. It’s based the 2017 Trax AWD trim level and has a few extras like those beefy all-terrain tires and protective fender flares that are sure to protect it when things get a little tight on those back-woods two-tracks. But, that’s not all it has, so let’s dive on in and take a better look at one of the coolest Trax models we’ve seen to date.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Trax Activ Concept.

Exterior

2016 Chevrolet Trax Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior
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If you’re not one for compact SUVs (or cars, for that matter), I completely understand. I’m not one for compact vehicles either – there’s just not enough room for a bigger fella like myself. But, you’ve got to recognize a good thing when you see one, even if it doesn’t fall under your favorite size category. If you’re one of those guys who enjoys a massive lift that stops fat chicks in their tracks and requires superhuman jumping capabilities to enter, you’re going to be disappointed, but don’t walk away yet, at least give the concept a chance.

To emphasize this Trax’s off-road nature the front and rear fascias are fitted with a black cladding that matches that of those protective fender flares. This helps to prevent damage from vegetation and the like while putting in work in the wild. It looks like the fog lights that are positioned in the corner vents of the front fascia could be a bit larger than those of the standard production model, and it would make sense given the off-road nature, but it’s simply hard to say for sure from the images we have here. The center insert in the lower fascia is silver and looks to feature a pair of red tow hooks.

In comparison to the stock model (left) the Trax Activ Concept (right) sits considerably higher and certainly invites you to take a trip off road.

To the sides, the lower body cladding has been painted black to match the lower fascias and fender flairs. On the very bottom, silver skid-plate-like inserts have been added to help protect the lower edges. To the rear, the Activ Concept gets black inserts around the rear glass and below the glass. The Bowtie emblem is also black and outlined in chrome. Down below, the lower fascia is finished in black and features a silver skid plate and hooks that match the front. But, that’s not the best thing about this concept – it’s the official Chevy accessories and the concept accessories that make this concept newsworthy.

To start off, Chevy threw in a concept suspension system that effectively raised the ride height by what appears to be three- to four-inches. This is paired with a set of 18-inch Chevy Accessory wheels that are painted black and wrapped with some rather meaty all-terrain tires – surely good enough to tackle mud, sand, or snow. Then there’s that Thule roof basket that helps to increase the amount of cargo you can take off-road with you and the LED bar that’s attached to it that is sure to light up even the darkest path should you get lost in the wild after sundown.

Interior

2017 Chevrolet Trax High Resolution Interior
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Note: Standard Chevrolet Trax interior pictured here.

Chevy has yet to release image of the interior, and we can’t make out anything throw the tinted windows in the pictures we have. Chevy has said that this concept has the Jet Black interior that has been outfitted with “unique Satin Graphite accents.” Outside of this, the only other addition to the interior is Chevy Accessory all-weather floor liners. Chevy does want you to know that the standard 60/40 folding rear seat allows for hauling of bikes or other outdoor equipment, so there’s that, which is nice.

Drivetrain

Chevy hasn’t said anything about the drivetrain of this little off-roader, and given the nature of most of the brand’s concepts like this one, there probably isn’t anything to talk about. Under the hood, you’ll find the same 1.4-liter four-banger found in the production model. It mates to a 6T40 automatic transmission. The good news, however, is that it’s based on the AWD model, so it does have a decent all-wheel drive system to assist in loose off-road conditions. Of course, AWD is rarely as good as a selectable four-wheel-drive system, but it’s better than going into the jungle with just the front tires to pull you along, right? Anyway, you’ll get a mild output of 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, which pretty much means you won’t be passing through anything too mucky, but the production model does garner 26 mpg. Even though it’s underpowered, at least you’re not as likely to run the tank dry miles from civilization.

Conclusion

2016 Chevrolet Trax Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior
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We’ve already seen like a million concepts from Ford for the SEMA show this year, so it’s finally nice to start seeing some decent Chevy models in the mix. When it comes to concepts, I always feel that manufacturers should go all out, but unfortunately, that’s not the nature of the beast. You can’t deny the fact that this Trax Activ Concept would be so much cooler with like 300 ponies and an equal amount of torque – that would surely be enough for this little off-road to tackle just about anything, including deep mud. But, you’ve got to take the bad with the good, right? The good news here is that, if you own a new Trax, a good portion of the accessories you see here are already available. And, those that aren’t – like the concept suspension – could be available in the near future. Get yourself an aftermarket turbo kit, and a custom ECU tune, and the 2017 Trax fitted with the accessories seen here could find itself at home in the wild.

  • Leave it
    • * Still too under powered for real off-roading
    • * The exterior color isn’t the greatest

With its urban-chic style and trail-ready stance, the Chevrolet Trax Activ concept explores a new, adventurous lifestyle direction for the popular small SUV, which features an all-new front-end appearance, revised interior and more technology for 2017.

“The Trax Activ concept is all about adventurous fun,” said Todd Parker, design director, exterior component and accessories. “We’ve increased its capability and matched it with styling enhancements that give it an all-new attitude ― it’s a Trax that’s ready to make tracks.”

2016 Chevrolet Trax Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Starting with a 2017 Trax AWD model, the concept suspension was lifted and the track widened, complemented with 18-inch Chevrolet Accessories wheels wrapped with all-terrain tires. The front and rear fascias also were redesigned. The combination provides greater ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles and added grip off the highway. Custom fender flares deliver protection and an unmistakable off-road aesthetic.

An accessory Thule roof basket enhances the cargo capability and the custom LED light bar mounted to it offers exceptional illumination on dark trails.

2016 Chevrolet Trax Activ Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 693844

The concept has a custom Satin Sandstorm exterior color accented with Carbon Flash rockers and fender flares, as well as red tow hooks and tinted headlamp and taillamp lenses.

Inside, accessory all-weather floor liners complement the Jet Black interior, which also features unique Satin Graphite accents. The Trax’s standard 60/40-split-folding rear seat and fold-flat front passenger seat offer great versatility for hauling bikes and other outdoor equipment to a favorite getaway location.

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