To successfully compete in a popular automotive segment, manufacturers sometimes resort to adding bling. For 2016, Chevrolet does just that with the the Trax, its small sport utility vehicle (SUV), and the new Midnight Edition package. On a recent weeklong test drive for Latino Traffic Report, the 2016 Trax LTZ displayed continued fuel efficiency and some nice 18-inch black rims. Black Granite Metallic exterior paint complemented those rims, in fact the only changes for 2016 include more exterior colors.
Introduced last year, the Trax entered the growing small SUV segment and brought a fuel efficient and versatile option to the Chevy lineup. Powered by an Ecotec 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Trax should achieve an EPA estimated fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. I averaged 28.5 mpg. The engine’s 138 horses and 148 lb.–ft. of torque proved sufficient but its wheeziness could be overheard above the stereo.
The test model with front-wheel drive is situated one level below the top-of-the-line LTZ with all-wheel drive (AWD). For an extra $1,500, all Trax models can be equipped with AWD.
Inside, the Midnight Edition adds extra design touches like two-tone (gray/black) leatherette seats, carpeted floor mats, and skid and sill plates. A segment leader when it comes to interior stowage, the Trax has 15 interior compartments including a hidden drawer under the passenger front seat and upper and lower glove boxes. For added convenience, the upper glove box has a USB port for concealing a phone or MP3 player while charging.
For a maximum cargo space of 48.4 cubic feet, the 60/40-split rear row of seats deploys easily to fold flat, with a nylon loop to lift the seat up and a red button located near the headrest to flatten the seat back.
Chevrolet’s MyLink Infotainment with a seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen is one of the easiest for programming radio and XM stations, offering a total of 35 channels. Included as standard features OnStar (six-month subscription) and the 4G LTE built-in Wi-Fi hotspot really set the Trax apart from the competition. The Wi-Fi comes with a three-month/three gigabyte data trial (whichever comes first). The LTZ added the Bose premium seven-speaker system with an amplifianer and subwoofer.
Standard safety features include ten air bags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, remote keyless entry, and a rear vision camera. The LTZ added cruise control, a remote vehicle starter, and rear park assist. More sophisticated safety systems, like a blind spot warning, are not available on the Trax.
Air conditioning, power locks and windows, and programmable door locks are standard. Additional standard features on the LTZ included a six-way power adjust on the driver’s seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Sí: The Midnight Edition ramps up the Trax’s exterior appeal and standard features like OnStar and 4G LTE Wi-Fi really set it apart.
No: The engine is a bit wheezy and safety features like a blind spot monitor are not available.