For 2015, Chevrolet opted to add yet another model to its lineup of small sport utility vehicles (SUVs), the 2015 Trax, its seventh small vehicle launch in four years. On a recent week-long test drive for Latino Traffic Report, the Trax put the “f” in functional and fuel-efficient.
Entering one of the fastest growing automobile segments, the Trax joins the Equinox, its slightly larger sibling that shares a platform with the Chevy Cruze. The Trax is built on the smaller Sonic platform, improving fuel efficiency and urban driving compatibility.
With seating for five, it has a 60/40 split rear row of seats that fold flat to create up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space. It’s a segment leader when it comes to interior functionality with 15 interior storage compartments including upper and lower storage in each door, and upper and lower glove boxes.
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) city and 34 mpg highway. I averaged 30.3 mpg. Unlike its competitors, the Trax doesn’t offer a manual transmission.
Available in three trim levels, the test model was the Trax LT, one step up from the base LS and below the LTZ. While I drove a front-wheel-drive version, all-wheel drive is available on all models for an extra $1,500.
Additional functionality comes with standard remote keyless entry, programmable door locks, and a cargo storage tray.
Chevrolet MyLink Infotainment with a seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen is standard but the real standout is that OnStar, with 4G LTE and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, is too, offering even greater appeal to the always intriguing millennial population. On whenever the vehicle is on, the Wi-Fi comes with a three-month/three gigabyte data trial (whichever comes first). The Trax is also the first in its class to offer Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6, iOS 7 and iOS 8 users.
Because of its appeal to a population whose parents will probably purchase the Trax for them, it will be a comfort to know that it comes with ten standard air bags, StabiliTrak stability control, and a rear view camera. The test model also included the LT Plus Package ($670) that added a parking sensor, among other features.
Additional convenience features on the Trax include front-passenger fold-flat seats, a USB port for MP3s and iPods, air conditioning, power locks and windows, and an AM/FM stereo (the test model added XM Satellite Radio).
Sí: The Trax offers nice functionality, advanced technology unique to its segment, and the security of OnStar.
No: I wish it came with a manual transmission option to improve fuel efficiency even more.