Oct
10
2017 Chevrolet Trax Premier

2017 Chevrolet Trax Premier in Summit White

Quick-Spin-300x732017 Chevrolet Trax Premier FWD

Class: Subcompact Crossover SUV

Miles driven: 214

Fuel used: 7.9 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 27.1 mpg

CG Report Card
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Room and ComfortC+
Power and PerformanceB-
Fit and FinishB-
Fuel EconomyB+
ValueB+
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB-
Tall GuyB+

Driving mix: 70% city, 30% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 24/30/27 (city, highway, combined)

Base price: $27,600 (not including $895 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Driver Confidence II Package ($295; includes forward collision alert and lane-departure warning)

Price as tested: $28,790

Quick Hits

The great: Fuel economyhandling

The good: Comfortable driving position, affordable safety equipment

The not so good: Not quite as cargo efficient as some class rivals

More Trax price and availability information

 

CG Says:

Over the past few years, American new-car shoppers have been moving away from traditional passenger cars in greater and greater numbers. While sales of midsize sedans decline at a precipitous rate, sales of small crossovers are increasing rapidly.

2017 Chevrolet Trax

In Premier trim, Trax comes standard with 18-inch aluminum wheels, heated outside mirrors, and keyless entry and starting (complete with power lock/unlock buttons on all four exterior door handles–a great feature at this price point).

For the 2017 calendar year, the Camry will no longer be Toyota’s best-selling product—instead, the RAV4 compact crossover will. Similar leader-board changes are taking place all over the auto industry. But along with compact crossovers such as the RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue, a growing crop of even smaller crossovers is gaining traction.

We call this group subcompact crossovers, and these pint-size utes are attracting plenty of buyers who find appeal in their easy-to-park dimensions, good fuel economy, and useful cargo areas.

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2017 Chevrolet Trax

Even in top-line Premier form, the Trax’s cabin is outclassed in ambiance by its pricier Buick Encore cousin and the top trim levels of some class competitors. We appreciated the easy step-in seat height and comfortable seating positions front and rear, but the cabin is narrow enough that some plus-size adult occupants might feel cramped side-to-side.

Chevrolet’s refreshed-for-2017 Trax is one of the best-selling subcompact crossover models; it ranks fourth in sales in the category, behind the first-place Jeep Renegade, runner-up Honda HR-V, and third-place Buick Encore.

First Spin: 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

Trax Folding Seatback Issue

Many subcompact-SUV competitors trump the Trax when it comes to cargo versatility; the front seats must be adjusted forward for the rear seatbacks to fold completely–bad news for tall front-seat occupants.

All Chevrolet Trax models are updated for 2017 with revised styling inside and out, along with available keyless entry and starting, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, forward-collision alert, blind-spot alert, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Our Trax test vehicle was equipped with all of the above features—it was a topline Premier model outfitted with the $295 Driver Confidence II package, which adds forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning. (Note that the Driver Confidence II features become standard on Trax Premier models for 2018.) Including the $895 destination fee, the bottom line on our test vehicle was $28,790.

For the most part we found the Trax to be a likeable little crossover, but not without its faults. The cabin is decently finished, but can feel narrow with two large adults in the front seats. Rear-seat space is at least on par with other vehicles in the class, but side-to-side space is again limited.

Underway, the Trax feels strong enough. The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine produces 138 horsepower, and mates nicely to the 6-speed automatic transmission. While it produces sufficient power, the engine is rather loud during acceleration, and doesn’t sound especially refined.

Though it’s occasionally noisy, the Trax is fuel-efficient. Our test vehicle returned a solid 27.1 mpg in driving that favored city use. Careful drivers in less urban environments should expect to see closer to 30 mpg.

The Trax’s road manners are quite good for a short-wheelbase, small-footprint, tall-bodied vehicle. The handling is pleasingly nimble, with nicely weighted steering and well-controlled lean in corners. Thanks to its tidy overall length and tight turning radius, Trax is a snap to park, even in tight quarters.

One significant demerit is the second-row seatback arrangement. While there is a generous amount of cargo space behind the second-row seatbacks, folding the seats flat to extend the rear cargo area is problematic. To free up sufficient space to fold the second-row seatbacks flat, the front seats need to be moved far enough forward that some of our taller staff members couldn’t comfortably fit behind the wheel in the driver’s seat. Shoppers intending to make full use of Trax’s cargo capacity will want to experiment with the seat/cargo-area configurations before committing to purchase.

Of the best-selling subcompact crossovers, the Buick Encore is easily the quietest and best finished, the Jeep Renegade is the roomiest and most off-road capable (when properly equipped), and the Honda HR-V is the most cargo practical. Credit Trax for feeling sporty and going easy on the gas.

Chevrolet Trax, Summit White

It’s not without its shortcomings, but the 2017 Chevrolet Trax offers pleasing road manners and a good selection of safety and technology features in a tidy, easy-to-park package.

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