Chevrolet Trax — Loaded with technology

By David Finkelstein

Competing in the emerging sub-compact/specialty SUV segment for 2015 is the all new and versatile Chevrolet Trax. It's packed with welcomed technology making it a smart choice for first-time buyers seeking an entry level vehicle at an attractive price point. The base MSRP is $21,870 including destination charge for the LS trim configuration.

“Chevrolet is making huge inroads with small cars around the world and Trax is the latest example,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of car marketing. “It is the right vehicle at the right time in the U.S., building on Chevrolet’s strong SUV heritage with a package of features combining value, versatility, technology and maneuverability.”

Trax, with its bold outer design has its traditional and identifiable signature Chevrolet bow-tie badging. The exterior body shape is modern and basically doesn't maintain a 90-degree angel anywhere, due in part to its rounded corners and pronounced large wheel arches. Trax is featured with four side doors and a fairly large rear cargo liftgate assembly. Window glass gives a feeling of openness.

The Trax will seat up to five occupants and if you feel creative there are as much as eight different seating and/or cargo-carrying configurations to choose from. For instance, a 60/40-split, flat-folding rear seat and a flat-fold front passenger seat combine to allow storage of long items such as skis or lumber, up to eight feet in length.

There is up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded and 18.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the split-folding rear seatbacks. It has segment-leading 15 interior storage compartments. This includes upper and lower storage in each door, upper and lower glove box, upper and lower center stack, left and right of the center stack and left of the steering wheel.

Some additional standard features include a rigid-rear removable cargo security cover and a storage area under the rear cargo floor. Under the heading of the latest in-car electronics, GM's notable OnStar system is coupled with 4G built-in rolling Wi-Fi as standard. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers who want to stay connected. Occupants can connect multiple personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets to high-speed wireless Internet. The hot-spot is active whenever the vehicles ignition is turned to the “on” position. And the Wi-Fi subscription is included for the first three months of ownership. Customer can then purchase additional 4G airtime on their own.

Additionally, Chevy offers Trax with Siri Eyes Free operation for many of the newer iPhone's.  Its designed to enhances operator convenience. It enables voice-controlled connectivity so customers can keep phones stowed while driving therefore keeping eyes on the road ahead.

Chevrolet MyLink Infotainment with a 7-inch-diagonal center dash mounted color touch screen is also standard. MyLink provides easy intuitive operation of basic functions and is highly customizable and capable of linking devices such as smartphones and MP3 players. The system includes Bluetooth streaming audio as well as Pandora, TuneIn radio and Stitcher, in order to broaden your music listening choices.

Also under the umbrella of the latest technologies, Trax owners have access to the available BringGo navigation app and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. BringGo app supports smartphone-enabled navigation that can be displayed on the MyLink in car touch screen. Satellite Radio is standard on select trim levels, which also includes three months of trial satellite radio service. Other services such as Sirius XM Travel Link and Tune Select are available for an additional fee.

All trim levels include a USB plug-in port that works with MP3 playback/iPod music devices. The USB port also enables users to upload photos and videos on the MyLink touch screen.

Regardless of the three available factory trim levels, LS, LT and LTZ, there are lots of enticements including air conditioning, 17-inch tires and wheels, power operated door locks and windows, power operated outside door mirrors, electric power steering, a remote keyless entry system, 10-airbags and a rearview camera system integrated with the 7-inch-diagonal touch screen.

All versions are powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine that’s backed by an efficiency-enhancing six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is rated at 138 horsepower. Trax’s EPA-estimated fuel mileage is 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. All-wheel drive is offered for $1,500 additional.

Breaking and steering is more than adequate, however passing performance is just marginal. Trax receives a five star crash test rating from the NHTSA and has already been sold in 66 global markets since its 2012 introduction.

Included is Chevrolet's Complete Care for two years/24,000 miles (whichever comes first) of scheduled maintenance. It complements the three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty — whichever comes first.

Trax is imported from their manufacturing facility located in Korea.