2024 Chevrolet Trax

PHOENIX — All-new for 2024 the Chevrolet Trax — the brand's new entry-level model now that the Spark has been discontinued — is larger, much better looking inside and out, less expensive and surprisingly a bit larger than the Trailblazer, Chevy's other small compact SUV. The previous Trax ended production after the 2022 model year, and there is no 2023 Trax model rather just jumping to 2024 for the Korean built sub-compact crossover.

With five trim levels starting at just $21,495 for the base Trax LS, it's one of the least expensive crossover utility vehicles on the market. Other models include the 1RS ($23,195) LT ($23,395), RS ($24,995) and our tested Trax Activ ($24,495).

Regardless which model you choose will come with a single engine, a turbocharged 1.2-liter inline-three cylinder engine the makes 137 horsepower with 162-lb-ft of torque and a standard six-speed automatic transmission. that's down one cylinder and 18 horsepower compared to the previous Trax. It's the same engine that powers the base Trailblazer. but the horsepower is upped to 155. All Trax models are front-wheel-drive only.

With the new Trax however, inexpensive doesn't mean stripped down since even the base model comes with an 8.0-inch dash-mounted infotainment screen and driver assist features like lane-keeping assist , automatic high beams, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability, 17" steel wheels, deep-tinted glass and, cruise control.

Standard equipment increases as trim levels increase to add things like heated driver and front passenger seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, a larger infotainment screen, six-speaker audio setup, cargo cover, larger wheels, USB charging ports. keyless locking/unlocking, available sunroof and more.

We liked the exterior looks of the new Trax that's stylish, modern and easy on the eyes and completely different looking from the Trax it replaces. Our Activ tester has an even sportier exterior appearance with larger wheels, a faux skid p late and chrome trim accents that dress up the vehicle. Depending upon trim level Trax rides on a set of 17-, 18- or 19-inch wheels.

Inside Trax gets a welcome revamp and gains an additional 3-inches of rear legroom, making for plenty of room for five. Rear cargo area has increased by 12% over the first-generation Trax and rear seats fold to afford 54.1 cubic-feet of space enough for gear, groceries, sporting equipment and a dog or two. A removable roof rack on our Trax with cross rails accommodate the excess gear.

Unlike the outgoing Trax with its econo-look rent-a-car interior the new cabin feels modern and attractively styled even though there's ample use of hard plastics throughout although less than before.

Lower trim levels come with a 3.5-inch gauge cluster while the upper three trims bump it to an 8-inch which includes a tachometer andante analog speedometer. Trax comes with the Chevrolet Safety Assist suite of aids including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and forward collision alert. Cruise control, a rear HD camera, and Teen Driver Technology — Chevy's teen driver training system that includes everything from a report card on your young driver to the industry-first Buckle to Drive pro-seat belt tech are also part of the standard kit in every Trax.

So what's it like to drive the all-new '24 Trax? The Trax is easy to get in and out of and once inside there's more room than expected. The front seats are comfortable, but it doesn't feel like you're sitting in a crossover utility vehicle and is absent a commanding view of the road ahead. There's a decent amount of low-end power and enough for entering the freeway but wished for more power to pass on two-lane roads. There's and annoying amount of excess turbo lag present, and pulling out from a side street requires an extra amount of space for cross traffic. The Trax isn't especially engaging to drive nor is the ride sporty or refined — those aren't part of the offering.

The steering is light and quick but the turning angle is extra wide so just pulling into an open parking spot often required a three-point turn in tighter areas. The ride is just ok, neither harsh nor extra smooth. It dampens things out on average. Brakes felt good, visibility decent and noise level on the highway average but certainly not hushed. Transmission shifts were mostly smooth but had a tendency to hunt for the right gear often upshifting too quick or downshift when unnecessary.

Overall, the new 2024 Trax ups its game in a crowded and competitive small CUV field that's loaded with strong and compelling choices. It's low price point is a serious advantage and we think especially attractive for first-time new car buyers especially in climates that don't necessarily need all-wheel-drive.

Even the top trim levels are priced around $25,000, about half the cost of the average new car sold today. It's interior is quite roomy with a nice amount of cargo space. There's plenty of standard tech and driver assist features and cabin materials are nicer than expected even though there's more than an ample amount of hard plastic surfaces. Still, the Trax doesn't break any new ground in its segment and doesn't lead the class in any single area. For most drivers, especially fans of the Chevrolet brand, Trax will make a satisfying daily driver for commutes to work, running errands, kids, pets, groceries and gear runs on a regular basis.

Vital Stats

Base Price: $21,495 - $24,495
Price as Tested: $26,935
Engine/Transmission: 1.2-liter, 137-hp, turbocharged inline three-cylinder engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive.
Fuel Economy: 28/32/30 - MPG City/Highway/Combined
Seats: 5

Where Built: Changwon, Korea

Crash Test Safety Rating: The 2024 Chevrolet Trax has not been crash test rated by either the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as of this writing.

Competes With:
Honda HR-V
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Venue
Jeep Renegade
Kia Seltos
Kia SoulTrax P
Mazda CX-30
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Nisan Kicks
Subaru Crosstrek
Toyota Corolla Cross
Volkswagen Taos

"Bang-for-the-buck" lower price
Dazzling new style inside and out
Roomy interior for people and cargo

Anemic horsepower
Annoying-excessive turbo lag
Wide turning angle

 — Jim Prueter