2015 Chevrolet Trax built to thrive in the jungle
Like the rest of the world, Canada is becoming increasingly urbanized. According to Statistics Canada, back in the 1920s, less than 50 per cent of Canadians were urban folk. Now it’s more than 80 per cent and climbing.
Vehicle design has reflected this shift, and none more so than crossovers based on subcompact vehicle platforms. These subcompact crossovers can get off-road dirty, owing to their optional AWD systems and slightly higher ground clearances, but they’re really built for urban conditions, where they can offer up tall-in-the-saddle visibility, small-car manoeuvrability, and “just big enough” insides, for the couples and singles that inhabit the condo towers.
Chevrolet Trax was one of the first crossovers to really work this urban agenda, debuting back in 2013, and concentrating on two areas that have high appeal for its intended audience — safety and connectivity. Like many Chevrolets, Trax is ready to be hooked up to OnStar, and its available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. After the free trial period, however, you will need to pony up for monthly subscriptions for OnStar itself, and for a Wi-Fi data plan.
Bluetooth is standard. Rear vision camera and rear obstacle detection, and Bluetooth streaming audio, are standard on the top 2 trim lines (LT, LTZ). More electronic wonders can be had with MyLink (optional on LT, standard on LTZ), which offers a nice big touch screen, and smartphone integration to leverage lots of fun and useful apps, including Siri Eyes Free.
A plethora of airbags, and a body structure composed of 66 per cent high-strength steel, enabled Trax to ace the crash tests, one of the select few in its class to do so.
Another bright spot is ample room for four adults, though rear seat passengers will have a big bend in their knees if they’re tall-ish.
Fuel efficiency is another strong suit.
In other aspects the Trax is average, or less. The interior design is useful and looks great, but also has big sections of hard plastic.
The 1.4-litre turbo is a bit loud and a bit challenged to accelerate smartly on the highway, but the transmission shifts well, and the high top gear allows for relaxed cruising.
Trax is a decent example of a great, new vehicle form, which can confidently fulfil a lot of urban transportation needs.