2015 Chevrolet Trax First Look
Bargain Encore for the Buick Encore
With the unexpected sales success of the Buick Encore, General Motors is adding another small crossover to its lineup: the 2015 Chevrolet Trax. When first shown at the 2012 Paris auto show, the Trax was initially slated for 140 global markets outside the U.S. Apparently the automaker has changed its plans as a U.S.-spec Chevrolet Trax has been confirmed for the 2015 model year during the 2014 New York auto show this week.
The Chevrolet Trax is based on the same Gamma II global small-car platform that underpins the Encore as well as the Chevy Sonic and Spark. That means the mini crossover’s motivation comes from the same 138-hp, 148 lb-ft of torque 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 used in the Buick and Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic. That sole engine is mated to a six-speed automatic with TAPShift control. The transmission features a short first gear and tall sixth gear for “robust acceleration” and decent highway fuel efficiency, according to Chevrolet. Like the Encore, front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available. The Trax uses the same suspension setup as the Encore: MacPherson struts, coil springs, and stabilizer bars up front and a torsion beam setup out back. While all Encore variants feature four-wheel disc brakes, front-drive Trax models feature front discs and rear drums. The all-wheel-drive Trax gets discs all around.
Although it shares the same chassis and mechanical bits as the Encore, the styling bits on the Trax are all Chevrolet. Up front, the Trax features the bow-tie brand’s dual-port grille with thin chrome horizontal slats flanked by squared-off headlights. Along the side, the Trax has bolder fender bulges and the lower edge of the door is straighter and the rear door’s small quarter window is more rectangular. Around back, the taillights are also squarer and the rear window appears to be flatter. Black lower cladding frames the bottom of the vehicle. Faux front and rear skid plates are available options. Base LS models come with 16-inch steel wheels, while the LT gets alloy wheels and the LTZ gets 18-inch alloys.
The Trax’ “dual-cockpit” interior should be familiar to Sonic owners including the motorcycle inspired gauge cluster with analog tachometer and digital speedometer, three-spoke steering wheel (leather-wrapped on LTZ and some LT models), and dashboard including the multiple cubby holes and dual glove boxes. Cloth seats are standard on LS models, while LT models are available with cloth/leatherette seats and LTZ models get full leatherette trim. Interior color choices include Jet Black, Jet Black/Titanium, and Jet Black/Brownstone.
Other interior features include 60/40 flat-folding rear seats with fold-down armrest with cup holders, front and rear door storage pockets, storage bins under the rear load floor, and a storage drawer under the front passenger seat. There is 18.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row and 48.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. With the front passenger seat folded flat, the Trax can carry items up to eight feet long.
The standard MyLink voice-activated infotainment system features a seven-inch full-color display with rearview camera and USB ports, while SiriusXM satellite radio and a downloadable navigation app are available. Other available tech upgrades includes Chevrolet connected by OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot – to connect mobile devices to the internet, next-generation OnStar with MyLink, BringGo navigation app, Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7.
Safety features include 10 airbags (dual front and dual front knee, front and rear thorax, and side curtain), standard rearview camera, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with traction control and rollover mitigation, ABS and electronic brake force distribution, and cornering brake control and brake assist. The OnStar system also includes Advanced Crash Response System that alerts OnStar in the event of a crash.
Exterior paint colors include Brilliant Blue Metallic, Orange Rock Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, White Pearl Tricoat, Black Granite Metallic, Summit White, Silver Ice Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic, Deep Espresso Metallic, and Blaze Red. Pricing for the 2015 Chevrolet Trax will be announced closer to its on sale date early next year. We expect pricing to start noticeably lower than the Buick Encore’s $25,585 base price.