Chevy is really going all out with the Trax. This thing is towering over the Sonic by five inches, making it one of the tallest in its class. It's only beat by the Jeep Renegade, which is only a tiny bit taller, and the Mazda CX-3, which is a few inches shorter. But don't let the Trax's gawky proportions fool you. It's actually one of the narrowest little SUVs out there, so it's only as wide as it is tall. Speaking of height, the Trax is only 64.8 inches tall, which means even DeMarcus Cousins, the 6'11" center for the New Orleans Pelicans, could tower over it. But that height is actually a good thing - it's key to the Trax's function.
The 2017 Trax got a visual update that makes it look way less dorky than before. The headlights are broader, the grille is bigger, and the taillights look more modern. There's even a faux skid plate to make it seem more rugged, even though it's really just a raised version of the Chevy Sonic.
One of the best things about the Trax is its seating position. It's super upright, which means you get amazing visibility out of the front windows. The Trax's seating height is even higher than the Jeep Renegade by half an inch, and more than four inches higher than the Mazda CX-3. Plus, there's plenty of headroom in both the front and back seats. We bet even DeMarcus Cousins could fit in the back with room to spare, even if he had to splay his knees a bit.
So even though the Trax is taller than the Sonic, it doesn't actually have that much more space in the cargo area. You only get 19 cubic feet behind the rear seats, which is less than what you get in the Honda HR-V and Kia Soul. And if you wanna make more room, the rear seats are a pain to fold down. You gotta flip up the bottom cushions first, which is an extra step that most other cars don't need.
But the interior has some new features that are pretty dope. You can get push-button start, forward-collision warning, and lane-departure alert as options, and even the base LS comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The dashboard materials are better than before, but some parts like the shifter and climate controls still look and feel cheap.
Chevy brought out the Trax back in 2015 as a smaller and cheaper option to the Equinox. But compared to other small crossovers, it's been kinda meh. They updated it for 2017, though, so we gotta ask if it's finally worth checking out or if it's still just stuck in the mud.
You can tell right away that the 2017 Trax looks different from the 2016 model. They spruced it up with a fresh grille and headlight design that looks like the Spark and Sonic. The inside's got a new look too, with a smoother instrument panel that's way better than last year's blocky one. Plus, now you can connect your phone with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Unfortunately, the Trax still doesn't get the best gas mileage and it's not the smoothest ride on rough roads. If that's a big deal to you, you might wanna check out the Mazda CX-3 or Honda HR-V instead. But if you're into the Trax, just know that it's lookin' better than ever this year - especially if you need a lot of space inside.
Oh, and one more thing - Chevy didn't do much to improve the Trax's engine. It's still got a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four that only puts out 138 horses. It's okay for city driving, especially in the lighter front-wheel-drive model, but it struggles on the highway and takes a sluggish 9.3 seconds to hit 60 mph. The all-wheel-drive Trax is even slower. So, just keep that in mind if you're thinking of getting one.
So, the Trax has this small engine that's supposed to make it all fuel-efficient and stuff, but it doesn't really deliver on that promise. We only got 30 mpg on the highway test, which is three less than what the EPA said it would do. The Kia Soul Turbo, which is way more powerful and faster than the Trax, also got 30 mpg. If Chevy wants to step up their game, they should add that turbo 1.4-liter engine that the Buick Encore has.
But hey, the Trax isn't all bad. It handles pretty well and stops quickly, plus it's easy to park because of its short wheelbase. It's not as exciting to drive as the CX-3, but it gets the job done and feels solid.
Overall, the Trax is like that kid on the basketball team who just hit a growth spurt. It's got the height, but it needs to work on its skills before it can be a real pro. If you're dead set on a Chevy, the Sonic might be a better choice.