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Car review: Chevrolet Trax

The Chevrolet Trax offers SUV style for those on a budget. Car reviewer Tim Barnes-Clay put it to the test and found it a pleasure to drive.

Chevrolet Trax exterior

The Trax is the newest addition to the Chevrolet family and is available with a diesel or petrol engine.

You can also choose to have two-wheel or all-wheel-drive (AWD). It went on sale in August and can be yours for as little as £15,495.

But I decided to get behind the wheel of the 1.4T AWD LT.

At £19,795 this variant may not have an affordable price-tag, but with 138 horses and a turbocharger under the bonnet, it's one of best in the Chevrolet Trax line-up.

Chevrolet Trax: SUV style without the high running costs

So what is it? Well, it's cast in the style of a small sport utility vehicle (SUV) but without the typically high running costs.

You’re in good hands if you buy a Trax as Chevrolet lays claim to inventing the first ever SUV with the introduction of the Carryall Suburban in 1935.

Today, nearly 80 years later, the Trax is the modern expression of the company. Yes, it's got SUV in its DNA, but with a big twist of funkiness to boot.

Conveying brawniness and agility, the Trax looks good.

Chevrolet Trax: Good looks inside and out

A grille featuring the iconic Chevrolet bowtie logo, prominent wheel arches, powerfully built rear haunches, and a fast, rearward-swept roofline are key elements that define the car's exterior.

The cabin is also well turned-out. It is practical, well-organised and characterised by sinuous lines.

Chevrolet Trax cabin interior

The rear seat row even boasts an electrical socket that can be used for recharging laptops and other electronic devices without the need for an adapter.

Storage facilities are abundant too. Compartments include an under-seat storage tray and two glove boxes, one of which contains a USB outlet for your iPod or smartphone.

The boot space in the Chevrolet Trax isn't massive because, let's face it, this car is a compact vehicle.

Lacks a spare tyre

That said, it does a lot with what it's got.

Without a spare tyre, there's more room available under the cargo floor.

It comes in handy for storing items securely – but this is not so convenient if you get a puncture and have to use the do-it-yourself repair kit, which comes in lieu of the emergency wheel.

But when it comes to on-the-road performance, driving the Trax is a pleasure.

Driving pleasure

It's been tuned to deliver European driving dynamics and the car flies its own kite when it comes to sophisticated electronic aid systems.

The model I drove came fitted with a six speed manual gearbox and petrol saving stop/start functionality. It achieves 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds and the top speed is 121mph.

The AWD system adapts to the road conditions and notably improves traction on slippery or gravelled roads.

That's a big bonus if you live in the countryside or you want a car that won't give up the moment winter kicks in.

Strong safety features

The strength of its structural design makes the Chevrolet Trax very safe.

Should the worst happen and the car rolls over, it's been engineered to carry more than four times its own weight.

What's more, the Chevy is equipped with hill start assist and hill descent control.

Customary kit also includes electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes.

Six airbags and ISOFX anchoring systems for children's safety seats are also part of the standard safety features.

Chevrolet Trax: Pros & cons

  • Funky √
  • Practical √
  • Safe √
  • No spare wheel X

Chevrolet Trax: Fast facts

  • Max speed: 121 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 9.8 secs
  • Combined mpg: 44.1
  • Engine: 1364 cc 4 cylinder 16 valve turbo petrol
  • Max. power (bhp): 138 at 6000 rpm
  • Max. torque (lb/ft): 147 at 1850 rpm
  • CO2: 149 g/km
  • Price: £19,795 on the road

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Tim Barnes-Clay

Leon Poultney

Tim is an experienced motoring writer with a background in radio and TV journalism. He puts his pedal to the metal each week with his must-read car reviews.

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