The age of the sedan has passed, today, manufacturers and drivers everywhere turn towards the new, affordable, and fuel-efficient compact SUV. Not only do these vehicles offer plenty of worthwhile utility, but they also feature all of the benefits of a sedan but in a much larger, much more practical package. Many manufacturers have developed their own line of compact SUVs, from Jeep to Honda, and now Chevy. Introducing the 2019 Chevy Trax, a compact SUV that is everything you can and should expect from the modern SUV driving experience.
Not too flashy, with just enough modern features to make it worth the sticker price, the 2019 Chevy Trax joins the league of other compact SUVs that have dramatically changed the market. While the latest Chevy Trax may offer plenty of curb appeal, how does it stack up against competitor vehicles like the Ford EcoSport or the Honda CR-V?
The Level of Curb Appeal
Styling for compact SUVs has been something of a challenge. While some vehicles, like the Jeep Renegade, manage to take a good stab at unique exterior design, other manufacturers like Ford, seem to drop the ball. The Chevy Trax sits somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, the look is minimalistic, offering a style that is similar to a blank canvas. For some, this can be appealing, lending for plenty of personalization, although others might find the look to be a little lackluster. Then again, with a starting asking price of $21,300 MSRP, there is only so much we can expect from the Chevy Trax. If there is one way to describe the exterior of the 2019 Chevy Trax, it would be polished. There doesn’t seem to be any loose ends, and no off-putting choices, it’s a classic modern compact SUV, simple as that.
The Machinery Beneath the Hood
When it comes to performance for compact SUVs, manufacturers have had to strike a kind of balance between fuel efficiency and horsepower. As a result, drivers end up with punchy 4-cylinder engines that can either deliver the promise or fall flat on its face. The 2019 Chevy Trax manages to pull things off in terms of performance.
The latest Chevy Trax is equipped with a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that promises 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft worth of torque. While this may seem a little underpowered at first, Chevy went this route in order to optimize fuel economy. In the past SUVs were notorious for sucking down gas, the 2019 Chevy Trax manages its fuel intake quite well, earning an EPA-rated 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. While it may never outpace something like the hybrid Toyota RAV4, it still holds its own against other cars within a similar range. The 4-cylinder engine is partnered by a 6-speed automatic transmission that meets expectations. There’s nothing amazing to write home about here as the driving experience the Chevy Trax provides meets the mark. That leads to the other disappointing thing about the Chevy Trax. Out of three different trim options, there isn’t a single configuration that offers an upgrade to engine power. While you’ll find AWD options across the LS, LT and Premier trim options; the Chevy Trax would have certainly benefited from having a more robust 4-cylinder option. Although we aren’t necessarily complaining, a low-bar has been set in terms of towing with a compact SUV. Across the board, compact SUVs have offered up a less-than-stellar towing performance, so in a way, we weren’t expecting a lot from the Chevy Trax. This is hardly a bad thing either, as those who would enjoy vehicles like the Chevy Trax are typically less likely to be hitching boats or oversized trailers but might find themselves towing some lighter weight materials like a few bicycles or some large boxes.
The Interior Comforts of the Chevy Trax
The 2019 Chevy Trax isn’t a luxury vehicle, so we wouldn’t expect features like leather seating, power-adjustable seating, or a particularly expansive infotainment screen. That said, the Chevy Trax manages to hold its own, offering an interior driving experience that is to be expected. Now, it is important to note the Chevy Trax is small, so while it may be easy to park, your passengers will find very little wiggle room. With 19 cubic feet of cargo room, the Chevy Trax makes up for the lack of passenger space for a fair amount of room for cargo. This cargo space can be expanded to fit 48.4 cubic feet worth of goods too once the rear seats are folded. The Chevy Trax can be fitted with a 6-way-power adjustable driver’s seat dressed in cloth upholstery. High trim options like the Chevy Trax Premier can be fitted with synthetic leather upholstery for an even more comfortable seat feel. But besides that, the interior comforts of the 2019 Chevy Trax really stop there.
What about the level of tech inside the Chevy Trax? Well, Chevy manages to reach for the benchmark again but doesn’t shoot too far past it. Standard models of the Chevy Trax may feel a bit disappointing. While there is a 7.0-inch touch-screen with infotainment software that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, and a four-way adjustable driver’s seat, the fancy equipment really stops there.
In order to get the real deal, you’ll have to invest a bit more money into your model. Taking a step up to the Chevy Trax LT, you’ll find heated front seats, an audio system designed by Bose, and a power moonroof. Things don’t go much higher than that. Sure, you’ll get real leather in the Premier trim option, but it isn’t necessarily worth the price upgrade.
What about safety tech? Well, like with the technology designed for comfort, Chevy charges extra for the safety tech as well. That said, if you’re willing to foot the bill, you’ll find truly innovative features like lane-departure warnings and forward-collision warnings that give drivers far greater awareness when on the road.
Nowadays making a standout compact SUV is somewhat of a challenge. Unless you design your SUV to truly stand out from the pack like the Jeep Renegade, or create a vehicle that borders on luxury, it’s easy to be lost in the noise. The 2019 Chevy Trax doesn’t attempt to break through the competition. Instead, it appears to find its lane and stick to it, channeling Chevy fans and the occasional newcomer to the brand. Sure, the fuel economy is great, and if you’re willing to spill the cash, the features offered are certainly worthwhile. But, the 2019 Chevy Trax doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of styling and base model features. That said, it is hardly a bad pick. If you’re in the market for a compact SUV that isn’t necessarily flashy and puts off a serious low-profile, the 2019 Chevy Trax is your vehicle. As always we urge our readers to check it out for themselves, and that couldn’t be truer for the 2019 Chevy Trax.