Small SUVs are not the traditional fan vehicle. Most car enthusiasts direct their interests towards a more specific and exciting vehicle type, whether it’s sports cars, performance cars, or pickup trucks. Most car buffs probably aren’t rushing to find a Chevy Trax for sale. The Trax is a good example because it serves as an entryway vehicle; in the past, it has stuck to the barebones necessities, offered the smallest interior, and placed itself lower on the totem pole of Chevy’s lineup to offer an affordable option in the SUV sector.
But the 2024 Trax is changing the game. Chevy is reinventing the Trax with this upcoming model. It’s a reinvention significant enough to warrant enthusiasts’ attention. So how is Chevy reinventing the Trax? Concisely, the Trax is being hoisted up to the status of luxury compact SUV in the ranks of the Equinox and the Trailblazer while maintaining its low MSRP and serving as an entry-level vehicle. But how does this manifest itself specifically? Well, let’s take a look.
The Way Forward
In the initial press release announcing the upcoming 2024 Trax, the language Chevy keeps coming back to is “tech-forward.” This is apt terminology for the new Trax as the vehicle leans forward into the future. Perhaps its biggest lean forward is that which changes the actual drive of the Trax. On the engineering level, the 2024 Trax receives the 1.2-liter turbocharged inline-three engine. It’s not necessarily a big-time performance engine in terms of specs, but the turbo element gives it stellar acceleration, and let’s face it, having the word “turbo” attached to your vehicle just feels cool.
Further than that, the driving technology of the Trax is moving forward. All Trax models in 2024 will offer standard cruise control. Certain trims will even offer adaptive cruise control, giving drivers some added comfort on those long highway drives. Standardizing regular cruise control is a big step forward for the Trax. Significant features like that are the key elements that separate low-level vehicles from high-level vehicles, meaning that the Trax is indeed working its way up.
Moreover, all trims now offer Chevy Safety Assist. This key feature is a huge draw to the Trax’s key audience. The package includes six safety features, which either call the driver to action or intervene when necessary. For example, automatic emergency braking takes action at a critical moment when the driver is unable to do so. This is a crucial feature that adds significant value to the Trax. Unfortunately, many vehicles on the lower end of the cost spectrum don’t offer the best safety technology.
It makes sense, because such technologies require complicated development, meaning lots of resources and high costs. However, such technologies also produce greater motivation to purchase the vehicle, and it will be interesting to see if the inclusion of Safety Assist as a standard feature leads to an increase in sales. So, the Trax is indeed changing its drive. But, for those who are less interested in the drive and more interested in the practicality, the Trax is also changing its driving experience.
Newly Redesigned Passenger and Cargo Space
The Trax is small. That’s not a bad thing; it’s actually good. It appeals to a market that wants something in-between a sedan and an SUV. Sedans offer virtually no significant cargo space, while SUVs sometimes offer too much. So, the Trax appeals to the in-between. But, if you’re going for the in-between, you want to have enough of the in-between. So, the Trax is making sure you’re covered when it comes to passenger and cargo volume.
Interestingly, the new Trax is four inches shorter than the current model. Usually decreases in dimensions don’t go hand-in-hand with maximizing interior space. Or do they? They do if you’re trying to be efficient. While the Trax leans into the C of CUV (Compact Utility Vehicle), this height shrinkage adds six inches to its wheelbase. That’s where we get the increase in interior space. Practically speaking, this extra six inches translates into 11 extra inches of interior length and 2 inches greater interior width.
Even more practically, this extra interior space translates into three extra inches of legroom for a total of 41.9 inches in the front and 38.7 inches in the rear and a total passenger volume of 99.8 cu.ft. Cargo capacity receives a 12% increase for a grand total of 54.1 cu.ft. with the rear seat folded and 25.6 cu.ft. without it folded. The current 2022 Trax offers a maximum cargo volume of 48.4 cu.ft. That’s basically a six-foot increase.
This increase in space is a huge asset to Trax drivers, especially young families looking for an affordable vehicle that serves the practical needs of family life. It’s great that the Chevy Spark starts at $13,600, and I love the Spark, but good luck raising a family in that little guy. The new Trax offers something similar in terms of the compact nature but offers the livability features necessary for family life.
The most mysterious part is that, for all it’s adding, the Spark is actually reducing its starting MSRP for 2024. The current 2022 Trax comes in at a starting MSRP of $21,700. It sounds like a lot, but compared to other vehicles in its class, that’s not unreasonable. The 2024 Spark will give you a discount of almost $300 with a starting MSRP of $21,495. You’re getting a discount and receiving more. So, families have something they can afford that truly serves their needs.
One last note about the ride is the tech-forward focus I mentioned previously. This tech-forwardness does not apply only to driving and safety technology; you better believe the infotainment and connectivity technology is being forwarded. The Trax is increasing the size of its infotainment screens, with a standard eight-inch and an available 11-inch diagonal on certain trims. Size increases are exciting, but what’s even more exciting is the addition of new technologies.
While not new technologies to the market, new technologies to the Trax are the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is a huge addition, allowing drivers to connect their personal mobile devices to their infotainment screens without the troublesome chords, enabling them to access their phone, messages, music, podcasts, and select apps without having to deviate their attention from the road. The Trax is taking big steps forward this year. Chevy’s right; it is tech-forward, but, more broadly, it’s experience-forward.
We’ve got a little time until the upcoming all-new Trax hits the road. Don’t worry; you don’t have to wait until 2024. The 2024 model will be available starting in the spring of 2023. Even if you’re a classic car buff who focuses mostly on sports cars, performance cars, or pickups, this new Trax is worth following. As I said previously, tracking (pun fully intended) how this upgraded Trax may affect sales–both Trax sales and sales of its comparable vehicles like the Equinox or the Trailblazer will be very interesting. Exciting times are ahead for the Trax, and we eagerly await its impact on the automotive world when it makes its debut in the not-too-distant future.