A red 2024 Chevy Trax RS is shown driving on a city road.

How Chevy Transformed the 2024 Trax Into a Stylish Subcompact SUV

Staying back in school looked like the worst. I can’t speak from experience, but can you imagine repeating a grade only to see your friends flourish by experiencing everything one year ahead of you? Why do I talk about all this nonsense? The 2024 Chevy Trax went through the same troubled experience, and now, it’ll likely do better than ever. Finding a Chevy Trax for sale isn’t what it used to be if you’re shopping for a new one, and that’s because the 2024 Trax is a different beast than its predecessor. The keen eyes out there may have noticed there was no 2023 Trax, and instead, the 2022 model was left to hold drivers over until the Trax would make its grand re-debut as the stylish subcompact SUV we now know it as. So, what changes did Chevy make to the Trax to make it a stylish subcompact choice? Let’s find out together.

Enhanced Performance and Efficiency

I love burgers, and I think Chevy has similar sentiments as vehicles like the Trax have imploded in size. Is that a bad thing? Unless you’re on a diet, no – many people have grown accustomed to SUVs that are larger than before but manage to be still fuel-efficient. Before the 2024 Trax hit the scene, the Trax was a subcompact SUV, but it was starting to experience some growing pains as its 48.4 cu.ft. of space you could squeeze out of it was starting to show its age against competing subcompact SUVs like the Ford Bronco Sport, Honda HR-V, and even Chevy’s Trailblazer.

The mission when creating the 2024 Trax was to bring it more balanced with the 2024 Trailblazer, which familiarly performs like its outgoing predecessors. The 2022 and 2023 Trailblazer comes with a turbocharged 1.2L I-3 engine, while the 2022 Trax utilized a turbocharged 1.4L I-4 engine. The 2024 Trax removes this powertrain in favor of the turbocharged 1.2L I-3 engine from the Trailblazer, which also made its way over to the new 2024 model. This discussion isn’t about the Trailblazer, though, so what did this change mean for the Trax? It meant better fuel efficiency in the city, which makes it great for local drivers and commuters.

The 2024 Trax earns EPA-estimated ratings of 28 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway, while the 2022 model gets 24 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. Why is this important for this new take on the subcompact design? Changing the turbocharged engine to a smaller one means better fuel efficiency, which would have seen a noticeable nose dive with the larger frame and interior, which is what I’ll talk about next.

A green 2024 Chevy Trax is shown parked near several people.

A Fitting Upgrade

When I first heard about the 2024 Trax increasing the size of the Trax, I had some questions. I was curious how far Chevy would push the envelope and try to create some disparity between itself and the Trailblazer. I found it surprising that Chevy increased the cargo space in the Trax without changing anything about the Trailblazer’s interior. This is more of an issue for the Trailblazer, if anything, because Trax owners get the benefit of the larger subcompact interior while still paying thousands less than the Trailblazer. I get it; creating a larger Trailblazer isn’t a small task, but the Trax is beginning to show promise that once made the Trailblazer the more intriguing choice. What the change in cargo space means for Trax owners is a maximum of 54.1 cu.ft. of space when the back seats are folded down, and if they’re upright, you get 25.6 cu.ft. of space.

The 25.6 to 54.1 cu.ft. of space the 2024 Trax has is a welcomed and much-needed upgrade over the 18.7 cu.ft. of space the 2022 Trax and earlier models had at the minimum and 48.4 cu.ft. of space when the back seats are folded down. As a math nerd, let me put this into a different perspective to illustrate my point. The 2022 Trax, and its 18.7 cu.ft. of minimum space, is 27% less than the 2024 Trax, while the maximum 48.5 cu.ft. of space in earlier Trax models is 10% less than the 2024 model. These may look like nothing but numbers as you’re reading this, and you may even think you have an estimate in your head of what these numbers equate to in the real world, but it’s a difference that can change the whole trajectory of your day. It can be the difference of whether you need to ask your friend with the pickup truck to help you haul that new entertainment system from Best Buy or if you can put it in your SUV and handle it yourself.

The Family Cabin

Don’t let the header fool you; I’m not talking about a cabin for you and your family – although I guarantee anyone wouldn’t say no to a free family cabin. I’m talking about how much better your family will love car rides in the 2024 Trax than they would in the 2022 model. Why? It’s more comfortable to sit in – why else? Part of expanding upon the Trax’s interior was making it more comfortable to sit in, including tall passengers, like your teenage son or daughter or even a co-worker you’re carpooling to the office.

Firstly, the passenger volume has increased from 92.8 cu.ft. on the 2022 Trax to 99.8 cu.ft. in the 2024 model. Although the 2024 Trax is more comfortable to sit in, it has nearly an identical amount of headroom to the 2022 model – the 2024 Trax has 39.6 inches of headroom in the front row and 38.1 inches in the back row, while the 2022 model had the same 39.6 inches of front row headroom, but slightly different 38.8 inches of rear headroom.

The 2022 model falls behind with 40.8 and 35.7 inches of legroom in the front and back rows, respectively, while the 2024 model gives you and your front-row passenger 41.9 inches of legroom, while passengers behind you get a noticeable increase to 38.7 inches of legroom. As for shoulder and hip room, which lends a view into how wide a cabin is for a passenger – the 2022 Trax has 54.1 and 51.7 inches of shoulder and hip room for front-row occupants and 52.8 and 50.7 inches of shoulder and hip room for anyone seated in the back row. The 2024 Trax upgrades all of this – with one exception – to 55.7 and 52.1 inches of shoulder and hip room for you and the seat next to you and 54.3 inches of shoulder room in the back row. The outlier is 45.8 inches of back row hip room, but all of the other changes make individual outliers like this not stand out as a deal-breaker.

A green 2024 Chevy Trax is shown parked near a lake.

A Glow-Up, Both Inside and Out

I’ve given you some insight into what makes the 2024 Trax the better subcompact SUV than its predecessor, but you may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the exterior. There’s a reason for this. The shift in the 2024 Trax’s exterior design deserves a separate mention before you and I wrap up. The 2024 Trax looks like a proper glow-up over its outgoing 2022 Trax, and other Trax models also released during the same generation. When you see the 2024 Trax in person, you may have to take a double take because you may not recognize the finer details at first.

The most immediate tell that you’re looking at the 2024 Trax is the wavy-looking grille that proudly shines. Chevy badging adorns the middle with a solid strip of metal that seamlessly curves into the new thinner and sleeker headlamps. The hood also appears more angular over the older model, but the two are unmistakably from the same family tree. Another change is the mirrors, which no longer stick upwards in how they protrude from the sides but instead stick out horizontally, which cleans up the design and lends a more modern aesthetic.

A Long Overdue Return or a Just in Time Arrival?

Was the 2024 Chevy Trax’s drastic shift in its design philosophy long overdue, or is this change just in time? This change is a bit of both because there’s no denying the 2022 Trax lacked in some aspects against the competition, and if Chevy didn’t feel the need to reinvigorate the design of the Trax, they wouldn’t have taken it off the market for 2023. No manufacturer likes missing a year of sales, but it was necessary for the model’s health. The way I see it is if the non-existent 2023 Trax had nothing to offer against the 2022 model, then I’m glad the 2024 model is what we got because Chevy made so many changes. Chevy’s bold changes appear to be successful for the Trax because its welcomed return has already made waves in the automotive world, which is precisely what the iconic brand set out to do.