Chevrolet is adding the Trax to its U.S. lineup, making it the latest brand to enter the budding market for petite crossovers.
Chevrolet unveiled the 2015 Trax at an event tonight on the eve of the New York auto show. It is about 19 inches shorter than the Equinox and 7 inches shorter than the phased-out HHR and is expected to arrive in dealerships early next year.
Sporty and modern, Trax blends small-car agility with the utility of an SUV, including up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of cargo space. It’s Chevrolet’s seventh small-vehicle launch in less than four years. During that time, the brand’s share of the small-, compact- and mini-car segments has more than tripled – up 221 percent.
Trax technologies also enhance passenger safety, with more standard air bags than its competitors, a standard rearview camera and available rear park assist.
Additional vehicle highlights include:
- Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine that delivers the efficiency of a small-displacement engine with the power of a larger engine on demand
- Available all-wheel drive
- Electric power steering
- Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink
- Ten standard air bags, including side-curtain and knee air bags – and the segment’s only rear seat-mounted thorax air bags
- Clever and convenient storage areas, including upper and lower glove boxes – with a USB port and auxiliary jack in the upper glove box for plug-in media
- 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat and fold-down front passenger seatback for storing and transporting items up to eight feet long
- Standard remote keyless entry and available remote start.
Trax will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.
Connectivity and infotainment details
Available Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users enhances connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity so customers can keep phones stored and their hands on the wheel.
Additional standard and available features include:
- Seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen and additional USB ports
- Available Chevrolet connected by OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
- Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink
- Available BringGo navigation app
- Available SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of trial service), SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Tune Select (requires XM subscription)
- Supports playback of MP3 files stored on USB flash memory drives.
With Chevrolet’s connected by OnStar 4G LTE connection, Trax provides an available Wi-Fi hotspot that allows passengers to connect multiple personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet.
Trax is powered by a power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine backed by an efficiency-enhancing six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is expected to be rated at an SAE-certified 138 horsepower (102 kW) and 148 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm.
The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a more confident driving experience, with a strong feeling of power across the rpm band. The turbocharger’s on-demand performance also contributes to efficiency because it enables greater power when needed with the lower fuel consumption of a small-displacement engine when it’s not.
The turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A solid cast crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional durability to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque.
A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift control is matched with the 1.4L turbo engine. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight.
A “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows Trax to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds.
Refined ride and handling
Trax is built on a robust global platform and engineered with precise suspension tuning to deliver one of the segment’s quietest and most refined driving experiences. Available all-wheel drive seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling.
A 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,539 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a confident driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quiet ride.
A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar and side-load-compensated front strut modules.
The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Noise-damping urethane spring isolators improve ride isolation and dampen noise.
Trax also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system that saves fuel compared to a conventional engine-driven power steering pump.
Sixteen-inch wheels are standard on LS and LT (aluminum wheels on LT). LTZ has standard 18-inch aluminum wheels.
Built to protect
Trax incorporates technologies that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Crash-avoidance technologies include:
- Standard rearview camera
- Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, incorporating traction control and rollover mitigation features
- ABS and electronic brake force distribution
- Cornering brake control and brake assist
The body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment, with 66 percent of the structure composed of high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. That structural protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags:
- Driver and front passenger frontal air bags
- Driver and front passenger knee air bags
- Front and rear thorax air bags for all outboard positions – including the segment’s only rear-seat-mounted thorax air bags
- Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers.
Trax’s safety and security features also include exclusive OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.