2014 Chevrolet Trax | Road Test

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 by
2014 Chevrolet Trax
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED 72,000 - 89,000
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  • Rated 0 stars
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  • Trax
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 10, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 70%
  • Interior
    Editor: 80%
  • Quality
    Editor: 70%
  • Features
    Editor: 80%
  • Performance
    Editor: 80%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 80%

Review Summary:

With the demand for small SUV's on the rise, offerings such as the 2014 make a lot of sense, from a practical and economic point of view.

Pros

* Interior storage space is simply brilliant.
* A stiff steering and brilliant gearbox make the Trax a load of fun to drive.

Cons

* Fuel efficiency isn't the best as the 1.8 litre engine just isn't the best fit for a car of its size.
* Does fall onto the pricier side of the segment.

Introduction & Summary

It was a warm and humid Thursday afternoon when my phone rang and the gentleman at the end said “it’s here, Sir.” Making my way downstairs, I wondered if the Chevrolet Trax would look anything like it did in the pictures I had seen earlier, but little did I know that I was in for a surprise.

2014 Chevrolet Trax

Sharing its underpinnings with its Aveo and Sonic siblings, the 2014 Chevrolet Trax is classified as a mini SUV. However, standing at 1,674mm tall and with dimensions more akin to a hatchback, it is probably best described as a hatch in stilettos.

Styling & Design

Now, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t sniggered at cars on the street that resorted to go-faster stripes and spray painted wheels to stand out; we all have. But having exited the building and found myself walking towards a sunburnt orange Trax with prominent racing stripes, smoky grey 18 inch alloys and orange brake callipers, there was just one thing zooming through my mind: “What goes around, comes around…”

2014 Chevrolet Trax top

I knew my test car for the weekend would make people giggle as I drove by, but at least I found peace in knowing that under this athletic garb, the mini American SUV was quite attractive with its taut headlamps and pronounced shoulder lines. Of course, no man-points would be earned while driving it around, – for it still looked quite feminine – but at least it looked a lot nicer than its competitor that appeared in the form of Nissan’s Juke.

Features

More than adequately equipped for an entry-level SUV, the 2014 Chevrolet Trax LTZ is fitted with an array of safety, comfort, and convenience features. While tire pressure indicators, steering controls, and StabiliTrak work towards keeping the driver and passengers safe at all times, Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system that offers USB connectivity, Bluetooth streaming and the capability to enjoy photos and videos, ensures every trip is an enjoyable one.

2014 Chevrolet Trax interior -2

For comfort, Chevrolet has gifted the driver of the Trax a 6-way power adjustable seat and a tilt-and-telescopic steering column that makes sure within seconds, an ideal driving position is achieved. As part of the standard feature pack, there’s also an arm rest that protrudes out of the driver’s seat to give birth to a captain seat of sorts, and to really spoil owners, there’s also a remote engine starter that cools the vehicle down so you don’t have to walk into a furnace after parking outdoors.

Performance, Ride and Handling

Under the hood of the 2014 Chevrolet Trax, resides a 1.8 litre 4-cylinder engine that is mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission and delivers 140 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque to an all-wheel-drive (AWD) layout. However, unlike most other AWD workings, the Trax is a little different; engaging AWD when accelerating from a standing start and transforming to a FWD layout when travelling at speeds in excess of 5 km/h to increase efficiency.

2014 Chevrolet Trax front

Speaking of efficiency, credit must also be given to Chevrolet for their honesty. While the majority of manufacturers claim their vehicles are highly fuel efficient, Chevrolet’s declared 7.6 litres / 100 km figure was just a smidgen off my three day average of 7.9 litres / 100 km. But hold on a second, because doesn’t a readout hovering 8 litres / 100 km seem steep for a 1.8 litre engine? Well, yes it does and the reason is simple; for a car that weighs nearly 1.5 tonnes, a 1.8 litre engine just doesn’t cut it. You’re constantly left having to put your foot all the way in before you can successfully overtake others and in return, you’re treated to blasts of hot air from the A/C, as the diminutive engine diverts all its attention to propelling the car forward instead of cooling the cabin.

2014 Chevrolet Trax

Once up to speed, however, the Trax handles surprisingly well for a mini SUV, hugging corners all the way through. The combination of a sport-tuned suspension, wide stance, stability control system, stiff steering and 4-wheel ABS, allow the Trax be nimble on its feet and a load of fun to drive through the twisties too. Adding to the equation, is a six speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control that works just as a manual transmission would, and refuses to shift gears until done so by the driver. It definitely isn’t the quickest, but there’s no denying that the Trax could prove to be a ton of fun.

Comfort & Practicality

Just as you wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, judging the 2014 Chevrolet Trax by its 4,280mm long structure, isn’t the right thing to do. Though it may not look very spacious from the outside, the American SUV is home to seating for five, two glove boxes, 6 cup holders and a bunch of cubby holes all around the cabin.

2014 Chevrolet Trax

For carrying trickier objects, the rear seat offers a 60 / 40 split functionality and should you wish to stow it away completely, it opens up an impressive 1,371 litres of luggage space. But that’s not all, because the designers have carved out even more space with under seat storage trays in the front and under floor storage in the boot. So go on and impress others as to how much this little SUV can really hide under its skin, because they’re sure to be left baffled.

Price & Verdict

The 2014 Chevrolet Trax is an interesting one, it isn’t the quickest and it isn’t the most fuel efficient, but yet there’s something about it that just makes it so very likeable. Unlike the Renault Duster, it isn’t a statement of being financially frugal, and unlike the Nissan Juke, it is actually designed by a team who attended art school. So if you’re after a mini SUV and want something that looks good and won’t break the bank at AED 72,000, then I’d highly recommend the Trax; but please, don’t get racing stripes on yours.

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