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2015 Chevrolet Trax LT First Drive

Chevrolet adds to its small car portfolio with a new compact utility.


2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ Front Three Quarter

Chevrolet Research

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What It Is
A small utility vehicle for small families or individuals on the go.
Best Thing
Even in the rain, the Chevrolet Trax delivered great handling.
Worst Thing
The lack of power was very obvious.
Snap Judgment
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax enters an emerging segment and comes out swinging.


Chevrolet kicked off the 2014 New York International Auto Show with a driving program for the Camaro Z/28 and the new 2015 Trax, the automaker's latest edition to its U.S. lineup. Unfortunately, the weather was not with the automaker, but that didn't stop us from taking the Trax out for a spin.

We were able to test it on increasingly wet and slippery roads thanks to the torrential downpour of rain, and were surprised by the nimble handling. For its size, the Trax is expected to have car-like handling, but when powering through a corner on slick backroads in New York, that handling was perfect to boost our confidence in the new model.

Read on to see what else we thought about the new 2015 Chevrolet Trax.

  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ Front End
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ Front Three Quarter
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ Front Three Quarters
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ Rear End
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ Rear Taillight
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ Rear Three Quarters
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ Side
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Front Side View Wheel Turned
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Rear Side View From Above
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Front Side View On Show Stand
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax With Big Bowtie Emblem
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Side View
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Rear Side View

Walkaround

When looking at the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, it's hard not to think that it's just a rebadged Buick Encore. Because, that's what it is, just with a few changes unique to the Chevrolet model. We drove a Canadian-spec model, but the only real changes that will be made for the U.S. model is a different front end and a few technology features.

The first time you see the Trax, the body is very reminiscent of the Chevrolet Sonic as the two models share a chassis. But the more time you spend with the new model, it really grows on you. It may not offer a standout design, but it doesn't just blend in with the competition. We couldn't wait to get behind the wheel.

Sitting Down

Sitting inside the LT model, we immediately noticed the difference between the Trax and its Buick cousin. The Trax featured hard plastic after hard plastic, and while this usually isn't ideal, Chevy managed to create an interior that was cohesive and appealing.

The seats were comfortable and supportive, swathed in black cloth with blue accent stitching for added aesthetic appeal. The infotainment system offered a bright, easy-to-use seven-inch touchscreen, and while there weren't any other buttons or knobs to control any of the functions, they didn't seem like they were missing. The center stack was laid out in a cohesive and simplistic fashion that will appeal to many customers.

Cargo space was typical of a vehicle of this size, but what was impressive was that both the rear and front passenger seats folded flat to enable plenty of seating configurations to fit even the toughest cargo.

  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Interior
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Interior
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Interior Seats Folded Down

Driving

While we didn't have a whole lot of time behind the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, we had enough time to see what it was capable of, even if the weather was less than ideal. If we could have one thing on the new model, we would make it more powerful.

When going uphill, the engine whined as it struggled to push out enough power to make it up. While it did get up to speed relatively easily after that, the engine was still loud, and when power was needed, you could feel the struggle.

The handling offered the best impression of the day, as no matter how hard we tried throwing it into a corner, or how fast we traveled down the wet roads of Monticello, it felt capable and stable. But while the handling may have been better than we expected, the suspension was rather stiff, letting us feel every pothole and road imperfection we drove over.

Summary

For a subcompact SUV, the 2015 Chevrolet Trax offers a diverse driving experience, and is perfect for families and individuals looking for more utility in a compact package. Although it isn't perfect, it offers good cargo space, great handling, and connectivity to attract a wide range of buyers. The Trax makes its official U.S. debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show and promises to be a leader in an emerging segment.

We can't wait to get the 2015 Trax into the office to get more time behind the wheel.

  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Front View
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax Headlight

Basic Specs

1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder, six-speed automatic, FWD, 138 horsepower, 26/34 city/highway mpg

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