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2021 Chevrolet Trax Review

The 2021 Chevrolet Trax places in the bottom third of our subcompact SUV rankings due in part to its underpowered engine and harsh ride.

Pros & Cons

  • Solid list of standard infotainment features
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Weak engine
  • Rigid ride
  • Seats could use more support

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Chevrolet Trax's #13 ranking is based on its score within the Subcompact SUVs category. Currently the Chevrolet Trax has a score of 6.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 44 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

6.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 5.9
Performance: 5.9
Interior: 6.5
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 8.6 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Chevrolet Trax?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Chevrolet Trax a Good SUV?

The Chevy Trax is not a very good subcompact SUV. Though it boasts easy maneuverability and a good number of standard infotainment features, this Chevy's pros don't outweigh its cons. This small crossover suffers from lackluster interior materials, and both rows of seats need some extra cushioning. Fuel economy estimates are adequate but underwhelming given the small size of the engine and its lack of horsepower.

Why You Can Trust Us: 44 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 44 Chevrolet Trax reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This 2021 Trax review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2015.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Trax?

The Trax is most suitable for city driving thanks to its small size and tight turning radius. However, there are better choices in the segment. The Buick Encore, for example, delivers one of the most comfortable rides in the class, while the Mazda CX-30 takes things a step further by providing both comfort and athleticism.

Compare the Trax, Encore, and CX-30 »

2020 vs. 2021 Chevrolet Trax: What's the Difference?

For 2021, Chevy discontinued the range-topping Premier trim. Otherwise, the 2020 and 2021 Trax are nearly identical.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Trax »

Here are the key changes for the Chevrolet Trax over the last few years:

  • 2017: refreshed interior and exterior styling; gained standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • 2018: no major changes
  • 2019: no major changes
  • 2020: updated infotainment system; Midnight Edition discontinued
  • 2021: Premier trim discontinued

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Trax, 2019 Trax, and 2020 Trax reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Trax Cost?

The 2021 Chevrolet Trax starts at $21,400, which is roughly average for the subcompact SUV class. The top LT trim has a starting price of $23,200. All-wheel drive is $620 more in both trims.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Trax Versus the Competition

Chevrolet Trax vs. Buick Encore

The Buick Encore and Chevrolet Trax have quite a few things in common, including a weak 138-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a similar amount of passenger space. Both models also have the same cargo capacity of 48.4 cubic feet. However, the Encore is a more well-rounded choice because of its higher predicted reliability rating, softer ride, and nicer cabin materials.

Compare the Trax and Encore »

Chevrolet Trax vs. Mazda CX-30

The Mazda CX-30 offers just as much passenger and cargo room as the Trax, but it ups the ante with better driving dynamics and a higher-quality cabin. The Mazda’s ride has a great balance of athleticism and comfort. The CX-30 has similar fuel economy estimates to the Trax, but it boasts more horsepower (186 vs. 138 in the Chevy). All these attributes make the CX-30 a better pick.

Compare the Trax and CX-30 »

Compare the Trax, Encore, and CX-30 »

Trax Interior: Solid Features and Cabin Room

Trax Cargo Space

The Trax has an average amount of cargo space for a subcompact SUV. There's 18.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 48.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. You can also fold down the front passenger seat to further expand the cargo area.

How Many People Does the Trax Seat?

The Chevrolet Trax has seating for up to five people in two rows. The seats are narrow and the cushions and side bolsters don’t offer much support, but there’s a decent amount of head- and legroom for four adults.

Trax and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat. This Chevy's LATCH system is relatively easy to use, but the lower anchors are set too deeply in the seats, and other hardware could be confused for the upper tether anchors.

Trax Interior Quality

The Trax features an attractive interior with many soft-touch surfaces. However, this Chevy uses more plastics than some class rivals do, and quite a bit of road noise seeps into the cabin.

Trax Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The standard Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system has a mix of touch and physical controls that are easy to reach and use. Smartphone integration technology via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also standard.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, six speakers, Bluetooth, voice command, and two USB ports
  • Additional standard features: remote keyless entry
  • Other available features: cruise control and remote start

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Trax Performance: City Dweller

Trax Engine

The Trax comes standard with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain provides sufficient power for driving in the city, but it struggles to get this small crossover up to highway speeds.

Trax Gas Mileage

Fuel economy estimates are about average for a subcompact SUV. With front-wheel drive, the Trax gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Models with all-wheel drive get 2 less mpg in the city and on the highway.

Trax Ride and Handling

The Chevy Trax is easy to maneuver thanks to its tight turning radius and small size. However, its ride quality is harsh, especially when traveling over bumpy roads. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Read more about performance »

Trax Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Trax Reliable?

The 2021 Trax has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Chevrolet Trax Warranty

The Chevy Trax comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Trax Safety

Trax Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Trax. However, the NHTSA gave the similar 2020 Trax an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The IIHS gave the 2020 Trax the highest rating of Good in five crash safety tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front crash test.

Trax Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors

Read more about safety »

Trax Dimensions and Weight

The Trax is about 13.9 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,124 to 3,280 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Chevrolet Trax Built?

Chevy builds the 2021 Trax in South Korea and Mexico.

Which Chevrolet Trax Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Chevrolet Trax comes in two trims: LS and LT. The base LS trim comes with plenty of infotainment technology, but standard active safety features are limited to a rearview camera. To get features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross alert, you’ll have to step up to the LT trim and then add the Driver Confidence package.

All-wheel drive is available in both trims for an extra $620.

Chevrolet Trax LS

The LS trim starts at $21,400 and comes with a 7-inch touch screen, six speakers, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. It also features cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, remote keyless entry, and a rearview camera.

Chevrolet Trax LT

The LT trim (MSRP: $23,200) adds deluxe cloth upholstery, cruise control, remote start, and heated outside mirrors. A few optional packages are available.

The Driver Confidence package costs $495 and includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. The Premium Seat package is available for $650 and adds heated front seats and synthetic leather upholstery. For $450, you can add the LT Convenience package, which comes with a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

See 2021 Chevrolet Trax specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Chevrolet Trax is a small crossover with easy maneuverability and a user-friendly infotainment system. However, there are several subcompact SUV rivals that offer more-supportive seats, nicer cabins, and smoother rides.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Trax is acceptable basic transportation, but its rivals are better. Fresher competitors like the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona offer more." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Trax has some appeal with its city-friendly size, efficient turbocharged engine and cargo-carrying flexibility. But the Trax is showing its age and this model year is down to a choice of just two trims." -- Autotrader
  • "The Trax has a few redeeming qualities. It is easy to get into, generally affordable, and the tall ride height and large windows give drivers the expansive outward view preferred by SUV owners. Unfortunately, the benefits are vastly outweighed by its drawbacks." -- Edmunds (2020)
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2021 Chevrolet Trax

MSRP: $21,400 - $24,700

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