$13,342 - $17,603

2016 Chevrolet Trax Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Chevrolet Trax was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.0

The 2016 Chevrolet Trax doesn't feel especially powerful and doesn't accelerate very quickly, according to most reviewers. They say the automatic transmission sometimes downshifts too slowly. The Trax's small size makes it very maneuverable and easy to drive, critics write.

  • Thanks to quick steering and good visibility, the Trax is in its element as an errand-runner, zipping around town with a little pep in its step. We must emphasize the word little, however, as the humble 1.4-liter turbo runs out of steam at higher revolutions per minute, where it also makes an unbecoming racket." -- AutoTrader
  • During our time with the Trax, we traversed rough, winding roads and overall the 1.4-liter turbocharged application was adequate, but we wouldn't mind a little bump in power, either. Acceleration uphill lagged a little bit." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • At first the [suspension] setup felt a little more taut than we would have expected in such a small and inexpensive package, but after a short time behind the wheel that tautness melded into a sort of B-class crossover responsiveness. … The Trax may be sportier than the similar Buick Encore but not quite at the level of competitors like the Fiat 500L, Nissan Juke or Mini Cooper Countryman." -- AutoWeek (2015)
  • "However, this engine-also shared with the lighter Sonic sedan and hatchback-is reasonably responsive, and its turbocharger operates with little lag. Unfortunately, it provides less punch than you might hope for, and the 0-to-60 estimate of 9.2 seconds-for the quickest and lightest front-wheel-drive configuration-is pretty poky." -- Car and Driver (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Chevy Trax comes with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 138 horsepower, as well as a six-speed automatic transmission. The Trax gets slightly better than average fuel economy for the class, at an EPA-estimated 26/34 mpg city/highway.

Most critics say the Trax's four-cylinder engine is noisy and underpowered, resulting in mediocre acceleration off the line. Some test drivers report the automatic transmission downshifts sluggishly.

  • "[D]espite a reasonably responsive six-speed automatic transmission, the Trax quickly runs out of steam when accelerating briskly away from a traffic light or trying to get up to speed on an on-ramp. Although none of the competitors in this segment are likely to be described as swift, most have more power than the Trax." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • We found the Trax to be an eager performer, offering decent acceleration but with a fair amount of protest from underhood while exercising the skinny pedal on an uphill grade. Otherwise, it quieted down after reaching touring speed." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The only available transmission is the six-speed 6T40 Hydra-Matic, which can take its sweet time to downshift." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • Although the Trax tackled everything we threw at it, the 1.4-liter turbo sounded a bit strained at higher engine revs on some of the steeper sections of the route. While the transmission can be shifted manually, a sport mode or hill mode would be a welcome addition to the gearbox." -- Motor Trend (2015)

Handling and Braking 

Thanks to its small size, test drivers say the 2016 Trax is easy to drive and it maneuvers in and out of parking spaces effortlessly. Most report its steering is sharp, though a few think it could provide more feedback. The Trax has composed handling, even over rough pavement, auto journalists write. Critics like the feel and responsiveness from the brakes. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "When the road did smooth out, the Trax shined bright as it rode each curve effortlessly. Handling the Trax was a breeze and parking the small SUV during a few different occasions was very easy as well." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Extremely maneuverable in almost every situation, the Trax proved itself quite capable while attacking the urban jungle. Racing for parking spots was mere kid's play because of the Trax's easy 36.7-foot turning circle." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "Its light-effort, rack-mounted electric power steering, however, provides ample feedback, and this little crossover SUV remains composed even on bumpy roads." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "[T]he Trax's small dimensions made it feel nimbler than the typical larger SUV, while its steering was precise and well weighted, though ultimately rather numb. Brake effort and feel were impressively spot-on. For the urban and suburban adventures (read: errands) that the Trax is likely to embark upon, its résumé of dynamic talents is sufficient." -- Edmunds (2015)

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