$14,202 - $19,341

2017 Chevrolet Trax Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Chevrolet Trax was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.1

The 2017 Chevrolet Trax handles commuting and errand running quite well, thanks to great maneuverability afforded by its small size and impressive turning radius. However, once you start driving, you’ll notice that the engine is noisy and struggles if it’s loaded down with passengers or the optional all-wheel drive system. Without this additional weight, power is sufficient. Fuel economy is average for the class. The Trax’s suspension struggles to soften bumps in the road with the larger wheels of the Premier trim, but lower trims ride noticeably better.

  • "In all, the Trax felt perfectly capable of handling your daily [drive] to and from work, trips to the grocery, and dropping your 1.5 children off to school." -- Automobile Magazine
  • The Trax continues to drive confidently for its small footprint, but its engine remains loud and wheezy, and the short wheelbase makes for a bumpy ride over rough patches of pavement." -- Cars.com
  • The ride quality's a touch better on the LT's tall-wall 16-inch tires, but the top-shelf Premier model's 18-inch wheels look better. Neither model will set your hair on fire with its cornering grip or acceleration performance, but it easily keeps up with the (mostly ebbing) flow of urban-center traffic, it's way easier than most cars or crossovers to place into a short hole in traffic, and the view from the high-chair seating position always had us thinking we were driving a much bigger vehicle-until it came time to parallel park (with the assistance of the standard rearview camera)." -- Motor Trend

Acceleration and Power

Powering the Chevy Trax is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making 138 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission works well with the engine and comes standard in all three trims. Fuel economy is average for the class. The front-wheel drive model delivers 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. With all-wheel drive, that drops to 24/30 mpg city/highway.

Acceleration with the Trax is tolerable, so long as it’s not loaded down with passengers. The Trax is powerful enough for driving in the city, but engine noise is loud under full throttle. The available all-wheel drive adds extra weight to the Trax, which makes it feel sluggish.

  • … the 2017 Trax is indistinguishable from the 2016 model behind the wheel. The turbocharged four-cylinder sounds buzzy and gasps under hard acceleration and at freeway speeds, but it's smooth and reasonably quick around town. The six-speed automatic is fine, in that easy-to-ignore way that typifies most commuter-focused transmissions, and the suspension tune leans heavily towards comfort without actually being too comfortable." -- Autoblog
  • Chevrolet also offers an all-wheel drive Trax, a popular option for those in snowier states that have to make it through harsh winters. However, the additional weight of the all-wheel drive system slows the peppy 1.4-liter engine almost to the point where it negates much of its 138 horsepower." -- Automobile Magazine
  • The 138-horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder strained hauling three adult men in my top-level Premier test car with all-wheel drive (the heaviest trim level, weighing 3,340 pounds), though the Trax is peppy enough to get around traffic just fine with just a driver." -- Cars.com

Handling and Braking

The Trax stands out among its competitors for its maneuverability. Parking is a breeze, thanks to its tight turning radius and small size. Handling is secure, with responsive steering and little body lean when turning. Ride quality hinges on trim level. With the Trax Premier, larger wheels hinder smoothness, while the smaller wheels on the LS and LT models handle road imperfections better. Road noise sometimes transfers into the cabin, but things stay quiet most of the time. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available in all trims.

  • Maneuverability is really where Trax shines. It can quickly reverse course thanks to an amazingly tight turning radius, and its tiny footprint allows almost two Trax vehicles to occupy the same parallel-parking space that a full-size SUV would normally inhabit. The ride quality can get a bit choppy, probably due to the vehicle's short wheelbase and the rear torsion-beam suspension, not to mention the challenging conditions of the surface streets around downtown Chicago. Still, we were impressed by the relative quiet found in this compact crossover's interior." -- AutoTrader
  • "As before, the Trax rides comfortably enough, especially when equipped with the LS or LT's 16-inch wheels and tires. (We found that the Premier's 18-inch wheels and low-profile tires let a fair amount of impact harshness into the cabin during our drive through Chicago.) Meanwhile, quick steering and limited body roll add to the Trax's nimble driving experience, and a high H-point and low beltline boost the vehicle's sense of maneuverability." -- Car and Driver
  • The car's suspension tuning is on the compliant side and soaks up bumps nicely, although a fair bit of noise does make its way to the interior. Ride quality is largely dependent on the trim level, though." -- CNET

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