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2018 Chevrolet Trax Review

Solid safety and predicted reliability scores help the 2018 Chevrolet Trax salvage a midpack ranking, despite anemic performance and a low-rent interior.

Pros & Cons

  • Good predicted reliability rating and safety scores
  • Low list prices
  • Decent number of standard features
  • Unimpressive interior quality
  • Underpowered engine
  • Cramped rear headroom

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Chevrolet Trax's #7 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Affordable Subcompact SUVs category. Currently the Chevrolet Trax has a score of 7.8 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 41 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.3
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Chevrolet Trax Overview

Is the 2018 Chevrolet Trax a Good Used SUV?

The 2018 Chevy Trax is an OK used subcompact SUV. It'll get you where you need to go, but it can feel like a chore to drive. The Trax also falls behind many rivals in areas such as interior space, overall quality, and fuel economy.

The 2018 Trax has a few strengths:

  • Great safety scores
  • Low average prices for class
  • Easy maneuverability in tight spaces
  • Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

It also has some notable weaknesses:

  • Weak engine
  • Jarring ride with larger wheels
  • Plastic-heavy interior
  • So-so rear headroom
Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 41 Chevrolet Trax reviews, as well as hard data points such as reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has decades of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Chevrolet Trax?

Based on listings for the 2018 Chevrolet Trax on our site, the average list price is around $17,300. Prices range from about $14,400 to $21,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location. On aggregate, prices for the 2018 Trax are well below average for the class.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Chevrolet Trax Cost to Own?

The 2018 Trax’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $23,800, or $4,760 per year. That’s a little above average for a subcompact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Trax?

Chevrolet made no major changes to the Trax for the 2019 model year. Therefore, you may be better off looking for a used 2018 model instead of a new 2019 Chevrolet Trax. Doing so will also likely save you a ton of money – starting prices for the 2019 Trax begin at $21,300 and go up to $27,600, while prices for a 2018 model are between $14,400 and $21,000. Basically, you can probably get a fully loaded 2018 Trax for less than what you'd pay for a new base model.

Read about the new Chevrolet Trax »

The 2018 Trax carries over nearly unchanged from the 2017 Trax, so consider shopping for a 2017 model to spend even less money. The 2017 Trax is also a better choice than the first two years of the car's existence, the 2015 and 2016 model years. For 2017, the Trax received an interior and exterior design refresh and gained standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Several driver assistance features were also introduced as available equipment.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Trax »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Chevrolet Trax?

The 2018 Chevrolet Trax has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Trax reliability »

2018 Chevrolet Trax Recalls

At the time of this writing, no recalls have been issued for the 2018 Chevrolet Trax.

Which Used Chevrolet Trax Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Chevrolet Trax comes in three trim levels: LS, LT, and Premier. All models come standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel and all-wheel drive are available in every trim. The base model impresses with its standard infotainment features, such as a touch screen, smartphone integration, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Step up to the LT to get features such as cruise control, satellite radio, and remote start. Most other features are available in certain LT models, so hunt around if you want amenities such as blind spot monitoring, a power-adjustable driver's seat, or a sunroof. Those all come standard in the top Premier trim, which is also the only model that offers things such as synthetic leather seats, heated front seats, and forward collision warning.

  • Chevrolet Trax LS: The 2018 Chevrolet Trax LS comes standard with cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and a six-speaker stereo.
  • Chevrolet Trax LT: The Trax LT includes deluxe cloth upholstery, alloy wheels, satellite radio, a 110-volt power outlet, remote start, and cruise control. Models with the Driver Confidence package have blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. Models with the Convenience package come with synthetic leather seat trim, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start. Trax LT models with the Sun and Sound package have a sunroof and a seven-speaker Bose stereo.
  • Chevrolet Trax Premier: The Chevrolet Trax Premier features standard synthetic leather upholstery, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a sunroof, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a seven-speaker Bose stereo, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

See 2018 Chevrolet Trax trims and specs »

What Does Chevrolet's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Chevrolet offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Chevrolet has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Hyundai, Buick, and Kia are better, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Trax?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Chevrolet Trax a five-star overall crash-test rating, with five out of five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Trax the highest rating of Good in five crash evaluations and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap test. Models equipped with certain front crash prevention features received the lowest score of Basic for their effectiveness.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • forward collision warning
  • lane departure warning
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • rear parking sensors

See Trax safety scores »

2018 Chevrolet Trax Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Trax or 2018 Honda HR-V?

The 2018 Honda HR-V has among the most cargo space in the class, making it a great choice for those who want a lot of utility in a subcompact SUV. Because of its excellent overall combination of quality and value when it was new, we named the HR-V our 2018 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money. This Honda has a more adult-friendly back seat and a nicer interior quality than the Chevy. However, the Trax has a healthier list of standard features and a less cumbersome touch screen than the HR-V. Neither rival will knock your socks off when it comes to performance, though. You'll likely pay several thousand dollars more for the HR-V, but we think it’s worth it to get a roomier cabin.

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Trax or 2018 Buick Encore?

The 2018 Buick Encore and the Chevy Trax both fall under the larger General Motors marque and share a lot of similarities. They have nearly the same amount of cargo space, the same crash test results, similar passenger accommodations, and the same native infotainment program. You can find most of the same features in both vehicles, but the Encore comes standard with an 8-inch screen and satellite radio. Both cars have the same blasé 138-horsepower base engine, but the Encore is available with a 153-horsepower variant. It also has a nicer interior and a slightly better predicted reliability rating. You're better off with an Encore.

Compare the Trax, HR-V, and Encore »

2018 Trax Performance

How Does the 2018 Chevrolet Trax Drive?

The only engine available in the 2018 Chevrolet Trax is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that squeaks out 138 horsepower. Acceleration is terrible, especially with a full carload of people or cargo. It'll get you around the city with little drama, but this Chevy will relegate you to the slow lane on the highway.

On the flip side, the Trax's small size affords it great maneuverability. You’ll have no trouble getting in and out of tight parking spaces. Steering is pretty responsive, and there’s little body roll when taking turns. The ride quality depends on the size of the wheels; the larger the wheels, the more jarring the ride.

  • Base engine: 138-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard six-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Chevrolet Trax Get Good Gas Mileage?

Usually, a weak engine equals strong fuel economy. That's not the case here, as the Trax comes up about average for the class in efficiency.

  • Four-cylinder, FWD: 25/33 mpg city/highway
  • Four-cylinder, AWD: 24/30 mpg

Read more about Trax performance »

2018 Trax Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Trax Seat?

The 2018 Trax seats five people in two rows. The front seats are narrow, but they provide plenty of head- and legroom for taller drivers and passengers. The seats are also supportive, so you'll remain comfortable on long drives. The only gripe with the rear seat is that headroom is a little lacking, but otherwise, two adults can fit with little difficulty.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • deluxe cloth upholstery
  • synthetic leather seat trim
  • full synthetic leather upholstery
  • six-way power-adjustable driver's seat
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • heated front seats
How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Chevrolet Trax?

The 2018 Trax has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for securing child-car seats on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The lower anchors are set deep in the seat, and you might confuse other hardware for the tether anchors on the back of the seats.

2018 Chevrolet Trax Features

The Trax has an impressive array of features for an entry-level SUV. The standard MyLink infotainment system is fairly straightforward. You'll also get standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as a Wi-Fi hot spot to keep all your passengers connected. However, MyLink doesn't respond as quickly as you might like to your inputs.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and a six-speaker stereo
  • Available infotainment features: satellite radio, a seven-speaker Bose stereo
  • Other available features: a 110-volt power outlet, remote start, cruise control, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror

See 2018 Chevrolet Trax specs »

Read more about Trax interior »

2018 Chevrolet Trax Dimensions

Chevrolet Trax Cargo Space

The Chevrolet Trax has 18.7 cubic feet of cargo space under its hatch and 48.4 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded down. Those values are about average for a subcompact SUV.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Chevrolet Trax Length and Weight
  • Length: 14 feet
  • Curb weight: 3,124 to 3,344 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Chevrolet Trax Built?

General Motors built the Chevrolet Trax in South Korea and Mexico.

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