$14,338 - $18,480

2018 Chevrolet Trax Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Chevrolet Trax was new.


Performance: 6.9

The 2018 Chevrolet Trax won’t wow you with its athleticism. The 138-horsepower engine feels underpowered, and it doesn’t offset the lack of power with terrific fuel economy the way some other vehicles do (the Trax’s fuel economy is average). The Trax delivers composed handling, and the ride is relatively smooth, though it gets rougher with larger wheels. One plus is that this Chevy is highly maneuverable.

  • "Last year, Chevy gave the Trax a face-lift both outside and in and added more technology, but the underlying mechanicals weren't changed. So in spite of the improvements, the 2018 Trax's ride quality, performance and fuel efficiency all lag behind the rest of the class." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2017)
  • 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 (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Trax features a turbocharged, 1.4-liter engine that puts out 138 horsepower. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This isn’t an energetic powertrain. Acceleration is lackluster, especially if you have more than a couple people in the vehicle. The engine also performs worse in all-wheel-drive models due to the AWD system’s added weight. However, performance is generally fine for driving around town.

The Trax gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which are comparable to the ratings of many competitors. AWD Trax models get moderately worse gas mileage, earning 24/30 mpg city/highway.

  • "The small engine struggles to accelerate, and the tires protest in even moderate turns." -- Edmunds
  • 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 (2017)
  • 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 (2017)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive comes standard in the Trax, and all-wheel drive is available. This little SUV is highly maneuverable and has a great turning radius. It also handles well; the steering is sharp and there isn’t much body roll around corners. The ride is pretty comfortable on trims that feature smaller wheels, but opting for larger wheels leads to a rougher ride.

  • 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 (2017)
  • 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." -- Car and Driver (2017)
  • 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 (2017)

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