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2019 Chevrolet Trax Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.7

The 2019 Chevrolet Trax is one of the weakest performers in the class. Its engine feels underpowered in many situations, and it delivers lower mpg ratings than several class rivals. While the Trax is maneuverable, it's not as agile as some competitors, and the ride sometimes feels choppy.

  • "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 (2018)
  • "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. The engine is fine for driving around town, but it underwhelms in most other situations, like when you have multiple people with you or you need quick acceleration.

The Trax gets 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Those are subpar ratings for the class, though it's worth noting that they're only 1-2 mpg behind many rivals' fuel economy estimates.

  • "The small engine struggles to accelerate, and the tires protest in even moderate turns." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • 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

The Chevy Trax is a maneuverable little vehicle, and it handles relatively well. That said, it lags well behind rivals like the Mazda CX-3 in terms of athleticism. Many class rivals deliver a smoother ride than the Trax, which can jostle you around at times. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "Many competitors offer a better ride quality and a more pleasant driving experience." -- Edmunds
  • 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." -- 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)
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