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2021 Chevrolet Trax Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 5.9

The 2021 Chevrolet Trax suffers from an underpowered engine and a stiff ride. Still, it's very maneuverable, and its fuel economy figures are on par with those of class rivals.

  • "The only engine available for the 2021 Trax is a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. With 138 horsepower, it won’t be winning many races, but it’s a respectably fuel-efficient SUV achieving up to 31 mpg." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While motivation from the 1.4-liter Ecotec engine is not exactly the vehicle's strong suit, we realize that most owners won't be buying this small crossover to cut lap times on the Autobahn. Instead, buyers get a competent power plant with about-average fuel economy." -- Autotrader (2020)
  • "Many competitors offer a better ride quality and a more pleasant driving experience." -- Edmunds (2020)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Engine: turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard six-speed automatic

The Trax has enough power for commuting around town, but the engine feels underpowered and noisy at highway speeds.

  • "The Trax’s turbocharged 4-cylinder engine provides a reasonable amount of muscle, although going uphill while fully laden may make you wish for something beefier." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Chevrolet Trax performs adequately as a city-centric errand-runner with the occasional highway commute thrown in. It’s not as fun to drive as a Mazda CX-30 or turbocharged Kia Seltos or Hyundai Kona, but the Trax is acceptable for basic duties. Its small turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has reasonable muscle. At higher speeds you’ll notice the Trax is louder than its more premium twin, the Buick Encore." -- Autotrader
  • "And while most entries in the class have modestly powered engines, the Trax's turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder fails to live up to even those low expectations." -- Edmunds (2020)

MPG Estimates

Trax models with front-wheel drive get an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is roughly average for the class. Models with all-wheel drive get an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Handling and Braking

The Trax is a breeze to maneuver into tight parking spaces. However, its ride is on the firm side, so it can feel jarring over rough pavement. This Chevy comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional.

  • "One thing the Trax does very well is slide into tighter spaces. Its diminutive size enables the Trax to easily fit in spaces and garages where larger SUVs would have trouble." -- Autotrader
  • "As an urban runabout with some brief highway commutes thrown in, the 2021 Chevrolet Trax is adequate. The small SUV doesn’t have the verve and fun-to-drive traits of a Mazda CX-30 or turbocharged Hyundai Kona or Kia Seltos, but it’s acceptable." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Beyond that, the Trax's ride quality exhibits quite a bit of choppiness, and there's a fair amount of road noise." -- Edmunds (2018)
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2021 Chevrolet Trax

MSRP: $21,400 - $24,700

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