Reviews

2015 Chevrolet Trax Walk Around

When we first saw the same-size Buick Encore a couple years ago, we thought it looked a little mal-proportioned, like someone had squeezed a compact car in a vice until its front and back ends smushed closer together and its roof popped up. But that look has grown on us, and the Encore has proven popular with the buying public. So this Chevrolet version, with its signature dual-port grille, prominent bowtie emblem, swept-back headlamps, taught body lines, pronounced wheel arches and vertical tail lamps flanking its tailgate, made a much better initial impression. Enhancing its sporty CUV visual credibility despite its modest size are available front fog lamps and simulated skid plates front and rear, while top-of-the-line LTZ models fill those wheel arches with 18-inch alloy wheels.

Interior

The Chevy Trax cabin is a couple levels less luxurious than its platform-mate Buick Encore’s. Its dual-cockpit dash houses a seven-inch, high-resolution central color display for its standard MyLink voice-activated infotainment system with a standard rearview camera and available SiriusXM satellite radio. Base LS models have cloth seating, while mid-range LTs get deluxe cloth or available cloth/leatherette, and top-of-the-line LTZs offer full leatherette trim. The small-diameter, thick-rimmed steering wheel is leather-wrapped on LTZ models and on LTs with an optional LT Plus Package.

There is ample storage in all four doors, plus pockets in the seatbacks, bins under the rear load floor and a hidden storage drawer under the front passenger seat. The large glovebox is supplemented by a pop-open bin above it (which houses the USB and Aux. ports), another above the central vent and a fourth small compartment left of the steering wheel. The center console contains no fewer than four cup holders, the center two connected by a small bin, but there’s no storage box. Cargo capacity is 18.7 cu. ft. behind the 60/40 flat-folding rear seat (which has a fold-down armrest with its own two cup holders) and 48.4 cu. ft. with the rear seat folded flat. Lift-over is conveniently low, and the front passenger seat also folds flat to accommodate items up to eight feet long.

Features and controls are a mixed bag. The very basic instrument cluster contains just a sporty tachometer dial, a digital speedometer, graphic fuel gauge, odometer/trip odometer, compass heading and gear selection. The driver information center toggles through a trip timer, average speed, average fuel economy and distance to empty. There is no available navigation system, but those with smart phones can link with an available BringGo navigation app, then view and control it through the standard MyLink touch screen. The right side of the home page displays time, date and outside temperature, and additional available smartphone apps include Pandora, Stitcher and TuneIn. The audio system has touch buttons for volume and tuning and steering-wheel volume and seek buttons, but no knobs. By contrast, the climate system has nice, large knobs for temperature, fan and mode.

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