Words and photos by Nicolas A. Calanoc
Chevrolet has in recent years been on the top of their game with the likes of the Trailblazer, the Colorado, and the Spin. If you were to ask me, there is a charm that Chevys have with the common denominator of being utility-driven. If the Trailblazer feels like a robust multi-tool, then that makes the Trax a Swiss Army Knife that makes anyone excited no matter who they are.
Its purpose of functionality starts with its form. Its styling surprisingly takes a muscular approach that gives it a pleasing personality of a little, gentle giant. With enough time on the road doing different tasks, its spot-on mixture of size, equipment, and Chevy appeal makes perfect sense.
I may be a big guy, but the interior felt compact in the best way possible. It was like a good fitting glove that was comfy to wear all day. Its streamlined instrument cluster resembles one of a motorcycle. This maximizes the giving of essential information with crisp displays in a cool-blue hue. This also allows the dashboard to boast well-placed compartments of varying shapes and sizes. Fitting two passengers at the back will be a sure, comfy experience for them. Unless they’re children, putting 3 passengers at the rear is a bit of a stretch. The Trax LT trim comes with the Chevrolet MyLink system that is easy to use and connect to. In conjunction with rear sensors, it also acts as a monitor for the rear camera when reverse parking. It also has Hill Descent Control, which is a welcome addition to the tech in this crossover.
The Chevrolet Trax employs a 1.4L turbocharged gasoline engine. On paper, I did wonder why they didn’t use a diesel engine like they had on the Chevy Spin. On the road, it was clear that Chevrolet wanted this crossover to feel like an easy-to-drive through and through. They definitely hit the mark spot on. It was pleasant to drive with a power delivery that felt calm but reacted deliberately. Of course turbocharged engines will always have some sort of lag, but the Chevy engineers sanded this one out. Remember when I said it felt compact? You get that feeling when you start driving around in tight spaces with so much confidence. The Trax made you feel like you knew every dimension of the crossover while you moved with grace.
There is a saying in competition that when it gets tighter, the need to stand out becomes more critical than ever. Chevrolet, in this case, has another hit in the making. The Trax has unique strengths that make it a top contender in the growing competitive crossover class from its compact size to its powertrain. Some might find it on the pricey side for its size, but its driving refinement makes it all worth it.
2016 Chevrolet Trax
Engine: Inline-4, 1364 cc, dohc, 16V, DVCP MFI, Turbo, 6-Speed AT
Max Power: 140 bhp @ 4,900 – 6,000 rpm | Max Torque: 148 lb/ft @ 1,850 – 4,900 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 10.6 sec.
Top Speed: 190 km/h (118 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 11.2 km/L Overall
Price as Tested: PhP 1,218,888.00
+: Compact size, smooth powertrain and practical
-: Doesn’t feel roomy
Editor’s rating: 9 / 10