October 02, 2017 By Kevin C. Limjoco

2017 Chevrolet Trax LT

 

C! contributing photographer and writer Isabel Delos Reyes has racked up quite a long list of test reviews in the past few years, and one of the natural results of all that experience is that she may honestly perhaps become too discerning. For example, last year she tested the outgoing Chevrolet Trax and she was not a fan of it. In fact, she practically loathed it; from the way it looked, to how it drove, and even how it sounded. So, I was astonished to find out that she actually enjoyed the updated version of the new Trax despite the fact that it’s mechanically the same; all the good features were carried over, and the most obvious changes are aesthetic.

Yet, once again, she was right. The culmination of all the small improvements makes the Trax the little compact crossover that it should have been from the start. I still have my two lone qualms though: I wish Chevrolet used the more powerful version of the same 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, and I had hoped that the new projector headlights had either LED or HID instead of halogen. Aside from that, the new Trax LT is considerably better, it looks quite good on the outside and even better where it counts more inside. The new interior is incomparable to the old one from design to materials used. The cabin is so much more refined, and the fit-and-finish is so much better that I can hear the not-so-appealing engine noise.

The key changes are the new appealing face with the proportioned dual-port grille, new bumpers on both ends, new 18-inch alloys wrapped with P215/55R18 95H Continental PremiumContact 2 tires, new sculpted taillamps with LED signature lighting, new instrument cluster is thankfully analog backed up by an informative digital driver information center, new dashboard with chrome accents, smart key with start/stop ignition, and a new, sharp, good sounding MyLink 7-inch center infotainment system with rear camera.

Our Summit White colored test unit was a front-wheel drive only, which I prefer as I wouldn’t need the AWD system that weighs down the carried over 1.4-liter turbo engine with roughly an additional 145 pounds. As good as the new Trax is with its user-friendly upgrades, the little engine is just barely sufficient and it buzzes a bit too loudly now; perhaps accentuated, ironically, by the better cabin insulation. The trunk is still a bit small; it has a 19-cubic foot capacity which is 5 less than our current 2nd generation Kia Soul’s, and the rear seats still don’t fold completely flat. Yet, somehow the Trax does grow on you.

Is the new Trax a good small crossover? It sure is for four adults! The competition is very fierce in this segment and with the excise taxes kicking in soon, I hope Chevrolet Philippines have a strategy to increase the desirability of the Trax that includes installing more standard equipment, because ability is still paramount over just looks and some better feel. It is certainly maneuverable, uncommon, very easy to live with, and quite comfortable.

Specification – 2017 Chevrolet Trax LT

Engine: Inline-4, 1364cc, dohc 16V, Port Injection Intercooled Turbo, VVT, 6-speed AT

Max power: 138 bhp @ 4900-6000 rpm

Max torque: 148 lb-ft @ 1850-4900 rpm

0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 9.6 sec.

Top Speed: 189 km/h (118 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 25 mpg City & 33 mpg Highway

Price as tested: PhP 1,358,888.00

C! RATING 9 /10

+Much better looking now, more comfortable and more appointed, good value.

-Halogen headlights, no Bose® audio system, better if it had the 153 bhp/177 lb ft version of the same engine used in the Buick Encore.

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