2013 Chevrolet Trax review

  • Chevrolet's new mini-SUV driven in UK
  • Choice of two- and four-wheel drive
  • On sale now, priced from £15,495
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The Chevrolet Trax is the latest small SUV trying to steal sales from the hugely successful Nissan Qashqai.

It's fundamentally the same car as the Vauxhall Mokka, so is available with the same three engines – a 1.6-litre petrol, a 1.4-litre turbo petrol and a 1.7-litre diesel.

However, there are just two trims – LS and LT – and the Trax's £15,495 starting price means it's available for £500 less than the Mokka.

Both two- and four-wheel-drive versions are offered.

What's the 2013 Chevrolet Trax like to drive?
You wouldn't expect a small SUV to be the last word in dynamic brilliance, but the Trax still falls a way short of the class norm.

Even minor imperfections in the road surface can be felt in its cabin, while larger bumps really thump through the car.

The benefit of this firm suspension set-up is decent body control through bends, plus the steering is a little slower than the Mokka's, so the Trax doesn't feel as nervous at speed.

However, the steering is still very numb, which means it doesn't give you any confidence when cornering.

The 1.4-litre turbo engine also leaves a little to be desired, because it gets thrashy when you work it hard, and doesn't feel as strong at low revs as the 1.4 TSI engine in the Skoda Yeti.

Most buyers will opt for the 1.7-litre diesel, instead, and this performs well if you keep the revs above 2000rpm – although it is very noisy.

The Trax also lets in a lot of road noise at all speeds, whichever engine you choose.

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What's the 2013 Chevrolet Trax like inside?
Head-, shoulder- and legroom are plentiful for front passengers, while six-footers will also be comfortable enough in the back.

However, the Trax's boot is much smaller than a Nissan Qashqai's or Skoda Yeti's, even though there's no load lip to negotiate.

The materials in the Trax feel durable rather than luxurious, but there are plenty of cubbyholes in the cabin, and the rear seats fold flat.

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Go for LT trim and the dashboard is largely free of buttons because you get a MyLink touch-screen infotainment system, which lets you control your smartphone using the screen; you can play music, make calls or even run a special satellite-navigation app.

The screen is simple to use when you're parked up, but the shortage of physical buttons means that it can't be operated easily on the move without taking your eyes off the road.

True, you can use the voice control system for some functions, but this sometimes fails to recognise commands or offer alternative suggestions.

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Should I buy one?
The Trax looks smart, but it doesn't come close to threatening the class leaders.

The likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Yeti are significantly better to drive and more spacious inside, and they don't cost a lot more to buy.

Alternatively, you can have a generously equipped Tech Line version of the Vauxhall Mokka for less than an equivalent Trax.

What Car? says…

Nissan Qashqai
Skoda Yeti

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Specification 1.6
Engine size 1.6-litre petrol
Price £15,495
Power 114bhp
Torque 114lb ft
Top speed 107mpg
Fuel economy 43.4mpg
CO2 emissions 153g/km

Specification 1.4 T
Engine size 1.4-litre turbo petrol
Price £18,255
Power 138bhp
Torque 148lb ft
0-62mph tbc
Top speed tbc
Fuel economy 54.3mpg
CO2 emissions 139g/km

Specification 1.4 T AWD
Engine size 1.4-litre turbo petrol
Price £19,795
Power 138bhp
Torque 148lb ft
0-62mph 9.8 seconds
Top speed 121mph
Fuel economy 44.1mpg
CO2 emissions 149g/km

Specification 1.7 VCDi
Engine size 1.7-litre diesel
Price £18,945
Power 129bhp
Torque 221lb ft
0-62mph 9.6 seconds
Top speed 116mph
Fuel economy 62.7mpg
CO2 emissions 120g/km

Specification 1.7 VCDi AWD
Engine size 1.7-litre diesel
Price £20,495
Power 129bhp
Torque 221lb ft
0-62mph 9.4 seconds
Top speed 114mph
Fuel economy 57.6mpg
CO2 emissions 129g/km

By Steve Huntingford and Tom Webster

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