2013 Chevrolet Trax review

* Chevrolet's new Nissan Juke rival driven * Choice of two- and four-wheel drive * On sale now, priced from 15,495...

2013 Chevrolet Trax review

The Chevrolet Trax is one of a number of small SUVs to go on sale in 2013.

Its 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 or a 1.7-litre diesel and both two- and four-wheel drive.

Theres a choice of only two trims LS and LT but prices start at a very reasonable 15,495 500 less than the equivalent Mokka.

Whats the 2013 Chevrolet Trax like to drive?
You wouldnt expect a small SUV to be the last word in dynamic brilliance, but the Trax still falls a way short of the standards wed expect.

One of the biggest problems is the steering; it doesnt feel sufficiently connected to what the front wheels are doing to give you confidence when cornering.

The ride is also disappointing. At low speeds its firm, meaning you feel jolts through your backside, while at higher speeds the car becomes floaty over dips and crests.

Chevrolet told us that the UK-bound cars will be re-engineered to solve these two issues, in the same way that Vauxhall improved the Mokka (albeit marginally) before it arrived in the UK.

Chevy also says it will increase the amount of sound insulation in the Trax, which should help reduce the noise that finds its way into the cabin. We tried the diesel, which is decidedly clattery at low revs, and never completely quietens down even on the motorway.

Added to this, theres a significant amount of wind noise above about 50mph.

The diesel engine does at least pull strongly, but you need to keep the revs above 2000rpm to get the best from it.

Whats the 2013 Chevrolet Trax like inside?
The cabin is the Trax's strongest suit, with a generous amount of space for family life. Head-, shoulder- and legroom are plentiful for front passengers, while six-foot adults are well catered for in the rear.

The dash materials feel durable rather than luxurious, but there are plenty of cubbyholes and cupholders.

The boot isnt quite as big as a Nissan Qashqai's, but is comfortably larger than a Juke's. The boot floor is also level with the entrance, so there's no big load lip to negotiate when lifting in heavy items.

Better still, the boot entry point is covered in durable-looking plastic, so should stand up well to the rigours of loading and unloading.

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

The system is simple to use when youre parked up, but the lack of physical buttons means that it cant be operated easily on the move without taking your eyes off the road.

Should I buy one?
Its hard to give a definitive verdict before weve driven a version tweaked for the UK, but first impressions suggest the Trax wont come close to troubling the class leaders.

The likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti are significantly better to drive and more spacious inside, and they dont cost a lot more money to buy. The Trax might be cheap, then, but it would seem for good reason.

What Car? says...

Nissan Qashqai
Skoda Yeti

Read more Chevrolet reviews>>

Engine size 1.7-litre diesel
Price from 18,945
Power 128bhp
Torque 221lb ft
0-62mph 9.6sec
Top speed 116mph
Fuel economy 62.7mpg
CO2 g/km 120g/km

By Tom Webster

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