New for 2017

The Trax gets a significant refresh for 2017, including updated styling and new safety and infotainment features.

Chevy Revamps Its Smallest SUV

Think of a Chevrolet SUV, and a burly Tahoe or Suburban usually comes to mind. But Chevy has been thinking smaller lately, as exemplified by the tiny Trax. The Trax is part of a new breed of subcompact crossovers that offers traditional SUV perks in a more convenient package. For the 2017 model year, the Trax gets a thorough update that includes new styling and technology features. That should make the Trax an even more compelling option than before.

Performance

The Trax continues to offer the high-riding position, all-wheel drive traction, and cargo space of an SUV, but with the footprint, handling, and fuel economy of a small hatchback. It’s a much more practical way to scratch that SUV itch.

As with previous model years, the 2017 Trax is offered exclusively with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. It’s backed by a six-speed automatic transmission, with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

The small engine’s advantage is apparent when it comes to fuel economy. The EPA rated the 2017 Trax at 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive,* and 27 mpg combined (24 mpg city, 30 mpg highway) with all-wheel drive.* Who said SUVs had to be gas guzzlers?

The Trax’s small size also pays other dividends. While many SUV buyers enjoy riding high, they often pay with less-than-fun handling. Yet the Trax is actually decently entertaining to fling around a back road, and much less of a chore to maneuver through traffic. Its size and sight lines are like those of a small hatchback, which also makes parking much easier.

Features

The 2017 Chevrolet Trax is a five-door, five-seat subcompact crossover SUV. It goes on sale this fall in LS, LT, and Premier trim levels. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

Full details on standard and optional equipment will be available closer to the 2017 Trax’s arrival in showrooms, but this small SUV should offer a fairly high level of features, despite being near the bottom of Chevy’s lineup. Among the highlights is a new infotainment system with 7.0-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ capability, as well as keyless open and start.

Like many other General Motors products, the Trax is also available with the OnStar® 4G LTE system, which includes a Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to seven devices. Owners can purchase network access through a separate data plan, ensuring their phones never lose service, no matter where they drive.

Design

One of the biggest areas of change for the 2017 Chevrolet Trax is styling. The previous Trax had a distinctive look, but the new model is a bit more stylish and borrows design language from other Chevy models to give it a more familial look.

The exterior features a new grille and headlights with a similar design to the Cruze and Malibu sedans, as well as the Volt electric car. LED signature lighting is offered on LT and Premier models. The rear fascia also got a bit of plastic surgery to incorporate new taillights. Premier models get added LED signature lighting here as well, plus 18-inch aluminum wheels.

On the inside, a new instrument panel evokes the “dual-cockpit” design used on classic Corvettes and other iconic Chevys. An upper dashboard hood that stretches across the panel is meant to create a feeling of spaciousness, Chevy’s designers say. In addition, a new instrument cluster places a digital display between the traditional analog speedometer and tachometer. Designers also took care to place the new 7.0-inch touchscreen where it could be easily read and used.

To give the Trax a more upscale feel, designers added Galvano chrome trim on the instrument panel and center console. Premier models also get a contrasting-color instrument panel that matches their leatherette seats.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Chevrolet Trax includes anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, a rearview camera, and 10 airbags. For 2017, the Trax also gains several new optional features, including side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning.

Verdict

The 2017 Chevrolet Trax offers all of the advantages of an SUV, with fewer of the drawbacks.

Be sure to contact us online or visit Kupper Automotive at 1500 2nd Street NE, Mandan, ND 58554 to schedule a test drive.

*EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary depending on driving habits and conditions.

Image: Chevrolet