One of the bigger non events of the 2014 New York Auto Show was the introduction of the 2015 Chevrolet Trax
With the compact crossover segment heating up coupled with the success of its platform-mate the Buick Encore, General Motors has decided to reverse a previous marketing decision and starting importing the Chevy Trax from Korea into the U.S. Note that the term "North America" is absent as Canadian buyers have been able to purchase a Trax (as well as the Chevrolet Orlando) for more than a year while it's been available in Mexico for the past two years.
In addition to the new Jeep Renegade and the just-announced Honda Fit-based HR-V, the new Chevrolet will also have to contend with the funkiness of the Kia Soul and the Nissan Juke.
2015 Chevrolet Trax
Those familiar with the Encore will feel right at home in the Trax as most of the dimensions of both vehicles are nearly identical, with the Trax differing only in overall length (0.1 inches longer at 168.5 inches) and height (0.7 inches higher at 65.9 inches). Everything else including wheelbase, width, front and rear track as well as ground clearance, is identical.
Both vehicles also share the same powertrain: a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 generating 138 horsepower at 4,900 rpm and 148 lb.- ft. of torque at 1,850 rpm. The engine is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift control with a "steep" first gear plus a "tall" overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1.
When it finally reaches our shores, sixteen-inch wheels will be standard on base LS and mid-trim LT models (aluminum on the LT), while top-shelf LTZ models receive standard eighteen-inch alloys.
Standard safety amenities across the board will include ten airbags, a rearview camera, stability control with traction control and rollover mitigation, ABS, EBD, cornering brake control and brake assist.
Outside the Trax sports Chevy's ubuquitous dual-port grille and swept headlamps. The front and rear skid plats are "simulated" – the Trax is more poseur than real deal - while vertical taillamps flank the tailgate.
Inside, the dual-cockpit dash houses a central full-color, seven-inch, high-resolution display for the Trax's standard MyLink infotainment system and rearview camera and optional satellite radio, Siri Eyes Free, and BringGo navigation app navigation system.
The instrument cluster, borrowing cues from the Chevy Sonic, features an analog tach and digital speedo and sits in front of a small diameter steering wheel that's wrapped in leather on some LT and all LTZ models.
Speaking of trim levels, LS models come with standard cloth, LT buyers get deluxe cloth or optional cloth seats with leatherette trim, while LTZ models get the full leatherette trim.
Additional options include:
• Next-generation OnStar and MyLink
• OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot - allowing passengers to connect multiple personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless internet