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  • 2017 Chevrolet Trax Premier AWD

    Posted on June 5th, 2017 ninarussin

    Compact crossover gets exterior restyle

    By Nina Russin

    2017 Chevrolet Trax

    2017 Chevrolet Trax

    The compact Trax is the smaller sibling to the Chevrolet Equinox. Available with front or all-wheel drive, 2017 models get an exterior refresh with a new grille, headlamps and tail lamps for the upscale Premier model that replaces the LTZ. The Premier model also comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels.

    Inside drivers will find a new gauge cluster and reconfigured cockpit. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard- part of Chevrolet MyLink infotainment. All 2017 models get keyless entry and start.

    Power for the Trax comes from a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 138-horsepower and six-speed automatic transmission. Zero-to-sixty for the all-wheel drive model tested is 10.08 seconds.

    Base price for the Premier AWD test car is $27,600 excluding the $895 delivery charge. Standard convenience features include a six-way power driver’s seat, storage area under the front passenger seat, air conditioning, heated seats, automatic headlamps, Bose audio system with XM radio, OnStar with automatic crash response, 4GLTE WiFi hotspot and Bluetooth interface. An active safety option package adds forward collision warning and lane departure alert. Final MSRP is $28,790.

    Test drive in Southern Arizona

    2017 Chevrolet Trax

    2017 Chevrolet Trax

    This week I got behind the wheel of the new Trax, driving around Phoenix, Arizona’s east valley as well as rural roads through the Gila River Indian Community south of town. The styling updates to the 2017 model are significant, giving the exterior more of a presence and addressing criticism regarding material choice, fit and finish on the interior. The newest Trax is a pretty car inside and out that its owner can be proud of.

    The engine has enough power to get the Trax around town and do well on high-speed thoroughfares. Acceleration off the line is a bit anemic compared to some competitors: the price one pays for a small engine that can deliver 30 mile-per-gallon fuel economy for a high-profile all-wheel drive vehicle. The six-speed automatic transmission progresses smoothly through the gears with no obvious shift shock under normal driving conditions.

    The suspension consists of an independent MacPherson strut setup in front and torsion beam rear axle. The compact torsion beam enabled engineers to maximize passenger and cargo space in back. With the car’s front-wheel drive bias, the solid rear axle has minimal impact on ride and handling.

    2017 Chevrolet Trax

    2017 Chevrolet Trax

    Eighteen-inch wheels on the test car are an upgrade from 16-inch rims on the base model, giving the Trax a larger footprint for better performance at speed. Four-wheel disc brakes stop the vehicle in firm, linear fashion.

    An electric power steering system provides plenty of assist on the low end for maneuverability. On-center response is on the soft side but drivers should feel well in control of the vehicle.

    A standard rearview camera and blind spot monitoring on the Premier model do a good job of compensating for blind spots around the perimeter. The Trax has a small rear glass with large D-pillars: the rearview camera enables drivers to see objects below the rear glass. The car also has a thick B-pillar. I found the blind spot monitoring system invaluable for monitoring traffic in adjacent lanes.

    Engineers did a good job of minimizing noise intrusion to the interior so occupants can enjoy the Bose audio system.

    Versatile interior

    Chevrolet Trax Cargo Bay

    Chevrolet Trax Cargo Bay

    Despite its compact dimensions, the Trax interior is versatile enough to meet the needs of buyers with active lifestyles. Storage space under the front passenger seat is a perfect place to stash small packs when parked at the trailhead, and hide them from view. Second-row seats fold flat in a 60/40 pattern to extend the cargo floor for skis, snowboards and bicycles. The front passenger seat also folds flat for extremely long items.

    Standard keyless entry and start saves the driver from fumbling for the key fob, adding a measure of safety after dark. Standard remote start allows drivers to circulate air through the cabin prior to entering the car. Being able to start the air conditioning on a hot June day in Phoenix is a pretty big deal, since car interior here often reach 140-degrees Fahrenheit. Chevrolet has a reputation for air conditioners that blow ice cubes: the Trax is no exception.

    I found the power driver’s seat easy to adjust, with good lower lumbar support and a high enough seating position for a clear forward view. Both the gauge cluster and center stack screen are easy to read in bright sunlight and after dark.

    Chevrolet Trax Interior

    Chevrolet Trax Interior

    Standard OnStar enables car owners to call for help simply by pressing a button on the rearview mirror. Drivers who are lost can ask for turn-by-turn directions: a much better solution than trying to program the navigation system when the car is in motion.

    The WiFi hotspot makes it easy to turn the Trax into a mobile office, so owners can make time normally wasted commuting more productive.

    Standard safety

    The Chevrolet Trax comes with ten airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, tire pressure monitoring, rearview camera with cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. Chevrolet’s standard complete care includes two complimentary maintenance visits and 24-hour roadside assistance during the warranty period.

    The Chevrolet Trax received a five-star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

    Like: A versatile compact crossover with a high level of standard safety features, standard WiFi hotspot and lots of interior storage.

    Dislike: Soft low-end acceleration.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Chevrolet
    Model: Trax Premier AWD
    Year: 2017
    Base price: $27,600
    As tested: $28,790
    Horsepower: 138 HP @ 4900 rpm
    Torque: 148 lbs.-ft. @ 1850 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: 10.08 seconds
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 24/30 mpg city/highway

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