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The Chevrolet Trax - Now Available

By raccars Published

Nissan's Juke seems an unlikely car to spearhead a whole new wave, but it seems to have sparked the release of a rash of baby SUVs hitting the market this year.

The Chevrolet Trax, available now, is essentially a badge-engineered Vauxhall Mokka, with that car's choice of 115bhp 1.6 litre and 140bhp 1.4 turbo petrol engines and a 1.7 litre CDTi diesel. Gearboxes are six-speed manual and automatic and you get a choice of two or four-wheel drive. The Trax doesn't have any serious off-roading capability but there's plenty of traction in any normal road conditions.

The cabin is spacious, with a larger boot than the rival Nissan Juke, with a handy array of storage holes and a nice rather than luxury quality finish. Practical touches, such as the lack of loading lip and robust plastic sill to the boot, show some thought has gone into the design. The seating configuration is very flexible and the Trax offers more cargo space than many rivals.

Trim levels are the basic LS and the more modern LT, which comes with an intelligent touchscreen infotainment interface, leaving the fascia sleek and uncluttered but operating it on the move will take some getting used to. The superior model also benefits from electric and heated memory seats, parking camera, auto-dim rearview mirror and masses of driver assist technology. However, even the entry-level car comes with DRLs, a tyre pressure monitor, alloys, air conditioning, automatic headlights, parking sensors and Bluetooth connectivity.

The exterior look is rather American, with a squarish, bulky front end and elevated steering position, although the ride height is deceptively low. That bronze cross badge to the front may be a little too prominent for badge snobbish Brits.

At the moment, its on-road qualities are subject to some criticism. Reports are that the steering lacks feedback and the ride is travel sickness-inducing – bumpy at low speeds and lacking gravity at higher velocities. Refinement could also use some improvement, due both to irritating clonks and rattles and wind noise at speed.

However, Chevrolet has deemed these as teething troubles that will be fixed before UK customers receive their cars, in a repeat of a similar story for the Vauxhall Mokka. On the plus side, the Trax has received a full five star, NCAP safety rating.

Ultimately, the Trax neither looks as good nor performs as well as the class leading Juke and with this market sector fast filling up with high-quality offerings, it's going to have its work cut out to make any real impact.

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