The 2018 Chevrolet Trax is powered by a 1.4-liter inline-4 engine producing 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. That is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that feeds power to the front wheels or to all four wheels. For a subcompact crossover, the engine was adequate at best for every day driving. That said, it did not deliver punchy acceleration and turbo lag was noticeable. The transmission would tend not to shift down when power is needed. Being a smaller vehicle, the body roll is negligible but did not feel as nimble as its competition. That said, it is easy to maneuver around especially in cramped parking lots. The steering is responsive and accurate, which definitely helped in roads with a lot of twists and turns. Braking performance is dependable and robust, taking 164 feet to stop from 70 mph. The stopping force was delivered in a linear manner without much jitter. The pedal is firm and made the brakes easy to modulate.
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The base LS trim of the Trax comes standard with power-adjustable side mirrors, keyless entry, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker sound system. The LT trim now includes LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition, satellite radio and a 110V power outlet. The Convenience package includes keyless entry and ignition, a power adjustable driver seat and interior trim upgrades. The Driver Confidence package adds several advanced safety and driver aids. The Sun and Sound package includes a six-speaker Bose sound system. The top-of-the-line Premier trim has all the bell and whistles and then adds foglights, heated front seats, and additional advanced safety and driver aids.
The 2018 Trax was tested by the NHTSA and it garnered five stars in the frontal crash test, five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the rollover test. Overall, it achieved a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. It has also been tested by the IIHS and it scored “Good” in crashworthiness and “Basic” in crash avoidance and mitigation. For all trims, standard equipment for safety includes a rearview camera. Advanced safety and driver aids are additional features and they are cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
The 2018 Trax crossover has a length of 167.2 inches, a width of 69.9 inches, a height of 66.1 inches and a wheelbase of 100.6 inches. The standard wheel size is in a 16-inch diameter but the bigger 18-inch wheels only start with the LT trim. A sunroof is an option starting with the LT trim. The Midnight Edition package for the Premier trim features a blacked out look with the black body paint and black exterior trim.
The doors of the 2018 Trax open wide enough and entry is unrestricted. Fortunately, the doors are short enough to still open even in tight parking. While the legroom is average at best for both rows, the space above the torso felt spacious despite the size. There are seats for five people on board. Sadly, there is no option for real leather upholstery for the seats. However, the comfort is there and did not induce aches on longer trips. The front seats could be wider to improve stability. The overall fit and finish were decent at best and upscale materials are even an option among its competition. The ride quality leaned on the firmer side and road imperfections can be abrupt on the chassis. Opting for the bigger wheels can contribute to a harsher response from the pavement. Road noise was a little louder inside the cabin, especially when at a faster speed.
Behind the Trax's second row of seats is 18.7 cu-ft of space, and folding down the second row yields 48.4 cu-ft of space available for cargo.