Sometimes smaller is better - at least, that's the philosophy behind the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, the new subcompact SUV from the Bowtie brand. Designed to slot in under the compact Chevrolet Equinox in Chevrolet showrooms, the 2015 Trax makes a play for young families as well as couples who have the 'active lifestyles' that automakers covet: those who frequently need to transport a bike, musical instrument, or sports gear that just won't fit inside of a traditional sedan. The Chevrolet Trax's small size also allows it to target those inhabiting urban enclaves where street parking is at a premium and traffic makes it a hassle to pilot a more generously-proportioned SUV.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2015 Chevrolet Trax.
01. The 2015 Chevrolet Trax Is All-New - Sort Of
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax is an all-new model for Chevy, but that doesn't meant that the platform it sits on is entirely unknown to General Motors customers. In fact, the Chevrolet Trax rides on the same chassis that underpins the Buick Encore, a similarly-sized SUV that's focused on the entry-level luxury segment. While the Trax and the Encore might share the same platform, as well as an identical drivetrain, stylistically and in terms of feature content there's not much linking the two models, allowing them each to develop their own unique personalities.
02. The 2015 Chevrolet Trax Offers A Subcompact Footprint
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax is much smaller than the previously-mentioned Equinox, with a total length of only 168.5 inches and a width of 69.9. This makes it much simpler to park in a tight spot than, say, almost any other SUV on the market, but thanks to its tall design - 65.9 inches of total height - the Chevrolet Trax's interior feels much roomier than it actually is. Driver and front passenger are afforded a respectable view of the road ahead from their tall perches, while even those riding in the rear seats have little to complain about in terms of overall room.
03. The 2015 Chevrolet Trax Features A Single Engine Option
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax keeps things simple at ordering time by limiting buyers to a single engine option: a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that has been tuned to provide 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. If those numbers sound familiar, that's because this plucky four-banger has been tapped to provide motivation across a range of compact and subcompact vehicles from General Motors, including the Chevrolet Cruze, the Chevrolet Sonic, and of course the Buick Encore. Maximum torque for the Trax comes on as low as 1,850 rpm, which is useful when plodding through traffic or trying to leave the line quickly.
04. The 2015 Chevrolet Trax Likewise Restricts Transmission Choice
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax makes an automatic transmission standard with every single model. Not a continuously-variable automatic like some other small vehicles have moved towards in recent years, but a traditional six-speed auto that features manual control over gear changes. There's a small switch on the gear lever itself that lets you toggle up and down between one ratio and the next, but it's not a sport-oriented setup, which means the best performance is usually achieved by leaving the Trax in automatic mode. Chevrolet offers a six-speed manual transmission in other global markets, but Americans have been passed over in this respect.
05. The 2015 Chevrolet Trax Is Practical For Its Size
We've already discussed how the 2015 Chevrolet Trax is actually fairly comfortable for as many as four adults due to its well thought-out passenger compartment. It turns out that the Chevrolet Trax also offers respectable performance when it comes to hauling cargo - one of the key attributes of any sport-utility vehicle. A split-folding rear seat allows the Trax to swallow up to 48.4 cubic feet of gear, which is quite good considering its tiny wheelbase. With a full load of friends and family along for the ride, the Chevrolet SUV still delivers 18.7 cubic feet of room between the seatback and the tailgate - somewhat larger than the trunk of an average full-size sedan.
06. The 2015 Chevrolet Trax Provides A Healthy Features List
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax might not be a luxury car, but it's got more than its share of high end features available for those buyers willing to explore the upper reaches of its options list. The Chevrolet Trax can be had with the Chevrolet MyLink touchscreen interface, a system that connects mobile phones to the SUV in order to facilitate the streaming of music as well access to hands-free phone calls and built-in Internet-enabled apps like Pandora and Stitcher radio. If you don't have a smart phone, then don't worry - the Trax can also be ordered with a 4G LTE mobile hot spot that will take care of the Internet connectivity for you and allow you to enjoy these streaming and data-enabled services without the need to link another device.
07. The 2015 Chevrolet Trax Prioritizes Safety
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax might be tiny, but that doesn't mean it's any less safe that other SUVs on the road. The Chevrolet Trax comes standard with dual forward airbags, a knee airbag for each front passenger, seat-mounted side impact airbags for the first two positions, side curtain airbags that run the full length of the vehicle's passenger compartment, and an additional set of seat-mounted side impact airbags at the rear. The Trax also features electronic stability control and traction control as well as the OnStar telematics system, which can automatically notify first responders of the vehicle's location in the event of a serious accident.