15 August 2013 Last Updated: 29 October 2013

Full Chevrolet Trax (13 on) Model Review

by Gareth Evans

  • We test the Trax in top-spec LT trim with automatic gearbox
  • Diesel engine means low running costs but is extremely noisy
  • Priced at £19,995 with no optional extras, available to order now
Chevrolet Trax (13 on) 1.7 VCDi LT 5d Auto - Road Test
The Chevrolet Trax is the American firm’s entry into an extremely hotly contested market. Up against rivals such as the top-selling Nissan Qashqai and the excellent Skoda Yeti, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether it’s going to sell very well.

The Chevrolet Trax is the American firm’s entry into an extremely hotly contested market. Up against rivals such as the top-selling Nissan Qashqai and the excellent Skoda Yeti, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether it’s going to sell very well.

That said, it’s based heavily on the under-pinnings of the Vauxhall Mokka so there’s obviously belief within parent company General Motors that there’s a pining for more cross-over type vehicles. To find out whether this particular version cuts the mustard against its competition, read on.

Noisy engine, slow gearbox

The car we drove had a 1.7-litre diesel engine and a fairly slow six-speed automatic gearbox. The punchy engine means it’s still possible to make decent progress though, and the 0-62 sprint takes 9.4 seconds while top speed is 113g/km.

Over-taking slower moving vehicles doesn’t pose much of a problem, since the engine has a healthy 300Nm of torque available from 2,000rpm.

One problem we found with this engine was how loud it was. There’s a noticeable vibration through the steering wheel and pedals, and as the revs rise the engine note booms into the cabin in an intrusive fashion. Refined, this car is not.

While your ears may take a battering, your wallet is in safer territory when we start to investigate running costs. Fuel economy, according to Chevrolet, should average around 53.2mpg – pretty impressive for a car of this size. We saw 45mpg on our test route, so the car’s range should be somewhere between 500 and 600 miles per tank of diesel.

Road tax for this year will cost you £125 per year, since the Trax’s 139g/km CO2 emissions place it in VED band E.

Assured and easy to drive

There’s a solid feel to the Trax, helped in part by the very high driving position. It makes you feel safe, which is going to appeal to many people who buy this car. That’s backed-up by a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, which should give you a little extra peace of mind.

That automatic gearbox coupled with the light steering means it’s a very accessible car to drive. Standard parking sensors also mean it’s simple to park in the supermarket car park.

Although it looks like an off-roader, we’d suggest you steer clear of any extreme hills in this car. It doesn’t have four-wheel drive and as such doesn’t offer the grip levels its looks allude to. There’s a hill-descent system installed which will keep the car at a sensible speed and facing in the right direction down a slippery hill, but that’s about your lot when it comes to venturing onto rougher terrain.

Large, functional interior

Inside the car there’s loads of space, which means the Trax is easily capable of carrying five adults. The boot is fairly large too, at 356 litres in capacity. You get four bag hooks in the boot too, which means you’ll be able to transport a serious amount of shopping without worrying about your eggs flying around.

Another handy feature is the conventional three-pin plug socket in the rear, meaning you’ll be able to charge laptops or plug your mobile phone in without having to find a separate in-car charger.

You don't get a huge amount more kit on an LT model over the well-equipped base-spec LS. In fact, the only differences are 18-inch alloy wheels and a rear parking camera. You can’t have an automatic LS model though, so you’ll have to plump for the LT and its £19,995 price tag.

You can read the full Chevrolet Trax review by clicking here.

Also consider:

Vauxhall Mokka

Based on the same platform, the Mokka shares many of the pros and many of the cons of the Trax. Big discounts can be expected on the Vauxhall.

Skoda Yeti

The excellent Yeti is well-built, brilliant to drive and cheap to run. It’s also far quieter than the Trax and more practical too.

Nissan Qashqai

Britain’s top-selling cross-over was the first of its breed, carving out a niche for itself that other manufacturers are falling over themselves to fill.