HOLDEN TRAX

The rise of the ma­chines con­tin­ues un­abated in the light car class. Craig Duff puts the Fi­esta-founded Ford EcoS­port and Ba­rina-based Holden Trax SUVs into bat­tle.

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -

VALUE The MyLink in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem in­cludes the Bringo sat­nav app. It’s $70 to down­load and own­ers will need a de­cent data al­lowance on their mo­bile phone plans. Heated seats and a 240-volt power socket are smart con­ve­nience ad­di­tions. DE­SIGN A bul­bous front doesn’t mesh with the oth­er­wise solid styling. The in­te­rior is a step up from the Ford in terms of fit and fin­ish and the ab­sence of but­tons — cour­tesy of the seven-inch touch­screen — makes the cen­tre con­sole

far less clut­tered. TECH­NOL­OGY The 1.8-litre en­gine (103kW/175Nm), ven­er­a­ble to say the least, is mated to a sixspeed auto. The on-pa­per per­for­mance edge is dulled by ex­tra weight and the Trax is about a litre thirstier than Ford’s 1.5-litre over 100km. Lo­cal sus­pen­sion tun­ing gives it de­cent road­hold­ing. SAFETY With five stars, the Trax edges the Ford in ev­ery as­sess­ment area. It comes with six airbags and re­vers­ing cam­era. In com­mon with the EcoS­port, it has rear drum brakes but own­ers won’t no­tice in ev­ery­day driv­ing.

DRIV­ING The Fi­esta drives bet­ter than the Ba­rina and that trans­lates to their high-rid­ing coun­ter­parts. The Trax is still more than com­pe­tent with good front-end grip and gen­eral com­pli­ance. A softer sus­pen­sion tune gives it an edge in com­fort at the ex­pense of more body roll through the turns. The en­gine starts to thrash at higher revs — the car could eas­ily cope with the Cruze sta­ble­mate’s turbo 1.6.

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