Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -


The Trax is one of the bet­ter value com­pact SUV crossovers. The base LS is nor­mally $23,990 but look for drive-away deals. The higher spec LTZ comes with a ba­sic 1.8-litre en­gine for $28,490 or a perky 1.4 turbo for an ex­tra $1500. LTZ comes with seven-inch touch­screen, cruise con­trol, 18-inch al­loys and imi­ta­tion leather sports seats.


Both en­gines make 103kW but the turbo 1.4 has more torque, which is avail­able more of the time. The 1.8 with five-speed man­ual is a bit of a slug but the 1.4 is a lit­tle rip­per. It seems to al­ways have power in re­serve. It is a lit­tle thirstier than the S-Cross, claim­ing 6.9L/100km. The regular six-speed au­to­matic is much bet­ter than the Suzuki’s CVT and you hardly no­tice it work­ing away in the back­ground.


It isn’t the pret­ti­est car around but the bulging wheel arches give it some on-road pres­ence, as do the bright colours. Avoid the op­tional bon­net stripes — please. A high­light of the mod­ern and stylish in­te­rior is an in­stru­ment clus­ter that mim­ics a sports­bike’s ana­log tacho and dig­i­tal speedo. You sit up higher in this than the Suzuki. The seats pro­vide good sup­port and are trimmed with a syn­thetic that could pass for leather. There is good space in the sec­ond row.


It is a match for the Suzuki on the num­ber of airbags and safety stars, rear-view cam­era and rear sen­sors, as well as lack of emer­gency auto brak­ing. There is no AWD op­tion.


Holden has had hits and misses with the han­dling of its im­ported cars over the past few years but this Trax is very good out on the road. Lo­cal en­gi­neers picked a set­ting for Australia and the re­sult is a car that feels solid, has limited body roll and en­joys a cor­ner or two. The steer­ing is so much bet­ter than the Suzuki’s and is well weighted, re­spon­sive and ac­cu­rate. It sits on 18-inch wheels but the ride is still very com­fort­able.

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