HOLDEN ON RIGHT TRAX
ALL-ROUNDER WORTH MORE THAN A FIRST GLANCE
HOLDEN is pinning a lot of hope on its Trax, a compact SUV that’s selling quite well (45 in WA in September, 436 nationally) and in one of only a few buoyant market sectors.
It's an interesting vehicle, bigger than it looks at first glance, but with a pinched snoot, so that its family grille and slanted headlights make it look as if it's about to sneeze.
Our steed was the Trax LTZ, with the 1.8litre 103kW/175Nm engine and priced from $27,990. It was the top-spec model until a couple of weeks ago, when another LTZ emerged with a 1.4litre turbo motor. Costs about 1.5K more, has the same power but 25 more Newton metres and is apparently peppier and more fuel efficient.
Its arrival has lifted the Trax choice to three, starting with the LS, then the choice of two LTZs.
The Korean-built SUV with its swept roofline is cleverly designed so it looks taller in the tail than the nose, the image partially helped by its 18-inch alloy wheels.
There are also some bulgy bits to give it a muscly look, and if you want to develop some muscles of your own, just lift the bonnet a few times a day.
The Trax is a soft-roader with a tall stance, good seating and impressive interior features, which is just what a lot of commuters want. Its MyLink infotainment system links with Android and iPhone phones to provide satnav, radio, music, Pandora, Stitcher, Tunein and a lot more, all displayed on a big central colour screen.
And, hallelujah, it has a proper handbrake.
It also gets a reversing camera, auto-on lights and wipers, heated front seats, foglights, a trip computer and a storage tray under the front passenger seat. There are also rear parking sensors, the usual electronic driver aids and yes, it has a five-star safety rating.
The 1.8litre engine is fine for commuting. It runs well in suburbia and cruises easily on the freeway, but gets raucous and a bit wheezy at higher revs. About 90 per cent of WA drivers fall into the commuter category, so the engine’s limitations shouldn’t matter.
It drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic and official average fuel is pretty good at 7.6 litres/100 km.
The Trax's suspension is tuned for Australian conditions and as such it's a good allrounder.
There's good space for four, five at a pinch, and the rear seat is a 60/40 split system to increase volume.
A sturdy, somewhat quirky city SUV that is worth a look.