HOLDEN MAKES TRACKS

NEW MODEL A VAST IM­PROVE­MENT

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Drive Way - Matt Calvitto

HOLDEN'S Trax is one of GM'S Korean-made mod­els and, while the pre­vi­ous ver­sion was blessed with great vis­i­bil­ity, dis­tinc­tive looks and punchy per­for­mance, a low-rent in­te­rior and a noisy cabin made it feel un­der­done.

The 2017 Trax range has turned the ma­jor­ity of these per­cep­tions on their head. Re­ally.

The range starts at $23,990 for the Trax LS man­ual, which is pow­ered by a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 1.8 litre four-cylin­der en­gine.

All mod­els above the man­ual LS have a 1.4 litre turbo en­gine mated to a six-speed au­to­matic, a key change for the line-up.

The 2017 range tops out with the LTZ, priced at $30,490 plus on-road costs.

We tested the mid­dle of the range $28,890 Trax LT, which comes with a host of airbags, anti-lock brakes, trac­tion con­trol – AND cloth seats with fake leather bol­ster­ing.

It also has Holden's touch­screen Mylink sys­tem with digital ra­dio, An­droid Auto and Ap­ple Car Play, elec­tri­cally op­er­ated and heated mir­rors, push but­ton start, key­less en­try, a re­vers­ing cam­era and LED tail­lights.

An elec­tric sun­roof and 18inch al­loy wheels are the automotive cher­ries on top.

The big­gest changes are the new styling in­side and out.

While there wasn't any­thing re­ally wrong with the old model's styling, the 2017 ver­sion has adopted and more ma­ture and so­phis­ti­cated look.

We like it.

That so­phis­ti­ca­tion con­tin­ues in­side, with the ma­jor­ity of the cheap sur­faces re­placed with new soft touch and pre­dom­i­nately black sur­faces.

The new dash de­sign is eas­ier on the eye too.

It's just a lot more co­he­sive and it shows that Gen­eral Mo­tors have thrown some re­sources at qual­ity.

In­te­rior quiet­ness seems to have im­proved, too.

Sadly, the mo­tor­cy­cle-in­spired digital speedo has gone. Now the in­stru­ment clus­ter con­sists of two more dif­fi­cult to read ana­logue gauges.

Head, leg and shoul­der room is un­changed.

There's still no cen­tre con­sole, which is silly as the driver's seat has an arm­rest. Holden would've been smarter to mount the arm­rest be­tween the two front seats and have some sort of stor­age com­part­ment un­der­neath. The glove­box isn't par­tic­u­larly big ei­ther.

The 1.4 litre turbo en­gine pro­duces 103kw and 200Nm. Not huge fig­ures on pa­per, but the lit­tle en­gine pushes the Trax along en­er­get­i­cally enough.

Claimed fuel con­sump­tion is 6.7litres/100km but we av­er­aged around 8.

It's also worth not­ing that the en­gine only has an ap­petite for pre­mium fuel.

The six-speed au­to­matic is sat­is­fac­tory in its op­er­a­tion.

Han­dling is fine for a city fo­cused car, with the steer­ing light enough for ne­go­ti­at­ing congested streets and tight carparks. The ride can be a lit­tle choppy over tar­mac im­per­fec­tions, though.

Ver­dict: Some se­ri­ous im­prove­ments have been made with the 2017 Holden Trax range, and based on equip­ment lev­els, the mid-spec LT seems to be the Trax of choice.

Holden's 2017 Trax is a big im­prove­ment on the ear­lier model.

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