ARNA SAYS TRAX - A GREAT STEP INTO SUV MARKET
HAVE KIDS, BUY A SUV HAS BECOME almost a rite of passage.
I developed a liking for small SUVS when I swapped my Holden Commodore wagon for a top-spec Kia Soul a few years back.
Its overall size may have been a little smaller, but that didn’t faze me, as the tradeoff was a higher driving position and much better vision, a safer feeling in traffic, and the ease of ingress and egress.
They were all attributes I similarly love about the Holden Trax.
As we entered parenthood, our own small SUV proved roomy and practical and just big enough to handle all the gear of our first baby.
So I was immediately comfortable in the Trax, both literally and metaphorically. The high seating, combined with the front quarter windows almost eliminate any forward blind spots, though the C-pillar can be deceivingly thick at times.
The Trax’s size is perfect for the city but it’s just at home on the motorway, and I liked the storage pockets everywhere, plus the underpassenger-seat drawer to keep phones and purses away from prying eyes.
The rear seats easily accepted the kids’ seats with the choice of three Isofix mounts, and though their legroom was on the snug side, it still fell within the boundaries of comfortable. And boot space is still reasonably large for a small SUV, without being cavernous.
When pop-quizzed on the engine size, I guessed 1.6-litre turbo, so was impressed to hear it’s “only” a 1.4-litre.
It certainly has enough go through the gears, and its smaller capacity is only noticeable when it tries to get going from standstill…and when you monitor the fuel gauge. I ‘scored’ 8.5 litres/100km driving around town. Complaints? Not many. I didn’t quite gel with the rear cross-traffic alert, particularly when the camera works so well. I’d happily trade that for front parking sensors, which I’d use more often.
And the seat heating on this top-spec LTZ model is either freezing or frying: a middle setting would be nice.
The Trax may be a squeeze for people with a couple of kids or lots of gear, but for a single, couple, or young family, it’s a great step into the SUV market.
If we were trading out of that Commodore again in the same circumstances as before, the Trax would definitely be on our shortlist.
Above left: Kids’ legroom was on the snug side, though rear cabin was still comfortable (left); The rear seats easily accepted the kids’ seats with the choice of three Isofix mounts (centre); Boot space is reasonably large for a small SUV, without being cavernous (right).