New Zealand LCV - - ROAD TEST | HOLDEN TRAX SUV - – Arna Evans

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...

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