Quite a re­fresh

Chevy’s lit­tle cross­over looks more en­gag­ing now

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Shake Down - Words by Ja­son dela Cruz Pho­tog­ra­phy by Vincent Coscol­luela

In a sea of small crossovers, the Trax looked promis­ing. I first got a go in it when we pit­ted it against the Honda HR-V last year. Per­haps the most re­fresh­ing thing about the lit­tle Chevy is it has gone the di­rec­tion of small­erdis­place­ment tur­bos—the first to do so in its seg­ment.

Shortly af­ter reach­ing our mar­ket, the Trax was given a ma­jor up­date—so much so that you’d think this is the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion. The pre-facelift ver­sion wasn’t bad-look­ing, but it sud­denly looks portly com­pared with the new one. The big­gest change is at the front: Not only does the re­design pro­vide a more ap­par­ent Ca­maro re­sem­blance, it also gives the sportute a sharper ap­pear­ance over­all. The new dual-port grille is flanked by sleeker head­lamps with LED DRLs that have been stretched far­ther back, and com­ple­mented by a slim­mer hood and a more sculpted bumper and fend­ers. The rear sports LED tail­lights as well as a re­designed bumper with big­ger fogs and re­flec­tors.

The in­te­rior has like­wise been given a con­sid­er­able makeover. Gone is the bul­bous dash in fa­vor of a more flow­ing one that mim­ics the ex­te­rior’s lines. Gone, too, are the cir­cu­lar side air vents for a more stream­lined de­sign. The dig­i­tal speedo has been re­placed by twin ana­log gauges. The touch­screen has been moved up; as a re­sult, the cen­tral vents are now on ei­ther side. Orange stitch­ing on the dash and the seats gives off a nice con­trast.

The sportier image makes the Trax more wor­thy of its 1.4-liter tur­bocharged mill—it now has more show to match the go. Torque on the lower end (from around 2,500rpm) pro­vides a bit of fun when pos­si­ble. Around town in mod­er­ate traf­fic, the Chevy re­turns about 7.5km/L. On an early Sun­day morn­ing drive to Que­zon City along EDSA, it yields 15.3km/L while I drive at 70-80kph. The steer­ing has a good amount of weight­i­ness, adding to the fun char­ac­ter.

The pre-facelift Trax may have fallen vic­tim to a tran­si­tory pe­riod, but with the level of com­pe­ti­tion in the small cross­over seg­ment, shift­ing to the com­pany’s new global de­sign lan­guage sooner rather than later proves to be the cor­rect move. All the changes make the Trax ul­ti­mately more ap­peal­ing.

New 18in al­loys com­plete the new look

The new pat­tern on the seats gives off a lighter feel

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