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With the Trax, Chevrolet has tried to give maximum value in a product that feels a little bit premium.
Chevrolet is quick to raise its hand to claim ownership of the SUV concept. Long ago in a galaxy far, far away (let’s call it 1930s America) the company developed the huge off-road capable Suburban, but things have moved on and these days SUVs this side of the Atlantic are a little smaller. Sales in the sub-compact SUV sector have been booming. You can already buy a Chevrolet compact SUV in the shape of the Captiva, but the spirit of downsizing is strong in Europe and the latest breed of highriding soft-roaders are little longer than superminis. This sector of the market is the Trax’s back yard, although you wouldn’t guess at a glance. It’s chunky, muscular and imposing, with a deep side profile thanks to low ride height and a high roof line. Frankly it looks brilliant, and certainly bigger than it is. But in reality it slots into parking spaces as easily as a hamster into that gap beneath the sofa. Then there’s the sheer amount of space Chevrolet has carved out of the shell. A modest boot is backed up by a huge under-floor storage well that can hold a spare wheel, with compartmentalised storage boxes available for the main boot area too. But then inside there are three pockets in both £19,795 on the road.
1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol producing 138bhp and 147lb.ft.
Six-speed manual gearbox driving all four wheels (on demand).
Top speed 121mph, 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds.
44.1mpg. 149g/km. front doors, a large open-faced storage bin, two glove boxes, two storage slots on the dashboard, an under-seat drawer and four cup holders. The everyday usefulness of the design is staggering. Rear passengers get a surprising amount of legroom, too. The materials quality is somewhere in the middle of the road. As for the driving experience, the Trax comes apparently prepared for anything, with four-wheel drive an option. But the truth is the Trax, however many wheels it sends power to, is very much built for the streets. At launch there will be a basic 1.6-litre petrol engine and two turbocharged upgrades; a 1.4 petrol and a 1.7 diesel.