Bigger SUVs and crossovers have enjoyed increased success in recent years, but many car buyers seek the same utility as the big vehicles but in a smaller package. Subcompact SUVs are perfectly suited for one to two people and a modest amount of gear, and the 2020 Chevy Trax provides a good balance of utility, storage, and price. In general, the new Trax remains largely unchanged from the old Trax, aside from the deletion of a few color choices: Storm Blue Metallic, Sandy Ridge Metallic, and Dark Copper Metallic.
When fitted with the available all wheel drive option, the new Trax is suitable for a trip to the ski slopes or negotiating the backcountry road to get to the trailhead for a hike, aided by its modest 6.2-inch ground clearance. The Trax is most at home though on city streets, where its compact size and tight turning circle allow for ease of parking in a garage or along the roadside. The raised driving position provides better visibility for scanning around and over traffic, and the interior space allows room for three to ride comfortably, four if you don’t mind a close fit. From the grind of the daily commute to the weekend getaway, the 2020 Chevy Trax performs admirably is most general driving situations. Backed by GM’s long-standing reputation for quality, the new Trax will be sure to satisfy drivers seeking a practical and safe compact SUV.
The 2020 Chevy Trax is expected to be assembled at two factories for the global markets: GM Bupyeong factory operated by GM Korea and GM San Luis Potosi factory operated by GM Mexico. It is expected that 2020 will also be the last production year for the current first-generation Trax, and an all-new version will launch for the 2021 model year.
The Trax was first unveiled as a concept vehicle at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and in 2013 and 2014, it was only available in Canada, Mexico, Germany, South Korea, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Europe. In Australia, it was marketed under the name Holden Trax and in Russia and South America as the Chevrolet Tracker. In late 2014, the Trax appeared in more countries with the addition of China, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Finally, in 2015, the Trax came to America in part to compete with Jeep’s Renegade, spurred on by the success of the Buick Encore (both the Trax and the Encore share the same GM underpinnings). The US version of the Trax is virtually identical to that of the international version, aside from the inclusion of features like OnStar and SiriusXM satellite radio.
GM retooled the Trax In 2017, with exterior design cues inspired by the company’s own Malibu and Volt models. It was just the outside that received a facelift, as the interior also got a makeover with a redesigned dashboard and center instrument panel. Both these exterior and interior style changes helped to improve the Trax’s perceived quality, putting it on par with other vehicles in its class. The 2020 model is expected to continue the evolution of the 2017 refresh with only slight changes, with the next full-scale redesign expected in 2021.
The 2020 Chevy Trax is available in three trim levels: LS, LT, and Premier. The base LS model includes enough features to not come across as too basic. The LT adds to that with some more practical features plus several available option packages. Moving up to the top-tier Premier includes interior upgrades and advanced safety features. All Trax models feature a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine under the hood, offering 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available as an option. FWD models have disc brakes (front) and drum brakes (rear), while the AWD models have disc brakes all around.
LS - The base model Trax comes with 16-inch allows wheels, a rearview camera, folding side mirrors, and automatic headlights on the exterior. In the cabin are 60/40 split-folding rear seats, driver’s side power lumbar adjustment, GM’s OnStar communications system with 4G LTE connection and WiFi hotspot (OnStar comes with a 5 year subscription to basic services plus automatic crash response, turn by turn navigation, and one month’s / 3GB of WiFi data), 7 inch touchscreen display, six speaker audio system and Apple CarPlay / Android Auto smartphone integration.
An optional and aptly-named Tint and Cruise Package adds in tinted windows and cruise control.
LT - Moving up a level gets you the Tint and Cruise Package already included, along with roof rails, LED daytime running lights, heated exterior mirrors, remote vehicle start, upgraded cloth upholstery, cargo cover, 110-volt outlet, and satellite radio.
Different option packages let you add features of your liking to the LT. The Convenience Package includes upgraded premium cloth upholstery with faux leather inserts, leather-wrapped steering wheel, six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and keyless ignition / entry. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors are included as additional safety features in the Driver Confidence Package, and a seven-speaker Bose sound system and sunroof come with the Sun and Sound Package. In addition, the Trax LT is also available in a Redline Edition, which features black body accents and black-painted 18-inch alloy wheels adorned with red accent stripes.
Premier - This top of the line Trax includes all of the features in the LT model aside from those in the Redline Edition and adds 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, faux leather seating with heated front seats, and automatically dimming mirror. It’s also the only Trax trim level to include forward collision and lane departure warning systems.
As noted above, all of the Trax models get the same 1.4L turbocharged engine, which provides good power for around-town drives and decent performance on the interstate at higher speeds, and the six-speed automatic transmission provides smooth shifting. Drivers will love the 138 hp and 48 lb-ft of torque this small but capable SUV offers.
The Trax has a firm ride and steady handling, which makes it feel solid, and agile steering aids in parking lots and busy urban areas. It corners fairly well for its height, with very little leaning while turning. Braking is sure and confident in all kinds of stopping situations, thanks to Chevy’s strong braking system.
The available all-wheel drive option can be utilized in driving situations where conditions are wet or otherwise tricky. On normal, dry road conditions, the vehicle usually relies on the front-wheel drive system, but it will automatically shift to AWD if required to provide the driver with enhanced stability and improved traction.