I had a business trip last week to Ft. Lauderdale about a 3.5 hour drive from St. Pete so I got a rental and drove since flying, including checking in and such, would have been just as long. Last time I did this trip I had a Ford Focus and I posted my review on FIN and was a bit harsh on it mostly because of hard plastics on the door panel and lower dash where my knee rested. This time I was hoping for something better when I got to Enterprise they had a ton of cars in the front so I was curious as to what I would get. I checked in and attendant came out and said you can pick any car you want. I instantly saw the red Charger and started walking towards it and he said well you got an intermediate so anything bigger will be an extra charge... (wtf then why say I can get any car) so I said ok what do you have here that's an intermediate and he pointed to a Hyundai Elantra. Eh at least it has blue tooth right? So I said I was ok with that and he said well for 2 dollars more a day you can have this Chevy Trax its an upgrade. I said no thanks but he insisted then told me the Hyundai wasn't ready because it still needed to be cleaned so he would give me the Trax for the same rate. Ok what ever I am off to Ft. Lauderdale in a Chevy Trax!
First off I don't mean to offend anyone who has a Trax but my gripes with this vehicle are what I think pretty legit. I got disappointed fast when I took the short drive back to my house to grab my bags. First off the little cover over the storage area kept getting stuck up blocking my back window every.single.time I opened the hatch I had to keep going in the back seat to push it down. Also the small 4 cylinder was pretty gutless but that's to be expected of a vehicle like this. I will say though it was quieter than I expected it to be, no where near as quiet as my MKZ but a lot quieter than most rentals that I have had which was good cause I could carry a decent conversation on the bluetooth without yelling, just to add to that though mostly everyone I talked to heard me fine except my girlfriend she said I sounded muffled. The sound system itself wasn't bad but seriously lacked bass which was a bit disappointing.
As I drove on across the everglades it started to get dark and the auto headlights came on they had excellent sensors. But this gripe is something that blows my mind. The power window switches... only the drivers window switch lights up the rest don't not even on their own door do they light up. WTF GM? I don't get why GM/Ford and other large companies do this with small value oriented vehicles where they skip out on basic little things like this it costs probably next to nothing to add that and just looks really cheap this isn't the 90s anymore. Also as I was driving on the door panels just like the Focus I had were made of really hard hallow sounding plastic that really hurt my elbow after a while. Why is it so hard to add a little padding to the arm rest or top of the door panel. Same with the lower console area, I am 6 foot tall and have long legs so my knees always seem to rest on the lower console below the HVAC controls and after a few hours my knee was hurting too.
The last thing I noted which really drove me up the wall was the sun visor. Yes you read my right the sun visor. I left Ft. Lauderdale around 5 and by the time I got to the west coast and started driving North bound the powerful FL sun was starting to set so I moved the visor down and to the side but it only covered half of the window so I tried to pull it back and it didn't budge in fact it doesn't extend at all leaving my head completely exposed to the sun. I tried moving my seat up but that was just extremely uncomfortable. As I was struggling with this I kid you not swear to God up and down a Chevy City Express was driving next to me and I saw the person driving move their sun visor to the side and pull it back to block the whole window... are you kidding me??? This are basic little things that really made the whole thing unpleasant. It's the little things like this that can really turn a customer away I think and I know GM can do better. It's not just GM as I said the Focus suffered from similar things but I think overall the Trax was worse in this regard.
Some of the things I really liked about it as I stated was the quietness of the interior, which I think GM has always done a great job with over time. I think for a long time GM always had a quieter car than Ford. Also the turning circle on the Trax was super tiny which I loved making parking a breeze. Storage was pretty good I liked the extra compartments it had where I was able to store all the receipts for my trip like the tolls etc. The radio controls weren't bad either, the only improvements I would add would be probably better speakers with more bass and when it connects to bluetooth to default to that device instead of the radio each time.
Overall I averaged 28.6 MPG traveling around 75 MPH the entire time which puts it in range for the EPA. If GM fixes these things the Trax otherwise isn't a terrible little commuter.