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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Orange Whip

Michael McWilliams
GMInsidenews.com
Australia Correspondent

22 January 2015

The focus group has spoken... and Holden have answered with a nice turbo cherry on top of their tech packed sub-compact SUV.


Yes people, the SUV is very close to being THE default body style on the market despite the definition being diluted with each new iteration. But as Charles Darwin said, "It is not the strongest or most intelligent who survive but those who can best manage change."

When the Trax first arrived on Australian shores, it brought with it a superbly capable version of MyLink which enabled use of smart phone apps to "outsource" some of the more expensive functions you would normally pay for on a vehicles options list. Streaming via Pandora and Stitcher is a comprehensive upgrade over +DAB digital radio and the BringGo GPS (AU versions are on Google Play for just $1.04!) is a worthy substitution to in car options that range in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Having a tech edge standard on the entry model, gave the little SUV a handy edge.

There have now been a number of new entries into the segment and Holden has added the capable 1.4 iTi from the Barina RS to hopefully help the Trax LTZ to leap back to the head of the pack.

I can honestly say it was quick enough to outrun a thunderstorm.... but not a well prepped Suzuki Ignis






Apologies for the wind noise. I unsuccessfully tried to get some form of exhaust noise in the cabin.



Holden Trax LTZ 1.4 iTi
1.4L I4 Turbo 6 Speed Auto
$ 29,990AUD
ADR Fuel Rating 6.9L/100kms (34 USMPG) combined


We like
Brisk performance
Good steering and grip
Great Tech
Impressive practicality for such a small footprint
6 speed auto = good HWY economy of 6.0L/100kms (39.2USMPG) tested
Kick Ass colour

We don't like
Barina RS does everything better for less
Except not scraping the front end
Captains armrest isn't really a substitute for centre console
Upper glove box has shrunk leaving less room for tablets/phones/iPods
Turbo requires 95RON premium
No sporty blaaarting

Instagram Gallery: #INSTAturborascal



Buy the soundtrack by ZERO T on @fabriclondon

or check him out on SOUNDCLOUD




 

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So, Mike...a friend of mine is considering the Chevy Trax as her next car. I don't know much about them. Would you recommend one to a friend? I've read they are a little underpowered - only 138 hp and not much storage with the seats up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The space is comparable to any other compact hatch. Performance wise I found the 1.4 to be ample for a runabout. Though the figures don't necessarily impress, maximum torque comes on before 2000RPM and the steering is quite good. It is actually reasonably nice and easy to drive.

Note that the unit I drove was FWD so the added mass from a AWD set up would have negative impact on performance.

It all depends on expectations, but I found the ride, cabin noise and general comfort to be good. I really like this version of MyLink and visibility and maneuverability where also very good.

For me, I still think the Barina/nee Sonic RS is the pick of the bunch but if it must be an SUV (even a mini one) Trax is segment competitive and worth a look.
 

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So, Mike...a friend of mine is considering the Chevy Trax as her next car. I don't know much about them. Would you recommend one to a friend? I've read they are a little underpowered - only 138 hp and not much storage with the seats up.
Wait for the JEEP Renegade. I would say wait for the Chevrolet Adra, but...
 

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How many versions of this horrific product are there? This company is infected with badge-engineeringitis - it was supposed to be removed by saving the company - instead it is spreading. Absolutely awful product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GM decontenting continues. Over here in the states, no CD available at any point or trim level. My biggest beef so far. Is it like that over there for you guys too?
Yep, Barina/Sonic and Trax both forego the CD player for the Mylink system. Not sure if you could call that de-contenting though. More like obsolescence.

One thing I will say though is that the digital music players including mylink is the annoying pause between tracks which is only brief but interrupts concert recordings or mix cds. Generally though you can keep alot more music on a decent USB stick than you can keep on CDs in your glove box.
 

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MyLink in the Trax and Sonic looks cheap and the power haptic button is so laggy I clicked it twice since it took so long to turn on. Up and down volume buttons vs a simple knob is also lame.
The next flaw is a lack of a proper console/armrest.

Until Chevy improves the interior of the Trax it won't sell as well as it should, IMO. Same goes for this Holden version
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think it looks clean and simple. It works as good or better than competition I've tried (that's if they even have a touch screen at this price level).

I did notice the lag on the power button once, but why do you even need the power button?
 

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Over the last weekend the wife and I were out looking at our local Holden stealership for "bargains"

Wife saw the Trax and said "ohh that's nice ,whats that?" I explained what it was she asked what engine was in it

When I said it was a 1.4 turbo she was like

FFS don't they put a 2litre in anything?


"i'm not buying a car with an engine smaller than 2 litres that's just friggen ridiculous"

Her words not mine - she even baulked at the 1.6 turbo Cruze but for some unknown reason loved the Malibu which was falling apart on the lot!!!

Seriously bits were literally falling off it!!!!
 

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Great review as usual, mikmak! When these things first started popping up I wanted to dislike them (not just the Trax, but all little CUVs), as I just felt that they didn't offer anything substantial over a comparable 5-door hatch like a Barina or Cruze, aside from a higher seating position. I'm slowly warming to them, and at least they give designers a new shape to play with. I still would be more inclined to get a Barina-type car over this, but I don't dislike them anymore.
 

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Quite like the look of the Trax (the nose not so much) and the interior is a much better effort in look and function (but again, not 'quality' enough) but it seems to be making some sales.

Doesn't the 1.4T Trax have a sunroof as standard? The car you're driving doesn't look to have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Definitely no sunroof in the one I drove, however it was a Pilot build (as are most of the Holden press fleet vehicles). I agree on the interior. It could handle some better quality bits and pieces, but I'm not sure there would enough pay off for the extra effort. As it is, they're quite ok. I just want better seats in both this and the Barina. I drove a new Yaris (rental spec) this week and it had better bolsters!
 

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Thanks for another great review. That was some storm brewing!

Just had a good long look at the Trax 1.4iTi.... and bought a Cruze SRi Z.

The deal on the Cruze was too good to pass up and I don't care what the ****stirrers say - the Cruze is a top drive and an honest machine. And a bargain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for another great review. That was some storm brewing!

Just had a good long look at the Trax 1.4iTi.... and bought a Cruze SRi Z.

The deal on the Cruze was too good to pass up and I don't care what the ****stirrers say - the Cruze is a top drive and an honest machine. And a bargain!
Great choice. I'm another fan of the SRi. Best value sport compact on the market. I'm hoping to get into one again soon.
 

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I think it looks clean and simple. It works as good or better than competition I've tried (that's if they even have a touch screen at this price level).

I did notice the lag on the power button once, but why do you even need the power button?
Well, to turn on the radio for one.
GM needs to switch out this craptastic unit for the one in the Cruze which adds knobs and buttons. Real ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How often do you turn your radio on and off? It's a very rarely used function. If you want quiet, just mute which you can either with the touch screen or button on the steering wheel (which happens virtually instantly).
 

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My wife told the mother in law that her 2011 (or 2012 model) X-trail is a piece of crap and that my wife hates driving it (on the rare occasion I have driven it, I hate it too). The mother in law isn't a huge fan of the X-trail as well but likes the high seating position in it.

Only a couple of weeks ago when they were with us, the wife and mother in law both spotted a Trax and liked the look of it she will be going to check it out soon.
 

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How often do you turn your radio on and off? It's a very rarely used function. If you want quiet, just mute which you can either with the touch screen or button on the steering wheel (which happens virtually instantly).
I turn my radio on when I get into the car and turn it off before I turn it off. I prefer having the radio off when turning on the car so as not to give the battery/alternator more of a load when starting the car
 
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