A familiar silhouette receives Chevy garnishment.
And then there were five. With the introduction of the Chevrolet Trax at the New York International Auto Show last week, the bow-tie brand will soon have five utility vehicles for customer perusal.
The Chevy Trax is a subcompact model that has been sold in Canada since 2012 and is a sibling to the Buick Encore. Yes, badge engineering hasn’t died and Chevrolet is getting a new model to slot below the Equinox. The three other Chevrolet utility vehicles are the Traverse, Tahoe and Suburban.
Competing Models Force Chevrolet’s Hand?
Bringing the Trax stateside makes sense as the crossover utility vehicle market continues to grow. Honda plans to introduce the HR-V next winter, Jeep is readying the Renegade, while Nissan already has the Juke.
Ford sells the EcoSport in India and reportedly is studying whether to offer a subcompact model for the US market too. Ford sells six utility vehicles in the US and won’t allow Chevrolet to get the upper hand.
“Trax offers customers another option in the Chevrolet family and will be a strong competitor in the emerging small-SUV market, which is expected to grow more than 80 percent by 2016, said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “Trax also leverages our global resources and builds on Chevrolet’s strong SUV heritage.”
2015 Chevrolet Trax
Expected to arrive in early 2015, the Chevrolet Trax will be powered by the same 1.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that powers the Buick Encore. it will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. That engine makes 138 horsepower and 148 foot-pounds of torque and can also be found underneath the hood of select Chevrolet Sonic and Cruze models.
Standard and Available Equipment
With room for up to five, the 2015 Chevrolet Trax will offer standard front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive. This model will also feature electric power steering, the latest OnStar and Chevrolet MyLink technologies, 10 airbags, numerous storage compartments, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and available keyless entry with remote start.
Pricing will be announced closer to its release, but a base model could come in just below $20,000. With the Equinox currently priced from $24,440 it will be interesting to see how GM determines pricing. With the Jeep Renegade arriving just ahead of the Trax you’ll likely see that pricing set accordingly.
Small Vehicles Added
Besides the Trax, Chevrolet has been building out its smaller vehicle inventory with a variety of products. Its car line now includes the Spark (mini), Sonic (subcompact) and Cruze (compact) and it will soon add the City Express van to its line up courtesy of Nissan.
Although the returning Colorado pickup truck is not a compact model, it comes in considerably lighter than the Silverado, representing one of only three small pickup truck lines sold in America (Toyota and Nissan represent the other two).
Chevrolet Trax photos courtesy of GM.