If you need an idea of just how popular small crossovers – compact and subcompact alike – are, just look at the Chevrolet Trax. This B-segment CUV was introduced globally in 2013, and it launched in the U.S. for the 2015 model year, where it quickly became one of the top-selling vehicles in its segment. Since its launch, though, this market continues to be red hot and has seen more CUVs and SUVs join the fray from every corner of the automobile industry, from affordable, mainstream offerings like this Trax to sporty, high-end offerings from luxury and performance brands.
Following last year’s refresh, the 2018 Chevrolet Trax gets a few tweaks to stay ahead of the competition. To see how the updated Trax holds up against the likes of the Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, Ford EcoSport and Hyundai Kona, we spent a week with a well equipped 2018 Trax Premier AWD.
2018 Chevrolet Trax Exterior
The updated styling gave the Trax a more mature look that resembles a scaled-down version of its bigger Equinox and Traverse siblings, and the most obvious changes took place up front. Using Chevy’s latest design language (found on most of its cars and crossovers), the 2018 Chevrolet Trax has a more stylish face with narrow, horizontal headlights and a larger split grille. While the overall design carries over unchanged for the 2018 model year, the only visual change is the addition of a few new colors including this tester’s Storm Blue Metallic paint job.
All but the base LS trim level get stylish LED daytime running lights, LED taillights and silver-painted accents on the front and rear fasciae to replicate skid plates, while the top Premier trim level gets chrome accent trim, fog lights and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
2018 Chevrolet Trax Interior
Chevrolet also gave the cabin of the 2018 Chevrolet Trax a more refined appearance with a stylish, dual-brow instrument panel (with attractive stitched accents) and a conventional dual-pod gauge cluster. The Trax comes standard with OnStar 4G LTE wi-fi, while the Premier steps up to leatherette seats six-way power driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bose seven-speaker premium audio system, sunroof and a 110-volt power outlet for the rear seats.
The cabin looks great and offers a surprising amount headroom and legroom, but it’s a narrow cabin – and the single front armrest doesn’t exactly help matters any. Now, this is a subcompact after all, so we didn’t expect a lot of room in the first place, but segment rivals like the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona feel far roomier and better appointed. Cargo space is decent with up to 18.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 48.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
2018 Chevrolet Trax Powertrain
Under the hood, the 2018 Chevrolet Trax uses a 1.4-liter turbocharged EcoTec four-cylinder engine, which produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Being one of the heavier vehicles in its segment – 3,344-pound curb weight, as-tested on this Trax AWD Premier – that power output feels lackluster especially under hard acceleration, but this Chevy still puts up some competitive fuel economy figures with EPA-rated estimates of 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway**.
Designed to be a roomy alternative to a small city car, the Trax is easy to drive with a smooth ride, quiet cabin and nimble steering. One of the benefits of opting for the Trax AWD is that this model gets four-wheel disc brakes instead of the rear drum brakes. Overall, you’re not going to the sportiness of the Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-3 or the off-road capabilities of the Jeep Renegade, but the Trax is the perfect vehicle for any urban adventure.
2018 Chevrolet Trax Safety
The 2018 Chevrolet Trax has a five-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it isn’t hard to see why. For starters, Chevrolet says that the ten standard airbags is most in this subcompact CUV class, but it didn’t stop there. The Trax Premier comes standard with the Driver Confidence Package, which includes side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and rear park assist (backup sensors), and new for 2018, this trim also gets forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
2018 Chevrolet Trax Overall
The 2018 Chevrolet Trax is offered in three trim levels – LS, LT and Premier – with each offering the option of AWD. Prices start at just $21,000* making it affordable vehicle to cruise around the city, and like any modern crossover, you can get it loaded with all the bells and whistles. With no added options, this fully loaded 2018 Trax Premier AWD had an as-tested $29,740. At that price, you have to really want a small CUV since well-equipped compacts and some entry-level mid-size offerings start around that price, but as many aspects of world of tiny houses, subcompacts remain an ideal choice a growing number of buyers.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Chevrolet dealership and test drive the 2018 Chevrolet Trax today!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2018 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.