Chevrolet TRAX Crossover
The Paris Motor show takes place in late September at Porte de Versailles this year, and one of the vehicles previewed for the show is this “baby bow tie”. The Chevrolet Trax is a crossover – a small SUV, essentially, or CUV. (CUV is a term used increasingly, denoting Crossover Utility Vehicle, or Crossover SUV). The Trax was first introduced as a concept at the New York Auto show in 2007, and has finally made it into the production phase. It goes on sale in Europe in 2013.
What Chevrolet says…
“Trax provides Chevrolet an entry into a growing small SUV segment and delivers the flexibility, great fuel economy and car-like handling that urban explorers require,” said Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe.
What we think…
“Flexibility” – referring to the ‘crossover’ status of the Trax. We’re hoping this means that while it’s design obviously denotes a city-orientated vehicle, the little Chev can still perform decently when it hits some gravel.
“Great fuel economy” – no one has to mention how vital this is to the market at the moment – not just in South Africa. The downsizing trend, which is now so established that it can hardly be called a trend anymore – continues as we see manufacturers pull more power from smaller and more fuel efficient engines and engine management systems. For those looking for an ‘adventure’ vehicle, this is even more pertinent.
When can we have it?
Well, according to Chevrolet the Trax will be sold in over 140 countries – none of which include the United States (they’ve got the Equinox, so they reckon it’s not necessary). GMSA hasn’t commented on availability in SA yet, but watch this space.
What kind of SUV is it?
Smaller than the Captiva, the Trax is a five-seater SUV/CUV. Chev promises a plush interior to match the swanky exterior – this is no utilitarian vehicle.
So, engine wise, we’re looking at something along the lines of a 1.4 – 1.6 non-turbocharged petrol, and perhaps a small turbocharged diesel – think 1.7 litre.
How does it stack up to what’s already on our market?
The Opel equivalent of the Trax is a crossover debuted earlier this year called the Mokka. This has a six-speed auto ‘box, the small diesel and petrol engines mentioned above and comes in four-wheel drive. That sounds good. What doesn’t sound as good is the fact that it shares underpinnings with the Chev Aveo/Sonic. To put it into context, it’s the platform that the old Opel Corsa and the Sonic are built on.
Show me numbers!
The dimensions of the Mokka (and therefore it’s safe to assume, the Trax) are as follows:
Mokka/Trax Wheelbase: 2 555mm
Mokka/Trax Length: 4 280mm
Mokka/Trax Width: 1 755mm
Mokka/Trax Height: 1 646mm
If you compare that to the dimensions of the Nissan Juke, it becomes even clearer what to expect from the Chevrolet Trax:
Juke Wheelbase: 2 530mm
Juke Length: 4 125 mm
Juke Width: 1 765mm
Juke Height: 1 570 mm
That gives you an idea of how big it will be. It’s slightly bigger than the Juke, taller than a Qashqai, Mitsubishi ASX or an Audi Q3, but it’s got a smaller wheelbase, width and length.
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