What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 Chevrolet Trax offers slight changes over the previous model. The high-end Premium model has some of its optional features reclassified as standard equipment, including active safety features and the power sunroof. The package progression on the mid-range LT model has been simplified slightly, and a new appearance-focused Redline Edition has been added to the lineup.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Chevrolet Trax – The Pros
1. No-nonsense Styling
The Chevrolet Trax has a very conventional exterior which ironically marks it out as an exception in the subcompact segment. The Trax looks like a conventional SUV that has been shrunk down a bit, and incorporates all the traditional crossover styling elements like prominent bumpers and a smooth rear elevation. Buyers who want a more standard look for their subcompact will appreciate the Trax’s looks.
2. Redline Edition
New for 2018, the Redline edition is part of Chevrolet’s efforts to add sporty styling to its vehicles. Adding blacked-out elements throughout the car, as well as unique wheels, upholstery and badging, helps further elevate the mainstream appeal of the Trax, while still being relatively subtle. It blends in nicely in a crowd, but stands out when it is on its own.
3. Comfortable Seating
For a subcompact vehicle, the 2018 Trax is actually very comfortable. The front seats have long cushions that provide a lot of support and the back seats can accommodate adults fairly well. As one of the few subcompact crossovers that does not feel too crowded with four passengers on board, it definitely earns consideration from anyone looking to carry passengers in their next subcompact vehicle.
4. Versatile Cargo Space
There are lots of different places to store things around the Trax cabin, and the rear cargo area is easy to access. The rear seats can be easily folded down, and form a flat cargo floor once folded down, allowing one to easily make full use of the car’s cargo space. The little cargo cubbies spread throughout the interior are well-adapted to modern life, such as contoured water-bottle holders or low-slip cell phone niches.
5. Very Maneuverable
The small size of the Trax allows it to easily zip around obstacles, and the controls put that maneuverability at the driver’s disposal. The electric power steering is very responsive through turns, and the suspension manages to keep the car mostly flat even during sharp maneuvers. In an urban environment, the small size gives it a very good turn radius as well.
6. Available All-Wheel Drive
One of the big advantages of a crossover subcompact over a conventional subcompact sedan or hatchback is the ability to weatherproof it through all-wheel drive. The 2018 Chevrolet Trax is a perfect option for buyers who need all-wheel drive on their vehicles, as it is an available feature in all trim levels, rather than restricted to just more expensive packages or optional powertrains. That adds a lot of value even to the base trim of the car.
7. Good Safety Ratings
The 2018 Chevrolet Trax earns solid accolades from crash test agencies, which helps alleviate the safety concerns many customers have about subcompact cars. The Trax earned the top score of ‘Good’ on every Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash test, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded it five stars for its crash performance. Widely available all-wheel drive is another safety point in its favor.
8. Competitive Pricing
The 2018 Chevrolet Trax is priced at slightly below the average for the class, with many popular competing options significantly more expensive. In higher models, which come with even more standard equipment this year, it offers a very good value for the same features compared to many competitors.
9. Lots of Features
There is a lot of fairly upscale optional equipment on offer with the 2018 Chevrolet Trax. A large touchscreen infotainment system is standard, which has lots of great connectivity options. Among the features found on the mid-grade LT and high-end Premium are things like a power sunroof and premium Bose audio, which add a little extra value to these models.
10. Chevrolet MyLink
The touchscreen infotainment in the Trax - Chevrolet MyLink - is one of the best connectivity options that are currently on the automotive market. It is easy to use, with simple menus and good touch response, while still incorporating a full range of features like Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, lots of USB ports and a 4G LTE internet connection.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Chevrolet Trax – The Cons
1. Weak Powertrain
At only 138 horsepower, the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the Trax feels quite slow, with the feeling made worse by a sluggish transmission that has been tuned more for efficiency than acceleration. At only average fuel economy for the class, however, the performance hit feels like an unnecessary sacrifice.
2. Relatively Spare Base Model
Outside of the excellent MyLink system, the base LS version of the 2018 Chevrolet Trax is almost devoid of features. That means that most buyers have to upgrade to the LT or Premium models for the features they want, reducing the attractiveness from the low price point of the Trax.
3. Unimpressive Interior
While the Trax is nicely equipped with technology and premium options, the interior feels a grade below what such features would suggest. Hard, low-rent plastic is prevalent, even on contact surfaces, and there are few nice accents throughout the interior.
How It Stacks up to the Competition
For the 2018 Chevrolet Trax, the competition consists of other subcompact crossovers, of which there are quite a few. Popular alternatives to the Trax include the Honda HR-V and the Mazda CX-3. Many performance enthusiasts prefer the CX-3, since its engine feels a lot more powerful than the Trax, while still offering similar maneuverability. However, its overall feature set is weaker, than that of the Trax, reducing its all-around appeal. The Honda HR-V boasts a very large cargo area, but loses points for its cumbersome standard infotainment system. Not only is the MyLink on the Trax much better, but it also has features like Apple CarPlay, which the Honda does not offer at all.
The 2018 Chevrolet Trax is a solid entry in the rapidly developing subcompact class. Drivers will appreciate the excellent infotainment on offer, and its relatively conventional feature and styling options make it easier to make the transition from a larger vehicle. For buyers who can look beyond its below-average powertrain, the Trax can make a very reliable and comfortable crossover.
• Why buy a 2017 Chevrolet Trax? w/ pros vs cons