Eyes on the prize

2013 Chevrolet Trax First Impressions

2013 Chevrolet Trax First Impressions
Ten standard airbags and cool tech toys make the 2013 Chevrolet Trax safe and technologically up-to-date.

This new Chevy has car-ma sutra-like abilities. With eight different seating configurations to test out, there’s a comfortable position to fit all your gear, and more…

2013 Chevrolet Trax

With the success of the Cruze, Sonic and Spark, Chevrolet is hoping that the 2013 Trax will enjoy the same. Does it have the substance to do so? Only time will tell, but if the prototype vehicles that I took for a spin are any indication, they’re on the right track. Or should I say, Trax?!

Making Trax worldwide
The 2013 Chevrolet Trax is a global car on multiple levels. It was designed and engineered as a collaborative effort, literally. North American, Korean and European teams were assigned to the project to make sure that the needs of local markets were being met -- it’s expected be sold in 140 of them.

What does the tailoring process include? Well, adjustments to steering, the suspension and tires will all be relative to each market’s location.

In Canada, we can expect both front-wheel and all-wheel drive models.
Regardless of which one you choose, they’re all matched to Chevrolet’s 1.4L, turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine and will have an output of 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission comes standard on the LS model, while the LT and LTZ models are matched with a 6-speed automatic.

Having only had the opportunity to test the automatic 2013 Chevrolet Trax, it’s pretty darn good. And for braving the gridlock traffic known as “rush hour” in San Francisco, it’s quite a blessing in disguise! Not to mention the hills that make up the city’s geography. Luckily, the Trax won’t leave you in a bind when stopped on a slant; it comes standard with Hill Start Assist (HSA).

2013 Chevrolet Trax front 3/4 view
Chevrolet plans to sell the Trax in 140 countries. (Photo: Alexandra Straub)

Size matters
This five-seater 2013 Chevrolet Trax is the smallest SUV that the North American automaker produces. And with people wanting large-vehicle functionality, but in a small package, the Trax offers that.

Using up all that large-vehicle space is not hard to do. There are storage bins galore inside, not to mention a cargo capacity of 1,370 litres, with the rear seats folded down. Additionally, the 2013 Trax has car-ma sutra-like abilities to fold its seats into different seating positions. There are eight in total, so should you want to use the 60/40 split configuration, or fold the front passenger’s seat flat to fit a longer item, go for it! There are also storage spaces under the floor mats for whatever your heart desires.

Looking into the future
The 2013 Chevrolet Trax has yet to arrive in Canada, but looking inside its cabin and experiencing it firsthand is fairly impressive. Having tested both the LT and LTZ trims there’s a commonality between them, and I’m not talking about the engine!

Over the last few years, GM has really upped the ante with their interior composition. Embracing the concept of “Surface Drama” -- that’s the design philosophy implemented here -- I was impressed with the various tones and textures found throughout the cabin. They meshed well together and they looked good.

While the prototypes weren’t 100% perfect when it came to fit and finish, I would expect that the production models will be when they start showing up on the streets.

What I liked about the interior of the 2013 Chevrolet Trax is the utilization of the twin cockpit theme, also embraced by the Sonic and Spark. There’s the big instrument cluster in front of the driver, and to the right on the centre stack are the rest of the tech and climate goodies.

Chevrolet Trax dashboard
I was impressed with the various tones and textures found throughout the cabin. (Photo: Alexandra Straub)

Hey, check me out!
Throughout my drive route, I caught people checking out the 2013 Chevrolet Trax. Perhaps it’s the bold lines, big wheels (you can get 18-inchers on the upper trims) or even the flashy chrome bits around the exterior that have fellow motorists inquisitive.

The front end features twin port openings bridged by the Chevy bowtie. Wheel arches are pushed out to the corners to add a little aggression to the mix. Furthermore, the front and rear silver-painted skid plates show off its SUV DNA.

And helping show of its sportier side, the five-spoke wheels are similar to that of the Camaro.

Drive time
It’s a quiet and comfortable ride behind the wheel of the 2013 Chevrolet Trax. While I think its suspension needs a little more fine-tuning -- it was a little too soft for my liking -- I’m curious to see how the final product will feel. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t handle the curvy roads that garnish the Northern California topography (Lucas Valley Road, in particular) I just would have preferred a little less bounce in its step.

Price tag
Pricing has yet to be announced for the all new 2013 Chevrolet Trax.

By Alexandra Straub,

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