The last time we met up with the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, we drove a Canadian-spec version in pouring rain. This time around, we were able to get behind the wheel of a regular U.S. production model, a fully loaded LTZ painted Brilliant Blue Metallic (with a price tag of $28,500), in sunny San Diego before taking it back to Kelley Blue Book's offices in Irvine. 

The route home included a combination of freeway straightaways and city streets, both of which would reveal how well the Trax handles real world driving conditions. The LTZ model rolls along on 18-inch wheels and on the freeway the ride is comfortable and compliant. Same goes for when you're slinking through city streets. We were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the Trax's ride was both at speed and in normal traffic. The base LS and LT, which sit just below the LTZ trim, ride on 16-inch wheels. 

City Slicker

On that earlier drive, we found the 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine to be a bit buzzy at speeds but offered adequate power nonetheless. Serving up 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque, you can kick the spurs into it to get around traffic and with the radio on at a normal level without the intrusion of engine noise. Chevrolet told us they worked on dulling road and engine sounds with some help from sound-deadening materials and it's paid off whether you're just cruising around town at normal speeds or traveling along a freeway. The 6-speed automatic transmission is unobstrusive in operation and there's a manual mode with a rocker up/down shift switch on the gear handle. The EPA has certified the 2015 Chevrolet Trax to achieve 26 city/ 34 highway/ 31 mpg combined. With a 14 gallon fuel tank and the national gas price average hovering around $2.64, it should cost you somewhere in the ballpark of $35-$40 to fill up. 

Also: The Class of 2015 -- New Vehicles Ready to Roll

Parking the Trax is one of the easiest things you'll do all day thanks to its overall size. Before leaving San Diego, we made a quick stop at a favorite local breakfast spot which has limited street parking. No matter how good your parallel parking skills, the Trax makes you look even better slipping right into the spot without much effort. Handling has been sharpened with some help from a stabilizer bar up front and a torsion beam in the rear. We were pleasantly surprised at how nimble the Trax is no matter how fast you're going. All-wheel drive is also available for a $1,500 premium. 

Hyper Social Interior

Inside, the instrument cluster is divided up into an analog tachometer and a digital speedometer. The center stack is easily within reach of both the driver and front passenger. With the Trax's narrow beam, everything is within arm's reach. There's also 15 different cargo compartments of various sizes spread throughout the cabin. The same infotainment system seen in the Spark also makes an appearance in the Trax. The 7-inch touchscreen looks good in the Trax's cabin and syncing your smartphone is done so in a matter of seconds. 

After spending some time with the 2015 Chevrolet Trax on familiar turf (and in much better weather), our opinion hasn't strayed far from what it was when we first made contact back in April. Chevrolet says it's targeting younger, first time buyers to the brand but expects the competition (Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, Nissan Juke, Kia Soul) to be fierce. Either way, we think the 2015 Chevrolet Trax is worth a look, especially if you're just starting a family.  

While the 2015 Chevrolet Trax starts at $20,995, including destination, expect to see average transaction prices closer to $23,000 when it goes on sale in the United States next month. 

Check out our Compact SUV Buyer's Guide for a look  at what's new and what's next.

 

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