By Jason Allan
KBB Expert Rating: 8.0
Offering an appealing combination of practicality, presence, efficiency and affordability, the subcompact-SUV segment is among the fastest-growing vehicle categories in the country, both in sales and new entries. Already among the segment’s most well-rounded entries, the Chevy Trax has been improved for 2017 with a redesigned front end, improved interior and new tech including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it one of the first subcompact SUVs to offer these enhanced phone-integration technologies. Fuel economy, drivability and overall practicality remain key Trax strengths, while higher-than-average overall ownership costs are an important drawback for shoppers to consider.
Without the benefit of the brand reputation of the class-leading Honda HR-V, Chevy’s littlest SUV suffers from worse-than-average resale values and relative cost-to-own, hurting its overall value.
KBB Expert Ratings
A totally redesigned front end, significantly enhanced interior, and new safety and infotainment technologies highlight the list of changes for 2017.
The 2017 Chevrolet Trax is at its best in the city, when its small turbo engine, tight turning radius and subcompact footprint make it an agile runabout. But it’s just...
... fine on the highway, too, where a supportive front seat and relatively quiet cabin help counter the otherwise compromising physics of the short wheelbase and modest horsepower common to the category. Overall the Trax strikes a nice balance of responsiveness and comfort, with well-tuned power delivery, steering feel and brake response delivering an effortless, predictable driving experience.
APPLE CARPLAY AND ANDROID AUTO
Choose a song, dictate a text message or navigate to a destination with the ease and familiarity of your smartphone.
4G LTE Wi-Fi
With a standard-equipment list that includes 4G LTE Wi-Fi, the 2017 Chevrolet Trax offers self-contained connectivity and can be turned into a rolling hotspot with the ability to connect multiple phones, tablets and laptops at once.
The interior of the Trax has been tastefully enhanced for 2017 with a new dash design incorporating a redesigned gauge cluster, updated infotainment screen and nicer materials. The updates have certainly increased the visual and functional appeal of the cabin, but it still lags the class leaders in richness and overall aesthetics. With a roomier back seat and more cargo room than some of its sexier competitors, however, the Chevrolet Trax offers more of what’s important to many segment shoppers.
Revised exterior styling is a big part of this mid-lifecycle makeover. A completely redesigned front end brings the Trax in line with the newer vehicles in the automaker’s lineup, while giving it a bolder, wider, more confident stance. Rear-end changes are more subtle, highlighted by a new taillight design that incorporates a more sculpted surface. LED headlight accents are available, as are LED taillights. The entry LS model features base-level touches like black mirrors and steel wheels, while top-line Premier trims are distinguished by a variety of tasteful chrome accents, big 18-inch aluminum wheels and fog lights, among other upgrades.
Even at its starting sticker price of under $22,000 including destination, the 2017 Chevrolet Trax offers a variety of appealing features. A new infotainment system incorporates a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth audio streaming, two USB ports, rearview camera, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The OnStar suite includes five years of basic functionality, plus a 3-month trial of the good stuff like 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability, turn-by-turn navigation, automatic crash response and more.
In addition to familiar upgrades like a premium audio system, sunroof, heated Leatherette seats, and remote-sensing keyless unlock with push-button start, the list of 2017 Chevrolet Trax options includes side blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors.
The 2017 Chevrolet Trax matches a small, 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a traditional 6-speed automatic transmission to deliver a satisfying balance of power, responsiveness and fuel economy. Like all of its subcompact-SUV cohorts, the Trax is available in front- or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD). You might notice its EPA-estimated fuel economy figures are a bit lower than those of the 2016 model, but that’s the result of changes in EPA guidelines that may affect many 2017 vehicles.
1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
138 horsepower @ 4,900 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg (FWD), 24/30 mpg (AWD)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The 2017 Chevrolet Trax starts at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $22,000 including destination, and climbs closer to $30,000 for a fully loaded Premier model. Check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2017 Chevy Trax. Due in large part to average-at-best resale values, the Trax will likely cost several thousand dollars more than a similarly priced Honda HR-V over a full 5-year ownership cycle.