The Chevrolet Trax is joining the brand’s lineup in the United States to take advantage of growing demand for compact crossovers in the country. The 2015 Chevrolet Trax, unveiled at an event on the eve of the New York Auto Show, is around 19 inches shorter than the Equinox and 7 inches shorter than the phased-out HHR.
Chevrolet’s corporate sibling Buick is already experiencing tremendous sales success with the Encore, which was launched in early 2013. The Trax is underpinned by the same subcompact platform that underpins the Encore and is powered by the same 1.4-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine. So far, not many mainstream brands have fielded offerings in the compact crossover segments.
Honda is planning to offer this late fall a crossover based on its Fit subcompact hatchback while Jeep is intending to launch its Renegade small crossover in the US early next year. As for the Trax, its closest competitor in terms of size would be the Nissan Juke. Luxury brands have already been offering small crossovers like the Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Lincoln MKC.
Sales of compact crossovers have doubled since 2009, while the auto industry just grew 49 percent during the period, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The move to offer the Trax to the US underlines GM's bid to better utilize its global scale and reach by offering more vehicles underpinned by the same architectures across more markets globally.
So far, GM has sold about 90,000 Trax models since late 2012, when the crossover was launched in Mexico and Canada. According to a GM spokeswoman, Trax models for the US will be built in South Korea and Mexico and are expected to arrive in dealerships early next year. GM already sells the Trax in 60 markets globally.
The Trax is targeted towards technology-adept consumers who could forgo cargo space for better fuel economy and a lower price. The small crossover will be available with optional connectivity features like a 7-inch color touch screen with Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system; built-in Siri voice-recognition; and Onstar 4G LTE service.
The Trax features a dual-cockpit layout similar to that of the Sonic. Its instrument panel features a large analog tachometer, a digital display for the speedometer and other gauges. The Trax will feature a rearview camera as standard. Its 1.4-liter engine will provide up to 138 hp and 148 lbs-ft of torque and will be paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. Electric power steering will be offered as standard while all-wheel-drive will be available.