2017 Chevrolet Trax Driving Impressions

The Chevrolet Trax feels solid on the road, with a suspension that absorbs bumps reasonably well. The electric power steering tracks well on the highway, with sufficient feedback and heft to feel confident. Handling is average for the class, uninspiring but well-controlled. The Trax is not as joyful to drive as the relatively sporty Mazda CX-3 or even the Jeep Renegade.

With its modestly powered turbocharged engine, the Trax performs nicely around town, accelerating capably up to 50 mph. Just as you approach highway speed, the Trax begins to slacken. Passing on the highway requires some planning, before pushing on the gas pedal.

Acceleration to 60 mph takes 9.4 seconds with front-drive, a sluggish performance that matches the pace of most other subcompact and compact vehicles. Though quiet at lower speeds, engine noise grows considerably at highway velocities. While idling, the engine can barely be heard. The transmission shifts imperceptibly into neutral, to reduce vibrations.

All-wheel drive, which adds considerable weight, is an option for all three trim levels. The all-wheel drive starts by powering all four wheels, shifting gradually to the rear wheels as speed rises. Past 37 mph, all power goes to the front wheels unless they’re short of traction.

Expect thrifty fuel economy, though some competitors are more efficient. The front-wheel-drive 2016 Trax was EPA-rated at 26/34 mpg City/Highway, or 29 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive drops the estimate to 24/31 mpg City/Highway, or 27 mpg Combined.

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