2015 Chevy Trax Review
2015 Chevy Trax Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Easy to maneuver in the city
- respectable passenger space for its size
- plenty of storage slots
- lots of standard equipment for the money.
- Unimpressive interior design and materials
- sluggish performance and busy ride quality on the highway
- less cargo capacity than most rivals.
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax is an all-new small crossover SUV that slots in below the Equinox in Chevy's lineup.
The all-new 2015 Chevrolet Trax is worth consideration if you're looking for an affordable suburban runabout that's easy to drive, easy to park and has up-to-date technology features. It's not quick, though, and its interior materials are far from best in class.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2015 Chevrolet Trax LS Fleet 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.57 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$151/mo for Trax LS Fleet
Trax LS Fleet
Avg. Compact SUV
Imagine the perfect 21st-century city vehicle. It would be small enough to fit into that tight parking spot, yet roomy enough to carry your friends, their guitars and a couple of amps. It would also have a raised ride height to let you see around traffic, and its modest fuel consumption would leave plenty of money in your bank account. And while the price tag would be affordable, said vehicle wouldn't skimp on must-have technology like Bluetooth or smartphone integration features. Enter the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, one of the most recent additions to the emerging subcompact crossover SUV class.
The Trax slots in below the Equinox in Chevy's crossover lineup. Its overall dimensions are larger than the Chevrolet Sonic, with which it shares its basic platform architecture, but smaller than the compact Cruze sedan. The Trax has a noticeably higher stance than the Sonic along with available all-wheel drive, and chunky styling helps it look more like a truck than a car. Its tall body not only provides a wealth of headroom, but it also allows for a taller seating position front and rear, and thus generous legroom. So in spite of its small footprint, the Trax has enough space for four people and their luggage, or even five in a pinch if the backseat occupants are kids.
Maximum cargo capacity falls short of many competitors, though, so if you regularly haul larger items or pets, you'll be better served by a similarly priced hatchback or slightly larger crossover SUV. The bigger letdown in the cabin is the quality of the interior plastics. They're none too impressive and give the cabin a low-end ambience even with its cutting-edge standard electronics features, foremost of which is Chevrolet's MyLink interface, which integrates with owners' smartphones, allowing access to various apps, including a navigation app.
Dynamically, the 2015 Chevy Trax isn't quite as fun as its size might suggest, though it's certainly more adept at darting into and out of undersized driveways and garages than larger SUVs. Its four-cylinder engine has just enough pep for city driving, but it runs out of steam quickly when you're accelerating at highway speeds. The ride is comfortable and controlled on models with 16-inch wheels and tires, but we've noticed that LTZ models equipped with the 18-inch wheels ride more firmly and jostle occupants more than we'd like.
If you're looking for a competitively priced small crossover that doesn't skimp on technology or safety features, the 2015 Chevrolet Trax is certainly one to consider. Keep in mind, though, that you have plenty of options of consider in this price range. If you don't need a lot of rear seat space or cargo capacity, the 2015 Nissan Juke stands out for its quick acceleration and sporty handling. Another appealing option is the stylish new Jeep Renegade, which is likely to be much more capable off the beaten path. If a spacious interior with quality materials and user-friendly design is your priority, the Kia Soul and Subaru XV Crosstrek belong on your list. Although the Trax doesn't have any major advantages over the competition (other than its generous list of tech features), it gets the job done in most areas and is therefore worth a test-drive if you're shopping in this class.
Performance & mpg
Every 2015 Chevrolet Trax comes with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds testing, a Trax LTZ with all-wheel drive accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 10 seconds flat. This is about a second slower than similarly sized and purposed small crossovers.
The EPA's estimated fuel economy figures are 29 mpg combined (26 city/34 highway) with front-wheel drive and 27 mpg combined (24 city/31 highway) with all-wheel drive. These are respectable figures for this class of vehicle, but similar to our experience with the Chevrolet Sonic and Cruze, which share this turbocharged 1.4L engine, we've found it difficult to achieve the EPA's ratings in real-world driving.
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger. Front-wheel-drive models have front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, while all-wheel-drive versions have four-wheel disc brakes. At the Edmunds test track, an LTZ AWD came to a halt from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is a slightly better-than-average distance for this class.
A rearview camera is standard on all versions, and the LTZ model adds rear parking sensors. Every Chevrolet Trax comes with a six-month OnStar emergency communications subscription, which includes automatic crash notification and roadside assistance.
In government crash tests, the 2015 Trax received a top five-star rating overall, with five stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side crash safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Trax its highest possible rating of "Good" in its small-overlap frontal offset, moderate-overlap frontal offset, side impact and roof strength tests. The Trax's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
With its petite dimensions, the 2015 Chevrolet Trax is easier to park and more maneuverable overall than larger crossovers. Models with 16-inch wheels offer a smooth, controlled ride, but if you choose an LTZ model with 18-inch wheels, the ride gets noticeably firmer, bordering on harsh. That busy ride also conspires with the Trax's short wheelbase and vague steering feel to generate a lack of straight-line stability on the highway. You'll likely find yourself making frequent, albeit minor, steering corrections. Driven enthusiastically around turns, the Trax is competent, though not what we'd call engaging.
Engine performance is also no better than adequate. Although the Trax's small, turbocharged engine offers enough pep for city driving, it's low on punch once you're on the highway, so merging and passing maneuvers require planning and patience. On the upside, the six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly enough to get the most out of the engine's limited power.
In spite of its tiny size, the 2015 Chevy Trax has plenty of useful interior space. Although the buckets themselves are narrow, front-seat headroom and legroom are plentiful, and the rear seat has enough space for a pair of adults provided nobody is over 6 feet tall. Three kids will fit back there, too, but the Trax is too skinny to accommodate three adults in back.
The rear luggage area has a modest 18.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which is a bit more than the average sedan's trunk (assuming you pack up to the roof.) The rear seats fold down to expand that to 48.4 cubic feet but require you to lift up the seat bottoms first to get a flat load floor. That's quite a bit more cargo capacity than a Juke and on par with the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, but less total volume than vehicles like the Renegade, Soul and XV Crosstrek.
The bigger issue inside the Trax is the substandard quality of the interior materials. Hard plastic covers just about every surface, and the handful of soft-touch surfaces aren't very substantial or impressive to behold. Chevy also hasn't included a center console, which hurts interior storage, and the motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster from the Sonic looks cheap here.
The Trax's standard MyLink interface features a 7-inch touchscreen on the dash that links with your smartphone to provide access to apps, pictures and even videos. Available apps for 2015 include Pandora, TuneIn and Stitcher Internet radio, and BringGo navigation. Available for a flat fee, BringGo works with select iPhones and Android smartphones to provide full navigation functionality, including traffic data and POI searches. It runs on your phone (and relies on your phone's data connection), but you can control and view it on the Trax's touchscreen. Compared to traditional factory navigation systems, BringGo is cheaper to buy and easier to update, but as with similar systems, it's not compatible with all phones. In addition, the MyLink touchscreen sometimes fails to register touch inputs, which can be frustrating.
2015 Chevrolet Trax models
The 2015 Chevrolet Trax is a five-passenger, subcompact crossover SUV offered in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels. Each is available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Standard equipment on the LS includes 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat and a rear cargo cover. Standard electronics features include the Chevrolet MyLink interface with a 7-inch touchscreen and integrated smartphone apps, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, GM's OnStar telematics, a built-in WiFi hotspot, Siri Eyes Free voice control for iPhones, USB and auxiliary inputs and an AM/FM audio system with six speakers.
The LT adds alloy wheels, roof rails, rear privacy glass, cruise control, remote ignition, heated outside mirrors, upgraded cloth upholstery, storage under the front passenger seat, a 110-volt power outlet, satellite radio and the OnStar RemoteLink app.
The LTZ gets 18-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, a six-way power-adjustable driver seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a Bose audio system.
Options are minimal. The LT is offered with a Plus package that includes rear parking sensors, a power driver seat, cloth/leatherette upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, as well as a Sun and Sound package with the Bose audio system and a sunroof. The sunroof is available separately for the LTZ.
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
1 out of 5 stars
Not Recommended. Very Poor Quality and Unreliable
Unhappy GM Trax Customer, 09/21/2019
2015 Chevrolet Trax LS 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
It amazes me to see all these 4 and 5 star reviews as those that have can consider themselves extremely lucky that they have not encountered problems. Purchased this car used in Jan 2019 with only 60K miles on it and have had to take it in 5 times in 7 months with *major* issues. The last two times it had to be towed backed to the Dealership. There are *Numerous* complaints filed on … the NHTSA.gov website with many customers experiencing the exact same issues that we have and I encourage everyone to review those complaints before purchasing this vehicle. We have been lucky that the issues we have encountered have not resulted in an accident but others experiencing these problems have not been so lucky. Our issues: Brakes fail - Press on pedal and it goes to the floor. - In our case, dealership replaced "Brake Vacuum Switch" but claimed this was not a warranty item (normal wear and tear) so required to pay full price for repairs. That was less than 2 months ago and brakes have been working OK since that time. Others have reported this exact same issue that resulted in accidents. Oil smell when engine is hot that comes through the A/C or Defroster when running - GM / Dealership won't recognize problem nor fix yet others have experienced that same problem. I reported it again when our Trax was just towed back to the Dealership for another problem. Smoke coming from engine - Dealership replaced Turbo and Turbo pipe due to crack in pipe. Loss of power and shaking when driving. - Current problem - Vehicle will loose power, fails to accelerate, starts shaking, Check Engine light will come on, Traction Control light will come on, OnStar will send multiple notifications - Check Service Interlock Braking System - Check Tracking Control System - Check Exhaust Emission System NOTE: This same problem was reported to the Dealership within 3 weeks after we purchased the vehicle. They could not replicate it but replaced the rear hub bearings as they were growling. Not sure what rear hub bearings have to do with "loss of power" and "engine vibrating when idling" but it did not fix the initial reported problem as it has been experienced numerous times since. This time the car started idling very rough when sitting in the driveway. Tried to drive it to work and had to turn around and return home as it lost power and was shaking. Could not accelerate vehicle, Check Engine light was *FLASHING*, not just solidly lit but *FLASHING*. Called Dealership and vehicle was again TOWED. This exact problem has been reported by others on the NHTSA.gov web site and other sites.
5 out of 5 stars
Still a Great Little SUV -- Three Year Update
2015 Chevrolet Trax LT 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This little crossover/SUV continues to be the best, easiest to drive, most comfortable subcompact vehicle I've ever owned and driven. Entry and exit are easy and visibility from the driver seat is superior. Rearview camera which activates on shifting to reverse is quick to activate, and offers a good look behind before and while backing. Seats are chair height comparing favorably to any … SUV on the road today. Not sure why some reviewers have knocked the acceleration of the 1.4 litre turbo or the 6 speed auto transmission. I cannot find fault with either one, unless of course, I had just driven a $75,000 BMW and expected that kind of power and response from a Trax costing a third as much.... It is a compact car with a small motor and should be treated as such, especially when heavily loaded with several passengers and their gear. Could use a bit more power for merging acceleration on short interstate highway ramps. Storage areas are numerous but small; lack of a passenger center armrest, or a shared center armrest/console is a definite oversight. It should be there, or at least available as an option!! I enjoy driving the Trax... and so does my wife (it's Her daily driver)... definitely not a sports car, but handles well at reasonable speeds; the AWD is seamless, and inspires confidence in winter snow. Never had a better car, and have owned some great ones. I'm a car guy who has owned over 40, driven the rest... I continue impressed with the little package GM put together. Long distance drivers should give consideration to the sometimes nervous, unsettled handling inherent in a taller, short wheelbase crossover during windy interstate highway conditions (my only serious gripe so far) This little vehicle has been great for our purposes from day one until we traded for 2018 Chevrolet Equinox after three full years, and my opinion of the Trax did not change Personally, we like many others drivers, could do without the touchscreen radio and all the tech bells and whistles - Ultimately distracting and not a good tool to use while driving at speed or in town - is there any situation where taking eyes and mind off the road would be a good idea? I think not ever. Chevy Trax?? Takes a little getting used to, but would buy another one with almost no reservation. (As soon as they put a center console between the front seats!)
5 out of 5 stars
Zippy and fun to drive
2015 Chevrolet Trax LT 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I've been on the lookout for a small Suv for yrs. I gravitated towards a Buick Encore by my Trax LT AWD has the look and comfort for less. It's remarkably quiet and the interior plastics look durable and are nice. I can't believe how smoothly this small suv drives. The Bose stereo system with a spare tire mounted Subwoofer sounds strong and the car has been used on a few … road trips (5 hrs plus on the road) and the drive is not fatiguing. The leatherette and cloth seats in the LT are ideal, very comfortable/breathable for the summer heat. See the USA in A Chevrolet! Great job Chevrolet! Update! I've had my Trax since April (it's now Dec) and Its still a joy to drive and own. It's very fuel efficient and I can get around 29 mpg on the highway. My Trax is very quiet compared to other small SUVs I've ridden in. The driving height is ideal and I still think this doesn't feel underpowered. I always cringe when I see magazines harp about the horsepower. Drive ANY small SUV in higher elevations and you'll know what I mean. The Trax doesn't loose power and can really move quickly. I'd buy it again if I had to do it all over.
5 out of 5 stars
Great for empty nesters
2015 Chevrolet Trax LT 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Rides great. It has great visibly. Quiet. good mileage. We also have a Ford Escape Titanium which is a great suv. I drive the Trax for work and some travel and it cost 10k less than the escape. I could have bought the Buick Encore, but it was 3k more and I could not see what the big improvement would be by paying the additional premium. This is a great value suv for singles, empty … nesters, and small families.
2015 Chevrolet Trax videos
ALISTAIR WEAVER: This is the Chevrolet Trax, the new subcompact crossover that shares its mechanicals with the Sonic and the Buick Encore. It's been on sale in Canada, Mexico, and Europe since 2012, but it's making it's US debut here in New York. [MUSIC PLAYING] ALISTAIR WEAVER: Now, to put this vehicle into context, it's a full 20 inches shorter than the Equinox, Chevy's next smallest SUV. Its part of a new era of smaller crossovers. It's expected that Chevy [? record ?] will grow by 80% in the next couple of years. It's a rival to the Nissan Juke and the Kia Soul. And of course, the new Jeep Renegade, which is also taking a bow here, in the Big Apple. [MUSIC PLAYING] ALISTAIR WEAVER: The interior is predictably predictable. We like this seven inch touch screen system that incorporates a rear parking camera. That's standard, and so are 10 air bags. It's also good to report there's plenty of room for people and their stuff. And no shortage of storage options, including some neat little cubbies. These details matter, and Chevy is getting them right. You can have any engine you like in the US, as long as it's 1.4-liter turbo with 138 horsepower. The 6-speed automatic gear box is also standard. We do get the choice of either front or all-wheel drive. Now, we've already had a sneak preview drive of this car. And it pleased [? before ?] with its fine ride quality. It should prove a boon in urban areas, this car's natural habitat. [MUSIC PLAYING] ALISTAIR WEAVER: It will be in US showrooms early next year. We expect it be priced under $20,000. [MUSIC PLAYING]
2015 Chevrolet Trax First Look
The 2015 Trax, available for some time in Europe, is an all-new crossover for Chevrolet in the U.S. The Trax is based on the same subcompact structure and closely related to Chevrolet's Sonic small car and Buick's Encore crossover. The Trax is about 20 inches shorter than the midsize… Chevy Equinox.
2015 Trax Highlights
|Combined MPG||29 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$151/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover19.8%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedAcceptable
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood