2016 Chevrolet Trax Review

Pros & Cons

  • Respectable passenger space for its size
  • plenty of storage slots
  • lots of standard equipment for the money
  • excellent crash test scores.
  • Unimpressive interior design and materials
  • sluggish performance and busy ride quality on the highway
  • less cargo capacity than most rivals.
Other years
Chevrolet Trax for Sale
List Price Range
$9,200 - $18,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2016 Chevrolet Trax is worth consideration if you're looking for an affordable suburban runabout that's easy to drive, easy to park and offers up-to-date technology. It's not quick, though, and its interior materials are far from best in class.

Vehicle overview

At a time of lower gas prices, the surging interest in the subcompact crossover segment has surprised quite a few carmakers. General Motors, however, isn't one of them, having launched Buick's Encore (built atop the same platform as the Trax) in 2013. The surprising success of the Encore led Chevrolet to introduce the Trax to American showrooms in 2015.

The 2016 Chevy Trax takes a more youthful approach to styling than the related Buick Encore.

The 2016 Chevrolet Trax occupies the small end of America's most expansive SUV lineup, beginning here and ending at Chevy's larger-than-life Suburban. Between the XS and XXL are the Equinox, Traverse and Tahoe. Those wanting to combine maximum utility along with some towing capability and efficiency would be well served to compare the Trax with Chevy's next-size-up Equinox; it provides a significantly larger and more useful footprint for not a significantly higher price point. But for tight urban areas where even the smallest cars feel large, the Trax makes more sense.

For general use, though, the 2016 Trax isn't quite as fun as its size might suggest. 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 quality isn't all that great, either, as it can exhibit a fair amount of choppiness on rough roads. Handling and steering are also below par.

The Chevrolet Trax does have some good attributes, including relatively roomy seating, a healthy complement of standard features and impressive crash test ratings. But the subcompact crossover class is led by Mazda's CX-3, Jeep's Renegade (and its platform mate, the Fiat 500X) and Honda's new HR-V. The Mazda has the best on-road dynamics, the Jeep supplies the most credible all-road capability and the Honda's interior provides the best balance between seating comfort and storage space. Overall, we'd recommend going with one of these models before finding new roads with a Chevrolet Trax.

2016 Chevrolet Trax models

The 2015 Chevrolet Trax is a five-passenger subcompact crossover 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, 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 (with 4G WiFi), Siri Eyes Free voice control for iPhones and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.

The LT trim adds alloy wheels, roof rails, rear privacy glass, cruise control, remote engine start, heated outside mirrors, storage under the front passenger seat, a 110-volt power outlet and satellite radio.

Going with the LTZ gets you 18-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, a six-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, heated front seats and a seven-speaker Bose audio system.

A relatively bland interior design is made worse by marginal materials. We do like the standard touchscreen, though.

Options are minimal. The LT is offered with an optional Convenience package, which includes the six-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth/leatherette upholstery and rear parking sensors. With Chevy's Sun and Sound package you can upgrade your LT with the Bose audio system and a sunroof. The sunroof can be added separately to the LTZ.

2016 Highlights

Coming off its introduction last year, the Chevrolet Trax is essentially unchanged.

Performance & mpg

Every 2016 Chevrolet Trax comes with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds testing, a 2015 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. A front-drive Trax was quicker at 8.9 seconds, but this is still below-par acceleration.

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 1.4-liter engine) we've found it difficult to achieve the EPA's ratings in real-world driving.


The 2016 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 2016 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 small, urban-oriented footprint, the 2016 Chevrolet Trax is both easier to park and more maneuverable than larger crossovers. The LS and LT models are better riding because of their 16-inch wheels, but even here the ride can get overly choppy. It gets worse with the LTZ model and its 18-inch wheels. A busy ride, combined with the Trax's short wheelbase and somewhat vague steering, can generate a lack of straight-line stability on the highway. With that, you'll likely find yourself making frequent, albeit minor, steering corrections. When driven enthusiastically around turns, the Trax seems competent, although the uncommunicative steering and modest tire grip prevent drivers from enjoying any real engagement.

The engine's performance is also no better than adequate. Although the Trax's engine proves reasonably responsive in city driving, its lack of punch on the highway means merging and passing maneuvers require planning and patience. Regrettably, this is something also found on other competitive crossovers; both Honda's HR-V and Fiat's 500X seemingly come up short when asked to merge or pass. The better news is the six-speed automatic transmission, which shifts smoothly and quickly enough to wring the most out of the engine's limited power.


Despite its small footprint, the 2016 Chevrolet Trax enjoys plenty of useful interior space. Although the front seats are narrow, front-seat headroom and legroom are plentiful, while the rear seat has enough room for a pair of adults, provided neither adult is over 6 feet tall.

The Trax rear luggage area has a modest 18.7 cubic feet of cargo space, and while that's more than the average sedan's trunk (assuming you pack up to the roof) it's a modest amount of utility in what is sold as a sport-utility. The rear seats fold down to expand that to 48.4 cubic feet; lifting the seat bottoms first allows for a flat load floor, which is viable when trying to maximize available cargo space. Those 48 cubes are significantly more than what's offered by Nissan's Juke, and on par with the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, but constitute less total volume than vehicles like Jeep's Renegade, Kia's Soul or Subaru's XV Crosstrek.

The small Chevy's rear hatch opens to roughly 48 cubic feet of cargo space. The fold-down front passenger seat helps with carrying long items.

If its cargo space is relatively small, the big inside issue is the substandard quality of the interior materials. Hard plastic covers most interior surfaces, and the handful of soft-touch surfaces don't impress as substantial when viewed or touched. Another example of cost-cutting is the absence of a center console, which impacts available interior storage.

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 2016 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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Chevrolet Trax.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Making Trax!
Tom H.,08/21/2016
LTZ 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
A lot of car for the money! Bought my 2016 Trax LTZ "Midnight Edition" while Chevy was running a promotion offering 16% off sticker price, so I saved over $4500! First thing I want to address is the engine , which both professional reviewers and others have listed as "sluggish", "slow", "tepid" etc., you get the idea. My experience so far could not have been more different. I live in the mountains of Colorado, and a large portion of my commute to work consists of high altitude driving, including inclines with a 6% grade or higher. The engine on this vehicle handles it like a champ! I can pass other vehicles with relative ease, acceleration is more than adequate, and the engine never feels like it's struggling. My previous vehicle, a Honda Civic EX-L, which actually had slightly more HP (1.8L 140hp@6300 In-Line 4) than the Trax (1.4L 138hp@4900 In-Line 4), couldn't touch the acceleration of the Trax. The Civic always felt like it had a "piano on it's back" so to speak, regardless of whether it was driving up a hill or on level ground. The Honda also had CVT (continuous variable transmission) and was a 5-speed, where the Trax does not have CVT and has a 6-speed transmission. I do believe that the 6-speed transmission on the Trax makes a big difference in terms of gearing, while the CVT seemed to constantly struggle to find the right gear. The other thing that is somewhat amusing is that reviews have mentioned that in terms of harder acceleration on the Trax, you really need to "stand on the pedal" for maximum acceleration. This would only be a surprise to people who have not taken the time to read the manual, because on page 212 of the owners manual, it states clearly that "Going less than 35mph, push the accelerator pedal halfway down", if going 35mph hour or more, push the accelerator all the way down". Ok, enough about that, let's move on to the rest of the vehicle. The LTZ came with pretty much every available option. If you listen to a lot of music on your drive, you will appreciate the Bose speakers, which are great. Dash layout is fine, though the digital dash does come off as a little low tech. But it does the job. There is plenty of storage, and there is a USB port and 3.5mm jack in the glove box, which seems like a bit of an afterthought, due to the fact that there is no gap or spacing to run a cord out of without leaving the glove box open. This is a design mistake. I know the train of thought is to just leave the device (cell phone, mp3 etc) in the glove box while plugged in, however, on a hot summer day the glove box will get incredibly hot, and your iPhone or whatever else you may have attached to the USB port will overheat or malfunction, which is not a good thing. Seats are great,they feel firm and offer good support, and there are multiple adjustments available, including lumbar support. I'm 6'2" tall, and there is plenty of headroom left in the cabin. There have been some complaints about "too much plastic" used on the interior, but I found the interior to overall be clean and modern looking. If you want a suede or leather dash, buy a Mercedes or a BMW. Seat height gives you a great view of the road, especially appreciated if you're coming from a sedan that sits low to the ground. The backseat is fine, with enough room to seat two adults comfortably, or three children. There is a fold down cupholder in the center of the rear seat, a nice touch. Rear seats fold down to open up more trunk space. The rear hatch offers a decent amount of space, enough if you need to haul boxes or larger items. The Trax came with Continental Contipro Contact tires, a very good all-season tire, though I will probably buy some Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tires for the winter, due to the fact that we have loooong winters up here with tons of snow and any other type of winter weather you can think of. I'm currently averaging 25mpg on the highway, though I expect that to increase as the engine gets broken in. This is the first vehicle I bought that came with remote start, which I'm really looking forward to using this winter! All in all, I think I got quite a bit of vehicle for a fair price. I actually look forward to driving it everyday, which is probably the best compliment you can give to a vehicle. Two thumbs way up!!
Pleasantly surprised!
LT 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
After drivng and loving my Chevorlet Cruz for 5 years, I needed to upgrade to an AWD vehicle. I was not impressed that I was looking at spending $24,000 for AWD vehicles that had 40,000 miles on. Then Chevrolet came out with the 16% off and the new Trax were a great price. I test drove the Trax LT AWD and it was basically my Cruz on steroids. I LOVED it. Felt comfortable driving it right away. Low road noise, great handling and pick up on the interstate, lots of head room, just fun to drive. A couple down sides, I am not a fan of the touch screen, there is no volume knob.. only arrows so it takes longer to increase or decrease the volume, there isn't any voice command for the blue tooth phone connection, you have to search your address book on the screen which takes your eyes off the road. The back seat is smaller but if the front seats are up a little it is still comfortable to sit in. It probably wouldn't work great with 2 car seats however. The interior is a little cheaper looking but for the price it is definatley worth it. I didn't expect the smaller 4 cylinder engine to handle the bigger vehicle but it actually runs great. Very easy to get in and out of and great visabiity since you sit so much higher. It seems so much bigger when you are in it than it looks on the outside. Don't be fooled, give it a try. It is so much fun to drive, great price, great deal!
The best car I ever had
LTZ 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
It is a cross between my cruze ltz and my 07 Equinox. The ride is awesome and the gas mileage is awesome. I love the ride, the technology, and the pick up. I would recommend to anyone who wants a smaller suv. I WISH IT HAD AUTOMATIC TRUNK RELEASE AND OPEN...
More umpf than they give it credit for
J Wilson,08/22/2016
LTZ 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I almost did not buy this little SUV because all of the reviews said the engine is loud and it doesn't have pep for passing. I test drove a jeep renegade and a Nissan Juke, I (for my taste) didn't care for the look of the Mazda. The jeep was boxy, more cabin noise and just seem to be missing some cozy. But it drove nice. The Nissan Juke drove nice and the interior had the refined look I was looking for. However, the more expensive gas and lack of compartments to hold bits and pieces turned me away. The Trax pepped right passed the right lane on the highway. It's fully loaded, it drives nice. There is still a bit of cabin noise and it is not a luxury vehicle, but it is right up there with the LTZ trim. I love my Trax! It is fun, sporty, and the fold down seats fold down flatter than it's competition. It's not just a city car. It's a fun toy, a nice ride, and great for someone who doesn't want to throw down 30-40k on a vehicle.

Features & Specs

24 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automatic
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
26 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automatic
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
24 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automatic
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
26 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automatic
138 hp @ 4900 rpm
See all Used 2016 Chevrolet Trax features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover19.8%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2016 Chevrolet Trax

Used 2016 Chevrolet Trax Overview

The Used 2016 Chevrolet Trax is offered in the following submodels: Trax SUV. Available styles include LS 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LT 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LT 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LS 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LTZ 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LTZ 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LS Fleet 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and LS Fleet 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Chevrolet Trax?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Chevrolet Trax trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Trax LT is priced between $9,200 and$16,995 with odometer readings between 8817 and105506 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Trax LS is priced between $9,587 and$15,944 with odometer readings between 6152 and88892 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Trax LTZ is priced between $14,990 and$18,995 with odometer readings between 10737 and33887 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2016 Chevrolet Traxes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Chevrolet Trax for sale near. There are currently 64 used and CPO 2016 Traxes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,200 and mileage as low as 6152 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Chevrolet Trax.

Can't find a used 2016 Chevrolet Traxs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Trax for sale - 3 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $16,989.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $21,573.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Trax for sale - 5 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $13,021.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,733.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Chevrolet Trax?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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