2020 Chevrolet Trax

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2020 Chevrolet Trax Review: Puts The 'Budget' Into Budget Crossover

The Chevy Trax is one of a plethora of subcompact crossovers in an oversaturated market, unfortunately doing little to truly stand out for anything other than a fairly affordable price tag. With strong rivals in the form of the Honda HR-V and the Trax's corporate sibling, the Buick Encore, a budget price tag might not be enough, though. While touchscreen navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot seem like impressive value at this end of the spectrum, middling gas mileage from a relatively dismal 1.4-liter turbo engine and interior materials that look and feel cheap let the Chevrolet subcompact down in a big way. Considering this same segment is occupied by US favorites like the Kia Soul and Hyundai Kona, the Trax might well be relegated to the status of rental-car king, and not for the right reasons.

Read in this review:

7.4
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2020 Chevrolet Trax Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Trax?

The new Chevy Trax remains mechanically unchanged for the new year, but its aesthetic options have seen a few alterations. The Midnight Edition Package is no longer offered, and Storm Blue Metallic, Sandy Ridge Metallic, and Dark Copper Metallic have been deleted from the color palette. However, the infotainment system has been slightly updated to remain modern.

Pros and Cons

  • Spacious cabin for size
  • Modern infotainment suite
  • Excellent visibility
  • Optional all-wheel drive
  • Low starting price
  • Weak engine
  • Poor ride quality
  • Limited cargo capacity

Best Deals on 2020 Chevrolet Trax

2020 Chevrolet Trax Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LS
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$21,300
LT
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$23,200
Premier
1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$27,600
See All 2020 Chevrolet Trax Trims and Specs

2020 Trax Exterior

2020 Chevrolet Trax Front View Driving Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Trax Front View Driving 1 Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Trax Rear View Driving Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Trax Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 167.2 in
  • Wheelbase 100.6 in
  • Height 64.9 in
  • Max Width 69.9 in
  • Front Width 60.6 in
  • Rear Width 60.6 in
  • Curb Weight 3,124.0 lbs

2020 Trax Performance

2020 Chevrolet Trax Front View Driving 2 Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Trax Rear View Driving 1 Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Trax Wheel Chevrolet

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    1.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Chevrolet Trax is a great driver around town. Its small size combines with precise steering to help it maneuver around congested streets and packed parking lots with ease. But, while it is light and responsive, the steering is far from communicative.

It handles quite well for a taller car, not leaning too much into corners, but you shouldn't be taking them at any real degree of speed anyway. However, the short wheelbase and relative height do negatively impact stability at top speeds on the highway. The ride quality is also pretty poor, with even smaller bumps traveling through the cabin. It's strange, as the cabin insulation is impressive, and the Buick Encore tends to be far better mannered on similar surfaces.

2020 Trax Interior

2020 Chevrolet Trax Infotainment System Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Trax Gear Shifter Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Trax Dashboard Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Trax Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.8 in
  • Front Head Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.8 in

2020 Trax Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Chevrolet Trax Trunk Space Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Trax Rear Passenger Seats Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Trax Top View Chevrolet

2020 Trax Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2020 Warranty Note \ 
  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the Chevrolet Trax a good SUV?

With sedans and hatchbacks losing popularity as SUVs dominate the market, staying relevant in these increasingly competitive segments takes quite a lot of innovation. Sadly, the Chevrolet Trax hasn't put in the work over the last five years of its life.

It does supply a fair amount of cargo and passenger space for a pretty low starting price. However, leading rivals are just as affordable, and pack leaders like the Honda HR-V and Kia Soul are more spacious in both regards. They also offer more standard features, as the Trax comes with no standard advanced safety features and minimal comforts. To get anything better, you have to opt for the top trim or throw on so many packages that price climbs well above what the competition is asking.

Like any typical urban-centric car, the Trax is great around town thanks to its tiny footprint, however, it doesn't handle as well as more refined subcompacts. It also doesn't offer particularly impressive fuel economy when compared to rivals and the engine performs woefully. Overall, the Chevrolet Trax is reasonable value for money, but there are far better deals out there for similar, or even less, money. Our picks are the all-new Kia Soul for more practicality and the Hyundai Kona if you enjoy driving.

2020 Chevrolet Trax Comparisons

Buick Encore Buick
Chevrolet Equinox Chevrolet
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Chevrolet Trax155 hp24/32 mpg$21,700
Buick Encore 155 hp24/32 mpg$26,100
Chevrolet Equinox 175 hp26/31 mpg$26,600

2020 Chevrolet Trax vs Buick Encore

The Buick Encore shares a platform with the Chevy Trax, so its dimensions are basically identical. Thus, cargo and passenger capacity are on par, and it even gets the same turbo four-cylinder engine. Given these similarities, you'd expect the Buick to cost the same as the Trax, but it will actually set you back an extra $4k. This is because the Buick carries a more upscale image, with a higher-quality interior and more refined standard features, such as a larger infotainment screen with standard SiriusXM, as well as a power-adjustable driver's seat and cruise control. However, it doesn't get any better standard safety features over the Chevy, so it won't appeal to buyers who prioritize safety. Much like the Trax, the Encore can add these features at additional cost. But, with its higher starting price, this will quickly raise the cost well above what those on a budget can afford. Overall, the Buick Encore is the better pick here, but your budget will determine your options.

See Buick Encore Review

2020 Chevrolet Trax vs Chevrolet Equinox

One step above the Trax in terms of size, the Equinox is a small upgrade in every way. It also gets a turbocharged inline-four-cylinder-engine, but it develops 170 hp and 203 lb-ft, making the compact crossover quite a bit more energetic. It is officially rated to tow up to 3,500 lbs and has a much higher basic cargo capacity of 29.9 cubic feet, which can be increased to 63.9 when the rear seats are folded down. However, the Equinox does cost almost $3k more in its base form, but you get some more features for this investment. It comes standard with forward collision avoidance, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, cruise control, and LED daytime running lights. The Chevy Equinox is better than the Trax in every way, but it won't be as appealing for those on a tight budget.

See Chevrolet Equinox Review
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