Cheap and cheerful, the 2021 Chevrolet Trax is a subcompact crossover that offers buyers a modern and cutesy design, easy city drivability, and family-worthy safety standards all at the relatively attractive price of $21,400. As a lifted CUV, the Trax imparts the driver with a commanding view of the road and good visibility all-round, and despite being a subcompact 5-door, it still has a surprisingly spacious cabin and decent trunk. Unfortunately, that's about all one does get from the Trax. Power comes from its 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo inline-4 engine that imparts a meager 138 horsepower to either its front- or all-wheel drivetrain. While that powertrain is fine for urban commuting, it feels overly strained at higher speeds and its six-speed automatic transmission squelches any pep with its sluggish responses. In one of the most popular markets in the USA, the 2021 Chevrolet Trax doesn't have nearly enough to stand out from the crowd, especially with cars like the Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30, and Hyundai Tucson leading the segment.
The Trax SUV loses its top-spec Premier trim for 2021, which leaves new buyers with only two trim options, namely the LS and LT. Options that have been deleted include the Sun and Sound package, the Bose sound system, power sunroof, and certain interior color schemes. The rest of the features and options remain unchanged for 2021.
See trim levels and configurations:
Powering either the front- or all-wheel drivetrain of the Chevy Trax crossover is a diminutive 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine that's dialed to muster just 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission manages outputs in both the LS and LT, as well. Overall, the engine's performance can be described only as lackluster. It does provide a decent amount of low-end grunt during city driving, but it quickly loses ardor at higher speeds. The transmission is mostly smooth but tends to feel sluggish at lower speeds. It's also hesitant to downshift when you need it to. With its small size and low power outputs, the Trax isn't really recommended for towing, though some consumers claim it can handle a towing capacity just north of 1,000 lbs.
The Chevrolet Trax has some appreciable qualities, such as its modern and waggish looks, decent fuel economy, and its spacious interior. As a modern crossover SUV, a lot more is expected, however. The Trax's engine doesn't feel up to the task of highway driving and the transmission makes city driving just as unpleasant with its sluggish responses. There are plenty of better SUVs out there that offer so much more, from performance to practicality. Though both the NHTSA's and IIHS's crashworthiness and safety review of the 2021 Trax crossover turned out good, the crossover is short of many must-have advanced driver-assist technologies and active safety features. The 2021 Trax is a difficult vehicle to recommend against the many far superior SUVs in the class at the same price or even cheaper. This could be attributed to the fact that this year's model remains part of the first-generation Trax introduced all the way back in 2015. Perhaps it's time for a complete redesign.
With the top-spec trim having been deleted for the 2021 model year, prospective Trax buyers are left with just the LS and the LT trims. Considering how relatively affordable the 2021 Chevrolet Trax crossovers starting price is, we'd recommend spending just a little more for the mid-spec LT trim. Over the LS, the LT comes with some features that should be standard across the board - including remote start, cruise control, a 120-volt power outlet, and the option to upgrade to leatherette seating. It also gets an under-seat storage compartment beneath the front passenger seat, which is just a worthwhile added convenience.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Chevrolet Trax: