2016 Chevrolet Trax LS

2016 Chevy Trax LSThe 2016 Chevrolet Trax LS is our first new car in almost nine years and the Trax wasn't even on our shopping list. Hatchbacks such as the Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa Note, Ford Fiesta, and Chevy Sonic were more in our price range. It was while looking at the Sonic that we saw the Trax and although the MSRP was roughly $4k more than the hatchbacks, after pressing each dealer for an out-the-door price, the price margin had been reduced to $2,300 so we ended up buying the Trax. We're happy with it overall and thought I'd write a short review now that we've had a chance to drive it for about a month. Everyone values something different in a vehicle and for us the two big pluses were the cargo space and price. For others it may be the infotainment system, and what follows are just my basic observations. You can always search places like Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds for more reviews. Edmunds has the most Trax reviews and while Edmunds itself isn't overly impressed with the Trax, the actual owners are very happy. For detailed specs you can visit the Chevy.com website.

What we like about the Chevy Trax:

  • Lots of cargo space. With the rear seats up it's about 18 cubic feet which isn't huge, but when the seats are folded down it's around 48 cubic feet. An added plus is that the front seat folds down offering even more cargo space and allows 8-foot lumber to fit. The LS model doesn't come standard with roof racks and it cost an extra $900 to get Chevy racks installed by the dealer, but the roof racks add even more cargo carrying capabilities, so they were worth the extra money. There are also some handy tie-down anchors in the rear cargo area that help to secure loads.
  • The price. The base price was $21,800 for the front wheel drive model ($1,500 more for AWD), and there was a $1k rebate. Our out the door price was $17,600 (without the roof racks). Your OTD price will vary depending on the value of your trade, sales tax rate, and DMV fees. There really wasn't any other mini-SUV in that price range.
  • Good gas mileage. Okay, it's not as good as a Honda Fit or Nissan Versa Note, but in its class the Trax gets very good gas mileage. Our Trax only has 650 miles so far which isn't enough mileage for an accurate result, but it's at around 28 mpg around town so far, and the mileage will probably get better as the engine breaks in.

What we don't like about the Chevy Trax:

  • Automatic lights. We live in the Northeast and need to warm up the car in order for the windshield to defrost. There's no reason for the car's lights to come on when the vehicle is warming up in the driveway. No reason whatsoever. If I want the lights on, I'll turn them on. The lights can be shut off before starting the car, but it needs to be done manually each and every time the vehicle is started.
  • The windshield wipers can't be raised. When there's snow in the forecast it helps to lift the wipers off the windshield to make it easier to scrape the snow and ice off the windshield, and to keep the wipers from crusting with snow and ice. The wipers on the Trax can't be raised because of the hood. Really annoying.

Some general observations:

  • The LS model doesn't have cruise control
  • There's no CD player
  • The USB port is in the glove box which is a bit inconvenient for the driver to reach
  • The LS model doesn't have an AC electrical outlet in back of the center console
  • The driver's seat has an armrest so double check when buying seat covers, or simply remove the armrest
  • The video option in the infotainment center does not work when the car is in gear, meaning it's not a DVD player to entertain the kids

Chevy Trax roof racks:

The LS model doesn't come with roof racks so we paid extra to have them installed by the dealer, and it was money well spent. Not sure which brand they are because we only received partial paperwork. Here's a pic of the roof racks installed and a pic of the paperwork:

Chevrolet Trax lockable roof racks

Would we buy the Chevy Trax again?

All in all we're very happy with the vehicle. It's at an affordable price point with just enough bells and whistles. The gas mileage is very good and the cargo space is awesome. The only minor downside for us was the automatic lights and the windshield wipers.

Chevrolet Trax video:

Here's a basic overview video of the Trax. Our driveway is fairly short so the video was shot in a Walmart parking lot in order to be able to show you the digital dash and the backup camera in action. The vid was shot early on a drizzly October morning, so the light isn't the greatest which makes the video a bit grainy.