Responding late to the market, the original Chevrolet Trax inherited its upscale sibling Buick Encore’s rounded, tuber-like look when it made its debut in the 2015 model year. For 2017, the Chevy Trax gets new front fenders and a much more handsome family-look split grille. The updated subcompact crossover makes its debut at the Chicago auto show.
Though not quite transformative, the new look is cleaner and far more attractive than the old model, even though sheetmetal aft of the a-pillar is unchanged. The Buick Encore will not be left behind; its facelift, to be previewed at the New York International Auto Show, will itself be the subject of a hint courtesy the Opel Mokka X at the Geneva show in early March.
A new electrical architecture allows camera-based forward-collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, side blind zone indication and collision alert, says the model’s marketing chief, Betsy Flegg.
While it’s not as sexy as the Chevy Camaro 1LE also premiering in Chicago, the Trax is in the far larger subcompact crossover segment, which is taking Western Europe and Asia, as well as North America, by storm. In calendar 2015, its first full year on the market, Chevrolet sold 63,030 Trax models in the U.S., though still 4,519 short of the more expensive Encore, Buick’s most popular model last year.
The LED headlamps shown on this 2017 Chevrolet Trax are available on the top-spec Premier [which replaces the LTZ], and on the LT, though not on the rental lot-friendly base LS. The new active-safety features are available on the Premier and LT trim levels, but not the LS, Flegg says.
An all-new dashboard, featuring a seven-inch touch screen, includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto, available at launch. Inside the 2017 Chevrolet Trax Premier, amber stitching replaces blue (which is a Buick design theme) when equipped with black leather and simulated suede interior. There’s a new, soft touch dash cover and and upper dash.
While the Trax’s new nose is the most obvious sheetmetal change, the crossover also comes with a new 18-inch wheel design, new lower front and rear fascias, and resculpted taillamp lenses. Its 138-hp, 148 lb-ft, 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec inline-four, and six-speed automatic (with front- or all-wheel-drive) carryover, so the Chevy Trax won’t get an engine from General Motors’ new four-cylinder engine family until the second-generation model arrives. That is expected in the 2019 model year.
Chevrolet is expanding its Midnight Special Edition truck package to the ’16 Colorado Z71 and ’16 Silverado 1500 Z71; the Silverado 2500 HD Z71 Midnight Special Edition continues. They feature black paint with monochromatic details, and off-road suspension, locking rear differential, transfer case shield, hill descent control, Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac all-terrain tires and black Chevy bowtie badges, front and rear.