Tapping into the younger car buyer’s desire to stand out, Chevrolet has announced that in 2016 its popular little Trax subcompact crossover will be getting some special treatment in order to offer the market something a little more sinister. Following in the footsteps of several other automobiles under the bowtie badge, the Chevy Trax Midnight Edition is what the automaker calls “a blacked-out styling statement for the small SUV.”
Hot on the heels of a year that reaped record sales for GM, this latest venture into the dark side offers customers a car that retains its bubbly body lines, and infuses them with a healthy splash of evil. Based on the LTZ trim line, the Midnight Edition features black wheels, bezels, beltline molding and door handles, along with a black rear license plate applique. To contrast with this, the inside features seats that have been trimmed with gray accents and floor mats that sport gray piping.
“Introduced just a year ago, the Trax has quickly become an important vehicle for Chevrolet, bringing in new, younger and more female buyers to the brand,” said Betsy Flegg, senior marketing manager for Chevrolet Crossovers, in a statement. “The small SUV segment is the fastest growing in the industry and models such as the new Trax Midnight Edition provides customers an expressive option.”
Flegg is right on too, as Trax sales reportedly hit 57,707 units for the first 11 months of 2015, making it second in the entire segment with almost a 20% marketshare overall. This crossover craze doesn’t seem to be dying anytime soon either, and as Chevrolet’s crossover sales crest 35%, the Detroit automaker looks to squeeze in a few extra offerings for those of us who don’t just want something bubbly and jelly bean-colored.
When Chevy sent us a Trax back in July for a week-long test and review, we were pleased with how spacious and practical it was despite its minuscule footprint. Fusing what it calls “small-car agility” with the “utility convenience of an SUV,” Chevrolet’s pipsqueak of an SUV gave us up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space, mountains of headroom and legroom, and a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that returned an average of 34 miles per gallon gains on the highway since it was not an all-wheel drive model.
Like we said during our review, this is the kind of car you buy your teenage daughter when they start driving, and with its available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and easy parallel parking capabilities, there is little for them to dislike in this automobile. Naturally, the Midnight Edition upgrade by no means adds any luxury or performance, but at least it toughens up the little rascal a bit in the aesthetics department.
But, as of now, what was previously listed is what customers will get and even though all of these visual upgrades are an improvement over the regular version, it still seems a little half-baked without the limited edition add-ons we have come to expect over the years. Where are the dual polished exhaust tips poking out of the custom rear diffuser, or the aero package with the sharper front lip? Americans typically want these added upgrades when buying a limited edition version of a car, and spending the extra dough to get them typically is in the cards regardless of what penny pinchers may tell you.
But this specialized version of the Chevy’s smallest crossover is budget minded, and for all of our groaning, the one thing we cannot bitch about is its affordability. Slated for going on sale in late February 2016, the Trax Midnight Edition truly is an inexpensive upgrade, even if it remains little more than a slathering of paint and some gray interior trim pieces. Adding just $500 to the Trax LTZ’s already reasonable $26,125 suggested retail price, this upgraded option will likely sell well for the Detroit automaker while we’re not-so-secretly pining for for an off-road “Trail Boss” incarnation.