The SUV is a very popular vehicle type these days, but not everyone wants to buy a giant Suburban or even a Blazer. For people looking for a subcompact SUV, Chevrolet offers the 2020 Trax. But is this a safe option?
2020 Chevrolet Trax
Car and Driver liked the Chevrolet Trax’s handling and infotainment system but was less pleased about the interior design, the engine, and the safety technology. The Trax has one engine, which Car and Driver called “weak.” The turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder generates 138 hp and doesn’t have much acceleration. It’s accompanied by a six-speed automatic transmission. The Chevy Trax does have strong brakes and a firm ride, though. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available for $1,500.
In the interior, there is plenty of space and headroom up in the front but less for the rear seats and cargo area. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard on all trim levels and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wi-Fi is also standard, though it does require a monthly subscription after the end of the free trial. The 2020 Trax has three available trim levels: LS, LT, and Premier. The current starting price is $21,300.
The Chevrolet Trax’s safety features
The 2020 Trax doesn’t come with as many safety and driver-assist features as its competitors. For $495, buyers of the LT trim can add the Driver Confidence package, which includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. The Premier trim, the highest of the three options, comes standard with additional active safety features. It comes with the Driver Confidence package plus it also has forward collision alert and lane departure warning. All three trims have a rear vision camera.
Ratings from the IIHS
Although it doesn’t have a huge number of driver-assist features, the Chevrolet Trax has been rated well in crash tests by both the IIHS and NHTSA. The 2020 Trax received the highest rating in five out of six Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) categories.
It received a Good rating for “small overlap front: driver-side,” “moderate overlap front,” “side,” “roof strength,” and “head restraints & seats.” However, it received an Acceptable rating for “small overlap front: passenger-side” due to the structure and safety cage. The IIHS listed the safety features, with daytime running lights noted as coming standard. Blind-spot detection and lane departure warning are both optional.
Ratings from the NHTSA
Both the all-wheel-drive and the front-wheel-drive 2020 Trax received ratings from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both versions earned very high ratings, with five out of five stars for overall safety rating.
In the frontal crash tests, the Trax earned five out of five stars for the overall front star rating, with five stars for both the “front driver side” and the “front passenger side.” It also has five stars for overall side star rating, with five stars for each of the subcategories: “combined side barrier and pole ratings” (for both front seat and rear seat), “side barrier” (for both driver and rear passenger), and for the “overall side pole star rating.” The Trax was given four out of five stars for its rollover star rating and has a rollover risk of 17.9 percent.
The NHTSA looks for four recommended safety technologies on each vehicle, and on the Chevrolet Trax, two are optional and two are not available. Forward collision warning and lane departure warning are both optional upgrades, while crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support are not available features. So far, the 2020 Trax does not have any recalls listed.
While some reviewers may prefer the 2020 Chevrolet Trax’s competitors, the Trax’s safety ratings make it a good option.