You Should Pass On the Chevrolet Trax New or Used

Subcompact SUVs are all the rage these days and understandably so. They’re generally easy to maneuver and provide better drivers’ visibility compared to small car options. While subcompact SUVs have a lot to offer, some are best avoided, like the Chevrolet Trax. The Chevy Trax may look cute and sporty, but it leaves much to be desired. 

The Chevy Trax is slow

A new Chevrolet Trax on display
Chevy Trax | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Chevy’s Trax has an athletic exterior, but what’s under the hood doesn’t match its outward appearance. The 2020 Trax features a 138-horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. It goes from 0-to-60 mph in 10.8 seconds, and that’s one of the slowest ratings that Consumer Reports has recently recorded.

Critics have also noted that the Trax has a rather harsh driving quality. Furthermore, its car cabin isn’t all that impressive either. Interior plastic finishings aren’t always a downside, but they are in the Trax. CR calls the Trax’s plastic cabin “almost an insult” because of the model’s price point. 

It’s low on reliability and owner satisfaction

A red Chevy Trax on display at an auto show
A Chevy Trax on display | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

In addition to its weak performance, the Trax also is a very unreliable option. Chevy first introduced this model for the 2015 model year. According to CR, the worst Trax versions to buy are the 2015 and 2016 models. The 2015 Trax has seven NHTSA safety recall actions on it, and the 2016 version has five. 

What makes the Trax even less appealing is its poor predicted owner satisfaction scores. For the most part, Trax owners are happy with their vehicles’ look inside and out. On the other hand, owners aren’t as pleased with the Trax’s driving experience and overall value. 

High points for the Trax

The Trax does offer a few benefits. It has an above-average fuel economy rating and gets a combined 25 mpg. This Chevy is also easy to drive. And what may entice buyers to purchase a used Trax is its depreciation rate. Based on a recent study, the Trax has a high three-year depreciation rate of 38.5 percent. Even so, there are other affordable and dependable alternatives to consider.

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Other subcompact SUVs to consider 

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek debuts with refreshed design, suspension and an available 2.5 Liter engine.
2021 Crosstrek Sport | Subaru

How Safe Is the Chevrolet Trax?

Subaru’s Crosstrek is a more well-rounded pick compared to the Trax. The Crosstrek earned praise from critics for its comfortable ride quality and its fuel efficiency. This small SUV has many practical highlights, including a high-quality cabin and cargo space. Plus, the Crosstrek can handle mild off-roading adventures. This model also has much higher reliability and owner satisfaction ratings than the Trax does. 

Another option to consider over the Trax is the Mazda CX-3. The CX-3 is one of CR’s recommended choices because it’s sporty and class rivals can’t match its fun-to-drive experience. Fuel efficiency and easy maneuverability are also among the CX-3’s best attributes. This crossover comes with many desirable infotainment features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other standard tech features include advanced safety functions like forward-collision warning.