2024 Chevy Trax

2024 Chevy Trax The post 2024 Chevy Trax appeared first on The Network Journal.

2024 Chevy Trax

You’ve probably read about the average new vehicle selling for nearly $50,000. How about one for about a third that much?

Chevy makes one like that. It’s called the Trax.

What it is

The Trax is a small crossover with a very small asking price — $20,400 for the base trim — that is powered by one of the smallest engines (a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine) ever installed in a car.

The most expensive version of the Trax — the 2RS trim — only costs $23,900. That’s less than the base price of a similar small crossover such as the Honda HR-V ($24,100 to start) or the Mazda CX-30 ($22,950).

What’s new for 2024

The Trax is back with a new, larger body — and a smaller engine. Plus, it has more available features — including some you might not expect in an entry-level vehicle, such as adaptive cruise control and a heated steering wheel.

What’s good

* Lower base price than the old Trax.

* More spacious than the old Trax.

* Better gas mileage than the old Trax.

What’s not so good

* Smaller three-cylinder engine is under a lot of pressure.

* All-wheel drive (which used to be optional) is no longer available.

* “Assistance technologies” are standard — and cannot be turned off permanently.

Under the hood

Every Trax comes standard with an engine that’s almost not there: just three cylinders and only 1.2 liters. The old Trax came standard with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

Power is down to 137 horsepower (about the same output as the 1,200 cubic centimeter engine that powers this writer’s motorcycle) and torque is just 162 ft.-lbs. at 2,500 RPM. The old Trax’s four made 155 horsepower and 177 ft-lbs of torque.

Surprisingly, the new Trax is not slower than the old Trax. It can get to 60 m.p.h. in about 8.5 seconds, which is quicker by about 1 full second than the old (and more powerful) Trax. That’s probably because it’s about 150 pounds lighter — which is also surprising because the’24 Trax is significantly larger than its predecessor.

On the other hand, the Trax’s mileage is surprisingly mediocre. It only manages 28 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 32 mpg on the highway — which is about the same (or slightly less) than the mileage delivered by larger-engined rivals such as the Mazda CX-30 (26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway from 2.5 liters, four cylinders and 191 horsepower).

The reason is that the’24 Trax — while lighter than its predecessor — is still surprisingly heavy (3,062 pounds) for something that’s still as small as it is.

On the road

Despite having such a small engine, the Trax moves out such that you’d think it had more engine. And in a very real sense, it does.

The turbo attached to the 1.2-liter three stuffs as much — or more — air into the engine’s cylinders as a four could suck in (turbo boost is positive pressure; engines without turbos have negative pressure — i.e., vacuum). The result is a more powerful combustion event when the additional air (and accompanying fuel) is burned inside those three cylinders. If the turbo is snugged right up against the exhaust ports — so that the boost builds almost as soon as the engine is revved (and gas is burned) then the turbo-boosted power comes on almost immediately.

Proof of the foregoing is how quickly this 3,000-plus pounder is capable of accelerating with only three cylinders pumping.

At the curb

The’24 Trax looks like a more substantial — a less entry level — vehicle. The increased length — now 178.6 inches versus the previous Trax’s 167.6 inches — is chiefly responsible for this.

Being longer also means roomier, especially in one very important category — rear-seat legroom. The previous Trax had just 35.7 inches of rear-seat legroom. It was a tight fit for most adults. That made the old Trax a harder sell to people who needed a small crossover with room for adults in the back. Chevy has addressed this issue aggressively by increasing rear-seat legroom in the ’24 Trax to 38.7 inches. That’s a full three inches more than in the old Trax, and it’s a difference that’s obvious when you sit back there versus trying to sit in the back of the old Trax.

There is also significantly more room for cargo in the’24 — which has 25.6 cubic feet behind the back seats (versus 18.7 before) and a total of 54.1 cubic feet with the back seats folded forward (versus 48.4 before).

The sum total of it is the’24 Trax is now a compact crossover rather than a “subcompact” — and that makes it more than just an entry-level crossover. It makes it a family-viable entry-level crossover.

The rest

Even though it is entry level, the Trax can be ordered with some higher level equipment, including a flat-screen main gauge cluster (analog gauges are otherwise standard), a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charger and a pretty good six speaker audio system.

And the as-it-sits (base trim) Trax has all the essentials, including some additionals, such as being WiFi hot spot-capable, LED headlights and 17-inch wheels. Like pretty much all new vehicles, the Trax comes standard with power windows and locks as well as air conditioning. Such features were luxury features (or at least, optional and extra-cost features) back in the days when “entry level” meant “stripped.”

This entry-level crossover is just “inexpensive.”

The bottom line

While it’s true some people are spending close to $50K on a new vehicle, it’s not necessary to spend that kind of money on a new vehicle.

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