There has been an explosion in the SUV-crossover segment, and Chevrolet has responded quickly with the Trax, a subcompact crossover that combines the practicality and ride height of a traditional SUV with the maneuverability of a small car.
Measuring just 168.5 inches long, our 2015 Trax is dwarfed by Chevrolet’s two largest utility vehicles, the Traverse and mammoth Suburban, but the company wagers it’s the right size for many car buyers. It competes directly with the likes of the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Buick Encore (a close relative), and Jeep Renegade.
The first thing one notices about the Trax is its tall, uninspired styling (frankly, it looks like an egg), clearly indicating that the guys at Chevy were primarily concerned with function over anything else. The end result is a safe, highly versatile vehicle that can handle the everyday chores of a small family with relative ease.
Indeed, the Trax looks smaller from the outside than it really is, thanks to its tall roof and short length. Headroom is plenty for both front and rear passengers of just about any height, and with 35.7 inches of rear legroom, most adults won’t have to worry about their knees.
The tall roof of the Trax also makes accessing the cargo area easy, although the 18.7 cubic feet (530 litres) of space behind the rear seats is average for the segment. It’s nevertheless useful, and folding down the rear seats boosts total storage capacity to a capacious 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 litres).
What, 48.4 cubic feet is still not enough? Don’t worry. Unlike most of the competition, the Trax boasts a front passenger seat that can be folded flat, allowing you to carry longer items like a canoe, a surfboard or a bicycle. Some 15 compartments scattered throughout the cabin offer even more storage.
Some complaints are the plasticy, cheap-looking and feeling interior trim and adequately comfortable seats. Otherwise, the controls and all displays are simple, well-placed and very functional.
The long list of available features includes a Bose premium audio system with seven speakers and an amplifier; a slew of connectivity features such as wireless capabilities, USB ports, Chevrolet’s touchscreen MyLink infotainment system that’s compatible with Apple Siri and Stitcher SmartRadio; and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
The only engine available is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque. As with the other GM vehicle equipped with this powerplant (the Buick Encore being one), these figures can be deceiving. With oodles of low-end torque, the 1.4 turbo feels far more powerful than it really is.
Climbing foothills is no problem for the little Chevy, but power does taper off a bit at highway speeds. The base Canadian-spec model comes standard with front-wheel-drive and a six-speed manual transmission, but most buyer will certainly go with the optional six-speed automatic (6T40 Hydra-Matic). An all-wheel drive setup is also available and can be especially useful in the winter.
U.S.-spec models are only offered with the automatic transmission, which, even though it liked holding onto higher gears, proved just as smooth as the engine.
Ride and handling is as expected of a vehicle built for the masses — composed with some understeer and body roll when cornering. Steering is relatively precise and lively, while the brakes delivered great results.
All said, the Chevrolet Trax delivers a relatively capable, versatile and refined package for an everyday car. It’s just too bad it looks bland inside and out.
2020 Chevy Corvette C8 First Drives Are Positive, It’s A Serious Supercar
It’s a serious supercar despite its bargain basement price.
The new C8 Chevrolet Corvette is the real deal, at least if the first drive impressions are anything to go by.
According to an aggregate of automotive outlets that had the chance behind the wheel, the first-ever mind-engine Corvette drives and feels like, well, a mid-engine supercar. You feel like your sitting at the center of the car.
The steering is also lighter than the C7 Corvette, and there is more connection between driver and front wheels.
The C8 Corvette is much more sophisticated and refined than any Corvette before it, striking an uncanny balance of comfort and sportiness between its various driving modes.
The interior, which received some criticism for its rather peculiar layout, is very well thought out. According to one outlet, the square steering wheels lets the driver see the entire gauge set without trouble, while the controversial long line of buttons that divides the driver and passenger is very ergonomic.
The same could be said about the infotainment touchscreen, which is ideally placed for utilization and can be controlled by a very stylish mode control mouse.
It feels like plane’s cockpit inside, and the leather quality, panel gaps and general ambiance, while not on par with the Ferrari and Porsche of this world, greatly exceed anything ever seen in a Corvette.
The 495 horsepower and 470 pound feet of torque produced by the 6.2-litre small-block V8 is enough to get the C8 up and going, but some reviewers didn’t find the exhaust note exciting enough for a car of such performance.
Overall, the C8 Corvette Stingray appears to be every bit the performance bargain we cracked it out to be, if not more so considering the leap in driving and handling sophistication, incredibly improved interior, and chassis refinement.
Did you think it would disappoint?
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Gets Slightly New Look For 2021
It now looks a lot more like the Silverado from the front.
Over 520,000 Colorado midsize pickups have been sold over the fives following the model’s re-introduction in the U.S. market. To keep it competitive with rivals like the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger, Chevy has given it some updates for the 2021 model year.
The ZR2 package receives the biggest changes, gaining a new new flow-through grille inspired by the larger Silverado, with the world ‘Chevrolet’ spelled out across it.
Designers also moved the bowtie emblem to an asymmetrical position beside the driver-side headlight, while the tow hooks are finished in contrasting red paint.
As with the grille, the brand’s name is fully spelled out across the tailgate.
The 2021 Colorado ZR2 comes equipped with front and rear electronically locking differentials, Multimatic dampers, a 2.0-inch suspension lift, and 3.5-inch wider track relative to the standard Colorado, and multiple skid plates to protect its underbody.
The lesser Colorado WT, LT and Z71 trims all receive updated center bars, lower fascias and front skid plates.
The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 makes its world debut at the 2019 SEMA show in Las Vegas.
Nearly a year ago, Chevrolet Performance Engineering teamed up with Multimatic and Hall Racing to develop 15 performance parts for the ZR2.
2020 Corvette C8.R Is Chevy’s First Mid-Engine GTLM Race Car
The race car will make its racing debut at the 2020 Rolex 24.
The automotive world anticipated a new Corvette Convertible would make its debut in early October, but few expected the 2020 Corvette C8.R race car to be unveiled alongside it.
The C8 Corvette is the first Corvette to have a mid-engine layout and a duel-clutch transmission, while the new Corvette Stingray Convertible is the first Corvette to have a power-folding retractable roof. In yet another first for the iconic nameplate, the Corvette C8.R is Chevy’s first mid-engine GTLM race car.
“The C8.R is much more than just a race-tuned version of the 2020 Corvette Stingray. It’s a culmination of many years of testing and development between GM Design, Propulsion, Engineering and the Corvette Racing team,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “The collaboration between these teams has allowed us to take these vehicles’ performance to the next level, both on the street and the track.”
Unfortunately, aside from what we see, Chevy didn’t reveal much details about the race car. A massive diffuser dominates the rear, and there’s plenty of new aero features all around.
As for what breathes in the engine bay, there is a good chance its a version of the 6.2-liter V8 found in its predecessor, or possibly some variation of Cadillac’s Blackwing twin-turbo DOHC V8.
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R makes its racing debut at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
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