2017 Chevrolet Trax

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Change year or car

$21,000

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

SUV

Body style

28

Combined MPG

5

Seating capacity

167.6” x 64.8”

Dimensions

Front-wheel drive

Drivetrain

Overview

The good:

  • Visibility
  • Interior updates
  • Ride quality
  • Tall seating position
  • Multimedia offerings
  • Volume knob replaces touch control

The bad:

  • Weak acceleration
  • Noisy engine
  • Small side mirrors
  • Poor gas mileage with all-wheel drive
  • Safety features limited to expensive trims
  • Redesigned instrument panel

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2017 Chevrolet Trax trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

Notable features

  • Seating for five
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard
  • Turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder
  • 7-inch touchscreen standard
  • Six-speed automatic standard
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hot spot
See also: How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2017 Chevrolet Trax?

2017 Chevrolet Trax review: Our expert's take

By Joe Bruzek

Versus the competition: A higher-quality interior and new multimedia technologies — including standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — boost the Trax's appeal in the new class of subcompact SUVs.

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The Chevrolet Trax is part of an entirely new class of vehicles that didn’t exist a few years ago: subcompact SUVs. They’re high-riding hatchbacks with available all-wheel drive (AWD), including the Chevrolet Trax, 2017 Honda HR-V, 2017 Jeep Renegade and 2017 Subaru Crosstrek, among many others. In one of Cars.com’s multi-car comparisons in which we tested the old Trax against its class, it placed dead last.

For 2017, Chevrolet’s smallest SUV is updated with a new look and new features, but are there enough improvements to boost its finish? I think so. Chevrolet addressed former failing areas, such as interior quality and advanced safety technology, and its new multimedia offering shoots the Trax to the top of the class in smartphone integration.

Exterior & Styling

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The Chevrolet Trax was on sale globally well before it debuted in the U.S., so it already looked dated when it landed stateside as a 2015 model. Adding contemporary styling to the cute-ute makes the 2017 look newer than it really is, and on mid-level LT and top-level Premier trims, there are strips of LED running lamps surrounding the headlights that give the inexpensive SUV an upscale look.

Dimensions are unchanged from 2016 model year and remain city-friendly along with the rest of the class. These really are tiny SUVs; the Trax is 20.6 inches shorter, bumper to bumper, than Chevy’s next size up, the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox SUV. Compare the Trax’s specs with its competitors here.

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How It Drives

I spent a day testing the updated Chevrolet Trax in and around downtown Chicago. Ironically, the Trax’s driving experience hasn’t changed at all; for better or for worse, the refresh included no mechanical changes. The Trax continues to drive confidently for its small footprint, but its engine remains loud and wheezy, and its short wheelbase makes for a bumpy ride over rough pavement. The 138-horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 cylinder strained to haul three men in a top-level Premier with AWD. (The Premier is the heaviest trim level, weighing 3,340 pounds; the lightest is 3,048 pounds.) The I-4 Chevrolet Trax is peppy enough to get around traffic fine with just a driver onboard.

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Interior

The driving characteristics of the old Trax didn’t offend us nearly as much as did its interior, which was low-quality, bland and many years outdated even at its introduction. Chevy redesigned the entire dashboard and instrument cluster for 2017. Perhaps the most significant interior update is the all-new dashboard that’s covered in richer materials than before. In the right color combination, like our Jet Black/Brandy test vehicle, the interior is attractive and appears significantly updated. (The “Brandy” burnt-orange interior accents are available on LT and Premier trims.)

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The interior may be improved, but a competitor with class-leading materials, like the Honda HR-V, has nothing to fear; the HR-V is a class above the Trax, with soft-touch materials in the backseat as well as the front. The Trax’s backseat remains devoid of anything resembling quality, and there are still many carryover materials below the redesigned dashboard.

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I’m disappointed that the redesigned instrument cluster is now a traditional display instead of the brightly colored, motorcycle-inspired digital cluster in the outgoing Chevrolet Trax. The new analog speedometer’s numbers are crammed together and hard to read — and does this thing really need a 140-mph speedometer? An accompanying digital speedometer remains, but it’s small and not as easy to read as the previous digital display. Losing the 2016’s funky gauge cluster takes a lot of fun and uniqueness out of the Trax’s interior.

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Ergonomics & Electronics

While the Chevrolet Trax loses a little edginess with its tamed gauge cluster styling, it redeems itself with a whole new multimedia system that’s a one-stop shop for multimedia tech features. The aforementioned Apple CarPlay and Android Auto should be at the top of your must-have shopping list if you have a compatible smartphone, thanks to their simplicity and comprehensive in-car integration. No direct Trax competitor offered Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as of publication.

But wait, there’s more: The Chevrolet Trax now has two USB ports in the front instead of one. Also, like last year, there’s an available 120-volt AC household outlet in the rear in LT and Premier trims, so backseat passengers can charge a device. There’s also 4G LTE connectivity powering a Wi-Fi hot spot and enabling a mobile app with remote start and lock/unlock features. It’s free for three months, then requires a subscription; see pricing for the OnStar 4G LTE data plan here.

Cargo & Storage

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For a vehicle that embraces current mobile technology, the Trax certainly doesn’t leave many spots to store your phone. That’s a big change from the 2016 model, which had up-front storage space galore. The 2017 model loses its upper glove box and center upper dashboard pop-up storage. And while we never really found a use for the two crevices flanking the multimedia screen in the outgoing Trax, those are gone, too. A storage drawer under the front passenger seat and a cubby in front of the gear selector remain.

Rear cargo space remains unchanged, and it’s very usable given the small SUV’s outside dimensions. The Trax’s 48.4 cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the backseat folded is surprisingly accessible through the tall cargo opening. It’s not the largest in its class, however, and those looking for a little more cargo space should check out the sizable Honda HR-V (58.8 cubic feet) or Subaru Crosstrek (51.9 cubic feet).

Safety

The 2017 Trax’s crashworthiness is rated highly by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. See how its IIHS ratings compare with other small SUVs here. The Trax aced IIHS’ five major crash tests, scoring the institute’s highest rating of good. NHTSA also rewarded the Trax with its highest overall rating of five out of five stars.

A previous complaint of ours was the lack of advanced safety technology the Trax’s competition offered, like a precollision system and blind spot monitoring. This year, newly added safety tech addresses some of those complaints. A Driver Confidence Package on the LT includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors for $495; it’s standard on the Premier. A backup camera is standard on all trims.

The Driver Confidence II Package is optional on Premier trims, costing $295 and adding forward collision warning and lane departure warning, though they’re just warnings and don’t include automatic emergency braking or lane keep assist course correction, respectively. The Crosstrek and Renegade are ahead of the curve in this entry-level segment; Subaru’s EyeSight option includes automatic emergency braking, and the Renegade offers automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist to steer the car back on course.

Neither collision warning nor lane departure warning signaled many false alarms, and both features were extremely livable even in the hyperactive traffic in and around Chicago.

Value in Its Class

I have little doubt the Trax would fare better than last place in our Subcompact SUV Challenge with the extra features and niceties of the 2017. The improvements don’t come free: Pricing has increased by $255 to $870 depending on trim level. The front-wheel-drive LS base price starts at $21,895, including destination.

The former LTZ is now called Premier and is $870 pricier than before, though its increased standard-feature content — like the more robust multimedia system and standard safety features — means you’re not paying more for nothing. A Premium will set you back $26,995 with front-wheel drive, and the one I tested with the optional Driver Confidence II package and all-wheel drive was $28,790. At that price, the Trax feels out of place, quality-wise, compared with the HR-V, whose better-executed interior takes the sting out of spending that much on a small vehicle. Midlevel LT trims see the lowest price increase ($255) and will likely be the volume sellers and best bargains.

Even with all the 2017 Trax’s improvements that make it a more desirable subcompact SUV, I’m still not sure it would have made the podium in our test against its formidable competitors in this new class of small SUVs.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior 4.5
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value 4.5
  • Exterior 4.5
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

4.0

It's an ok compact SUV.....if you maintain it well

A little more than 2 years ago I bought a used 2017 Chevy Trax LT AWD, with a 1.4L engine. In addition, this vehicle was in a wreck which got hit on the rear end of the vehicle. However, the vehicle was fixed before purchasing it and I bought it with a fair price, with 49k original miles. Now the Trax has 97k miles and has had his fair amount of issues. Additionally, at 60k miles the turbo was leaking antifreeze and had to replace it with the valve that was attached to it. Also, I had some minor issues on the AC controller which h I had to have those replaced, and sooner or later I'm going to have to replace the blower motor since it's making a weird sound when it's on. This vehicle has treated me good since I've been keeping up with the regular oil changes (I usually buy Mobile 1 oil and filter, advance full synthetic) and I usually change also the air filter every 15k-30k miles. Also I've done 2 tune ups with new spark plugs and coils. To be honest if yiu do the regular maintenance you won't have any issues especially the engine and transmission. Furthermore, in a couple of days I'll be replacing the break pads, and also just FYI the 1.4L engine has a timing chain, so if you do the regular oil changes it will last forever. Soon I'll be replacing the gaskets and water pump since it's about to turn 100k mikes. All in all, I give it a 4.0-4.5 overall rating, space if very bad you can't fit regular size adults in the rear seats!

1.0

2017 Chevrolet Trax: A Mechanical Misfortune

I'm sorry to say that my experience with the 2017 Chevrolet Trax, which I bought new with only 10 miles on the odometer, has been nothing short of a mechanical nightmare. It's a tale of constant breakdowns and hefty repair bills, which has left me deeply disappointed and filled with regret. Take note that proper maintenance was being done on or before all scheduled times. The first major issue reared its ugly head at the 90,000-mile mark when the engine simply gave out. For a car that was relatively new and well-maintained, this was a shock. After shelling out a small fortune, I had the engine replaced with a new Version 2 on the engine. This was the only silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud. The newer engine was markedly better than the original, performing well under various conditions. However, the honeymoon with the new engine was short-lived, as at 105,000 miles, the transmission failed. This was a gut punch, especially considering that the car was only used for regular commuting and not for any heavy-duty driving. After another pricey repair, I was back on the road, hoping the worst was behind me. But alas, at 190,000 miles, the second transmission failure occurred. It was clear that the transmission was simply not up to the task of handling even the basic weight of the car. The frequency of these significant issues was far beyond what any car owner should reasonably expect. It's also important to note the design of the engines in the Trax – they are simply not built to be easily rebuildable, adding to the hassle and expense of any potential repair work. It's a design flaw that does the customer no favors. In conclusion, even though the Version 2 engine is a great improvement, the overall experience with the 2017 Chevrolet Trax has been disappointing. The recurring transmission issues, coupled with the unexpected engine failure and the design flaw, make this a car I would not recommend to anyone. Not even to my worst enemy. Proceed with caution if you're considering this model. Proper maintenance was performed on or before scheduled times.

3.0

Not SATISFIED!!!!

I have had this vehicle for less then 6months...and have repaired a leak(ran hot shut off on me) got it fixed so I thought!!!... and less then a month its leaking again...replaced the water pump and seems that when I use my air conditioner it's a issue...and when you try to get it done correctly by the dealership...they can only tell you I dont know but you have to pay $300 to take a guess!!?? & have to put it on a diagnostic test...for a leak?? It's to many things that are electrically connected every thing works on a sensor...and I dont travel far so I'm not understanding why it's a leak after less then 6months of owning the vehicle.. Chevy take your time it's not only about the look make sure it works properly!!! Under the hood!!!

See all 189 consumer reviews

Safety

Based on the 2017 Chevrolet Trax base trim.
Combined side rating front seat
5
Combined side rating rear seat
5
Frontal barrier crash rating driver
5
Frontal barrier crash rating passenger
5
Overall frontal barrier crash rating
5
Overall rating
5
Overall side crash rating
5
Risk of rollover
19.8%
Rollover rating
4
Side barrier rating
5
Side barrier rating driver
5
Side barrier rating passenger rear seat
5
Side pole rating driver front seat
5

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
36 months/36,000 miles
Powertrain
60 months/60,000 miles
Maintenance
24 months/24,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

See all 2017 Chevrolet Trax articles