Chevrolet is betting big on something very small at the 2014 New York Auto Show.
Starting late in the year – likely around December – Chevrolet stores will start taking delivery of the Korean-built Trax small crossover. Sold in the Canadian market starting with the 2013 model year, the Trax Chevrolet’s version of the Buick Encore, both of which share a platform with the Sonic. The two vehicles are aimed at different customer groups despite being mechanically the same.
That’s because the Trax will carry a much lower entry price than the more premium Buick version. In Canada, the car starts at $18,695 before a $1,600 freight fee that brings the total cost to $20,295. The U.S. market car will ostensibly have a lower MRSP here, but Chevrolet hasn’t announced what that will be yet.
A 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is the only powerplant offered and it comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain puts out 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque to either the front wheels or optionally to all four.
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Aimed at young buyers living in cities, the small crossover offers 48.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity with its second row seats lowered. Along with the first-row passenger chair, they fold totally flat to offer a more practical storage space for hauling larger items.
For the U.S. launch, Chevrolet gave the Trax an updated front fascia. Other equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels at the base level and optional 16- and 18-inch alloy versions, the larger of which come standard with the top-trim LTZ cars. Meant to appeal to the millennial market, the Trax also uses the same Chevrolet MyLink touch screen infotainment system found in the Spark. Chevrolet is also offering Siri Eyes Free integration for iPhones and the BringGo navigation app.
If you’ve ever been inside a Chevrolet Sonic, you’ll probably recognize the gauge cluster in the Trax because the company styled them to look similar.
With the Trax, Chevrolet is jumping into what it says is one of the fastest growing segments in the North American vehicle market, so you can probably expect to see quite a few crossovers this size in the near future. For example, it won’t be long before Jeep starts selling the new Renegade first seen during the Geneva Motor Show last month.
Nissan already sells the Juke, which is similarly sized and Honda is also expected to field something in that range soon. Ford sells its EcoSport model in most global markets and hasn’t announced plans to launch it in the U.S., but that news could be coming soon, especially if other companies find sales success.
GALLERY: 2015 Chevrolet Trax Live Photos
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