2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ Review

Evan Williams
by Evan Williams
The 2024 Chevrolet Trax is one of the most surprisingly good small vehicles we've tested in a long time.


Engine: 1.2-liter I3 Turbo
Output: 137 hp, 162 lb-ft.
Transmission: 6AT, FWD
Fuel Economy (MPG): 28/32 (city/hwy)
Starting Price (USD): $21,495 (inc. dest.)
:Price as Tested (USD) $26,540 (inc. dest.)
Starting Price (CAD): $23,699 (inc. dest.)
:Price as Tested (CAD) $31,589 (inc. dest.)

Out of the dozen of new vehicles I’ve driven in the last year, the 2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ might be the one I’ve been anticipating the most.

It’s also one of the cheapest, and those two bits of data are directly connected.

Making an expensive vehicle is easy. There’s money in the development budget for fancy materials, fancy engines, and, well, just more of everything. Making an entry-level vehicle is tough.

SEE ALSO: 2024 Chevrolet Trax Review: First Drive

In this segment, designers and engineers need to worry about maintaining quality, features, and all of the intangibles that go into a vehicle. All while competing against not just others in the class, but used vehicles just a couple of years older that were thousands more when new.

The outgoing Trax was already a highlight in the segment because it offered something the competition didn’t: Headroom. The old Chevy Trax had loads of it along with a very tall greenhouse. The extra glass made the subcompact-sized cabin feel roomier than it might have looked on paper. It also made the vehicle more accessible than its competition.

What's New for the 2024 Chevrolet Trax

Both longer and wider, the 2024 Chevy Trax has sleek proportions.

When it came to designing the 2024 Trax, Chevrolet leaned into that attribute, possibly because it was the only thing Trax had worth keeping. Or at least Chevrolet leaned into the on-paper space. Trax is now 11 inches longer and an inch wider. Cargo space is a massive 54.1 cubic feet behind the first row of seats and 25.6 cubic feet with all the seats in use (1,532 L and 725 L).

Trax already had best-in-class figures, but the grow-up for 2024 means they’re around 50 percent larger than anything else that’s the same price point. Rear legroom is up, too, and despite a roof that is 3.5 inches lower, Chevy says that headroom is unchanged at the front and a hair less in the rear.

Value: Dollars and Sense

The Corvette-inspired cabin of the 2024 Chevrolet Trax

Despite it being so much bigger, Chevrolet has made the Trax cheaper than it was before. In an era of significant year-to-year price hikes for models that aren’t even new, it has taken some clever choices from Chevrolet to pull it off.

One of those choices is underneath the driver. Or, rather, it’s what Chevrolet decided not to put under the driver: all-wheel drive.

Having just one single engine and one transmission lowers costs. Not designing, testing, and certifying two different drivelines helps even more. So the 2024 Trax, like the Venue, Kicks, and the recently departed CH-R, is exclusively a front-drive vehicle. Want AWD? No problem, spend a few dollars more and get a Trailblazer. Or buy some winter tires and save a few thousand.

Powertrain and Efficiency

A refreshing sight in a small SUV, the 2024 Chevrolet Trax features a conventional six-speed automatic rather than a CVT.

That one engine is a 1.2L three-cylinder. Even though it’s fitted with a turbocharger, its 137 hp is less than the 155 hp of last year’s four. But, it is around 20 horses more than Venue or Kicks (a big difference when you have so few), and the Trax has one more advantage over that pair in its gearbox. Because it has gears.

SEE ALSO: The Best Small SUV Shootout

Six forward speeds (no, there aren’t six physical gears in an autobox) instead of the CVTs the competition uses. And while modern CVTs continue to improve, there’s still just something about a conventional torque converter automatic that makes it better in nearly every situation.

This one isn’t lightning fast, but this isn’t a segment where that’s desirable. It is responsive, and with just six gears to pick from at no point did the box need to go hunting in the steep and frequent hills along our test route.

Strong, But No Powerhouse

The only engine available is a turbocharged 1.2L three-cylinder that makes 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque.

The engine is no powerhouse, but 162 lb-ft of torque makes it feel strong. Crucially, it makes 90 percent of peak torque from 1,700 rpm well past 4,000. Call the acceleration confident, not brisk, but nearly a second quicker to highway speed than the outgoing Trax.

SEE ALSO: 2024 Chevrolet Trax Gets More Car-Like, Better Overall

A tiny engine with just three pistons in a vehicle that is the cheapest the automaker sells in the country is a recipe for a buzzy, noisy experience. But GM’s powertrain engineers have managed to calm this adorable beast (just look at that tiny turbo!). This is a new iteration of the company’s 1.2 that has a stiffer crank, a new harmonic balancer, and other changes to reduce noise and vibration. On top of that the Trax comes standard with active noise cancellation.

Handling and Drivability: Class-Leading Comfort, Refinement

Behind the rear hatch is 25.6 cubic feet of cargo space or 54.1 cubic feet with the second row seats folded down.

Combine the two and this is an engine that pulls off a pretty clever trick. It’s refined, quiet, and pleasant. Not just by class standards, but by nearly any subjective measure. The loudest part of the drive was the back and forth between me and my co-driver on the day, with just some occasional wind whistling coming into the cabin.

The whistling was faint and very occasional, so I’m inclined to chalk it down to our extremely early production model. Especially since none of the other journalists on the drive mentioned a similar issue and my day two ride (an RS instead of the Activ) didn’t do the same.

The 2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ was impressively stable on the highway. Being buffeted by high winds and tractor-trailers is normally a weak spot for small crossovers, but Chevy has tamed this one quite well. The ride in the Activ is on the softer side and the vehicle is comfortable. The Trax is definitely tuned for pavement and not dirt, though and once we left the roadway the ride got jarring in a hurry. Fine for the occasional cottage driveway, but the lack of AWD shows you this is not an off-roader by any means.

Ride Quality and Comfort

Headroom for taller drivers might be a concern on Chevy Trax models equipped with the runroof. Rear seat space, however, is significant.

Now back to that cabin. Chevrolet said headroom is the same, but in our sunroof-equipped testers I found the ceiling to be quite a bit lower. My head wasn’t rubbing the liner, but a solid bump meant I hit the roof. Hard. Unusually, the power seat seemed to go a bit lower than the manual-adjust model, leaving a bit more room for tall drivers.

SEE ALSO: 2024 Buick Envista Looks to Entice Sedan Owners

The cockpit-style cabin means that the area around the driver’s knees is a bit tight, but it’s still a comfortable place to sit. Both head and legroom in the rear are massive, with enough space for full-size adults to sit in comfort even on long drives.

Interior Style and Quality: Corvette in the Cockpit

Despite the low starting price of the 2024 Chevrolet Trax, the interior doesn't look cheap. A pleasant surprise!

Chevrolet has made the Trax’s cockpit almost as driver-focused as the latest Corvette. The 11.0-inch screen is turned enough toward the driver that front-seat passengers will probably have trouble reaching it. Though as a vehicle aimed at first-time new-car buyers, that’s likely not much of an issue.

All of the trim you can see looks well executed. None of it looks cheap, even though it must be in a vehicle with this MSRP. Not everything is soft touch (the door panels, for example, are rock-hard plastic), but at this price point it doesn’t have to be. Compare the cabin with its price-point competition and Trax feels solidly a segment or two above them.

The cabin is full of fun touches, too. The 2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ has contrast piping on the seats and interior accent colours on the dash and vents. The Activ features a traditional round steering wheel as only the RS trim models get a flat-bottomed one.

Tech and Safety

The Trax looks handsome in this unique shade of Cayenne Orange Metallic paint.

Active noise cancellation is both standard and effective at reducing in-vehicle noise. Tinted rear glass is also standard, a rarity in this segment, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included. The Activ has USB-C ports that deliver enough power to charge my laptop while I was using it, which is impressive for in-car USB power.

SEE ALSO: Chevy Trax Activ Concept Beefed up for Off-Roading

Standard driver assists include the usual suspects. Automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist, forward collision alert, and automatic high beams.

Rear seat space in the 2024 Chevrolet Trax is plentiful with excellent headroom and legroom - something that's by no means a given in this class of small SUVs.

If the standard kit isn’t enough, adding rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot warnings is only $295 ($250 in the US) on LS and 1RS. Those features are standard on Canadian LT trim and up and come bundled with adaptive cruise control. On US-spec models, the trio will add $650 to the sticker price on all grades.

That helps demonstrate the Trax’s impressive level of standard features. Canadian LS models get heated seats and 1RS gets a heated steering wheel and remote start. It’s not the cheapest way into a heated wheel, but it’s certainly in the top 10. LED headlights are also standard, though oddly you need to move up to LT to get roof rails. The LS and 1RS trims get rotary HVAC knobs and analogue gauges, too. Frankly, I like them better than their all-digital counterparts.

Fuel Economy

I was disappointed by the Trax’s fuel economy. It has a tiny engine and we weren’t dipping into the boost all that often and it still returned just 31.4 mpg (7.5 L/100 km). That’s bang on with the official ratings of 28 mpg (8.3 L/100 km) city and 32 mpg (7.4 L/100 km) highway. But the older, heavier, AWD Trax was able to do 30.6 mpg (7.7 L/100 km) on the highway. Kicks can do 31/36 mpg (7.7/6.6 L/100 km) and Venue 29/33 mpg (7.9/6.9 L/100 km), making Trax’s figures even more unimpressive in contrast.

There are a few cost-cutting measures if you dive into Trax’s more complex settings. For example, the 8.0-inch digital dash is missing most of the details that other GM models provide like oil temperature, brake pad life, and a timer. The only useful in-dash gauge is a fuel economy display that seems more like an afterthought. But these aren’t features that most drivers are likely to use anyway.

2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ: The Verdict

It's rare to find a spacious small SUV that's as handsome as it is affordable.

The outgoing Chevrolet Trax was dated but large. The new model is completely up to date and even bigger. It rides, drives, and feels like a vehicle that costs much more than it does. It might be the first subcompact crossover that feels better than the subcompact cars it is replacing and it is certainly GM’s best small vehicle in years. Maybe the brand’s best ever.

The new Trax has a starting price of just $21,495 including destination ($23,699 CAD inc dest). My fully loaded 2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ came in at $26,540 (inc dest), or $31,589 Canadian (inc dest). That represents an amazing value by today’s market standards. Not just for buyers looking at their first new vehicle, but for buyers who would traditionally have gone for a two or three-year-old used vehicle. Because those nicely-priced used cars don’t exist anymore, but the Trax does. And it will be sitting at your local Chevrolet dealer starting in just a few months.


Will the 2024 Trax have AWD?

No, for the 2024 model year, the all-new Trax comes with only front-wheel drive.

What is the gas mileage on the 2024 Trax?

The 2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ has official ratings of 28 mpg (8.3 L/100 km) city and 32 mpg (7.4 L/100 km) highway

When can I buy a 2024 Chevrolet Trax?

Expect to see the first units arriving on dealership’s lots within the next few months.

Where is the 2024 Chevrolet Trax Built?

While you might expect the Trax to be built in America, Canada or even Mexico, in fact its manufactured in none of those locations. Instead, Chevy makes the small crossover at a dedicated plant in South Korea.

What colors is the 2024 Chevy Trax offered in?

For 2024 the Trax is offered in 10 different colors including: Blue Glow Metallic, Cacti Green, Cayenne Orange Metallic, Crimson Metallic, Fountain Blue, Harvest Bronze Metallic, Mosaic Black Metallic, Nitro Yellow Metallic, Sterling Gray Metallic and Summit White.

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  • Great Pricing
  • Stylish, both inside and out
  • Spacious for both rows of seats


  • Fuel economy
  • Less Headroom
  • Interior Too Driver Focused?

Evan Williams
Evan Williams

Evan moved from engineering to automotive journalism 10 years ago (it turns out cars are more interesting than fibreglass pipes), but has been following the auto industry for his entire life. Evan is an award-winning automotive writer and photographer and is the current President of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. You'll find him behind his keyboard, behind the wheel, or complaining that tiny sports cars are too small for his XXXL frame.

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Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • Annie Annie on May 23, 2023

    Where are the Trax?

  • Debbie Debbie on May 24, 2023

    Im not looking to buy until late Summer early Fall. My interest now is taking a test drive of the Chevy Trax that has the red piping on its interior leather seats. Looking for pearl used white. Thank you