Daily Driven: 2018 Chevrolet Trax Redline Edition
Small In Size, Low In Price, Big On Fun!
It's a crazy time we're living in, and sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. That's the case with this report on our time spent with the 2018 Chevrolet Trax LT Redline Edition. Thankfully, we've found our error and can now bring our experience to life. Also, Chevrolet hasn't changed much in the time since, as the 2020 Chevrolet Trax is identical and still available as a Redline Edition.
Trax is the most compact SUV that Chevrolet sells; however, it is not the least expensive. Currently, the Trax starts at $21,300 while the slightly larger Trailblazer has a lower entry cost of just $19,000. The 2018 Trax LT Redline that we tested came to us fitted with all-wheel drive and a starting price of $24,400. After options, including the LT Sunroof and Audio package, LT Convenience package, and the Redline package, our tester came to $28,345.
What is included in the Redline Edition you ask? Selecting this gets you a Trax badge with red outline, a black grille with black surround, black 18-inch aluminum wheels with a red accent, and all-season tires. This all comes at a cost of just $1,350, which is a pretty decent bargain for what you get. As a mid-grade LT package, the Trax interior is pretty sparse. Still, you get power windows and door locks, a rear window defroster, remote start, and a 7-inch color touchscreen. Seats are cloth and manually adjusted. The LT Convenience package adds a power adjustable driver seat, push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and deluxe cloth and leatherette seats.
For our journey, we crammed two adults and a rear-facing child seat into the tiny Trax and ventured from Denver, Colorado, to Colorado Springs and back. Oh, and we had luggage for a weekend stay. Impressively, the Trax swallowed our gear and even left a little room to spare. It took some creative packing, but everything fit. Interior comfort was OK, and as you would expect from a compact CUV. Fitting four full-size adults would be a stretch, but it's totally doable for a short time.
Living under the hood is a relatively tiny 1.4L Ecotec I-4 engine. And while the engine is turbocharged, it only produces 138 horsepower. Still, we found this to be plenty thanks to the Trax's diminutive stature. Coupled with all-wheel drive and a quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, the engine actually provided a bit of giggly fun on twisty mountain roads. No, it's not a Pikes Peak racer, but with keeping everything in perspective, it was a lot of fun to drive.
Highway ride was comfortable, and the cabin was relatively quiet for its class. Naturally, the Trax is incredibly maneuverable, so parking was never an issue even in the smallest of mountain towns. Fuel economy was commendable as well, coming in at better than the EPA combined estimate. Forgoing the all-wheel drive option bumps fuel economy estimates up by one, which in the real world is negligible.
Overall, we enjoyed our short time with the 2018 Chevrolet Trax LT Redline Edition. It's small in stature but big on fun. The Trax did everything we asked of it and more. We think the Trax would be perfect for the young family that needs a quality SUV at a bargain price, or for an older couple whose kids of grown and gone. Fuel economy was respectable, and the price was right. Sure, we'd love to see a bit more power, but we're enthusiasts; it's what we do.
2018 Chevrolet Trax LT Redline Edition
Base price: $24,400
Price as tested: $28,345
Engine: Turbocharged 1.4L Turbocharged I-4
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Horsepower: 138 @ 4,900 RPM
Torque: 148 lb-ft @ 1,850 RPM
Towing capacity: N/A
EPA fuel economy rating: 24 city / 30 hwy / 27 comb
Actual calculated economy, 358.1-mile trip: 28.57 mpg