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2016 chevrolet Trax

Chevrolet's all-new subcompact crossover, the Trax, slots beneath the larger Equinox as the bowtie brand's entry-level utility vehicle. Its virtues include a relatively spacious cabin, strong fuel economy and a long list of standard features.

Designed with functionality in mind, the Trax' highlight is an attractive interior that boasts numerous convenience and technology features in addition to more room than the crossover's diminutive exterior would suggest. The dashboard features a modern look with sweeping trim panels and the stylish, motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster seen in other small Chevrolet models.

Cargo space measures 18.7 cubic feet with the rear seats in place, and a useful 48.4 cubes can be had by folding the rear seats flat. The front passenger seat can also be folded, making it possible to carry items up to eight feet long, and clever storage solutions abound, including dual gloveboxes and a hidden drawer under the front passenger seat.

Uplevel Trax models receive Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, which integrates entertainment and Bluetooth-based connectivity functions into a seven-inch touchscreen mounted on the dashboard. The setup enables hands-free phone calls, streaming audio via Pandora radio and Stitcher SmartRadio, and even navigation through a downloadable BringGo app.

MyLink also incorporates Apple's Siri Eyes Free system, which uses the Trax' steering wheel-mounted controls to access the Siri function of any iPhone equipped with iOS 6. Once linked, drivers can use voice commands to make phone calls, play songs from iTunes, listen and compose text messages and add appointments to their calendars. In order to minimize distractions, the iPhone's screen remains blank while in Eyes Free mode.

Additionally, those who prioritize connectivity can spec OnStar 4G LTE with WiFi hotspot capability.

Powertrains and Fuel Economy
All Trax models come standard with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Shifting duties are handled by a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel-drive is the default configuration, while those wanting extra traction in inclement weather can opt for an all-wheel-drive system.

Fuel efficiency is projected at 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway for FWD models; figures are not yet available for the AWD variant.

Trim Level Breakdown
Chevrolet offers the Trax with LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ trim levels.

The LS is fitted as standard with power windows and locks, air conditioning, a rearview camera, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system, AUX and USB inputs, Bluetooth connectivity and 16-inch steel wheels.

To those features, the 1LT adds cruise control, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, two extra speakers for the sound system, a 110-volt AC three-prong power outlet and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The 2LT brings MyLink infotainment with a seven-inch touchscreen, rear park assist, a seven-speaker Bose stereo, combination cloth/leatherette upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, Bluetooth wireless audio streaming and SiriusXM satellite radio.

The LTZ includes full leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and 18-inch aluminum wheels.

Occupant Safety
All Trax models protect passengers with dual front, front side, front knee, rear side and full-length side curtain airbags, in addition to electronic brake force distribution and traction and stability control systems.

Key Competitors
The Trax faces several compelling small crossover foes, including the stylish, value-laden Kia Soul, the sporty but controversially-styled Nissan Juke, and the handsome, efficient Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.