- Model: 2013+ Chevrolet Trax
- Vehicle type: Compact Utility
The Chevrolet Trax arrived for model year 2013 to bring Chevrolet’s presence into the rapidly-exploding compact crossover segment.
Key competitors include machines like the Jeep Renegade, Nissan Juke, and Mitsubishi RVR.
Trax feature content included available navigation, OnStar, Chevrolet MyLink, a backup camera, heated leather, Bluetooth, on-board Wi-Fi, and more.
Look for split-folding rear seats, a flat-fold front passenger seat, and 8 possible seating configurations. Trim grades included LS, LT and LTZ, from base to loaded.
Engines: GM’s 1.4-litre, turbo, four-cylinder engine powered all models with 138 horsepower. With all-wheel drive the only transmission option was a six-speed automatic, though front-drive units can be had with a six-speed manual.
What owners like:
Manoeuvrability, efficiency, versatility and must-have feature content seem to have won many a Trax shopper over. Many report that Trax is easy to drive, easy on the wallet, easy to park and well equipped for the money.
What owners dislike:
Some owners wish for a more comfortable ride, and more comfortable seats. Some drivers may also find outward visibility to be limited, thanks to large blind spots.
The test drive:
Ignoring prescribed maintenance can limit or void remaining warranty coverage, if applicable, so make sure the Trax you’re considering has been consistently cared for, on time, to avoid surprises. If the seller has skipped any fluid changes or scheduled servicing, any remaining warranty may be compromised.
Assume the unit you’re test-driving needs it’s tires and brakes replaced, a full tune-up, and a full fluid change, until all components are inspected and confirmed as being in good condition.
Assuming that the seller is trying to pass off an upcoming repair or replacement bill is a great way to save money.
Some owners have reported issues with bad turbochargers. Problems reported seem minor against total sales volume, though shoppers are advised to be on the lookout for a loss of power, sluggish performance, or inconsistent power, possibly in conjunction with a check-engine light.
For long-term turbocharger health, change oil early and often using only factory-specified oil and filters. Proper cooling system maintenance is also important for long turbocharger life.
Have a technician check the PCV system for integrity, noting that problems with the engines PCV valve require the entire valve cover to be replaced, as the (inexpensive) PCV valve is integrated into the (much pricier) valve cover. Failure to address a bad PCV valve can lead to leaks and poor performance, or even failure of other oil seals in the engine, which can lead to severe oil burning evidenced by white or grey smoke from the tailpipes.
Shoppers are advised to confirm acceptable performance of the air conditioner in their used Trax candidate, ideally in the hottest possible conditions. Some owners have reported problems that result in the air conditioning randomly turning off or performing poorly.
If you detect any issues, ask a dealer to check out Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) #16-NA-034, which may solve the problem by emptying and recharging the freon from the system.
Operate all controls and buttons throughout the Trax, manipulating every function that runs on electricity and confirming proper functionality.
Finally, Trax’s more serious problems aren’t reported with enough frequency to cause huge concern, shoppers should obtain a computer diagnostic scan at a dealer before they agree to buy. On the cheap, a technician can read any stored or pending “trouble codes” recorded by the Trax’s computer, which may uncover potential issues that you or the seller may not be aware of.
If you’re set on a used Trax for its feature content, manoeuvrability and just-right sizing, be sure to have a professional assessment performed by a dealer technician before your purchase for maximum peace of mind.