What Is It?

The 2015 Chevrolet Trax is a brand-new compact SUV making its debut at this year's New York Auto Show. Actually, "compact" isn't the right word, as the Trax is based on the brand's Sonic subcompact car. That means it's essentially a subcompact SUV, slotting below compact models such as the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape in terms of size.

On the outside, the Trax offers a familiar shape. That's probably because it's heavily based on the Buick Encore -- a luxury version of the Trax -- which went on sale for the 2013 model year. Of course, the Trax replaces Buick styling cues with Chevrolet design features, such as the brand's crossbar grille, but the overall profile remains similar.

Under the hood, the Trax offers the same engine as both the Encore and the Sonic. That's a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Front- or all-wheel drive is available, while a 6-speed automatic is the only transmission. Set to be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels, the Trax will boast a long list of high-tech features, including Siri Eyes Free, a 4G LTE Internet connection and Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system.

How Much?

Although Chevrolet hasn't announced pricing, the Trax is currently on sale in Canada, where it starts at around $19,500 with shipping. We'd expect a slightly higher price when it comes to the U.S.

When Can You Get It?

Early 2015

Add It to Your Shopping List Because...

If you're disappointed that all cars and SUVs seem to be getting bigger, the 2015 Chevrolet Trax is the antidote. A true compact SUV, the Trax gives many SUV drivers exactly what they need without any extra space they don't want. We also expect excellent fuel economy (the Encore returns up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway), meaning the Trax can be a perfect thrifty city car that happens to boast snow and rough-road capabilities.

Other Cars to Consider

Buick Encore -- If you like the Trax but you're looking for something a little more upscale, consider the Encore. Starting at around $25,000, the Encore adds a more luxurious look, both inside and out.

Mazda CX-5 -- If it's fuel efficiency you're looking for, consider a Mazda CX-5. Yes, it's larger than the Trax, but the CX-5 can return up to 35 mpg on the highway -- meaning you don't trade away any gas mileage to get a roomier cabin and more cargo area.

MINI Countryman -- Another of today's smallest crossovers is the MINI Countryman, which combines excellent driving dynamics with tiny size. We also love the Countryman's uniquely MINI styling.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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