The 2021 Chevrolet Trax is a subcompact crossover sport utility vehicle from Chevy. It slots beneath the Equinox and by size is Chevrolet’s smallest SUV. In the brand’s lineup, the Trax technically plays big brother to the new Trailblazer.
Starting at $21,400, the Trax has a value-oriented price that is in line with rivals like the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR and the freshly arrived Kia Seltos. The Trax has some appeal with its city-friendly size, efficient turbocharged engine and cargo-carrying flexibility. But the Trax is showing its age and this model year is down to a choice of just two trims.
The 2021 Chevrolet Trax has a few basic safety features but lacks the more sophisticated systems found on rivals. Its biggest competition looks to be its own sibling — the 2021 Trailblazer. That all-new model is slightly larger, roomier, less expensive and boasts safety features and amenities not available in the Trax.
The former top-line Premier trim is dropped, leaving just LS and LT models. The Midnight Edition with black accents is available for LT. See the 2021 Chevrolet Trax models for sale near you
What We Like
- Standard 7-inch touchscreen
- Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Available all-wheel drive
- Onboard 4G LTE and Wi-Fi
What We Don’t
- Fewer active safety features than most competitors
- Less spacious than rivals
- Starting price on the higher end
- Design and features lag fresher vehicles
The 2021 Chevrolet Trax uses a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. With 138 horsepower the Trax isn’t all that powerful, but it is quite efficient. The Chevy Trax earns up to 31 mpg on the highway with its standard front-wheel drive (FWD). All-wheel-drive (AWD) models are slightly less efficient but still earn a respectable 29 mpg. The FWD Trax is rated at 26 mpg in the city and 28 mpg combined. The AWD Trax gets 24 mpg in the city and 26 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
For 2021, the Trax is available in just two trims: LS or LT.
The Trax LS starts at $21,400, plus a destination fee of $995, and includes remote keyless entry, 4-way manual-adjust driver’s seat, single-zone air conditioning, and a compass. The Chevy Trax’s infotainment system bundles a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and a 6-speaker AM/FM audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming, and two USB inputs. As with other new Chevrolets, the Trax includes the subscription-based OnStar with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi.
The higher-trim Trax LT ($23,200) adds cruise control (optional on the LS), remote vehicle start, cloth/leatherette upholstery, LED daytime running lights, luggage rack, cargo cover and tinted rear windows.
All-wheel drive (AWD) is optional on either trim for $1,500. A six-way power driver’s seat is optional on both trims. The LT model can be had with keyless entry and start, plus heated front seats.
The Trax formerly offered active safety systems like forward-collision warning in top-line models, but not for 2021. Note that this feature, along with automatic emergency braking, is either standard optional on almost every other subcompact SUV, including the newer, less-expensive 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Similarly, you cannot get lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist or active cruise control in the 2021 Trax, but they are easily found in rivals.
What is available and well worth the $495 is the Driver Confidence Package for the LT model that bundles blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors.
Behind the Wheel
The Chevrolet Trax performs adequately as a city-centric errand-runner with the occasional highway commute thrown in. It’s not as fun to drive as a Mazda CX-30 or turbocharged Kia Seltos or Hyundai Kona, but the Trax is acceptable for basic duties. Its small turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has reasonable muscle. At higher speeds you’ll notice the Trax is louder than its more premium twin, the Buick Encore. The Trax uses a 6-speed automatic transmission that will appeal to drivers who don’t want a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). One thing the Trax does very well is slide into tighter spaces. Its diminutive size enables the Trax to easily fit in spaces and garages where larger SUVs would have trouble.
Other Cars to Consider
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer — The name may be familiar, but this Trailblazer is all-new. It is lower priced than the Trax but roomier, better equipped, and has more advanced safety features — many of them standard. One key difference is that it uses a 3-cylinder engine vs. the Trax’s 4-cylinder.
2021 Kia Seltos — Another all-new subcompact SUV, the Seltos boasts an adventurous attitude, roomy cabin and impressive driving manners. Most models come with all-wheel drive as standard and feature a strong suite of advanced safety systems.
2020 Honda HR-V — Though not the freshest of the bunch, the Honda HR-V continues to appeal with its easy everyday manners, efficiency, and extremely versatile cargo-carrying ability. Used HR-Vs are also readily available.
2020 Mazda CX-30 — All-new and slightly larger than the Mazda CX-3, the CX-30 is among the best-looking and most fun-to-drive subcompact crossovers available. It also comes with a full suite of safety systems.
Used Buick Encore — The Buick Encore is mechanically very similar to the Chevy Trax but has a bit more of a luxury vibe inside and has more comfort and convenience features. Used models with average mileage can be found for $10,000 to $15,000.
Questions You May Ask
Is the 2021 Chevrolet Trax a good car?
The Trax is an acceptable basic crossover, but its rivals are better. Fresher competitors like the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona offer more.
Is the Trailblazer replacing the 2021 Trax?
For this year at least, the all-new 2021 Trailblazer and Trax will be on sale together. The Trailblazer ostensibly slots below the Trax but is larger, less expensive and better equipped.
Does the 2021 Chevy Trax have cruise control?
Not as a standard feature. It is optional on base LS models and included in the LT trim.
Where is the 2021 Chevrolet Trax made?
The Chevrolet Trax is made in Mexico.
The Chevrolet Trax is a popular choice for buyers seeking a small crossover, but it is overshadowed by fresher competitors. We like that the Trax comes with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and versatile cargo-carrying ability. But this subcompact crossover is missing active safety systems and driver aids that are standard or easily available on rivals like the Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30 and Toyota C-HR. Moreover, the all-new Chevrolet Trailblazer is less-expensive, roomier and includes the safety features not available on the Trax. We think buyers will find more to like in that newer model. Find a Chevrolet Trax for sale