For anyone who has been in the market for a new car or used car lately, you may have noticed prices have skyrocketed. It used to be that “you get what you pay for,” but in today’s over-priced post-pandemic pandemonium, something may be said for value and frugality. Anyone who has ever opted for the generic version of a medication can vouch that something 95% as effective for 30% of the cost is well worth it. This, too, applies to the auto industry. While Chevrolet is far from a ‘generic’ brand, the 2024 Chevy Trax is currently the cheapest SUV on the market today.
Though it is on the small side, the 2024 Chevy Trax is in the same class as the Honda HR-V, Kia Soul, and Nissan Kicks, the newest Chevy Trax undercuts them all when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. Of course, cutting costs does mean sacrificing a bit, power being one of those things. Under the hood is a relatively diminutive 1.2-liter DOHC turbocharged inline-three cylinder (yes, three cylinders), making 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. That power is then routed through a traditional six-speed automatic, which is surprising considering most of its competitors use a continuously variable type transmission. Still, if we’d have to guess, the six-speed was more cost-effective. From the trans, those ponies head to solely the front wheels for propulsion, where owners can choose from 17, 18, or 19-inch wheels.
Opting for either of the lowest two trims out of the five available, LS, 1RS, LT, 2RS, and ACTIV means you get a set of analog gauges as well as a smaller 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that looks and feels like it might be as old as some of the Trax’s owners. But, upgrade to either of the top three trims, and the driver gets treated to an 8.0-inch digital gauge setup, as well as a larger and more up-to-date 11.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. Sadly, even with the upgraded digital display, the Chevy Trax can only display one other bit of info, such as coolant temperature, oil temp, or trip data, alongside the primary speedometer, tachometer, and gas gauges.
Inside, you might expect duct tape, cardboard, and Styrofoam for the Trax’s price. But, it is surprisingly roomy, and although it offers up plenty of plastic bits, it is not nearly as intrusive or uncomfortable as expected. Heated seats and steering wheel are optional on the higher trims, as is keyless entry. In terms of safety, thankfully, the Trax did not cut corners here. Lane Keep Assist, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Rear Park Assist are all available.
While small, the 2024 Chevy Trax offers a full 7.3 inches of ground clearance and a respectable 25.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which jumps to 54.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Though it is marketed as a five-passenger vehicle, it can comfortably seat four real-sized adults. The ride doesn’t convey a sense of smallness like some competitors, though the Trax won’t be winning many drag races. 0-60 mph takes about 8.0 seconds, but it does deliver a relatively impressive 28/32/30 city/highway/combined mpg.
So, what does the 2024 Chevrolet Trax cost? Its base price is just a mere $21,495. What’s almost as exciting is that even in its top trim, the base price only jumps up to $24,995. And though some may still cling to the ideology of yesteryear that cost, and quality are synonymous, much like a store brand version of breakfast cereal. Hopefully, the newest Chevy Trax will usher in a new wave of financial sanity and allow us all to see that a sub-$25,000 car that offers 90% of a car that costs three times as much is a great value, no matter how you look at it.