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Chevrolet Trax a safe choice for a solid, affordable compact SUV

Chevrolet Trax a safe choice for a solid, affordable compact SUV Chevy Trax side impact
Tristan Honeywill

The Chevrolet Trax shows it is possible to create a great value compact SUV or crossover, without compromising on safety. Based on the same platform as its sister model, the Vauxhall/Opel Mokka, the Trax offers equally high levels of safety for buyers with smaller budgets. The only drawback may be the options list, which lacks the accident prevention technologies that are becoming so popular with buyers.

 

  • If you’re looking to get the maximum safety benefit from your new SUV or 4×4, check out our safety reviews of other five-star SUVs

When you compare the Trax with the more expensive Mokka, it’s clear that General Motors recognised that five-star safety is the minimum requirement for most car buyers. Both have received five-star ratings from Euro NCAP. The Mokka narrowly missed out on being our Small SUV of the Year for 2013 to the Ford Kuga [Ford Kuga named the safest small SUV of the year]. The Trax will be a contender for our 2014 awards.

In Euro NCAP’s assessment, the Trax achieved an adult occupant score of 94%, very respectable. The only place it lost points was in the very aggressive pole-strike test, where chest protection was rated as adequate, rather than good. Most people will settle for that.

Child protection received excellent scores in the Euro NCAP assessment. The most popular child seats can be fitted easily into the car (list of the seats checked here), although you only get ISOFIX points on two rear seats. You can disable the front airbag to put a child seat there if you wish and there are sufficient reminders for this, but there’s no ISOFIX point here.

The pedestrian protection is good, not brilliant. The development of the pedestrian concept took three years – Chevrolet didn’t want the expense of an active system and so spent the time working on “passive” solutions that would achieve similar results.

Chevrolet Trax drivingPeel away the hood’s top level and underneath are a series of springy plastic and steel elements that dampen the blow, should the car hit a pedestrian. Similarly along the car’s front edge there are soft plastic elements in front of the main crash structure that will cushion a pedestrian’s legs. However, protection of an adult’s head and pelvis are not so good.

In terms of active safety, there is a speed limitation device that the driver can set, but while Mokka buyers can fit more advanced accident prevention technologies as options, Chevrolet does not offer these on the Trax. For buyers who are happy without them, the Trax offers everything else they will need.

Buyer’s guide
  • Prices start at £15,495 and go up to £20,495
  • There are no options available to enhance the safety of the Trax further. If you want a collision avoidance system, try the Vauxhall/Opel Mokka
  • Also consider: the Opel Mokka, Ford Kuga, Toyota RAV 4 or the larger Hyundai Santa Fe

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