By on March 20, 2014

800px-Chevrolet_Trax_LS+_1.4_4WD_–_Frontansicht,_11._August_2013,_Wuppertal

Sources tell us that General Motors is set to debut at least one new model at the 2014 New York Auto Show, and that model will apparently be a small crossover for the Chevrolet brand.

Based on what we know, it’s likely that the vehicle in question is the Chevrolet Trax, which is related to the Buick Encore and Opel Mokka. The Trax is already sold in Canada, and ostensibly homologated to meet Canadian standards (which are very close to America’s FMVSS standard), which should reduce the normally prohibitive harmonization costs that tend to prevent world market vehicles from being sold in North America.

If the Trax is indeed the debut, it would be a shrewd one by GM. The small crossover segment is booming worldwide, and even Americans, with their legendary aversion to small hatchbacks, seem to be embracing them as long as they ride a little higher and look a little taller. The Buick Encore is selling better than expected (and completely counter to my own predictions), and while 30,000 units isn’t going to set the world on fire, it’s a good indication that a Chevrolet counterpart will succeed in the market. With Nissan’s Juke and the BMW X1 already occupying the segment, and competitors from Honda and Jeep on the way, as well as entrants from Mercedes and Audi, the small crossover segment will be the one to watch in the coming years. And don’t be surprised if sales of small sedans shrink proportionately.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe there is a new Zeta-based Caprice? Some kind of new Buick based on the Opel Adam or Cascada? Perhaps a new body-on-frame SUV? Or even the Orlando? We’ll know starting April 14th, when the NY Auto Show kicks off.

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67 Comments on “QOTD: Is The Chevrolet Trax Debuting In New York?...”


  • avatar
    whynot

    Sidenote: It is hilarious following the links going back to the Encore’s debut at the NAIAS and reading some of the comments with the knowledge now that the Encore is actually a success for Buick. That said I was surprised by the number of people predicting success.

    • 0 avatar
      Turbo-4

      Not a SUV/CUV person myself so the Encore was never really on the radar. The Encore is very liveable in daily driving where I do like some sport on highway ramps with good brakes. Mine has AWD that has seen almost 40 mpg at 60 mph on most highway 118 mile commute. The girlfriend even commented on how well she like the luxury and size over her 2012 Forester. Plus I’ve driven her Suby in the snow and it spends more time rotating than going forward like the AWD setup ion the Encore. And that is with a stiff suspension and 18″ wheels.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “The Trax is already sold in Canada, and ostensibly homologated to meet Canadian standards (which are very close to America’s FMVSS standard), which should reduce the normally prohibitive harmonization costs that tend to prevent world market vehicles from being sold in North America”

    I was surprised that this was a Debut article as I see a lot of these around. I’d figured they were already in the US.

    They seem nice enough; isn’t the Buick version already in the US? I’d be surprised if the Trax differed enough that it could be offered under CMVSS but not FMVSS.

    “Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe there is a new Zeta-based Caprice? Some kind of new Buick based on the Opel Adam or Cascada? Perhaps a new body-on-frame SUV? Or even the Orlando?”

    I doubt you’ll see the Orlando; the Ronda and Mazda5 pretty much showed that Americans don’t buy MPVs. I also doubt you’ll see a Zeta Caprice without light bars on it.

    Maybe a couple of Buicks, but Buick’s lineup is getting dangerously crowded.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Orlando is also a ridiculous name which wouldn’t fly here. Lol.

      And agree to the Buick lineup RE: crowded. The Regal and Verano are pretty close, and the Regal and LaCrosse are pretty close. Though I suspect the Regal will go away shortly, and the Verano will be upsized for the next gen.

      However as I say that, I’m realizing how strongly GM feels about pushing Opel down everyone’s throats, so maaaybe they will just get more Opel models.

      Saw a new LaCrosse redesign the other day driving around, bleh.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        Buick just needs a midsize CUV (bigger than Encore, smaller than Enclave-think Equinox sized) and its lineup up is perfect minus niches such as coupes/convertibles. But I imagine a midsize Buick CUV would get squeezed by the Terrain and SRX.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          The Buick Equinox version has been spied testing already in heavy camo.

          Buick Echelon!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Why GM? They already sell the Terrain at the same store. Maybe China will want it.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            The current Equinox/Terrain are very space inefficient, and are either a) too heavy for the I4 and return poor economy and performance or b) require the V6 to be any good and are hampered by a poorly programmed/dim witted 6 speed box. They are also rather pricey. In other words, not competitive.

            The Encore, Enclave, and Regal seem to be responsible for Buick’s current success, with the Verano being a competent but less loved alternative model. Introducing a Buick based on the disappointing (in my opinion) current midsize GM SUV’s would be counter productive.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Rendevous?

            Or maybe not…

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 6 speed is going away soon. It would do both Ford and GM some good to get their 9-speed out ASAP. I would think the new Edge should get it, but Ford loves to hold engines and transmissions over on new models.

            People buy the Enclave? How does it sell three times that of the Flex? The Acadia has the most premium looks of all the Lambdas. I wouldn’t buy an Enclave over it.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I don’t know if it matters how many cogs are in the box.

            Current Ford and GM slush boxes are programmed for the EPA, and the real world driving experience is consequently crap. Always upshifting ASAP, reluctant to downshift and hold a gear.

            Hopefully their modern boxes are programmed for better driveability. Perhaps more gears will allow it to shift less to both do well on EPA and on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I know, people who buy that Verano – what are they even thinking of!?

            tehe

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Dave was obviously sucked in by the power of the Trifecta Tune, yo.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh man game changer.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Corey, don’t you owe Derek time with a Lambo or hookers now? I forget what the trademark payment was. I think it was a Lambo, but where there is a Lambo, there are hookers.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I do believe the contract stipulated payment by Jack to Derek upon use of said term in the comments.

            We can ask Sanjeev for a legal interpretation.

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            6.2L HEMI!!

            Ok, now I think we’ve successfully captured every TTAC meme in one subthread. Well except for the RWDBMDSW, but that one’s almost played out.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Would an AWD Brown Diesel Manual Encore fit the bill?

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            That’s the AWDBMDSW. It’s a first cousin.

        • 0 avatar
          bryanska

          Equinox oscillated between #3 and #4 in the segment for all of 2013, and #7 went to Terrain.

          Hardly “not competitive”.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            bryanska,

            This is actually quite a large can of worms that would make a great discussion or even article, to start the discussion.

            I think an argument could be made that decent sales doesn’t a decent car make. The opposite is also true. When one compares paper numbers as well as every article I have ever read, no on has ever recommended the GM twins. (No need to go dig up a glowing review, I am sure there are some, but my overall impression, if someone said, “Hey, based on recollection alone, whats the prevailing knowledge on the GM midsize CUV twins?”, is a huge meh.) Where as its competitors in general have a better perception amongst the review/enthusiast community.

            All that being said, the other side of the coin is that we know car buying isn’t rational. There is old brand loyalty. There is the available 3.6 V6. There is the “truck” looks of the Terrain, which I guarantee sells a good chunk of them due to people “wanting a truck”. A traditional GM buyer will likely check out the twins first, not realizing that the CRV is exquisitely laid out to maximize utility, or that the new Forester XT is getting rave reviews, or that the new Cherokee offers a new take on transverse CUV AWD and a crazy engine trans combo (baby Pentastar/9speed).

            So while I am glad the twins are selling well, and as a traditional “GM guy”, I dont’t think they are competitive, objectively, based on the fact that I find the curb weights gross and the space utilization/packaging really subpar. And I also think they are pricey. Based on those personal observations, my feeling is a Buick Equinox would be bad for the brand at this time. But, I am just an interested spectator so my opinion doesn’t exactly carry a lot of weight.

            Just goes to show that any and many aspects of the automotive business we all follow with interest, just doesn’t make a ton of sense.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            @Dave

            The Equinox/Terrain is a bit long in the tooth….this generation debuted in summer of 2009. I would guess its due for a new version by 2016 model year. CR-V was redone less than 2 years ago. Your fresher product is usually better. In 3 years, the CR-V might seem dated compared to the fresher Equinox…that’s the way the car business goes.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    The new Honda FIt has become the best-selling vehicle in Japan for some months now and the Fit-based Vezel has just been introduced and has already jumped into the top ten.

    I’m waiting to see how the new Vezel tests here. I suspect this segment is gonna get a new leader when the Vezel becomes available.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      And McDonalds has the best selling hamburger.

    • 0 avatar
      Turbo-4

      The Encore takes on the BMW X1 xDrive28i:

      “The good news is that the X1 will not dilute BMW’s brand cachet because it’s just as rewarding to drive, look at, and ride in as the rest of the lineup. The bad news is that the Encore is nearly as good for a whole lot less money. The Germans should be offended; the Americans, flattered.”

      http://m.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1402-2013-buick-encore-awd-vs-bmw-x1-xdrive28i-comparison/

  • avatar

    The Trax is here in Brazil already. Looks nice enough and in fact has a design that makes it look bigger than it really is. Many publications have pitted it against Ford’s EcoSport. Most of the time the Trax loses.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s interesting to me, given the EcoSport is smaller (?) and designed for lower-end markets, whereas the Opel Mokka was certainly not.

      Why does the EcoSport win? I can’t read Portugese : and I listen to a fair amount of Brazilian music as well with the same lack of understanding.

      • 0 avatar

        Hey Corey, the engines are considered better in the EcoSport as is the ride. The EcoSport also offers a lot of content in comparison (but that is just local, in other places this kind of thing can vary wildly), as usually due to pricing the top Titanium EcoSport competes in price with the not top of the line Chevy. The EcoSport is taller but narrower and shorter. In spite of that, the internal space is almost the same. That’s why the EcoSport wins according to the mags.

        EDIT: Though developed locally, the EcoSport uses the most modern bits of Ford world tech. Based on the Fiesta, it uses all of the new engines transmissions, etc. The EcoSport was also developed with an eye toward first world markets. Last I heard Indian EcoSports were being shipped to Britain, or were about to be. Haven’t heard anything lately on that front, but the EcoSport is a thoroughly up-to-date car.

        • 0 avatar
          Johnnyangel

          They are in Britain, but have somewhat disappointed journalists there.

          For example:

          http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/Search-Results/First-drives/Ford-Ecosport-15-TDCI-Titanium-2014-CAR-review/

          • 0 avatar

            Thanks for the link. Funny it did that considering that overall the journalists enjoyed the Dacia Duster. Maybe pricing or size (the Duster I ‘m guessing is cheaper and much larger internally). Enough speculation, I’ll go read the story. Thanks again for the link!

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            If the Trax is released here, will be wondering once again where the EcoSport is; and is Ford missing out on an opportunity here.

  • avatar
    korvetkeith

    We’ve achieved maximum jelly bean!

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    What a real shame that it won’t be the Mexican-market Chevrolet Tornado pickup. What America needs is a good compact pickup.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I think GM snoozed and lost. Unless someone is going for the leather and quietness of an Encore, why choose this over a new Renegade?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Perhaps so you don’t have the complications of a half baked 4wd system with the workability of a car?
      Or maybe because this actually looks half decent.

      The renegade is a concept vehicle, the trax already exists, the cost to bring it here are relatively small, any profits here are icing on the cake.

      • 0 avatar
        cargogh

        Perhaps?
        I like the Encore. I don’t understand GM waiting to introduce Trax here. I think Juke sales doubled from Feb ’13 to Feb ’14, and were considerably higher than the Encore. The Trax should be cheaper and better selling than the Encore, so why wait for the revised Juke or the Renegade?

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          No one knew the encore would succeed as it did, GM put a lot up and came out ahead, I’m sure their goal to not immediately introducing another similar vehicle as say the trax, was to ensure the encore wasn’t just a fluke that would satisfy the market quickly and be done.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          They build this platform in two plants. Korea and Mexico.

          Korea cranks out Opel Mokka’s, Buick Encores, and Chevy Traxes (Traxi?) and can’t build enough of them to supply what the brands want.

          Mexico builds them for Canada and (I assume) South America and other markets. Encore was a nice trial balloon with less risk and proved the worthiness of the segment…they probably immediately began to plan the Trax for US and make the investments needed to ramp up volume in Mexico. They also have to consider the potential damage to the Equinox. If this is indeed the Trax and it becomes available in Fall 2014 as a 2015MY that’s a pretty quick turnaround.

          • 0 avatar
            ixim

            Encore is too small inside compared to even the current space-inefficient Equinox. The Theta replacement, with a Buick version will, hopefully, be smaller outside, bigger inside, with better mpg’s. I’d buy one. As a cheaper Encore, the Trax should do well, too.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Show me one person who turns their nose up to a sedan-based wagon and I’ll show you a person who is repulsed by a CUV-based sedan.
    I don’t understand why so many think the SUV shape is so agreeable but a traditional wagon is hokey and out of style. IT’S THE SAME THING!

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Even if you discount the image issue (for many consumers) of the term “wagon,” it’s the driving height and position of the CUV which wins. People love being up high, and that’s the important difference.

    • 0 avatar
      cargogh

      Plus you don’t get the extra loading height (rear and roof), higher center of gravity, increased weight, and usually worse gas mileage. SUVs do offer more.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Unfortunately, I feel average consumers address all those points you made when shopping, like this:

        1) Ignored loading height, they don’t check this during purchase.
        2) Higher center of gravity is a driving dynamic, which most people ignore.
        3) Weight, irrelevant.
        4) Bad MPG, “I don’t drive that much anyway, it doesn’t really matter.”

        • 0 avatar
          Land Ark

          I’m violently shaking this consumer and yelling at them.
          I realize that people like sitting up high, but since everyone else is sitting up high, what advantage does that give you these days? I always thought it was so you could see over everyone. Is there some other reason?

          “You know that little ball you put on your antenna so you can find your car in a parking lot? That should be on every car!”

          I never feel secure sitting up high, like I am more exposed and not connected to the ground.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It’s the sheep mentality. It pervades the American consciousness like a cancer.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Land ark,

            My guess is that, since every one now sits high, the prevailing logic would be to not be lower than anyone.

            Around these parts, people like described above by Escapes, CRvs, CX5s, etc. and more than one has mentioned sitting high as a primary factor, and that cars somehow feel “less safe”.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s hard to go car shopping with someone who is a mother of young children and not end up with some sort of CUV/SUV.

            I’m going to call our MKT a wagon, because it makes me feel better about myself, and the State of Michigan registration says so.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hehe I remember when I had my A8L, and on the registration it said Type: Large Car, or something like that.

            And I thought, “Oh yes, I AM a large car driver.” Then I blushed with American pride.

            LOL

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Our C-Max registraton says “Other”. The State is not sure what the heck it is. For the first year we owned it, our registration and insurance said, “C-Mix”.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            This is by design as there is almost nothing else available but the S/CUV. There are a few alternatives new such as Flex/MkFlex used (Volvo V70) but those are few and far between. Big sedans with a few exceptions are as small as ever.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            28-

            I want Ford to bring the Fusion wagon over here just to see what would happen. It is a beautiful car that has just as much utility (or more) as the Edge. It would be just as capable on and off road. It would also be better on gas and the eyes.

            I think my wife would pick the Fusion, but I’m sure Ford wants the higher transaction prices of the Edge.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            It isn’t just sitting up high. I think space efficiency has a lot to do with it, too. If you look at the side of a CUV and of a wagon, the CUV is more square and the wagon is more rectangular. For the same or similar sized shapes, a square has more area. I think this ultimately helps with packaging of the front and rear seats, too. By being more upright, you can fit them into a smaller footprint.

            For example, I have a Rav4 and a Prius v in my driveway right now. The are platform mates as both are essentially Corolla based. The Rav is a CUV, the Prius v is a wagon. The Prius v is 2″ longer and the Rav is 4″ taller. The Rav has over an extra inch in legroom front and rear despite a wheelbase that is nearly 5″ shorter. The turn radius is better on the Rav. The Rav has 4 more cu.ft behind the 2nd row, 6 more cu.ft with the 2nd row flat, and 4 more cu.ft in total passenger volume. The visibility is better in the Rav, it is easier to maneuver in parking lots, and the ground clearance is much better. The only thing that the Prius v outclasses the Rav on is mileage (which is due to having a very small engine and regen braking to recover energy rather than a peppy, larger 4 cyl) and the back doors are longer which makes getting the rear facing kiddo in a little easier. It is lower to the ground, so you have to bend down, though.

            I’m a wagon guy. I’m dying for Subaru to bring the Levorg as a WRX wagon. CUVs do have some definite advantages for families. Sitting up high is part of it, but most of them are very space efficient while being quite versatile. Having the option of AWD on all CUVs is a huge selling point, too.

            (This post is copied and pasted from the Malibu Maxx crapwagon article)

        • 0 avatar
          ixim

          Load height isn’t always a problem – see the CRV. The mpg penalty over a wagon isn’t so much either, in real world driving. High profile means tippy, but not in normal driving. CUV’s drive much like the sedans they are based on. Right on about everyone being high negating the vision advantage, though.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think the mpg penalty whatever it may be is what fries my ass most. Here we are with CAFE rules designed to limit fuel consumption and we produce a vehicle with inferior mileage over the sedan on which it is based. By these models chewing up more gas it is inefficient and leaves less room for the kinds of cars I personally like.

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      Land Ark, I thought the same thing, and then I went to the New York Autoshow and watched all the fat people get in and out of cars, SUVs and cars that masquerade as SUVs (like the jacked up Subaru Imprezza, the jacked up Audi station wagon that’s sold as the Cross Country, etc.

      Fat people don’t have to “fall” as far into the seat, if they fall at all. Nor do they have to lift themselves up as far to get out of the car. That’s why SUVs, CUVs, etc. are popular.

      • 0 avatar
        Carfan94

        Hey now, I love the seat height of my XC90 (and i’m not fat!). Its so easy to in and out of, I’m 6’4 and i find getting in and out of low slung cars and sports cars to be very difficult. I don’t like sitting at ground level getting dwarfed by everyone else in their big SUVs and Trucks. My SUV has a pretty low center of gravity and changes direction quickly enough. The Audi station wagon is called the Allroad Volvo names their station wagons Cross Country hence “XC”.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Yawwwwn.

    Zzzzzzzz. Zzzzzz.

    I could have sworn this was given away previously on “The Price is Right”, stage left from a Ford Ranger.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    I don’t understand compact economy CUVs. Why would you buy a subcompact Trax for a few bucks less than a slightly bigger Equinox?

    I totally get the Encore. Compact size and luxury is a unique and compelling combination. But compact size and economy without luxury, speed, design or utility is just boring.

    Maybe the required ROI is just so low, that Chevy figures: why not?

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Here’s a link to Holden’s version. The front end of the NA version is Cruze/Malibu, The front of the Holden is ……………., personally it’s Australia’s Aztec!
    http://www.holden.com.au/cars/trax

  • avatar
    mkirk

    So if it does succeed, will it be at the expense of the Buick? This reeks of old GM marketing

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Enclave came out summer 2007 as an 2008MY vehicle. Traverse came out in late 2008 as a 2009MY. Doesn’t seem to have hurt the Enclave.

      http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/buick-enclave-sales-figures.html

  • avatar
    namstrap

    I’ve looked at some Traxi in the showroom, and been impressed with how nice they feel, but I’ve yet to drive one. I do hope they make it to the States so that I can finally get some accessories for my parts customers. All of the companies making accessories are in the States, and they’re not going to build them for cars that don’t sell there.
    Ingress and egress are amazing. I’d probably buy one if I could qualify spending the money.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Face reality, our car market will never be like Europe’s. Unless you want ‘big govt’ to force us with $8 gallon of gas? That will go over well.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Hope your wrong, Derek, and we get a version of the Opel ‘Adam’.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I never quite understood why GM released the Encore, but apparently it was a good move as it tests and sells well.

    I can remember the design studies for the Trax a while back, I was rather enthusiastic to see a neat little SUV/CUV from GM, but it never made it here to the States. Maybe it will come here, finally. It appears they’re following the Buick Enclave/Chevy Traverse release schedule; start out with the high value/high dollar machine and then follow up with the “mainstream” version.

    A Trax for the US would be great (it would put GM/Chevy back on the shopping list for a replacement SUV for us), but I think the Opel Adam would rock the segment. Even as a Buick.

  • avatar
    Mikey748

    I hope they keep that ugly thing in Europe.


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