HOLDEN’S Trax is one of GM’s Korean-made models and, while the previous version was blessed with great visibility, distinctive looks and punchy performance, a low-rent interior and a noisy cabin made it feel underdone.
The 2017 Trax range has turned the majority of these perceptions on their head.
The range starts at $23,990 for the Trax LS manual, which is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine.
All models above the manual LS have a 1.4 litre turbo engine mated to a six-speed automatic, a key change for the line-up.
The 2017 range tops out with the LTZ, priced at $30,490 plus on-road costs.
We tested the middle of the range $28,890 Trax LT, which comes with a host of airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control – AND cloth seats with fake leather bolstering.
It also has Holden’s touchscreen MyLink system with digital radio, Android Auto and Apple Car Play, electrically operated and heated mirrors, push button start, keyless entry, a reversing camera and LED taillights.
An electric sunroof and 18inch alloy wheels are the automotive cherries on top.
The biggest changes are the new styling inside and out.
While there wasn’t anything really wrong with the old model’s styling, the 2017 version has adopted and more mature and sophisticated look.
We like it.
That sophistication continues inside, with the majority of the cheap surfaces replaced with new soft touch and predominately black surfaces.
The new dash design is easier on the eye too.
It’s just a lot more cohesive and it shows that General Motors have thrown some resources at quality.
Interior quietness seems to have improved, too.
Sadly, the motorcycle-insp-ired digital speedo has gone. Now the instrument cluster consists of two more difficult to read analogue gauges.
Head, leg and shoulder room is unchanged.
There’s still no centre console, which is silly as the driver’s seat has an armrest. Holden would’ve been smarter to mount the armrest between the two front seats and have some sort of storage compartment underneath. The glovebox isn’t particularly big either.
The 1.4 litre turbo engine produces 103kW and 200Nm. Not huge figures on paper, but the little engine pushes the Trax along energetically enough.
Claimed fuel consumption is 6.7litres/100km but we averaged around 8.
It’s also worth noting that the engine only has an appetite for premium fuel.
The six-speed automatic is satisfactory in its operation.
Handling is fine for a city-focused car, with the steering light enough for negotiating congested streets and tight carparks.
The ride can be a little choppy over tarmac imperfections, though.
Verdict: Some serious improvements have been made with the 2017 Holden Trax range, and based on equipment levels, the mid-spec LT seems to be the Trax of choice.