It is fair to say that, in the States, Chevrolet is as much of a national institution as rodeos, the Super Bowl and Jay Leno’s chin. For decades they have tuned in to the national psyche and successfully churned out exactly what our American cousins like best; big, powerful and relentlessly rugged machines perfect for cruising the freeways and capable of withstanding a nuclear holocaust with barely a prang or paint chip to show for it.
However, it is a very different playing field here in the UK where the more subtle or mundane, depending on how you view it, is valued more highly than the typically all-American principle of bold, brash brawn. With that in mind, it is not entirely surprising that Chevrolet have never really progressed past the foot-in-the-door stage in the UK market; an established member of the cast, but not really challenging for the lead role. In fact, until now, they haven’t made a single venture in to the flourishing small SUV market.
Well that is about to change with the news that Chevy are bringing their all new Trax to the Paris Motor Show this September. Originally glimpsed as a concept in 2007, the Trax has come a long way since then, transforming from a garish, pint sized ‘micro SUV’ in to a credible AWD baby brother for the Captiva. Sporting the distinctive Chevrolet front grille, the Trax will come with the choice of three powertrains including a 140 BHP 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, a 1.6-litre petrol as well as a 1.7-litre turbo-diesel engine. All are hooked up to a six-speed gearbox, although bizarrely only the 1.4 petrol and 1.7 diesel will be available with the on-demand AWD system.
Only the higher spec models will be equipped with Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system which collects and displays smartphone content onto a seven-inch, high resolution, colour touch-screen in the cabin. However, this shouldn’t put off those looking for a good deal on a reliable compact SUV as an alternative to the more mainstream X3’s and Rav4’s of this world.