Slotting in between the LS entry-level and range-topping LTZ, this intended to put Holden at the leading edge of in-car connectivity in the small SUV segment.
Holden says it is estimated around 77 per cent of Australians own at least one smartphone and check them more than 150 times a day, so the company became the first in Australia to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone systems as standard across the range.
Along with this has come new stylish design both inside and out, while Trax LS with automatic transmission benefits from the same 1.4-litre turbocharged engine as the LT and LTZ, providing improved performance and fuel economy.
The front-wheel drive Trax ranges in price from $23,990, plus on-road costs, to $30,490 and comes with Holden’s five-year 100,000 kilometre warranty and lifetime capped price servicing.
The Trax LT on test, taking its cue from Chevrolet global design, turned out to be one of the sharper models in the segment with major styling enhancements including new front and rear fascias, as well as striking LED daytime running lamps.
Premium styling continues inside, with a fresh new console design including contrasting trim and a sweeping dash focusing on the 7.0-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system.
Trax offers class-leading connectivity through Holden next-generation of Holden’s MyLink infotainment system. A 7.0-inch colour touch screen with mobile phone hook-up via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is available across the model range.
Features of the award-winning system are accessed through a simple and intuitive icon-based touch screen or by Siri Eyes Free and smartphone voice recognition, offering drivers seamless connectivity and use of a wide range of in-car apps.
Satellite navigation is available only via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
Delivering 103 kW of power and 200 Nm of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission with Active Select drives the front wheels, it has been calibrated by Holden engineers for Australian conditions and is in sync with a suspension tailored to Australian roads.
Advanced chassis systems such as a descent control, hill start assist and electronic stability control incorporating anti-lock braking, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution and traction control, have helped win for Trax five-star ANCAP safety rating in Australasia.
IsoFix is present at the two rear outboard seating positions.
All models are fitted with a reversing camera and rear parking sensors.
Trax also incorporates features an optimised front end for pedestrian protection.
The 1.4-litre engine normally performs without fuss, but has a harsh note when pushed. Active Select is operated via a single button on the tip of the centre console-mounted gearshift lever. As semi-automatics go, it answers the driver’s commands provided they lie within the mapping parameters.
Straight-line stability is good, while gone are the days of tall vehicle body roll and choppy ride of a short wheelbase. The Trax’s ride and handling are high end, the Aussie engineers have seen to that.
A five-seater, rear leg room is at a premium for adults.
Rear seats tumble forward, more than doubling the 356 litres of cargo space. The 60 / 40 split-folding rear seat backs further increase versatility.
The Trax has a number of convenient storage spaces scattered around the cabin, including four cup holders in the centre console and two in rear centre armrest. Two storage bins are located under the cargo area floor to stow items out of sight and LTZ has an additional tray under the passenger seat.
On the downside, with no embedded system, Apple CarPlay satellite navigation can only be accessed through iPhone 5 and above, which is tough for those who own older devices.
While the Holden Trax forged a new standard in class-leading connectivity with the outside world, unlike some rivals, it has its limitations not being available in an all-wheel drive version.
AT A GLANCE
Holden Trax LS 1.8 litre manual 2WD $23,990
Holden Trax LS 1.4 litre automatic 2WD $26,490
Holden Trax LT 1.4 litre automatic 2WD $28,890
Holden Trax LTZ 1.4 litre automatic 2WD $30,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Holden dealer for driveaway prices.