Holden reckons it has all sports utility vehicle bases covered, from small (Trax), medium (Captiva 5) to large (Captiva 7, Colorado 5 and 7) and now has injected a little tonic into its Trax with a turbocharged engine.

The LTZ 1.4 iTi tops off the Trax range, first seen here just over a year ago, with the addition of a 1.4-litre petrol engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels.

Delivering 103 kW of power and 200 Nm of torque, Holden claims fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined urban / highway cycle, as opposed to the mid seven litres with the 1.8-litre naturally aspirated motor also available in the Trax.

The MY15 LTZ 1.4 iTi also gains a few features over the other Trax models with new 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic windscreen wipers, a driver’s armrest and sunroof as standard.

With prices starting at $23,990, plus on-road costs, for the Holden Trax LS 1.8 litre manual, the LTZ 1.4 iTi is $29,990. The Trax range is covered by Holden’s Capped Price Servicing at $185 a time, for three years or 60,000 kilometres.


The Trax may be a small SUV but front on, with its expansive Holden family radiator grille, dual halogen headlamps and low-set foglamps sets the theme for a bold LTZ presence.

Body coloured door handles with chrome strip inserts offer a hint of prestige, while a roof mounted rear spoiler with integrated LED brake lights and 18-inch wheels are up with the latest SUV styling cues.

A five-seater, rear legroom is at a premium for adults. However, rear seats redeem themselves by tumble-folding forward, more than doubling the 356 litres of cargo space. Front occupants are spoiled with heated seats.

Like all Trax models the LTZ iTi is fitted with Holden’s MyLink infotainment system with 7-inch colour touch-screen display, embedded apps including Pandora, Stitcher SmartRadio, TuneIn and BringGo navigation, while Siri Eyes Free Mode enables the driver to strike up some sort of relationship with the vehicle through voice commands.

Kit such as AM/FM radio, USB with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth, run of the mill these days, is also in the mix.


The 1.4-litre iTi engine already has form in this country, having been taken up by the sporty Barina RS and locally-built Cruze.

The powertrain package, which in LTZ spec includes a six-speed automatic transmission with Active Select as standard driving the front wheels, has been calibrated by Holden engineers for Australian conditions and is joined by a suspension tailored to Australian roads.

Advanced chassis systems such as a Descent Control System, Hill Start Assist and Electronic Stability Control incorporating Anti-lock Braking, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake force Distribution and Traction Control, make Trax one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the segment.

Trax also joins all other Holdens by featuring the Isofix infant restraint system recently given the government go-ahead in Australia.

While 103 kW of power is nothing special, it is the 200 Nm of torque that is the stand-out feature, making for responsive performance in city traffic and when overtaking on the open road.

Stop/start motoring in city traffic during test had the petrol consumption nearing nine litres per 100 kilometres, while highway cruising brought the figure down to respectable figures in the mid fives.

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 excellent, while gone are the days of high-sided vehicle body roll and choppy ride of a short wheelbase. The Trax ride and handling are high end for this class – the Aussie engineers have certainly seen to that.

The 1.4-litre engine generally performed without fuss, with a harsh note only when pushed. Road noise from the 18-inch Continentals was kept at bay from the comfortable cabin.

Holden Trax LTZ 1.4 turbo fills a void in the Holden SUV line-up with an engine already in service successfully with the company’s product with a view to fuel economy allied with performance.


Holden Trax LS 1.8-litre: $23,990 (manual), $26,190 (automatic)
Holden Trax LTZ 1.8-litre: $28,490 (automatic)
Holden Trax LTZ 1.4-litre iTi: $29,990 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Holden dealer for drive-away prices.

Six airbags (driver, front passenger, front side and curtain)
Electronic Stability Control, ABS and TCS. Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control
16-in alloy wheels
Rear view camera, rear parking sensors
ISOFIX child seat anchorage system
Holden MyLink infotainment System with 7in colour touch-screen display
Embedded apps including Pandora, Stitcher SmartRadio, TuneIn and BringGo navigation
Siri Eyes Free Mode
AM/FM Radio with RDS display
USB with iPod connectivity
Bluetooth connectivity
Leather steering wheel with audio controls
Auto headlamps
Optional 1.4 iTi engine (LTZ)
6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select
18in alloy wheels (LTZ)
Rain Sensing Wipers (LTZ)
Driver Arm Rest (LTZ)
Sunroof (available on LTZ 1.4 litre iTi only)
Jet black Sportec trim (LTZ)
Heated front seats (LTZ)
Front Fog Lamps (LTZ
Trip Computer (LTZ)
Storage Tray under front passenger seat (LTZ)

(Trax LTZ 1.4-litre iTi turbocharged petrol engine)
Configuration: In-line 4-cylinder
Maximum Power: 103 kW
Maximum Torque: 200 Nm

Drivetrain: six-speed automatic transmission with Active Select, front-wheel drive

Length: 4278 mm
Width: 1776 mm
Height: 1674 mm
Wheelbase: 2555 mm
Track: 1540 mm (front and rear)
Ground clearance: 140 mm
Cargo capacity 356 litres, 785 litres (rear seats folded flat)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 53 litres
Turning circle: 10.9 m
Towing capacity: 1200 kg (braked)

Suspension: MacPherson strut bar (front); compound crank (rear)
Brakes: Ventilated discs (front); drums (rear). ABS anti-skid brake system with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Vehicle Stability Control. Traction Control. Hill Start Assist
Steering: Electric power assisted rack and pinion
Wheels / tyres: Alloy 18in x 7in / 215/55 R18

Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: N/A
Top speed: N/A

Fuel type: 95 RON unleaded
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 6.9 litres per 100 km. CO2 emissions 163 g / km

Greenhouse Rating: 7.0 / 10
Air Pollution Rating: 7.5 / 10

3-year / 60,000 kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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