Chris Miller road tests and reviews the 2013 Holden Trax.
Holden’s baby SUV, the Trax, looks set to become a serious contender with plenty of goodies, reasonable performance and sharp prices.
The South Korean built Trax kicks off at $23,490, and standard kit includes a seven-inch touch-screen with MyLink embedded apps, rear view camera, rear parking sensors, six air-bags and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming.
The powerplant is a familiar one, it’s the same 1.8 litre DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder petrol engine as found in some Cruze variants and develops a reasonable 103kw and 175Nm.
The engine feels like a better fit in the Holden Trax with its lower 1356kg kerb weight, and punts the little Holden along reasonably nicely.
It needs plenty of revs for a spritely drive, but the little four cylinder is quite a willing, free revving unit that remains smooth all the way to the red line.
It’s hardly a ball of fire, but it’s more than respectable.
The five speed manual standard in the entry level LS is rather old school, that said, it has a nice, light action, and helps get the best out of the 1.8 litre engine which is reasonably economical.
We weren’t too far away from Holden’s claimed 7.0 litre per 100km at 7.8 litres per 100km. A six-speed auto is available as an option.
At this stage there’s no diesel option, but it is on offer in Europe, so could be a reality if Holden sees the demand.
The Holden engineers played with the suspension tune at the Lang Lang proving ground to make sure the ride and steering are up to the task of Aussie roads (paying special attention to the rear axle mounting bushes to reduce interior noise on course chip road surfaces), and overall for a high riding, short wheelbase unit they’ve succeeded.
It can be a bit twitchy at times, and speed bumps are best taken at very low speeds, but generally the ride is pretty good.
The steering is light and direct at all speeds and was also tuned by the Holden boys at Lang Lang. The brakes do a reasonable job with discs on the front and rather old-fashioned drum brakes at the rear.
The drivers seat has you sitting up high with a commanding all round view and everything is logically positioned and falls easily to hand.
The combination of a big analogue tacho and digital speedo works well, as does the central 7-inch screen with reversing camera.
The seats are comfortable and easily adjustable to suit any frame although legroom is at a premium in the back seat.
Upfront the Trax is spacious and airy with plenty of headroom and there’s a decent boot offering 356 litres of cargo space, which increases to 1370 litres with the back seats folded flat.
You’ll get plenty of goodies for your $23,490, including;
- 16” alloy wheels
- Air conditioning
- Rear view camera
- Rear parking sensors
- ISOFIX child seat anchorage system
- Holden MyLink infotainment System with 7” colour touch-screen display
- Embedded apps including Pandora®, Stitcher SmartRadio™, TuneIn and BringGo navigation
- Siri Eyes Free Mode
- USB with iPod connectivity
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Leather steering wheel with audio controls
- Auto headlamps
- Daytime running lamps
ANCAP have awarded the Trax a 5 star rating with 6 airbags (driver, front passenger, front side and curtain), ESC, ABS and TCS, Hill Start Assist and a descent control system
The Trax certainly ticks all the boxes and really takes the fight to its competitors with its super sharp pricing.
While there is some old fashioned technology, there is enough modern stuff to satisfy even the most tech savvy 20 something, and with its unique look, the Trax looks sure to find plenty of Aussie homes.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 1.8 litre petrol developing 103kW and 175Nm
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual or 6-Speed Automatic
Safety: Five stars
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $23,490