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Holden Trax

The Holden Trax has the looks of a full size SUV in a small and fuel-frugal package.

They say good things come in small packages. This package from Holden – the Trax – is smaller than the more established Captiva, but what are you going to find inside the Holden Trax?

The Holden Trax isn’t a new vehicle but it’s been buzzing around the USA for a few years with the Trax name but the Chevrolet marque instead. It’s said to be a non-identical twin to the Opel Mokka (also due in Australia before the end of the year). It’s a crossover vehicle that isn’t quite a little hatchback and isn’t quite an SUV. It’s got the five doors and the five seats of a hatchback, but the styling and stance of an SUV. We’ll have to think of a new category for this sort of thing: a mini-SUV or a SUVlette.

The name “Trax” suggests that this new offering from Holden is going to be capable of going offroad. And you are right, more or less. While the Holden Trax isn’t a serious bush-bashing 4×4 that can go through knee-deep mud and up steep slopes with ease, it’s a part-time four-paw, meaning that it’s suitable for most, um, tracks. It’s also been given a handy on-demand 4×4 function, meaning that the 4×4 will kick in when it detects the front wheels starting to slip. The rest of the time, such as when you’re taking the Holden Trax on the road, it’s a front-wheel drive. Six gears are in line for the transmission, with manual transmission being the one for the 1.6 litre variant and auto for the 1.4.

Economy is the name of the game, as it is for many manufacturers these days. One fuel economy innovation that has been added to the Holden Trax is the idle-stop feature. Idle-stop (also known as idle stop and go) is what gets put into non-hybrid vehicles such as the Holden Trax to reduce pollution and fuel consumption when you’re waiting at those darn traffic lights. Idle-stop works by cutting the engine out when you’re at a standstill (e.g. at a red light or when you’re waiting at the kerb for your kids to grab their bags from the back and whizz through the school gates). When you press the accelerator pedal, the engine roars into life again, with no need to go through the rigmarole of turning the ignition on again, which you had to do with older cars.

At the time of writing, the head honchos at Holden Australia are tight-lipped about what sort of engine you’ll find under the bonnet of the Holden Trax. The only thing that’s been said so far is that a diesel won’t be an option… or at least not yet. If overseas models are anything to go by, what we can expect to find will be a 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine or a 1.6 litre aspirated model. Overseas, they also get a 1.7 litre turbo diesel, but according to one of the Holden guys, “The diesel will be popular in Europe but I can’t see that being the case here.” (Cynics will probably think that they’re waiting for the demand for a diesel to reach fever pitch so they can have a second big launch and grab a bit more publicity – I’m sure I’m not the only diesel fan out there who’d be interested in the diesel version if/when it comes). According to overseas figures, the diesel is also the most fuel-efficient in the lineup.

The interior of the Holden Trax has been designed with practicality in mind. There’s lots of storage space, and if you want a bit more room in the back, the rear seats are split-folding (which is pretty much a given in most hatchbacks). There’s lots of pockets to shove maps and stuff, and four out of five seats get cupholders. Six airbags and ESP with Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control are some of the known safety features in the Holden Trax. Legroom’s pretty good, even in the back. The styling is more focussed on being practical and easy to use rather than luxurious.

Here's a pic of the near-identical twin to the Holden Trax: the Chevrolet Trax. Style and flair for minimal cost.

One handy feature that’s found on upmarket versions of the Holden Trax overseas is the MyLink smartphone-compatible navigation, which combines the phone, the sat-nav and the audio controls, with a number of apps available on overseas versions, including live traffic updates. This ties in with a 7-inch touchscreen. It’s not known at this stage if Aussie versions of the Holden Trax will have MyLink function, but keep your fingers crossed.

The Holden Trax is likely to appeal as a family vehicle, as it has the high stance and off-road ability of a softroad SUV, the practicality and space of a larger hatchback, and the fuel economy of a small car. However, you don’t have to be a family person to enjoy the Holden Trax – it’s got plenty of potential.

The current model series is yet to be announced, but we’ll keep you posted:

  • Holden Trax

For any more information on the Holden Trax, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Holden dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!

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