Holden Trax was one of the first small two-wheel-drive SUV-style wagons designed primarily for city use. Built in Korea and released in 2013, it shares the Barina platform, while the engines are from Cruze. Mostly you will find 1.8-litre petrol versions. The 1.4-litre turbo-petrol didn’t arrive until August 2014 in the top LTZ spec.
View of the road
Our review found that Trax provides a good view of the road and the seat height makes for easy access. Soft seats are comfortable at first but you miss the extra support of a firmer seat on longer trips. The cabin’s hard plastic is bland but reasonably functional.
Cabin space is not abundant but it’s a touch better than a few of its class-mates. A split-fold rear seat extends the carrying capacity but the double-fold action of the back and base isn’t that efficient.
Good equipment levels
Even the base model LS is relatively well equipped. Tech-savvy buyers will appreciate Holden’s MyLink infotainment system, but it uses your phone data.
Around town, Trax is comfortable, though handling isn’t as sharp as newer competitors. The 1.8-litre engine takes care of the duties it is likely to encounter. It’s relaxed, quiet and easy-going when driven conservatively. But there’s not a lot in reserve for hills or quick passing, so shuffling through the gears is needed to maintain pace and the noise level does rise. For performance and fuel consumption, the 1.4-litre turbo is a better option.
Not for off-road
The front-wheel-drive Trax is not designed for off-road driving, though the occasional dirt road won’t be a problem. It may surprise some to find drum brakes on the rear but the stopping performance is satisfactory.
From the reports we’ve received, Trax doesn’t appear to have all the mechanical problems that have plagued other Korean-sourced Holdens, but it shares some of their mechanical components so a thorough check is advisable. Check for oil leaks, cooling system problems and transmission operation.
Keep service history up to date
Make sure it has an up-to-date service history. Regular oil changes are important. A timing belt replacement is scheduled at 150,000km. Check for a spare wheel, which was an extra-cost option.
Trax has had a number of recalls so check Holden or dealer records for any updates that may be required.
Report: Greg Hill
Fuel consumption. 1.8L 6spd auto should return 8.0-10.5L/100km, and slightly less for the 5spd manual. The 1.4L turbo does 0.5-1.0L/100km better but requires premium fuel.
Safety. Five-star ANCAP rating.
Towing. 1200kg with a 120kg towball load.
The competition. Ford Ecosport, Nissan Juke, Mitsubishi ASX.
LS 1.8L (2013-16) $17,700-$23,700
LTZ 1.8L (2014-16) $20,900-$25,200
LTZ 1.4L (2014-16) $21,700-$26,100
Approximate Glass’s Guide prices.