The 2017 update is an improvement over the original crossover in almost every way, but it still has a way to go.
GM is recalling 64,186 examples of the 2011-2013 Volt because carbon monoxide can build up if the plug-in hybrid sedan is accidentally left idling in an enclosed location. Separately, the company is issuing a stop sale on roughly 2,300 units of the 2015 Chevrolet Trax and 2015 Buick Encore because of possible power steering failure.
Improvements to the 2015 Buick Encore are reaping big rewards for the popular compact crossover. Where a previous one scored a Poor result in the small overlap crash test from the IIHS, the latest model improved that to Good. Both the Encore and Chevrolet Trax now have Top Safety Pick ratings.
After the obligatory product presentation for the 2015 Trax, I caught up with Steve Majoros, Chevrolet's director of marketing for crossovers and cars, and asked him to elaborate on which markets his planners believe will be the hot starters for this tiny CUV. Without much hesitation, Majoros began to click off traditional sales havens for Subaru, namely, New England and the snowy bits of the East Coast, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest.
The Chevrolet Trax is the slightly more meat-and-potatoes cousin to the Buick Encore, with the same platform and engine underneath but a touch less luxury. The little compact crossover is on its way to US dealers in January 2015, and Chevy is finally announcing the base price for this runabout CUV at $20,120 (*plus $875 for destination) when it goes on sale. That's around $4,000 less than a starter Encore before its destination fee.
General Motors today announced a truly massive recall covering some 8.4 million vehicles in North America. Most significantly, 8.2 million examples of the affected vehicles are being called back due to "unintended ignition key rotation," though GM spokesperson Alan Adler tells Autoblog that this issue is not like the infamous Chevy Cobalt ignition switch fiasco.
Years ago, the subcompact car market was mostly made up of under-powered, poorly featured little penalty boxes, but over the course of the past decade, this segment has absolutely flourished. Cars like the Honda Fit are something most people would happily drive. And it appears that Chevrolet is really figuring things out with booming popularity from its one-two punch of small models with the Spark and Sonic.
We imagine the conversation among Chevrolet's product planners that led to a greenlight for a US-spec Chevrolet Trax went something like this: "Hey, the Buick Encore is selling like mad. It's proven that people love subcompact crossovers. Quick, let's import a vehicle from Canada."
In what can only be described as a growing trend, another automaker finds itself in trouble for an ad that critics are calling offensive. A new television and internet ad for the Chevrolet Trax subcompact crossover is under fire for its soundtrack, which a Chinese newspaper has labeled "racist."
In mid-May, General Motors announced it would bring the Chevrolet Trax to the Paris Motor Show this fall. The tiny crossover shares nearly everything with North America's Buick Encore and the previously revealed Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, but there's an important fourth variant we haven't heard about until today – one for Holden.
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