What is it?
A head start for Chevrolet. The Trax shares its DNA with the new Vauxhall Mokka, but the American brand, enjoying something of a sales resurgence, previews its smallest ever SUV before its Paris show debut, and before we drive its European sibling.
Being so far head of the starting gun means that the car can only be driven with several provisos in mind. First, these are pre-production models (although only be a slender margin) and second, they are all in Canadian spec.
Not much of an issue, you might think, but unlike Ford, Chevrolet still likes to tune its cars to what it regards as regional tastes, and that means that suspension settings, tyre choice, steering tune and even gear ratios are all going to subtly change before delivery to Europe begins.
Nevertheless, while the manufacturer may have only just begun work on building its variant for the old world, it is that market’s ballooning appetite for compact SUVs which has made the Trax a no-brain introduction to Chevrolet showrooms.
The aim is to hit the high-sided B-segment sweet spot where the likeable Skoda Yeti and overrated Nissan Juke currently reside. To that end, the Trax, like most of the brand’s offerings, is a largely orthodox piece of packaging.
The car follows hard on the heels of the well received Aveo – appropriate, as it shares its Gamma II platform, albeit in lengthened, fattened and strengthened format, and with the option of four-wheel-drive versions.
Precise details on pricing and trim levels are yet to be set in concrete, but it would be relatively safe to assume that Chevrolet will re-run its familiar LS, LT and LTZ line-up, that it will be well equipped and almost certainly undercut whatever sticker its cousin at Vauxhall wears.