General Motors Company Takes On Jeep With Its 2015 Chevrolet Trax

The 2015 Chevrolet Trax is a new small SUV that will go on sale in the U.S. early next year. Photo credit: General Motors

General Motors  (NYSE: GM  ) unveiled the new 2015 Chevrolet Trax at last week's New York International Auto Show.

Or at least, it had a new Trax at the show. But there wasn't much fanfare around it. And that's too bad, because the Trax has the makings of a solid new entry for the General.

But GM had an unusually subdued presence during last week's media days at the New York show. While GM did host a couple of events at separate sites, it had no press conferences, no events, at the show itself -- a sign that GM has hunkered down while it works through a major recall debacle.

That's very unusual, and it's a marked contrast from GM's presence at the Detroit show in January. Back then, GM had a brand-new executive team, and President Dan Ammann and global product chief Mark Reuss were in a mood to celebrate at a Chevy event where they showed off a hot new Corvette

It wasn't like that in New York, where most of GM's displays were set up in an area separate from the main show floor. But GM did bring some new products to the show, including the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible -- and including the Chevy Trax, an arguably much more important product for GM right now.

So what about the Chevy Trax? It's a small crossover SUV that will go on sale in the U.S. early next year. It's not an all-new product -- it has been on sale in some other parts of the world for a couple of years now. It's closely related to the Buick Encore that GM launched here last year, as well as the Opel Mokka that GM sells in Europe. It's also closely related to the subcompact Chevy Sonic, which gives you an idea of its size -- it'll be the smallest of Chevy's SUVs.

The Trax is quite small, but the interior is surprisingly roomy, as you can see in the video below. Photo credit: General Motors

GM is launching the Trax in the U.S. (and in China, where it just went on sale) because the market for small crossovers and SUVs has been getting very hot, not just here but around the world. We didn't have to look far to see evidence of that, as the Trax wasn't the only new small crossover we saw in New York: Fiat Chrysler  (NASDAQOTH: FIATY  ) showed off the new Jeep Renegade, and Honda  (NYSE: HMC  ) released photos of its upcoming Fit-based HR-V. Both will compete directly with the Trax. 

When it arrives at U.S. Chevy dealers early next year, the Trax will be offered with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 138 horsepower, along with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional, and several high-tech features will be offered, including a touch-screen infotainment system. 

GM hasn't announced U.S. pricing for the Trax yet. Assuming that the price is competitive, the Trax looks like it could be a strong entry. It has good bloodlines: The Encore has done well in China (and exceeded GM's expectations here), and the Mokka has been a hit in Europe.  

We -- the Motley Fool's John Rosevear and Rex Moore -- were able to spend some time up close with a new Trax in New York, and we brought you a closer look: 

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Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 25, 2014, at 10:24 PM, horatio wrote:

    The big problem with Trax?

    It was obviously designed by committee to be a cheaper version of BMW X3....but the X3 is bought by more affluent customers because its a BMW. It also looks cheap and less functional than a Honda or Toyota RAV 4 it is supposed to compete with. Trax is also...well.....ugly.... A Jeep itself is Iconic and new Cherokee and other new products with (thank god) Italy and Fiats help finely has some great industrial designs. The Trax will be gone soon and stuck in the barn with the Chevy Volt, Aztec and so many more.

  • Report this Comment On April 26, 2014, at 8:22 AM, Jason87467 wrote:

    It's strange how some people act like they already know much about this new vehicle and they never saw it except in a picture. It's obvious of the hate they hold towards GM. Horatio already knows this vehicle will be "stuck in a barn with the Chevy Volt". I bet Horatio has no idea how much the American cars have improved.

  • Report this Comment On April 26, 2014, at 8:13 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    But buyers of GM cars over the past 12 years have indeed and in fact become aware of the low or no quality of GM vehicles and the deceptions of GM's ethically crippled Management. What lethally latent part lurks within, a fraudulently hidden part that may injure or even kill you or your family? If tens of millions of Americans are repulsed by GM and its customer-hostile culture, there are many good and solid reasons, most created by the mendacious Management themselves! ...funfun..

  • Report this Comment On April 27, 2014, at 7:55 AM, lem2004 wrote:

    I see we have GM's #1 hater with us today,good old funfun,lol.What a joke.

  • Report this Comment On April 27, 2014, at 4:05 PM, LouisTewl wrote:

    Once again JR and TMF are putting a positive SPIN on the products of the company whose stock they are long. No surprise there, AT ALL.

    Funny (except not really) they didn't give us the same look at the new FCA Jeep Renegade, which is trail-rated and expected to get 30 mpg.

    Remember loyal JR/TMF readers, EVERYTHING Ford and GM is GOOD (because they own and, naturally recommend those stocks), and EVERYTHING FCA is to be sniffed at and undermined through subtle and not-so-subtle propaganda.

    Fool ON!

  • Report this Comment On April 27, 2014, at 5:19 PM, LouisTewl wrote:

    "General Motors Company Takes on Jeep With Its 2015 Chevrolet Trax."


    While I did notice that optional all-wheel drive will be available, since you were AT the New York auto show, and presumably saw THIS presentation of the new Jeep Renegade:

    How can you even TRY to compare these two vehicles - it's LUDICROUS, but, I must say, not as preposterous as your previous attempt to compare the new Jeep to the FORD FIESTA - HAHAHAHA!

    Trax vs Jeep - it's one dog, one pony - and guess which one is the dog?

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2014, at 10:26 AM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    Any corporation, whose rabid fans and Management surrogates, along with PR operatives have to resort to vindictive ad hominem attacks on independently-speaking investors with differing viewpoints, personal attacks to harass and subvert free discussion over the internet is one sick, unethical organisation. Such is the beleaguered General Motors organisation of 2014! …funfun..

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2014, at 12:11 PM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    @LouisTewl: I never compared the Renegade to a Ford Fiesta. I compared it to a Ford EcoSport. If you don't know why that's important, you have a lot to learn about your investment.

    Incidentally, your thesis -- that I'm somehow looking to attack FCA because that will somehow benefit my investment in Ford -- is not only wrong, it's absurd and juvenile. I'll be happy to engage with you when you engage with the ideas instead of trying to re-frame my articles as personal attacks on you and a stock you own.

    John Rosevear

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John Rosevear

John Rosevear is the Fool's Senior Auto Specialist. John has been writing about the auto business and investing for over 20 years, and for The Motley Fool since 2007.

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