Review: MY14 Holden Trax

Posted by Ashley Perkins
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The Holden Trax for Holden marks the return to the compact SUV market  (the small 4WD but isn’t 4WD market) which it left back in 2006 with the original Holden Cruze.

With a completely new vehicle, Holden hopes to capture some of the very popular segment that sees vehicles like the Nissan Juke, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi ASX. All of which seem to be capturing the hearts and minds of young couples and families. 

The Holden Trax takes a slightly different approach to the compact SUV market offering a more car like offering with its lower ground clearance and car like interior.

Under the hood there is a 1.8litre 4 cylinder engine producing 103kW of power available in both the entry level LS model and the top of the range LTZ model. Both models are only available in with front-wheeel-drive.

At the time of review, pricing for the Trax LS manual starts from just over $26,000 drive away and the Trax LTZ, which is only available with an automatic, starts from just over $30,000. Of course there’s a 3 Year/100,000km Warranty, Roadside Assistance and Capped Price Servicing is included.

So how does it drive? Let’s find out!

Initial Impression

The Holden Trax when you first see it looks like it has some attitude. It is something about its proportions that make it work. It’s low, it’s tall and it’s short all at the same time.

There is no denying that it isn’t meant to take up the role of a 4WD, but instead, take up the role of a compact car with the added benefit of a higher seating position. Perfect for what it was designed for: city driving.

Jumping to the interior there is no shortage of technology with Holden’s MyLink infotainment system taking the main stage on the dash.

In the LTZ we tested, the leather seats were softer and felt more expensive than what we expected. The addition of a 230V power socket in the back of the center console is greatly welcomed.

No longer will you have to find adapters for chargers for a laptop or anything else that uses a normal wall socket. Of course there’s a Five-Star ANCAP safety rating too with six airbags, rear view camera, rear parking sensors, stability control, ABS brakes, EBD, BA and ESP traction control all included as standard.

Practicality

Thanks to the Trax providing a nice and high driving position, and its electric power steering and other pieces of tech including a rear view camera, getting around is super easy.

It’s short wheel base will also allow you to fit into those parks you would normally have to give up to another smaller car. Yet, in the boot you don’t sacrifice too much for the benefit. Any large grocery shop will still fit without needing to fold down the 60/40 split rear seats.

Due to it being available in front-wheel-drive, you do lose the ability to tackle any off road tracks, but you do get to benefit from the better than average fuel economy of 7.6 litres/100km.

Drivability

Jumping into the drivers’ seat of the Trax will leave you a little confused initially. Everything in the Trax tells you that it is a car, though the ride height tells you that it is an SUV. 

Once you get onto the road you’ll recognise that you get the best of both worlds. It handles exactly like a car should. The Trax feels agile and far from big and bulky.

Whilst our roads are far from being the smoothest, bumps and potholes are absorbed well and does not disturb the cabin much at all.  For longer drives this is greatly welcomed as we found when heading west out of Brisbane during our review.

Cost

Compared to its competition, the Holden Trax sits towards to lower end of the pricing spectrum for the compact SUV market. 

As already mentioned, at the time of this review, the entry-level model LS model starts at just over $26,000 for the manual transmission and the LTZ model starts at just over $30,000. 

Compared to other compact SUV’s we’ve reviewed in this segment, the Holden MyLink infotainment system does the best job of setting the Trax apart from the others. It is one of the most versatile systems we’ve used offering video and music streaming via Bluetooth, Apps and more. 

Outside of the MyLink system, standard features in the LS and LTZ include alloy wheels, 6 airbags, auto headlights, hillstart assist, and cruise control. In the LTZ model you also gain heated front seats, leather trim, front fog lamps, and18” alloys. Don’t forget the 3 Year/100,000km Warranty, Roadside Assistance and Capped Price Servicing is included. 

Conclusion

The Holden Trax, we found, to be a great vehicle for Holden’s return to the compact SUV market. Despite not being available with all-wheel-drive, it knows what it is. That is being a city car. 

Some additional power would be welcomed, but it isn’t necessary for who will be buying this car. The fuel economy also helps justify this. 

It’s loaded with technology; it is safe and also looks the part. There’s not much we would change at all. If we had to recommend a model, we would recommend the LTZ.

The leather feels great, the chrome additions on the exterior are nice and the little comfort additions round out the experience with the 2014 Holden Trax. 

At both of our Holden locations, City Holden in Moorooka and Springwood Holden, the Trax is available for test drives. So, take it for a test drive and let us know what you think!