Small SUVs dominate the compact crossover segment, where all-wheel-drive capabilities and a bit of style and comfort take priority. While some might consider these compact vehicles more like a hatchback than a true SUV, size doesn’t always matter. The fact remains that they offer both city dwellers and off-road enthusiasts the chance to have the best of a sedan, mixed with the undeniable off-road capability that is much needed on certain terrains.

The 2021 Chevy Trax represents the bowtie’s entry into the compact SUV segment. Currently the smallest SUV the mega manufacturer produces, the Trax calls the Equinox, Traverse, and Blazer its older brothers — though perhaps not for long. The new Trailblazer looks much better in its redesign and Chevy customers may be hard pressed to pass up such a package.

We’ve put together a handy guide on the 2021 Chevrolet Trax for you. Complete with performance numbers, critical impressions, and everything in-between, our guide is everything you need to evaluate the Trax. Visit your local Chevy dealership to see a model in person. But before you do, take a look at what we’ve got for you below.

Performance Specifications

The 2021 Trax is available in both front- and all-wheel drive. With seating for up to five people, the Trax takes advantage of a single powerplant. This 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It’s a bit unfortunate that Chevy doesn’t offer a more powerful engine option. Then again, they have a variety of other SUV models for anyone looking for that particular feature.

Available Colors

Chevrolet produces the 2021 Trax in the following colors.

  • Mosaic Black Metallic
  • Midnight Blue Metallic
  • Silver Ice Metallic
  • Summit White
  • Crimson Metallic
  • Black Cherry Metallic
  • Stone Gray Metallic
  • Iridescent Pearl Tricoat
  • Shadow Gray Metallic

Trimlines and Pricing

The Trax is only available in two different trims. However, there are numerous upgrade packages and standalone features you can tack on to make your Trax more desirable.


Starting at $21,400, the base Trax includes a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 16-inch wheels, cloth seating, Bluetooth, and remote keyless entry.


Choose this higher trim if you’re looking for roof rails, remote start, a cloth/leather seating combo, tinted rear windows, and LED daytime running lights. This one starts at $23,200.

A power driver’s seat will cost you extra, along with fake leather seating and heated front seats. A Midnight Edition features 18-inch black wheels, blacked-out front and rear skid plates, a black bowtie, and black door handles. Or choose the Sport Edition package for the same wheels and blacked-out treatment, along with body color door handles.

Other potential upgrades include the Redline Edition, Premium Seat Package, Driver Confidence Package, Convenience Package, Road Trip Package, and the Lifestyle Package. You can mix and match these to customize your Trax however you want.

The 2021 Chevrolet Trax might not steal the stage. However, can it outduel its Chevy classmates or competing brands? Read on to find out.

Safety Features

The 2021 Trax does well when it comes to safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded it 5 out of 5 stars for both front- and all-wheel drive models. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) echoed this sentiment, awarding the sedan a top-ranked “Good” rating in all categories except one. In the “Small overlap front: passenger-side” test, the 2021 Trax rated “Acceptable.”

Standard safety features on the 2021 Trax include a rearview camera. You’ll have to ante up for blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

Fuel Efficiency

The single powerplant underneath the 2021 Trax’s hood makes 26 city and 31 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG) when purchased as a front-wheel drive vehicle. All-wheel-drive models should see around 24 city and 29 highway MPG. While the single engine option may leave some buyers wishing for more power, they will certainly see the trade off when to comes to increased gas mileage.


“Compact” has become a buzz word in the realm of smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles that continue to delight big-city drivers, college kids, and the occasional retiree. After all, the draw of maneuvering a small vehicle around brings with it a number of benefits, beyond those seen at the pump. A reduced footprint makes parking easier, allows for more garage space, and generally costs less to maintain.

Major car manufacturers have capitalized upon this trend by investing in a number of models that check those boxes. Some choose to go electric, others go for character, but all package their variants in cute, tiny frames that could stack two or three high inside a tractor-trailer. So where does the 2021 Chevrolet Trax fit into the grand — or should we say, micro — scheme of things?

Let’s first start with the diminutive classmates the Trax contends with. Hometown rivals include the Chevrolet Spark (which is actually more of a hatchback than an SUV) and the Trailblazer, which poses the biggest problems for this aging platform. We’ll get to more specifics regarding the Trailblazer vs. Trax discussion in a second. You can also consider the Kia Soul and Seltos, Buick Encore, Hyundai Kona and Venue, Mazda CX-30, Honda HR-V, and Jeep Renegade and Compass. Ford’s EcoSport and Escape rise to the challenge as well, along with the Subaru Crosstrek.

What Others Are Saying

Standing up against such a roster requires a lot of this little Chevy. Kelly Blue Book says the Trax “faces an uphill battle against fresher and better competitors.” In many cases, its weaknesses begin to show. For instance, KBB relayed concern regarding Chevy’s decision to include “fewer active safety features than most rivals” on the Trax model.

Edmunds noted that “fuel economy falls short for the class.” CarAndDriver found the engine to be “buzzy and unrefined.” Finally, MotorTrend complained that the “mandatory rear drum brakes evidence cost cutting.” That’s not a comforting feeling when you’re spending $20,000+ on a brand-new vehicle.

So the 2021 Trax isn’t a miniature Alfa Romeo. That’s not to say it performs horribly in every aspect, though. Its “clever interior packaging” impressed MotorTrend. The quick steering and maneuverability gave both CarAndDriver and U.S. News pleasure behind the wheel. Nearly every reviewer recommended choosing the more pricey LT model, a trim that still gives you quite a bit of car for the price.

As we mentioned, however, the Trailblazer stands to steal buyers from the Trax. In fact, you might say the bowtie plans to encourage this transition, given the lower starting price, comparable specs, and updated styling. The Trax includes too many characteristics that fade it into the rows of sheet metal at a rental car lot. Meanwhile, the character lines on the Trailblazer mirror what other manufacturers are doing to bring life back into their compact SUVs.

The Last Word

The 2021 Chevrolet Trax offers you the power to trek across the terrain with all-wheel-drive capabilities. Though it might not win any awards for luxury, it still performs quite well for those who don’t want a huge car payment every month. We hope you’ve found the information you needed to make a more informed decision about the 2021 Trax. Ultimately, we recommend you stop by your local Chevrolet dealership to check it our for yourself. While you’re there, have a peak at the up-and-coming Trailblazer too. Which Chevy model will you take home?


Rebecca Henderson has a Master's in German and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. She alternates her time between writing and working on a variety of motorized projects. Most recently, she and her boyfriend have been building a custom drift trike. Rebecca believes that language, love, and a life worth living are only the first ingredients to happiness.