The Holden Trax will be available in showrooms across the country from early September and it’s certainly going to add some interest to the small SUV market.
Not only is it coming into the market with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating but it’s also bringing a level of technology that Holden describes as “best-in-class” . Even the base model will have a suite of tech goodies that are usually reserved for models further up the range.
The Holden Trax will be offered in two trim levels starting with the LS that will carry a recommended retail price (not including dealer and government charges) of $23,490 for the manual model and $25,690 for the Active-Select auto model. The recommended retail price for the Holden Trax LTZ will be $27,990.
When you look at the list of standard equipment in the Trax LS … which comes with a five-speed manual transmission as standard … and then compare it with the extras you get in the LTZ I think most people will happily settle for the LS six-speed auto option added in.
Even though the Holden Trax is built in South Korea an Australian engineering team from Holden has spent over two years working to produce a vehicle that is suited for Australian conditions. The suspension has been tuned and the engine calibrated for our conditions and the same setup will be used on the models that will go into the Russian, South African and New Zealand markets.
The Holden Trax is 4278mm long and 1776mm wide. It’s 1674mmm high and it has a wheelbase of 2555mm. The kerb weight for the base model is 1356kg while the auto transmission adds another 15kg.
With all seats in the upright position there is just 356 litres of luggage capacity … remember, this is a small SUV … but with the rear 60/40 split-fold seats folded down the luggage capacity goes up to 785 litres and with the rear seats fully folded out of the way the luggage capacity increases to 1370 litres.
Suspension and steering
The suspension in the Holden Trax features a McPherson strut arrangement at the front and a compound crank rear axle.
The mounting bushes on the rear axle have been tuned locally to reduce noise levels on dirt roads and the front struts and rear shocks have also received a lot of attention to ensure that the Trax can handle our rougher roads.
The Holden Trax is fitted with electric power steering that gives the vehicle a turning circle of 10.9 metres. The steering has also been tuned to handle our conditions. Particular attention was paid to the amount of feedback driver’s receive when travelling over dirt roads.
Urban drivers weren’t forgotten either and the steering at low speeds is quite light so it won’t be a chore to drive in tight urban environments.
The engine and transmission
The 1.8 litre double overhead cam, 16-valve, four cylinder petrol engine ECOTEC petrol engine is currently the only one available for the Trax. This engine produces 103kW of power and 175Nm of torque. It’s not a new to Australia … It’s already been seen here in Australia in the latest Holden Cruze so local mechanics are familiar with it.
Despite having a cast iron cylinder block this engine is still considered to be lightweight thanks to a hollow frame. Other features of this engine include the double overhead camshaft with four valves per cylinder, dual continuously variable camshaft phasing, lightweight camshaft tappets with reduced friction, variable intake manifold, an electronically controlled cooling system, oil-water heat exchanger and piston-cooling oil jets.
Around 90 percent of peak torque will be produced in the 2,400 to 6.500rpm range and the fuel consumption figures are interesting. Usually the auto version produces better figures than the manual but not in this case. The manual version of the Holden Trax will produce 7.0L/100km on a combined cycle while the auto can only managed 7.6L/100km.
The fuel tank in the Trax will hold 53 litres.
Drive is through the front wheels and the transmission is via a five-speed manual box in the LS (auto is $2200 optional extra) and a six-speed auto box for the LTZ. There is no option for a manual box in the LTZ.
The interior and technology
The front seats are contoured and obviously designed to offer support when cornering and the front seats in the Holden Trax LTZ are heated.
The passenger seat features a handy storage tray for things like your iPad or tablet. I’m sure that this is a feature that most buyers would be quick to use because there’s nothing worse than hunting for your iPad or tablet when you’ve slipped it under one of the front seats to keep it out of sight while you’re out of the car.
The dashboard features ice blue illumination and includes an instrument cluster that features a digital LED speedo and a very prominent analogue tacho.
The centre stack seems to dominate the front of the Holden Trax. It features a seven-inch touch-screen that’s linked to Holden’s MyLink infotainment system that gives drivers access to the widest range of apps available in an Australian vehicle.
Included in those apps is BringGo, a navigation system that has functions that include Google Places search … so now you can have Google right there in the car with you.
There’s also USB with iPod connectivity, Bluetooth etc. and of course air conditioning and ISOFIX child seat anchorage system are included as standard.
Of course the Holden Trax comes with all the safety options you expect to find in a vehicle that has a 5-star safety rating including Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, Electronic Stability Control, ABS, EBD and traction control, six airbags, break-away brake pedal and three-point seatbelts
The Trax also comes with rear parking sensors and a rear view camera as standard … and the camera display appears on the screen in the centre stack where it is easy to see.
The Trax has been designed with a strong and stiff body that includes a multi-load path crash structure. The structure of the seat frames and the headrests have been designed provide added protection from whiplash injuries.
If the reality of driving a Holden Trax is as good as the hype says it is then Holden could be on a real winner here. A small SUV has certainly been missing from the Holden range and the Trax could be what a lot of people are looking for.
All images are of the LTZ and provided by Holden