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Holden Trax road test

by Stephen Walker

28th October, 2013

Home > Road Tests > Holden

Related stories:
Holden Trax released
11th October, 2013
Holden Trax to be launched with 5-star safety rating
15th August, 2013

General Motors is expanding its presence into another area of the market. The growing consumer demand for small two-wheel drive SUV-type cars has seen entrants like Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur come along in numerous markets to compete against cars that are just a little smaller than the Mitsubishi ASX. GM join this new group of city sized SUV-like cars with the Holden Trax.

Test Car particulars

Our test car, for this drive experience, was the base model Trax - the LS - coloured Nitrate Silver. It was fitted with two options, namely automatic transmission and metallic paint.


Holden Trax LS is priced from $23,490* for the manual transmission version, an automatic transmission is optional at $2,200*. Trax LS automatic, is therefore, priced from $25,690*.

The Trax LTZ is the top-of-the-line edition in the two model line-up. It has automatic transmission as standard and is priced from $27,990*.

Premium paint is optional at $550*. Plenty of accessories are available for the Trax.

Four-wheel drive and a diesel engine are not available in the city-sized Holden Trax.

Driving the Holden Trax LS

What do you expect from a city car? The compact dimensions mean it will, generally, be easy to park and we can confirm that was always the case for us. The elevated driving position is an attraction for many buyers these days and, in this regard, the Trax delivers a good driving position. Entry and egress was always easy - a good feature of small and medium sized SUVs.

Nimble handling is a feature of Trax, but it is an SUV style of vehicle rather than a sports car. So people moving into SUVs for the first time need to understand that the handling qualities of a small SUV are different to a small car. That said, we found the Trax an enjoyable drive in the city and suburban environment of Melbourne. Although the accelerator and brake pedals, like the Holden Barina, have mounting rods that are quite close together and drivers with big feet or those wearing larger formal style shoes will find they can easily connect with the mounting rods for both the accelerator and clutch.

Performance was quite suitable in our opinion with the Trax always able to 'get away' from 'the lights' quite well. The reason for this handy amount of get-up-and-go is that this small SUV has the engine from the larger Holden Cruze. So this is likely to be an attraction, in my opinion, because there is still demand for reasonable performance - even in cars meant for city use.

Old fashion drum brakes are fitted to the rear. Our responsible driving technique never produced a problem in respect to the braking. However, we do feel the 2013 new car market calls for 4-wheel disc brakes. The drums are, quite likely, a cost control measure. But it will be almost certain that sales people won't walk up to folks on the showroom floor shouting out that the Trax has drum brakes at the rear.

Our drive experience covered 208 kilometres of big city suburban motoring. (copyright image) (copyright image) (copyright image) (copyright image) (copyright image)

Living with the Holden Trax LS

The South Korean made Holden Trax is a fairly decent presentation, even in its base model guise - such as our test car. We found the comfort level more than reasonable, without any pretence of luxury.

If anything was missing it would be a combination centre console and arm rest. But other than that, the base model Trax offered sufficient appeal.

We didn't have back seat occupants during our Trax drive time, so we offer no comment other than to say that there appears to be reasonable space for two adults in the back seat. Bear in mind, of course, that Trax is a small SUV.


The Holden Trax is an unsophisticated car, completely conventional in its presentation. Front-wheel drive is the sole drivetrain configuration.

The 1.8 litre Ecotec 4-cylinder engine from the Cruze is the chosen powerplant for the Australian version of the Cruz. Good move we say! Power is rated at 103kW @ 6,300 rpm, whilst torque is measured at 175Nm @ 3,800 rpm.

The automatic transmission is a six-speed unit, which works well with the 1.8-litre engine. Only the sixth gear is an overdrive ratio.

A five-speed manual gearbox is available with the base model Trax.

The electric power steering unit was locally 'tuned' during the engineering phase of the Trax development.

Trax LS comes with four 16" alloy wheels and Trax LTZ has four 18" alloy wheels.


ANCAP rate the Trax with 5 stars for crash worthiness with a score of 35.18 (out of 37). The ANCAP result is based on information sourced from EuroNCAP who tested a left-hand drive 1.7 litre diesel-engined Trax.

The ANCAP score of 35.18 for the Trax compares favourably against the five star rating for Nissan Juke with 33.03 (some models) and Mitsubishi ASX (all models) with 34.13 points.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC); Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD); Traction Control System (TCS); Hydraulic Brake Fade Assist; 6 airbags (driver, front passenger, front side and curtain); ISOFIX at two outboard rear seating positions as standard fitment to each Trax model.

Importantly, all Holden Trax models are fitted with a reverse camera and rear parking sensors.

Fuel and emissions

On the 'combined cycle', fuel consumption for the new Holden Trax is rated at 7.6 litres/100 kilometres.

The fuel tank capacity is 53 litres.

CO2 emissions rating is 179 grammes/kilometre on the 'combined cycle' for the automatic Trax.


MyLink is Holden's branding for the important aspect of 'connecting' and information/entertainment.

Trax models feature 7” full colour touch screen; AM/FM radio with RDS display; Audio and phone streaming via Bluetooth (with compatible devices only); View images, movies while vehicle is parked; Phone integration; Phone book support; Pandora, TuneIn, BringGo navigation and Stitcher apps (compatible with iOS and Android devices, data streams via the phone’s 3G connection); USB and auxiliary input; Voice control via Siri eyes free integration. Note: not all apps are supported.


Length: 4,278 mm
Width: 1,776 mm (including mirrors)
Height: 1,674 mm
Wheelbase: 2,555 mm
Kerb weight: 1,371 kg
Boot capacity: 356 litres with rear seat up, 785 litres with the rear seats folded down.

In sizing up the Trax, putting it against Holden's light car segment entrant - the Barina - Trax is 239mm longer than a Barina hatch and 121mm shorter than a Barina sedan. So Holden Trax definitely fits in as one of the new breed of city-sized SUVs. Trax wheelbase is 30mm longer than the Barina.

Against other small SUVs, the Holden Trax (4,278mm) is 143mm longer than the Nissan Juke (4,135mm) and just 17mm shorter than the Mitsubishi ASX (4,295mm). The larger Kia Sportage at 4,440mm is 162mm longer than Trax.


With appropriate equipment, the Holden Trax will tow up to 1,200kg (braked trailer).

After Sales

A warranty for 100,000 kms or 3 years applies, whichever comes first (with conditions, of course). The warranty can be extended by 12, 24 or 36 months at the time of vehicle acquisition (new vehicles only).

Capped price servicing (up to four standard scheduled services - conditions apply) for the first three years or 60,000 kms, whichever comes first - currently $185 for each service.

Roadside assistance is available for one year, with conditions.


The Holden Trax is a neat little package. Holden pricing can be, at times, above their competition and this detracts from the value perspective. But the design and driving manners of the new little SUV is pleasing and I am convinced many people will be fully satisfied with a Holden Trax for their city and suburban run around.

NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.


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