New car news

trax

16 August 2013 - 00:00

Review: Holden Trax

By CURT DUPRIEZ

Another day, another hum-drum SUV. Be still my beating heart...

I know, I know. But Holden's jumping up and down with excitement about its Trax. Perhaps it's the dollar signs spinning in its eyes. Perhaps it's because Opel was due to launch its Trax twin, the Mokka, then did a Julian Assange on the Aussie market and high-tailed it out of the country, leaving the Holden to sweep up the middle-income soccer mums who'll flock to the sub-compact SUV...

Sub-compact? Holden says it's a "compact SUV"

Semantics, dear Watson. Truth is, the definition of "compact SUV" has about fifty shades of grey...with none of the naughty bits. Fact is, it's built off the same platform as a Barina - a small, rather than regular-sized, hatchback. So it's a double-small SUV, in a sense.

Australian?

Well, it's built in South Korean, engineered in Germany, styled mostly in the US... Australia did the nose job, though.

My eyes are starting to hurt...

Look, it's not that ugly. Trust us, it looks better in the flesh than it does here on the Interweb. At least that's a case with the top-spec LTZ version, which sits on big 18s. The piddle-y 16s on the base LS version leaves it looking a bit Noddy Goes To Toytown but it's an inoffensive look designed to appeal to toddlers and nannas alike. You can even option racing stripes...

For the Soccer Mum Grand Prix? Just imagine a grid of sweaty young mums, wearing Nomex, swapping paint in their Trax around a race track. Grrrrrr...

Steady on, tiger. It's no rocketship. The Trax only comes with one engine: the 1.8L four from the Cruze-by-name, cruise-by-nature. But there are enough herbs in the pot to get Little Johnny to crèche on time, which is precisely the point.

Speaking of which, is there any room in the thing?

A heap. Four adults will fit in the cabin with relative comfort, though you wouldn't try squeezing five in without some Barry White on the stereo system. Except there's no CD player. There is, however, a nifty seven-inch touchscreen with Holden's cleverdick MyLink feature which uses your smartphone to access app-based trickery for music, navigation, adult dating sites (I think - I've yet to find it I the submenus) and talk to some bird named Siri. Isn't that Tom Cruise's daughter...? Creepy.

Sounds expensive...

You would, wouldn't you? But it starts from $23,490 for the base LS with a row-it-yourself five-speed. Us? We'd avoid the social suicide of the 16-inch Noddy look and fork out full-whacking $27,990 for the LTZ top-shelfer.

You could always sell the kids to slavery and just go and buy a Commodore SS-V Redline Ute...

Now there's an idea...

Back to the latest car news