With Holden hurtling toward the closure of its Australian vehicle manufacturing, the company is looking to the future as purely a car importer.
In line with this, Holden has perked up its Trax small sport utility vehicle range with the addition of turbo power. The Trax LTZ 1.4 iTi takes its spot art the top of the range with the addition of a 1.4-litre petrol engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission, delivering 103 kW of power and 200 Nm of torque.
Holden claims fuel consumption of just 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined urban / highway cycle, as opposed to the mid seven litres with the existing 1.8-litre non-turbo motor.
While 103 kW of power cannot be ignored, it is the 200 Nm of torque that is the stand-out feature, with the maximum being available from a low 1850 rpm all the way up to 4900 revs, making for responsive, lively performance in stop-start city traffic, in the hills and especially when overtaking on the open road.
No stranger to this country, the engine, which can be found in the sporty Holden Barina RS and Australian-built Holden Cruze, has been calibrated by Holden engineers for Australian conditions and is joined by a suspension tailored for our roads.
In the interests of safety the Holden Trax line-up includes advanced chassis systems such as a Descent Control System, Hill Start Assist and Electronic Stability Control incorporating Anti-lock Braking, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake force Distribution and Traction Control, making it one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the segment.
The MY15 Trax LTZ 1.4 iTi gains a few extra goodies over the existing models with new 18-inch alloy wheels, rain sensing wipers, a driver’s armrest and a sunroof as standard.
Like all Trax models the LTZ iTi is fitted with Holden MyLink infotainment system with 7-inch colour touch-screen display, embedded apps including Pandora, Stitcher SmartRadio, TuneIn and BringGo navigation, Siri Eyes Free Mode, AM/FM radio, USB with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth.
One thing the new Trax illustrated was the advances in compact SUV performance and quality over the years they have been on our roads. In all departments, the LTZ 1.4 iTi engine is responsive to driver input, from smooth take-off to highway cruising and confidence in overtaking.
Gone are the days of vehicle body roll and choppy ride of a short wheelbase - Holden Trax’s ride and handling are high end, the engine performed without fuss, with a harsh note only when pushed and road noise from the 18-inch Continentals was kept at bay from the comfortable cabin interior.
Holden Trax LTZ 1.4 iTi is priced at $29,990, plus on-road costs.
The complete Trax range is covered by Holden’s capped price servicing at just $185 a time, for three years or 60,000 kilometres.