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Holden Trax 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
7
Derek Ogden road tests and reviews the Holden Trax LTZ 1.4 iTi with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Holden reckons it has all sports utility vehicle bases covered, from small (Trax), medium (Captiva 5) to large (Captiva 7, Colorado and Colorado 7) and now has injected a little tonic into its Trax with a turbocharged engine.

The LTZ 1.4 iTi tops off the Trax range, first seen here just over a year ago, with the addition of a 1.4-litre petrol engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels.

Delivering 103kW and 200Nm, Holden claims fuel consumption of 6.9L/100km on the combined urban/highway cycle, as opposed to the mid seven litres with the 1.8-litre naturally aspirated motor also available in the Trax.

The MY15 LTZ 1.4 iTi also gains a few features over the other Trax models with new 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic windscreen wipers, a driver’s armrest and sunroof as standard.

With prices starting at $23,990, plus on-road costs, for the Holden Trax LS 1.8-litre manual, the LTZ 1.4 iTi is $29,990. The Trax range is covered by Holden’s Capped Price Servicing at $185 a time, for three years or 60,000 kilometres.

Design

The Trax may be a small SUV but front on, with its expansive Holden family radiator grille, dual halogen headlamps and low-set foglamps sets the theme for a bold LTZ presence.

Body coloured door handles with chrome strip inserts offer a hint of prestige, while a roof mounted rear spoiler with integrated LED brake lights and 18-inch wheels are up with the latest SUV styling cues.

A five-seater, rear legroom is at a premium for adults. However, rear seats redeem themselves by tumble-folding forward, more than doubling the 356 litres of cargo space. Front occupants are spoiled with heated seats.

Features

Like all Trax models the LTZ iTi is fitted with Holden’s MyLink multimedia system with 7-inch colour touch-screen display, embedded apps including Pandora, Stitcher SmartRadio, TuneIn and BringGo navigation, while Siri Eyes Free Mode enables the driver to strike up some sort of relationship with the vehicle through voice commands.

Kit such as AM/FM radio, USB with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth, run of the mill these days, is also in the mix.

Engine / Transmission

The 1.4-litre iTi engine already has form in this country, having been taken up by the sporty Barina RS and locally-built Cruze.

The powertrain package, which in LTZ spec includes a six-speed automatic transmission with Active Select as standard driving the front wheels, has been calibrated by Holden engineers for Australian conditions and is joined by a suspension tailored to Australian roads.

Safety

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, make Trax one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the segment.

Trax also joins all other Holdens by featuring the Isofix infant restraint system recently given the government go-ahead in Australia.

Driving

While 103kW is nothing special, it is the 200Nm that is the stand-out feature, making for responsive performance in city traffic and when overtaking on the open road.

Stop/start motoring in city traffic during test had the petrol consumption nearing 9.0L/100km, while highway cruising brought the figure down to respectable figures in the mid-fives.

Active Select is operated via a single button on the tip of the centre console-mounted gearshift lever. As semi-automatics go, it answers the driver’s commands provided they lie within the mapping parameters.

Straight-line stability is excellent; gone are the days of high-sided vehicle body roll and choppy ride of a short wheelbase. The Trax ride and handling are high end for this class - the Aussie engineers have certainly seen to that.

The 1.4-litre engine generally performed without fuss, with a harsh note only when pushed. Road noise from the 18-inch Continentals was kept at bay from the comfortable cabin.

Verdict

Holden Trax LTZ 1.4 turbo fills a void in the Holden SUV line-up with an engine already in service successfully with the company’s product with a view to fuel economy allied with performance.

Pricing Guides

$14,984
Based on 96 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$8,990
Highest Price
$18,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
LS 1.8L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $9,725 – 17,991 2015 Holden Trax 2015 LS Pricing and Specs
LS Active 1.8L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $11,999 – 16,490 2015 Holden Trax 2015 LS Active Pricing and Specs
LTZ 1.8L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $12,490 – 18,999 2015 Holden Trax 2015 LTZ Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$9,990

Lowest price, based on 31 car listings in the last 6 months

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