Monday – Small High Tech

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Surprising at it might seem, £18,000 doesn’t buy you much new car these days. At first glance, the range-topping Trax LT might look expensive for a small SUV but there’s a lot more equipment than you would expect. It’s actually a fairly high-tech machine.

Top of the list is the MyLink screen, which connects to your smartphone and offers all kinds of possibilities apart from just music. For Trax buyers, the most practical is an app that you download onto your phone for about £50 which provides satellite navigation. That’s even cheaper than the most basic TomTom.

Connecting a phone via Bluetooth is super easy – and the screen also links up to a reversing camera. There’s a decent sound system and the seats are firm but comfortable.

I had a quick play around with the back seat today and it’s going to be tight squeezing three adults in the back. It’s fine for two grown ups with plenty of headroom too. The boots ok with the seats up – much better with the back seats down.

Oh, and the dashboard and controls maybe pure GM but in this case it looks good too.

Sunday – Bulldog Looks

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If ever there was a British Bulldog of car design this is it. The Trax may be short on stature – 4.25 metres of it – but the front end looks like a mutt straining at the leash.

While the rest of the car is sculpted-out conventional SUV, that Chevrolet front end is what really bites you on the bottom. In fact, if you added a set of wider wheels and painted it black, the Trax would be a bruiser of a 4×4 to look at.

The only problem with having such a large front end is that wind noise can be quite intrusive at high speed – not helped by the elephant-sized door mirrors which are simply enormous!

However, the built quality is pretty rugged and robust. The doors shut with a reassuring thud and  the interior is practical, with 1370 litres of space if you fold the rear seats flat (356 litres with the back seats in place).

Right now I’m thoroughly enjoying the 128bhp diesel engine. You have to work it hard, which might be tiresome in the long run but it’s simply great fun to drive.