The Blue Ridge Mountains make up a portion of the Appalachian Mountains range that extends from 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.
I was fortunate to be able to come to Asheville, North Carolina recently to test out the 2024 Chevrolet Trax among all this natural wonder and really see how this compact SUV performs amongst the hills, highways and weather of the region.
At a starting MSPR of $21,495, the goal of the Chevrolet is to have the practicality of a compact car and the utility of an SUV. The reimagined entry SUV is larger and roomier, with many safety features and technologies coming standard.
Coming from California, a place full of natural wonders, it’s always a treat to be able to spend time in the Southeastern United States because most evidently the culture and the food are different, and the natural wonders of the region attract me; the way the sun sets and colors the sky is something you can’t see anywhere else. When this happens amongst the backdrop of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, it is something awe inspiring.
Blue Ridge Living
The North Carolina State Motto is: “Esse quam videri” which translates to: “To be rather than to seem.”
From a few sources I looked into, the idea was that the motto exemplified the people of North Carolina’s ability to be genuine in their answers rather than seem so, or more plainly, their tenacity allows them to tell you something straightforward, without alluding to something that may not be their intention.
Thinking about this motto, I intended to be as adventurous as I could with my time with the Chevrolet Trax, and give myself the opportunity to really take in all the natural beauty and pay attention to the details, from both the highways and roads to the Trax’s modern tools and stylings. I would be a North Carolinian for a day, rather than seem like one.
Asheville is a cozy, diverse city nestled amongst the wilderness, amongst green hills and surrounded by a mountain range that is spectacular and iconic. Here is where I would first meet Chevy’s reimagined Trax, an entry-level compact SUV that has great styling and lines, and looks stout and sporty, ready to take in either the city or the hills. The design of the various trims each pertain to a different “personality”, with LS, 1RS, LT, 2RS and ACTIV models all tailored to different types of uses.
They all feature bold exterior designs reminiscent of its bigger sibling, the Chevrolet Blazer, and all have at least standard 17-inch aluminum wheels. The RS trims have the sportiest off-road look to them, having exterior trim accents, a custom grille and either aluminum 18 inch (1RS) or black 19-inch wheels.
Under the hood it carries a 1.2L turbocharged inline-three engine with an estimated 137 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. With a six-speed automatic transmission, the turbocharged engine certainly has some push to it when needed.
Although I had not experienced the current model Trax, I did see side by side images and information for either model and could tell the 2024 one was in a whole other world in terms of size and looks. It is longer, lower and wider than the current model, having a 6-inch longer wheelbase, being 4 inches lower, and inside being 2 inches wider and 11 inches longer, which gives more space for legroom and cargo capacity.
Sitting inside of the 2024 Chevrolet Trax is spacious, even though the footprint of the SUV is like a sedan. It was easy to park, drive and maneuver, I never felt like it was too bulky or would find myself skipping compact parking spaces due to its size.
While a passenger, the legroom is apparent, and it feels like the designers made sure it was not an afterthought to make it comfortable for a grown adult on a road trip, or spacious enough for car seats and dogs. It’s a compact SUV with the emphasis on utility.
Technology and Troyer’s Amish Country Blatz
On the tech side, you have sweeping lines and technical details that make the inside feel stylish, larger and lighter. The color touchscreen infotainment center starts at 8 inches in the LS and 1RS trims, while the LT, 2RS and ACTIV models all have 11-inch diagonal touchscreens.
While on my first solo ride out of Chevy homebase in Asheville, I was given the option to head out onto the highway, and onto a rural bumpy road leading to a popular deli and Amish food store, Troyer’s Amish Country Blatz. There we would meet proprietors Phil and Bonnie Troyer of Fairview, North Carolina and get some great snacks.
Though before I even took off to Troyer’s, I sat for the first time in the 2024 Chevrolet Trax and admired the aforementioned details and styling, then got to work on connecting my phone to the infotainment system. With an easy Bluetooth pairing method, (no cord needed), I was quickly synced to have my Android Auto connected to the Trax, thus giving me instant access to my Google Maps, Spotify audio playlists, and the ability for any texts to be read to me. And as a plus, I could lay my phone down into a charging panel under the infotainment screen, avoiding any need to access my phone.
Active noise cancellation within the cabin is standard, so despite any noise outside it won’t be too much of a distraction inside the Trax.
Troyer’s, opened in 2006, focuses on products from the Amish culture, including handmade furniture, spices and baking products, various pickled foods and jams, as well as leatherware and medicinal products. I ended up with handmade soaps for back home, and some fresh beef jerky and kettle chips for the drive.
Outside, as I prepared to venture back to the highway I saw two points of interest in the foreground of the mountains around us, a group of alpacas in a pen, happily eating away at the greenery at their feet, and an authentic Amish buggy. This felt like pure North Carolina, even if I wasn’t sure if alpacas were native to the region.
From here I ventured off on a few adventures, from the rural hills where Troyer’s was, to the busier highways near Asheville, confident that I could at least navigate my way around these new roads.
The all-new 2024 Chevrolet Trax is a fun, purposeful entry SUV that allows consumers into Chevrolet’s styling, technology and experience. I find myself thinking back on the philosophy of the Trax, as vice president of Chevrolet Scott Bell put it: “Trax has everything you need and nothing you don’t. This is an entry-level vehicle that will surprise and delight customers with its value and plays a critical role as the gateway into the Chevy brand.”
So whether it’s North Carolina, the Land of the Sky, or coastal cruising, or city roaming, the 2024 Trax is a gateway to experience what the SUV has to offer without jumping into the largest, or priciest models from the start. With tech and comfort, the Trax seems more like an extra spacious sedan with off-road capabilities.