The front-wheel-drive Chevy Trax averaged 28.9 mpg.
The combination of heavy snowfall the past couple of months and below-normal winter temps created “out of season” conditions for two new vehicle offerings.
Both – the 2016 Subaru WRX STI HyperBlue edition and the 2016 front-wheel-drive Chevy Trax LTZ – were impressive on more conducive turf, away from the deep snow.
The Trax did a credible job of churning through a 3-inch snow; as the snow got deeper and deeper, though, it made me wonder to what part of the country Chevrolet sent its all-wheel-drive-equipped Trax review models and why one wasn’t delivered here? The five-passenger Trax competes in the fast-developing field of subcompact SUV crossovers against the likes of Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3.
Blue finish, rear wing identify special Subaru.Photos by Bud Wells
Same thing goes for the high-performance Subaru WRX STI: Stay out of the deep snow. It’s of all-wheel-drive configuration, but sits low with extra-stiff suspension, 305 horsepower, responsive 6-speed manual shifter and sport-tuned differential. It’ll redline 1st gear in the blink of an eye. Only 1,000 of the special blue-pearl-finished four-door sedans with gold wheels will be built for the model year.
Base price for a Trax begins just above $20,000; the LTZ version carried a sticker of $25,230, including Bose audio with Bluetooth, leatherette seating heated in front, rear-vision camera, remote vehicle start and cruise control.
With a mildly responsive 1.4-liter (138 horsepower), turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission, the Trax averaged 28.9 mpg of regular fuel, and carries an EPA estimate of 26-34.
From the driver’s seat, the Trax offers excellent visibility all-around; its cargo space behind the second-row of seats is almost 19 cubic feet. Fold the second row of seats and the front-passenger seatback and it can handle an 8-foot-long package.
Up front are lots of storage compartments, including two glove compartments and a small covered bin atop the center of the dash. It rides on 18-inch Continental ProContact tires.
Price tag for the Subaru WRX STI climbed to $39,790, with the special HyperBlue finish, 2.5-liter intercooled turbo boxer-4 engine, Brembo performance brakes, rear camera, dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats. An interior highlight for the Subaru are leather and alcantra trim with blue stitching.
The wide-bodied sport sedan is noted for an 11-inch-high rear wing, providing stabilizing downforce at high speeds.
The performance factor cut the Sube’s EPA estimate to 17/23; it averaged 20.7 mpg for my travel. It was equipped with Dunlop Winter Sport 245/40R18 tires.
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