Just like the Geo Tracker before it, Chevrolet’s 2015 Trax an attempt at small-SUV redemption

Cobalt ignition switches aside, anyone who thinks General Motors is in trouble now should take a look at the Chevrolet Tracker. This Suzuki-based mini-ute was a portrait of automotive underachievement.

GM probably won’t encourage comparisons between the Tracker and the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, which debuted at 2014 New York Auto Show, but it’s hard not to make them. Even the name sounds similar (it’s actually taken from a 2007 concept).

Like the Tracker, the Trax was also designed with global sales in mind. It’s been on sale in Canada, Mexico, and several other markets since late 2012, and now GM has decided to bring it to the U.S.

This micro-crossover rides on the same Gamma II platform as the Chevy Sonic and Spark, and Buick Encore. So it’s better to think of it as the Buick’s working-class cousin than a neo-Tracker.

While the Trax and Encore followed different paths to U.S. showrooms, they are pretty much the same. They’re almost identical in size, and they both use the Chevy Cruze’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque.

As with the Buick, the Trax comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Yet while the Buick is somewhat interesting to look at, the Trax’s Equinox-like styling won’t garner any second glances.

The interior isn’t much better, although it does feature the nifty instrument binnacle from the Sonic and Spark, plus a seven-inch touch screen. There are also plenty of available tech options, including Siri Eyes Free, Onstar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, and Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system. A rearview camera is standard.

The 2015 Chevrolet Trax goes on sale in the U.S. next year. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date. Hopefully this latest small Chevy will avoid the mediocrity of the Tracker, and make its own tracks.

Cars

How General Motors is preparing for an electric, autonomous, connected future

How does an established automaker like General Motors adapt to new tech trends? By looking for people and solutions outside the mainstream, says Ken Kelzer, GM VP of global vehicle components and subsystems.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Cars

2019 Chevrolet Silverado gets serious about MPG with new four-cylinder engine

In an aggressive bid to improve fuel economy, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be offered with a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Chevy claims comparable performance to other Detroit automakers' V6 trucks.
Cars

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…
Cars

Watch this driverless Range Rover tackle one of U.K.’s ‘most challenging roads’

Jaguar Land Rover just sent its autonomous Range Rover Sport vehicle onto one of the U.K.'s "most challenging road layouts," and the automaker has posted a video online showing exactly how it fared.
Product Review

The 2019 Volvo V60 proves it's still cool to drive a station wagon

With the 2019 V60, Volvo argues the station wagon segment isn't as moribund as most other automakers say it is. The company goes as far as arguing we're on the cusp of a wagon revival, and the V60 is poised to lead the charge.
Cars

A public/private autonomous driving institute blooms under the Arizona sun

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), partnering government, academic, and private organizations to develop self-driving tech and safety standards. Intel is the first private-sector member.
Cars

Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs

Ford is using vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) tech to allow cars to pass through intersections without stopping. The experimental "Intersection Priority Management" system basically acts as air traffic control for cars.
Cars

The supersized BMW X7 is coming with a grille you can park a 2 Series on

BMW will soon expand its lineup with a new range-topping SUV named the X7. The first-ever BMW X7 is shaping up to be the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image.
Cars

Can't see all of a sudden? Our quick guide on defogging your car windows

Did you suddenly lose exterior visibility while driving because of foggy windows? Don't panic! Here's our quick guide on defogging your car windows in a safe manner while on the go, and a few steps on how to prevent them.
Product Review

Volvo’s redesigned 2019 S60 sedan is the best kind of remix

The 2019 Volvo S60 borrows almost everything from other recent Volvo models, but that’s not a problem. From its infotainment system to an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, the S60 takes the best bits from a lineup of great cars.
Cars

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Cars

Are European-style self-dimming and glare-free headlights coming to the U.S.?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to allow adaptive LED headlights on vehicles sold in the U.S. Adaptive LEDs automatically lower headlight intensity when they detect pedestrians or oncoming vehicles.