2019 Holden Trax LS

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba. Sung in Zulu, it’s the opening line of the song, The Circle of Life, from Disney’s The Lion King. It means ‘here comes a lion father, here comes a lion’. And like young Simba, the 2019 Holden Trax LS is the new cub.

Sporting 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Continental tyres, the Trax has a raised ride height and body bulges in all the right places. This little Holden wears its badge with pride, and represents Holden’s major compact SUV offering.

It’s powered by a 1.4-litre DOHC 16-Valve 4-Cylinder iTi turbo petrol engine, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combination produces 103kW of power and 200Nm of torque.

It’s not going to win any races but it’s certainly a comfortable drive. It has a claimed fuel consumption of 6.7-litres/100km on 95-octane premium unleaded, but we only managed a 10.2-litres/100km during testing.

The Trax does seem to require more foot down performance though, as it struggles to traverse even the most decently inclined shopping centre ramp and if you are thinking ‘AWD option will fix that’, there isn’t one. It’s FWD or nothing.

Inside, the tall driving position grants an impressive field of vision, in conjunction with the short bumper to bumper, and this combo allows the driver to see the road ahead or park with ease.

The Trax is definitely comfortable and spacious though, and there’s enough head room and leg room for driver and passengers alike, and the rear seating can take two baby seats with ease, while there’s 356-litres of boot space.

There’s limited centre console storage, with the main bin having been replaced by four cup holders, yes that’s right, four. In addition both front doors have bottle holders, and there’s an additional two cup holders in rear arm rest.

Maybe it’s a subtle encouragement from Holden to enjoy long road trips with family and friends. In-car entertainment is supplied by a 7-inch touchscreen, Holden’s MyLink infotainment software and a 6-speaker sound system.

There’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as standard, and on the whole, the 2019 Holden Trax LS presents as a no-nonsense easy to use, bang for buck, simplistic and straight forward package.

It’s the perfect car for anyone wanting a vehicle that can get you from A to B safely, reliably and economically, whilst still looking good. If we were Holden though, we reckon we’d add an AWD and diesel option to the range.

Refreshed in 2017, the Trax comes in three models, the LS, available in two variants; either a 5-speed manual with a naturally aspirated 1.8-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine producing 103kW and 178Nm, or the auto, as tested.

It comes bundled with six airbags, electronic stability control, automatic dusk-sensing headlights, reverse camera, rear-parking sensors, hill-start assist and hill descent control.

The balance of the range is made up of the LT, which gets 18-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, sunroof, digital radio, driver’s armrest, key-less entry and push-button start, and the LTZ.

It gains leather trim, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rain sensing wipers, and LED tail lights. It carries a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, awarded back in 2013, but we question whether it would hold it under the new testing regime.

That aside, lots of manufacturers have jumped on the SUV bandwagon, adding new compacts and full sized SUVs to their ranges. But Holden has always been there, and the Trax shows that they not only stand by their product, but have ongoing confidence in it.

Holden offers  5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assist (provided you service through a Holden dealership) so you can rest assured your investment is protected.

It’s priced from $24,490 drive away, which is great value when comparing against competitor offerings. We would like to see more features included in the base model, particularly from a safety perspective. Some shiny bits in the interior would be nice too.

Our test vehicle is draped in Absolute Red, but you could also choose from Summit white, Nitrate Silver, Abalone White, Satin Steel Grey, Seeker Blue, Burning Hot and Mineral Black.

Our test vehicle was provided by Holden Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Holden Trax LS, contact your local Holden dealer. Images courtesy of J_Hui Design/Photography.

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