Best Economy Car To Buy 2024

Just when we thought affordability was all but dead, Chevrolet went and reinvented one of its underwhelming small crossovers into something so much more.

Resetting standards and recalibrating expectations, the second-generation Chevrolet Trax has been completely rethought. Longer, larger, and easier on the eyes, the 2024 Chevrolet Trax has been transformed into a fantastic value, earning it the title of The Car Connection Best Economy Car To Buy 2024.

The Trax nameplate was discontinued after the uninspiring previous generation ran its course. But after a year hiatus, Chevrolet brought the Trax back with a tech-filled cabin, a long list of standard equipment, and a well-packaged interior featuring plenty of cargo space at a starting price of just $21,495 including destination seals this crossover’s win. 

With the new Trax, Chevy has proven economy cars can be attractive. The split LED headlights and swept back front end keep it related to the upcoming Equinox EV. There’s some strong Toyota RAV4 and Blazer notes in the side sculpting, capped with boomerang taillights. 

2024 Chevrolet Trax

Inside, the Trax shines with its 8.0- or 11.0-inch touchscreen seemingly connected with the 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster in an angled pod. The round air vents, easy-to-use climate controls with buttons and knobs, and volume knob make this an attractive place to be. Living with the Trax doesn’t feel like you’re in a penalty box.

2024 Chevrolet Trax

2024 Chevrolet Trax

Chevrolet’s put a peppy 1.2-liter turbo-3 with 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque under the hood of the Trax. It mates with a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission that does its best to keep the turbo spooled through first and second gears. Every Trax is front-wheel drive as all-wheel drive isn’t an option. While it’s not quick–we’d peg the 0-60 mph time in the eight-second range–it seems to have enough power to get out of its own way. Active noise cancellation damps the drivetrain and works well. The turbo-3 emits a low growl when pressed hard, but day-to-day it blends into the background. 

The turbo-3 pays off at the pump. While it’s not a hybrid, it sips gas with EPA fuel economy ratings of 28 mpg city, 32 highway, 30 mpg combined. 

2024 Chevrolet Trax

2024 Chevrolet Trax

When we first drove the 2024 Trax we called it “Uber-ready.” Thanks to the wheelbase growing 6.0 inches over the prior Trax, the interior is comfortable for at least four adults. While most versions feature manual adjustments for the front seats, it’s not hard to get comfortable with plenty of leg support. Unfortunately lower-end versions lack a telescoping steering wheel. Back seat comfort is shocking with 6-footers easily finding at least an inch of kneeroom and headroom. Cargo space checks in at an impressive 25.6 cubic feet, which grows to 54.1 cubic feet with the second-row seat backs folded. 

The Trax hasn’t been crash tested yet, but every one of these value-ridden vehicles comes with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights. Blind-spot monitors and rear parking sensors can be fitted even on the base model. Top-trim models can be configured with adaptive cruise control to make road trips easier. Forward vision is good, though rearward vision can be a challenge for some due to the C-pillars and smaller rear window.

2024 Chevrolet Trax

2024 Chevrolet Trax

Costing just $21,495, the Trax’s value equation is impossible to argue. At $23,395 the Trax LT upgrades to an 11.0-inch touchscreen, remote start, and automatic climate control along with rear-seat USB ports. Heated seats can even be optioned along with adaptive cruise control. It’s a steal. A loaded Trax Active almost kisses $26,500, which is about $20,000 less than the average new vehicle transaction price. 

Time and time again the team came back to the fact the Chevrolet Trax is simply the best value of all the vehicles tested this year. Of course, it’s hard to not mention the Trax’s swoopier, slightly costlier and sexier cousin, the Buick Envista as an honorable mention. The Toyota Corolla hybrid also entered the chat for its Prius-like fuel economy in a more practical package. Though, we prefer the Trax’s design and packaging to the more boring Corolla hybrid, and some of us couldn’t justify the extra money for the Envista’s roofline.

With a price solidly in low to mid-$20,000 range, terrific packaging, and all the features one could need or want, the Trax is downright hard to argue against. It’s an economy car winner.

Read about the segment winners of The Car Connection’s Best Car To Buy 2024 awards, and find out which vehicles took home top honors from our sister sites, Motor Authority and Green Car Reports.

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