After a considerably long wait, Chevrolet finally unveiled its contender in the hyperactive crossover segment in the Philippines—the all-new Chevrolet Tracker. As the latest nameplate in Chevrolet’s new-generation global SUV lineup, the Tracker has created a major positive stir and has been named as the best-selling utility vehicle in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, and is currently captivating China as well—one of Chevrolet’s largest markets.
In the Philippines, the Tracker seems to have arrived at the most opportune time. Our local market is virtually flooded with crossovers, all touting generous packages of the latest tech, safety, comfort, and performance features, all wrapped in well-designed exteriors and bundled within attractive price tags. This has become the trend, putting on offer the most value-packed product attributes as standard- some including those you’d typically see in larger, more expensive models, and this has only made competition in the segment fiercer.
It seems like Chevrolet has watched and waited before making its move with the Tracker, a subcompact crossover that has the Hyundai Kona, Chery Tiggo 5X, Volkswagen T-Cross, Geely Coolray and Kia Seltos in its crosshairs, offering features that’d somehow set it apart to garner the market’s divided attention. First in its portfolio, smart, dashing looks.
While China (where all the various nameplates mentioned previously, including the Tracker are manufactured) has had a major upgrade in their automotive outputs in the aesthetic aspect, some design cues are following a trend a bit too closely, that it’s made some nameplates from different brands looking noticeably similar—like the quarter windows on the C-pillar area, the narrow and elongated headlights, and the gaping “intakes” on the sides of the grilles with complex patterns. The Chevrolet Tracker has bucked this by donning its own look that’s borne out of Chevy’s sporty DNA. In fact, it’s the only Crossover in the lot that has the likes of the iconic Corvette and Camaro as its “big bros”, so you can see where the sportiness and the unique look have trickled down from.
Sharp, angular lines proliferate its well-proportioned body, which is less cab forward and with a shorter rear end, a bit low-slung and elongated, emphasizing an athletic stance. Up front, it’s uncomplicated but well executed—the headlight clusters frame an accent bar where the bowtie logo is positioned, atop the grille that’s flanked by aggressively angled slits that house its daytime running lights, giving the Tracker a purposeful and alert gaze.
The Chevrolet Tracker comes in two variants. The base Tracker LS, and its headliner Tracker LT Redline Edition. The differences between the two are mostly aesthetic, but significant, leaving the most essential features shared by both—namely, the interesting choice of engine type: the 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder DOHC Ecotec Turbo engine. While that may merit an exclamation point followed by a question mark to the uninitiated, how it more than amply drives the Tracker around would quell any concern about it. Rated at 116hp, and 175Nm torque at 4,200rpm, coupled with a smaller mass and lower weight, it’s impressive how the compact engine delivers assertive acceleration and sustained power to give the Tracker an agile and responsive handling quality, without traces of it being strained. So the benefits aside from the satisfaction one is rewarded with from its dynamics, has got to be outstanding fuel efficiency and extended mileage. A small displacement coupled with the advantages of being equipped with a turbocharger would assure that this new generation, lightweight but highly capable 1.0L Ecotec would provide just that. A 6-speed Automatic Transmission with Manual Control is mated to the 1.0L Ecotec engine for both Tracker variants.
The Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline Edition is visibly distinguished from the Tracker LS base variant by the sporty Red accents on blacked-out components, like the bar on which the bowtie logo rests (Chrome-plated on the LS variant), on its 17-inch alloy rims, sideview mirrors and roof rails. The Tracker LT also has an electric panoramic sunroof, and LEDs as headlamps compared to the LS’ halogens. The LT and LS are both equipped with an Engine Stop/Start System with Auto Disable Switch feature. The LT is additionally equipped with Keyless Entry and Push Start/Stop Ignition features.
Inside, the Chevrolet Tracker looks and feels well built, noise vibration and harshness levels are at optimal levels, with the ride quality akin to larger crossovers—meaning it’s got a plush-like pliable suspension for a smoother drive. The Tracker LT Redline Edition has an all-black leather appointment, accentuated by double stitching in Red (the LS’ is leather-clad too, but with a two-tone jet-black and captain blue combination). Its MyLink Infotainment system has an 8-inch touch-screen interface with Bluetooth connectivity, four USB ports, and even an SD card slot. It is also Apple CarPlay (sorry, no Android Auto) compatible. It has a high-res wide-angle rear-view backing camera (no 360-degree view) as well. The dashboard is pretty straightforward but tastefully designed, with the leather-wrapped steering wheel with a flat bottom end and a heavily beveled instrument cluster, adding to the sportiness of the cockpit.
The comfortable Sports-style driver seat has a manual slide adjustment but with an electronic recline adjustment control. The Chevrolet Tracker’s cabin design allows for generous headroom, and especially legroom for the back seats but doesn’t allow for much wiggle room width-wise though, and it could have benefited from rear air conditioner vents if it had any. Also, the Tracker’s rear windshield is a bit high mounted and quite smaller, so visibility isn’t as good as one might be used to. Rear cargo space is average, but there are 20 smart storage solutions strategically placed all-around the Tracker’s cabin.
There are three main things going for the Chevrolet Tracker- its great looks, its fuel—efficient, compact but powerful engine, and the fact that it’s literally brimming with active and passive safety features that’s amazing for a crossover of this size and class to have. Sure, the now staple front and rear disc brakes, ABS, Electronic Stability Control and Emergency Brake Warning features are there, but ever heard of Enhanced Understeer Control, Cornering Brake Control, Low/No/Vacuum/Fading Brake Assist, and Engine Drag Control features? These on top of Rollover Mitigation, Hill Start Assist, Traction Control, Torque Vectoring Brakes, (and the list goes on) are what come as standard for the Chevrolet Tracker… you sure are covered in that department.
So in order to effectively vie for the attention of the well-wooed crossover market, every newcomer has to already start out with high marks on every automotive aspect, and it’s looking like Chevrolet has definitely designed, configured and engineered the Tracker well enough for it, as it’s poised to be a potent all-around stellar scorer of a crossover. The all-new Chevrolet Tracker is priced at P1,142,888 for the LS variant, and P1,242,888 for the Tracker LT Redline Edition. Chevy also rolled out a P30,000 discount on both variants regardless of mode of purchase, until Sept. 30, 2021.
Chevy’s got a firecracker in its stable, and it’s called the Tracker.