Breaking the mold: 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline

Breaking the mold: 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline

Just like its bigger brother the Trailblazer, the Chevrolet Tracker started life as an SUV with truck underpinnings. In North and Latin American markets decades ago, the nameplate graced a compact SUV with the option of four-wheel drive. In creating the newest incarnation we see here, though, Chevrolet applied the same formula to it as with the former: downsize it for select markets, and position it more upmarket.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What are the variants of prices of the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker?

    Entry to the model starts at P1.143-million for the Tracker LS trim, while the top-of-the-line 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline commands a P100,000 premium at P1.243-million.
  • What are the characteristics of the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline?

    The 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline wears handsome looks and drives well. However, some key features are absent and it commands a price premium over its rivals in the subcompact crossover segment.
  • And so, what we have here is a subcompact crossover that’s driving into a highly-competitive battleground, with virtually every brand having a hatchback-on-stilts in its lineup. The 2022 Chevrolet Tracker aims to get its share of the bounty with attractive toys, and that rugged SUV-inspired looks and lofty ride height that’s oh-so-coveted by consumers today.

    But the thing is, the market is now awash with such offerings. Is the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker on the right track (again, we couldn’t resist) to a win, especially when its more upscale stablemate had fallen into a folly in terms of price and features? Of course, a road test — particularly with the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline guise — was the only way to find that out.

    Variants and prices

    Entry to the model starts at P1.143-million for the Tracker LS trim, while the top-of-the-line 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline commands a P100,000 premium at P1.243-million.

    Now let’s answer the crucial question: how does its prices compare to that of the subcompact crossover competition — and what are these alternatives, for that matter?

    Here’s the lot: the Changan CS35 Plus (P999,000 to P1.169-million), Geely Coolray (P1.073 to P1.269 million), and MG ZST (P1.159-million) from China, and the Hyundai Creta (P998,000 to P1.332-million) from Korea. You could also say that the slightly smaller Japanese Toyota Raize (P751,000 to P1.056-million) and European Volkswagen T-Cross (P1.098 to P1.340-million) are alternatives to this American-badged model, too.

    2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline

    So, things are looking bleak. The 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LS and LT Redline fall short in undercutting the SRPs of their rivals, particularly those of the Chinese suspects, which are steadily becoming usual choices now — given the raft of toys they offer for the money. The Tracker has to bring something doubly substantial to make it worth the premium.

    Exterior

    For virtue of its styling at least, the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker already trumps the competition.

    The expected tall stance, roof rails, body cladding are there, of course, but they are adorned to a slinky body shape. The Tracker shares an imposing grille with the Trailblazer, but the former’s body creases and upward kick in its side windows make it look sleeker compared to the latter, whose styling takes a ruggedly handsome appearance.

    2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline

    The 2022 Chevrolet Tracker Redline, in particular, gets its name from the red accents found on its grille, 17-inch black wheels, and black side mirrors. Also exclusive to the Redline variant are LED lights front and rear, Bowtie logos and grille finished in black, as well as a panoramic sunroof.

    In a segment whose buyers put importance on looks, the Tracker ticks this box.

    Interior

    Despite being smaller and having a slimmer shape than the Trailblazer, the Tracker still offers a decent amount of cabin space that’s on par with the alternatives. Some space has been lost in the smaller car, no doubt, but there’s plenty of room to stretch.

    More creature comforts also differentiate the Tracker from its stablemate. In the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline, the cabin appears more lively with red details on the leather-style seats and dash, the driver’s seat is easier to adjust thanks to the electric slide and height function, and that sunroof makes a world of difference in making the space airer. A welcome benefit for rear passengers are USB charging ports and a center armrest. 

    2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline

    With regards to connectivity, the Tracker’s eight-inch infotainment system allows Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto. Another way the music can be piped through the six-speaker setup with average sound quality is through the auxiliary jack. Meanwhile, other equipment include an automatic climate control and push-start ignition.

    With everything said, the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker’s cabin is by no means perfect. The materials used on the door panels and dashboard feel like products of cost-cutting, and storage provisions could be better, too.

    But perhaps Chevrolet focused on making cargo space capacious instead, because if you want to fill your Tracker to the roof, literally, there’s more than 1,200 liters of space from the backs of the 60:40 split rear seats when they’re folded, all the way to the ceiling, the carmaker said. With the seats up, 390 liters of space is available.

    Engine and fuel economy

    Powering both the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker Redline and LS is a one-liter, inline three-cylinder gas engine that pumps out 116hp at 5,800rpm and 175Nm of torque from 4,200rpm. Power is sent exclusively to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic, something different from the Trailblazer and the competition’s CVTs and dual clutches.

    2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline

    With three people onboard our 2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline test car, we matched the 10kpl city and 18kpl highway figures we reached in the Trailblazer during our test. The city clicks could’ve been a result of the engine start/stop system that shuts off the engine at stops to avoid excessive idling. These fuel economy numbers should also match, if not exceed, those of the turbo-powered alternatives, too.

    Driving impressions

    You’d think turbo in the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker’s three-cylinder should make the 175Nm available lower in the rev range, but the torque comes in at a rather high 4,200rpm, so you need to wind the engine up to, well, its redline to get the car going. And as the revs rise, the engine emits a sound that’s more akin to a jarring wail than a determined battlecry. But at that point, you’ll soon forgive the mill for the brisk pace it gives.

    The six-speed auto is a mixed bag, too. When compared to most belt-driven CVTs, the Tracker’s torque converter is quicker and slightly more smoother to shift down and up a gear when needed. However, manual shifting can only be done via the rocker switches on the side of the gear level, and you’ll be left to use them if you want to keep the revs in their sweet spot, as there’s no sport mode that prompts the gearbox to automatically hold a gear.

    2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline

    If anything, the most notable weakness in the driving experience is the brakes. We find that the pedal’s biting point is vague and somewhat low in the pedal travel. It feels as though the brakes are due for replacement, so slowing down from highway speeds — and even city ones, at that — required the driver to apply considerable force against the anchors.

    It isn’t all bad news. The engine is the only thing you’ll be hearing inside the cabin, with the road and wind noise barely perceptible. And the ride and handling are up to scratch. The ride stays composed during cornering or when driving over road imperfections, and the steering remains light and responsive enough in speeds spirited or sedate — which, in particular, is where the Tracker feels at home.

    Extra equipment

    It’s pretty much the same story in the 2022 Chevrolet Tracker as that in the Trailblazer. You’d get all manner of safety kit here, such as cornering brake control, roll over protection, torque vectoring via brakes, and rear parking sensors and camera, among other things.

    But like in the compact crossover, this subcompact glaringly lacks the attractions found in its more affordable competitors: the 360-degree camera and proximity sensors.

    Verdict

    The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer LT Redline may fall short on the toys it offers, but rather, it delivers more on qualities that a mere spec sheet can’t illustrate — distinctive design, comfortable cabin, and peppy performance. These traits should make you choose this subcompact crossover contender. Just mind how you slow down as you go along.

    2022 Chevrolet Tracker LT Redline

    Photos from Dylan Afuang

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