2017 Chevrolet Trax and the Stalker

“I’m sorry for stalking you,” said the 50-something woman in the produce department of Busch’s grocery store in my hometown. “But I noticed that cute little SUV you’re driving and I wanted to ask you about it.”

She was talking about the subcompact 2017 Chevrolet Trax Premier in Crimson Metallic that I was test-driving.

I’m always thrilled when someone follows me and asks to talk about a vehicle. It’s a sign that the manufacturer is doing a good job at getting the conversation going with consumers. And it’s unpredictable what will turn people’s heads. I’ve been “stalked” in a Toyota Prius, a Kia Niro and now the Trax, which was refreshed inside and out for the 2017 model year.

The Trax conversation immediately veered into a discussion about chauffeuring elderly parents. The woman, who owns a Hyundai Sonata sedan, said she had two things in mind for her next vehicle: a taller ride height that would enable her to see better over the SUVs and pickups on the road, along with something that would provide easier entry and exit for her 80-year-old mother.

“The Trax should punch all the right buttons for you,” I told her. “Except for one thing.”

Not only was I testing this top-of-the-line Trax, we actually had twin Traxes in the driveway that week.

My family recently leased a base 2017 Trax LS with a sticker of just over $20,000. We added a dealer-installed bike rack in the rear and were happy with the purchase.

The Trax earned the top five-star safety rating from the federal government and we are getting decent gas mileage, about 33 miles per gallon on the highway. Our base vehicle also has excellent standard features, including 10 airbags and a rearview camera. I like the interior fabric, which reminds me of upholstery from trendy West Elm.

But it was a good thing that our family also has a compact Honda CR-V in our garage, since our Trax will not accommodate my 93-year-old father’s walker in its limited rear cargo hold. I warned the stalker about that. But she said it wasn’t an issue, since her mother was still getting around pretty well.

I told her the Trax Premier I was driving, with a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo engine, was peppy enough and that she would pay extra for safety tech features, such as forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning. My test vehicle was priced at $27,290, including an $895 destination charge. The extra safety features added another $295 to the bottom line.

“I like the price of that base model you own,” said the woman, who clearly was hunting for a bargain.

We parted ways and I noticed we both passed up the cherries on a nearby stand, which looked yummy, but were priced at a shocking $14 a pound.

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