Holden has added a reworked version of its turbocharged 1.4-litre Barina RS petrol engine to the small Trax SUV line-up, saying the four-cylinder unit has been tuned to suit New Zealand and Australian roads.
The 1.4-litre goes to the top of the updated Trax class, carrying the premium LTZ badge and a price of $36,990 but sitting above the existing 1.8-litre models, the LS ($32,990) and LTZ ($35,490).
But there’s a clear difference between the way the engines deliver their torque. Both generate 103kW of power, but the 1.4-litre puts out 200Nm compared with the carried-over 1.8-litre’s 175Nm.
Holden’s engineers say the smaller engine’s flat torque curve, where peak oomph is delivered from 1850rpm to 4900rpm, works particularly well with the automatic six-speed transmission.
Said vehicle development manager Jeremy Tassone: “The 1.4-litre turbocharged engine provides drivers with even greater levels of refinement and performance, and when combined with the locally tuned chassis and steering, makes for a really fun and enjoyable drive.”
The boosted 1.4-litre has claimed town-and-around fuel use of 6.9 litres/100km, an almost 10 per cent improvement on the 1.8-litre’s 7.6 litres/100km. Both engines drive the front wheels via six-speed automatics.
Holden NZ has sold more than 600 Trax models since the South Korean-built vehicle was launched here 12 months ago. “Trax generated some great traction and brought a Holden small SUV to customers for the very first time,” said Holden NZ managing director Jeff Murray. “With the introduction of the 1.4 engine and added features in 2015, we are confident that this car will appeal to even more people, especially given the great technology and features available.”
Both Trax models come chockablock with equipment. Standard fare in the LS includes 16-inch alloys, air-conditioning, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, the MyLink infotainment system, Siri Eyes Free mode, Bluetooth phone and audio, USB and iPod jack, automatic headlights, black cloth trim, leather steering wheel with audio controls and 16-inch alloys.
The LTZ adds new 18-inch alloy wheels, sunroof (1.4-litre only) rain-sensing wipers and a driver’s arm rest as standard, on top of the already standard front fog-lights, trip computer, storage tray, and heated front seats.
Holden has also added a new Blaze Red hue to the colour palette. The five-star ANCAP rated Trax features six airbags, hill start assist, ESC, ABS and traction control and a descent control system.