Canada will be first to get new SUV

General Motors has announced the addition of the Trax compact sport utility vehicle to the Chevrolet lineup later this year.

The global model will be available in over 140 markets around the world, but Canada and Mexico will have the distinction of being the countries to launch the vehicle, in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The Trax is a variant of the Buick Encore that will be coming to the North American market this year. Like the recently released Chevrolet Orlando, which is sold in Canada but not the United States, there are currently no plans to bring the Trax to the U.S. market.

The Trax is a five-seater that GM describes as having a “a muscular exterior design and wide athletic stance” that help exhibit its “SUV toughness and capability.”

GM notes the exterior design of the Trax will “(evolve) the global Chevrolet design aesthetic”, while the vehicle’s interior and details will be “executed to standards usually found in more expensive vehicles.”

“Trax is an important addition to the Chevrolet portfolio in Canada,” said Marc Comeau, vice-president of sales, service and marketing for Chevrolet in Canada. “We believe Trax will be a popular choice with Canadians looking for the convenience and utility offered by a small SUV, which will be ideal to drive in urban centres and cities across Canada.”

The Trax will presumably compete with smaller offerings from competitors, such as the Jeep Compass, Mitsubishi RVR, and Volkswagen Tiguan. GM claims class-leading cargo space in its new vehicle.

France will host the official global debut of the Trax at the 2012 Paris Motor Show in September. The small SUV joins several other brand new or redesigned Chevrolet products being released in 2012, including the Spark mini-car, Malibu sedan, and Traverse wagon.