The name Potsch Boyd probably does not mean anything to you. Except maybe your thoughts of, “Is that a real name?”
While the name may not ring any bells, you absolutely know the face of Potsch Boyd — he serves as the moderator for Chevy’s “Real people, not actors,” run of commercials.
I knew that these commercials drove me crazy, not only because Boyd has a face you just can’t help but want to punch and the persona to match, but I didn’t realize just how much vitriol had been spewed about the actor and the ads in which he stars.
While searching for his name, I came across article after article, link after link criticizing these commercials for Mr. Boyd’s unlikeable personality and how these supposed random focus groups all feature clean-cut, attractive people who also happen to have the intelligence of wallpaper paste.
There is even a YouTube channel with over 500,000 followers that has created over a dozen videos poking fun at the ads, with abrasive Boston man “Mahk” superimposed into the commercials sharing his hatred of Boyd and the absurd commercials.
While I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t roll their eyes when I mention the “Real people” ads, Chevy’s marketing team has certainly struck a chord. People may hate the ads, but they sure as hell remember them. And isn’t that one of the keys to a marketing campaign?
Unfortunately for Chevy, their recent ads are far more memorable than their small crossover, the Trax.
Now, along the lines of the idiom that no news is good news, the Trax was not outwardly unpleasing to drive, but it lacks any kind of wow-factor.
The Trax’s 1.4-liter turbo inline four puts out 138 horsepower and is adequately suited for everyday driving but does feel slightly overwrought when trying to quickly get up to highway speeds. The six-speed automatic transmission served smooth transitions but was reluctant to shift down as I traversed up a long, steep incline or when the traffic became bottlenecked.
The Trax does earn positive marks for its stopping power. The brakes were well-weighted and brought the Chevy to a stop effectively without spectacle.
The steering is rather buoyant, but coupled with a surprisingly agile suspension, the ride is comfortable yet sound in tight corners. The Trax’s ride is neither velvety nor harsh, but hits the mark of expected suppleness.
With the low dash and high seats, the crossover also provides a commanding driving position.
The Trax would not win any beauty contests with its subdued exterior styling, but the crossover might wow some people, who are definitely not actors, with its interior features and toys.
The standard LS trim comes is well-appointed at $21,945 with delivery charge. Standard features include a 7-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, a rear-vision camera and OnStar.
Opting for the Premium version Left Lane tested adds safety features such as rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist, blind zone and lane monitoring, and creature comforts in the form of a sunroof, Bose audio system and leatherette seats. The Premium, which comes with all-wheel drive, rings in at $28,795 with delivery.
The infotainment system and buttons were all intuitive in the Trax and connecting a phone to the onboard Wi-Fi was headache-free.
The Trax’s interior was neither cramped nor abundantly spacious for a small crossover with just under 40-inches of headroom in the front and back. My legs had a bit of room to stretch in the front seats, and while there is five inches less legroom in the rear, it is not a cramp for those of average height.
For the grocery haul, the generously-sized cargo area is supplemented by a standard tray under the rear deck.
Overall, the Trax has no major faults, but with its restrained styling and lack of anything truly notable in comfort, space or driving characteristics, the crossover misses the mark for being as memorable — good or bad — as its manufacturer’s advertisements.
Maybe I need to see Potsch Boyd to reveal the Trax beyond some huge doors to find the wow-factor.