2019 Chevrolet Trax vs. 2019 Nissan Kicks

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Trax offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Kicks doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Chevrolet Trax has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Kicks doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Trax Premier’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Kicks doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Trax has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Kicks doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Trax and the Kicks have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Trax’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Kicks’ (6 vs. 5 years).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Trax. Chevrolet will pay for an oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance during the first 12 months. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Kicks.

There are almost 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Trax’s warranty.

Reliability

The Chevrolet Trax’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Kicks’ engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Trax has a standard 130-amp alternator. The Kicks’ 120-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

Engine

The Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (138 vs. 122) and 34 lbs.-ft. more torque (148 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Trax is faster than the Nissan Kicks:

 

Trax

Kicks

Zero to 60 MPH

9.3 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

17.1 sec

17.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

79 MPH

77.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Trax has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (14 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Trax’s brake rotors and drums are larger than those on the Kicks:

 

Trax

Kicks

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Drums

9 inches

8 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

10.6 inches

The Trax AWD has standard antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Kicks. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Trax stops much shorter than the Kicks:

 

Trax

Kicks

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Trax’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Kicks (215/55R18 vs. 205/60R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Trax offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Kicks’ largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Chevrolet Trax’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Kicks only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The Trax has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Kicks’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Trax Premier handles at .80 G’s, while the Kicks SR pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Trax Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Kicks SR (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Trax has .8 inches more front hip room, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear hip room than the Kicks.

Cargo Capacity

The Trax has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (48.4 vs. 32.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Trax and the Kicks have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Trax is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Kicks prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Trax’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Kicks’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

The Trax has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Kicks doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Trax LT/Premier has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Kicks doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Chevrolet Trax, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Chevrolet Trax outsold the Nissan Kicks by almost four to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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