2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Trax

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CX-5 has standard Whiplash-Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash-Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Trax doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The CX-5 has standard Smart City Brake Support, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Trax has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature that could reduce stopping distances.

Both the CX-5 and the Trax have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trax was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

Warranty

The CX-5’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Trax’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CX-5’s reliability 35 points higher than the Trax.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Engine

The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 49 more horsepower (187 vs. 138) and 38 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 112 more horsepower (250 vs. 138) and 162 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mazda CX-5 (base engine) is faster than the Chevrolet Trax:

 

CX-5

Trax

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

10.8 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.6 sec

18.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

78.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CX-5 non-turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Trax doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trax (15.3 vs. 14 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mazda CX-5 higher (7 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Trax (3). This means the CX-5 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Trax every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Trax:

 

CX-5

Trax

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

9” drums

Opt Rear Rotors

10.6 inches

The Mazda CX-5 has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Trax. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-5 has larger tires than the Trax (225/65R17 vs. 205/70R16). The CX-5 Sport/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trax (225/65R17 vs. 215/55R18).

The CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Trax’s standard 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Sport/Touring has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trax. The CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Trax.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Mazda CX-5 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Trax has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The CX-5 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the CX-5 flat and controlled during cornering. The Trax’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the Trax (106.2 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-5 is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Trax.

The CX-5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the Trax’s (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the CX-5 more stable handling and braking.

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Trax LT AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Trax LT AWD (28 seconds @ .59 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CX-5’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Trax’s (36 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the CX-5 has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Trax (7.5 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the CX-5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has 11 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Trax (103.8 vs. 92.8).

The CX-5 has .1 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 3.5 inches more front hip room, 3 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear legroom, 4.6 inches more rear hip room and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trax.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CX-5’s rear seats recline. The Trax’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Trax with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 18.7 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Trax with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

The CX-5’s cargo area is larger than the Trax’s in every dimension:

 

CX-5

Trax

Max Width

57”

39.5”

Min Width

41.3”

36”

Height

32.4”

31.8”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CX-5 (except Sport) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Trax doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The CX-5 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Trax has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Trax doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CX-5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Trax doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-5 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Trax doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The CX-5’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Trax’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-5’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Trax’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the CX-5 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Trax doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the CX-5 has standard extendable sun visors. The Trax doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the CX-5 and the Trax offer available heated front seats. The CX-5 Grand Touring also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Trax.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the CX-5 (except Sport/Touring) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Trax doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the CX-5 Grand Touring’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Trax doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Trax doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Both the CX-5 and the Trax offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Trax doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CX-5 offers an optional Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Trax doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Trax’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

With optional voice command, the CX-5 offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Trax doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the CX-5 with a number “1” insurance rate while the Trax is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The CX-5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-5 will retain 49.11% to 49.47% of its original price after five years, while the Trax only retains 41.97% to 42.46%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the Trax because it costs $63 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the Trax, including $256 less for a water pump, $324 less for a muffler, $15 less for front brake pads, $222 less for a fuel pump, $634 less for a timing belt/chain and $379 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Trax isn't recommended.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2018. The Trax has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Chevrolet Trax by 75% during the 2018 model year.

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

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