2020 Chevrolet Trax vs. 2019 Subaru Outback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Trax and the Outback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Trax is safer than the Subaru Outback:

Trax

Outback

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

26%

27%

Neck Compression

12 lbs.

42 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.6 inches

Neck Stress

122 lbs.

153 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Trax is safer than the Subaru Outback:

Trax

Outback

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

192 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

100

223

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

51 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

17 inches

Hip Force

707 lbs.

736 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

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

There are almost 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Subaru 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 Outback’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Trax is faster than the Outback 2.5i:

Trax

Outback

Zero to 60 MPH

9.3 sec

9.5 sec

Quarter Mile

17.1 sec

17.4 sec

Brakes and Stopping

The Trax stops much shorter than the Outback:

Trax

Outback

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Trax’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outback Limited/Touring’s 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Trax Premier handles at .80 G’s, while the Outback 3.6R Limited pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Trax may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 800 pounds less than the Subaru Outback.

The Trax is 1 foot, 10.3 inches shorter than the Outback, making the Trax easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the Trax is 2.2 inches lower than the Outback (16.8” vs. 19”). The Trax’s rear step up height is 2.2 inches lower than the Outback’s (16.8” vs. 19”).

Servicing Ease

The Trax has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Outback doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Trax and the Outback 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 Outback prevents the driver from operating the rear 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 Outback’s standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.

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 Outback doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Trax is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Outback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Trax is less expensive to operate than the Outback because it costs $418 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Trax than the Outback, including $140 less for a starter, $110 less for fuel injection and $117 less for front struts.

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

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