2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Chevrolet Trax

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

The Sportage has standard Forward Collision Assist, 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.

The Sportage offers optional Parking Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Trax doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Sportage’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Trax doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Sportage 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sportage the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trax was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

The Sportage comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Trax’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Sportage 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Trax. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Trax ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Sportage has a standard 140-amp alternator (150-amp - Sportage SX Turbo AWD). The Trax’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sportage has a standard 600-amp battery. The Trax’s 525-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Sportage’s reliability 11 points higher than the Trax.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first among small SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Trax isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 18 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The Sportage’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 43 more horsepower (181 vs. 138) and 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (175 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4-cyl. The Sportage SX Turbo AWD’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 99 more horsepower (237 vs. 138) and 112 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4-cyl. The Sportage SX Turbo FWD’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 102 more horsepower (240 vs. 138) and 112 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Chevrolet Trax:

Sportage

Trax

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

78.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

The Sportage has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trax (16.4 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Sportage LX/S/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

Trax

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

9” drums

Opt Rear Rotors

10.6 inches

The Kia Sportage 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.

The Sportage stops shorter than the Trax:

Sportage

Trax

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Sportage has larger standard tires than the Trax (225/60R17 vs. 205/70R16). The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trax (245/45R19 vs. 215/55R18).

The Sportage LX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Trax’s standard 70 series tires. The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Trax’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trax. The Sportage SX Turbo’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Trax.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Kia Sportage 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 Sportage has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Sportage 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 Sportage’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Trax (105.1 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Trax.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Trax LT AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the Trax LT AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Trax’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Sportage has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Trax (6.8 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Sportage to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

The Sportage has 5.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Trax (98.6 vs. 92.8).

The Sportage has .7 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 3 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trax.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Trax with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 18.7 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Trax with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

The Sportage’s cargo area is larger than the Trax’s in almost every dimension:

Sportage

Trax

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

33.4”/68.2”

29.3”/57”

Max Width

52.3”

39.5”

Min Width

41”

36”

Height

29.5”

31.8”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Sportage EX/SX’s liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Sportage’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Trax doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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The Sportage has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Trax has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Sportage 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Sportage to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Trax doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 Sportage’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 standard on the Sportage detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Sportage (except S/LX) 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 Sportage’s optional (except S/LX) 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 Sportage’s optional 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 Sportage’s optional 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 Sportage and the Trax offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sportage 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 Sportage (except LX) offers an optional Smart 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 Sportage (except S/LX)’s available 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 standard voice command, the Sportage 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Sportage (except LX) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Trax doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Sportage owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Sportage with a number “8” insurance rate while the Trax is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The Sportage will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Sportage will retain 47.52% to 50.83% 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 Sportage is less expensive to operate than the Trax because typical repairs cost much less on the Sportage than the Trax, including $152 less for a water pump, $181 less for a muffler, $16 less for front brake pads, $83 less for a starter, $242 less for a fuel pump and $514 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/14

Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Sportage, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Trax isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage third among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Trax isn’t in the top three.

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

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