2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2021 Chevrolet Trax

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/21

The Kona has standard Forward Collision-Avoidance 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 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Kona’s standard Downhill Brake Control allows you to creep down safely. The Trax doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.

The Kona’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Trax doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Kona’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 Kona 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, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Kona the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trax last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2016.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/21

The Kona 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.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Kona 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.

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Trax’s (7/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Kona for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Trax.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Kona has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Trax’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Kona has a standard 640-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 Kona’s reliability 39 points higher than the Trax.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 19 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The Kona’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 9 more horsepower (147 vs. 138) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder. The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 37 more horsepower (175 vs. 138) and 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona is faster than the Chevrolet Trax:

Kona 4 cyl.

Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate

Trax

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

2.5 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

6.4 sec

10.1 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

13.9 sec

11.2 sec

18.5 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

4.4 sec

3.3 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.1 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

91.7 MPH

78.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/21

On the EPA test cycle the Kona gets better fuel mileage than the Trax:

MPG

Kona

2WD

1.6 Turbo 4-cyl.

28 city/32 hwy

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

4WD

1.6 Turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/29 hwy

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

Trax

2WD

1.4 Turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

4WD

1.4 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/21

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Hyundai Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Trax.

The Kona offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Trax doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/21

For better stopping power the Kona AWD/1.6T’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Trax:

Kona AWD/1.6T

Trax

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

9” drums

Opt Rear Rotors

10.6 inches

The Hyundai Kona 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 Kona stops shorter than the Trax:

Kona

Trax

60 to 0 MPH

129 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 Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trax (235/45R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The Kona SE’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 Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Trax LT’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Kona 4x4 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 solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Kona has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Kona 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 Kona’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Trax (102.4 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Kona is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Trax.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the Trax LT AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the Trax LT AWD (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’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 Kona has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Trax (6.7 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Kona to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Kona is 3.6 inches shorter than the Trax, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Kona Ultimate 4x4 is quieter than the Trax LT AWD:

Kona

Trax

At idle

34 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

77 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/21

The Kona has .7 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear hip room and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trax.

Cargo Capacity

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The Kona has a larger cargo volume than the Trax with its rear seat up (19.2 vs. 18.7 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Kona easier. The Kona’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the Trax’s liftover is 28.8 inches.

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

Kona

Trax

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

28.6”/61”

29.3”/57”

Max Width

48”

39.5”

Min Width

40”

36”

Height

30”

31.8”

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/21

The Kona Ultimate has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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 Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Trax’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

The Kona Ultimate’s standard 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 Kona’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Trax’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Kona Ultimate 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 Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate 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 Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate has standard extendable sun visors. The Trax doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Kona’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Trax doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Kona Limited/Ultimate’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.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Kona Ultimate has a standard 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 Kona Ultimate’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 standard voice command, the Kona 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 Hyundai Kona SEL Plus/Limited/Ultimate has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Trax doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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

The Kona will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Kona will retain 44.01% to 46.2% of its original price after five years, while the Trax only retains 32.21% to 34.8%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the Trax because typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the Trax, including $72 less for a water pump, $180 less for a muffler, $52 less for front brake pads, $255 less for a fuel pump, $2 less for front struts, $582 less for a timing belt/chain and $306 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Kona will be $1307 to $1552 less than for the Chevrolet Trax.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/21

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Kona 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.

The Kona was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The Trax has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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