2021 Kia Seltos vs. 2020 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 2020/08/06

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Seltos are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Trax doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Seltos S/EX/SX has standard Autonomous Emergency Braking, 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Seltos S Turbo/EX/SX has standard Rear Cross-Traffic Avoidance Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Trax doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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

The Seltos S/EX/SX’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 Seltos 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 2020/08/06

The Seltos 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 Seltos 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

© 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 2020/08/06

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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 16 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The Seltos’ standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 8 more horsepower (146 vs. 138) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder. The Seltos S 1.6T/SX’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.

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 2020/08/06

On the EPA test cycle the Seltos S 1.6T/SX AWD Auto turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Trax AWD (25 city/30 hwy vs. 24 city/29 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Seltos’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Trax doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Kia Seltos S 1.6T/SX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Trax.

The Seltos has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Trax doesn’t offer a CVT.

The Seltos 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

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

Seltos Turbo

Trax

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

9” drums

Opt Rear Rotors

n/a

10.6 inches

The Kia Seltos 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

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For better traction, the Seltos has larger standard tires than the Trax (215/55R17 vs. 205/70R16). The Seltos Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trax (235/45R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The Seltos 2.0L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Trax’s standard 70 series tires. The Seltos 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 Seltos 2.0L has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trax.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Seltos AWD 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Seltos’ wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Trax (103.5 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Seltos is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Trax.

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

For greater off-road capability the Seltos has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Trax (7.3 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Seltos to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

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 2020/08/06

The Seltos has .4 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear legroom, 2.1 inches more rear hip room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trax.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Seltos has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Trax with its rear seat up (26.6 vs. 18.7 cubic feet). The Seltos has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Trax with its rear seat folded (62.8 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Seltos S/EX/SX 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 Seltos EX/SX has standard extendable sun visors. The Trax doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Seltos S/EX/SX’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 Seltos and the Trax offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Seltos S/EX/SX 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 Seltos SX 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 Seltos SX’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 Seltos 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 Seltos EX/SX has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Trax doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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