2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback vs. 2020 Chevrolet Trax

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Corolla Hatchback has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Trax doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Corolla Hatchback has standard Pre-Collision System, 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 Corolla Hatchback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Trax doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback and the Trax have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee 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 blind spot warning systems 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, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Corolla Hatchback 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

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The Corolla Hatchback’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Trax’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hatchback for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota 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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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 Corolla Hatchback’s reliability 45 points higher than the Trax.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 25th.

Engine

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The Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 30 more horsepower (168 vs. 138) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (151 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is faster than the Chevrolet Trax (automatics tested):

Corolla

Trax

Zero to 30 MPH

3.4 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.7 sec

10.8 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

18.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

78.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Corolla Hatchback

FWD

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/37 hwy

Auto

Nightshade 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

32 city/42 hwy

SE 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

32 city/41 hwy

XSE 2.0 SOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

Trax

FWD

Auto

1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

AWD

Auto

1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Corolla Hatchback higher (6 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Trax (5). This means the Corolla Hatchback produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Trax every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Corolla Hatchback offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Trax doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The Corolla Hatchback offers an optional 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Toyota Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback stops shorter than the Trax:

Corolla

Trax

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Corolla Hatchback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trax (225/40R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The Corolla Hatchback SE’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 Corolla Hatchback’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Trax’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback’s wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the Trax (103.9 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

The Corolla Hatchback’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.4% to 40.6%) than the Trax’s (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the Corolla Hatchback more stable handling and braking.

The Corolla Hatchback XSE handles at .82 G’s, while the Trax LT AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Corolla Hatchback is 7.8 inches shorter in height than the Trax, making the Corolla Hatchback much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

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The Corolla Hatchback has 1.2 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front hip room and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trax.

Ergonomics

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The Corolla Hatchback’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Trax has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The Corolla Hatchback’s front and rear power windows all open or close 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 Trax’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Corolla Hatchback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Trax can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback XSE offers optional 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 Corolla Hatchback has standard extendable sun visors. The Trax doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Corolla Hatchback’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Trax LT/Premier.

The Corolla Hatchback XSE’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 Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback and the Trax offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Corolla Hatchback XSE 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 Corolla Hatchback has a standard Dynamic 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 Corolla Hatchback XSE Auto’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 Corolla Hatchback 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 Toyota Corolla XSE Auto offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Trax doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Chevrolet Trax isn’t available as a sedan or four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

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

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla Hatchback is less expensive to operate than the Trax because it costs $264 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Corolla Hatchback than the Trax, including $247 less for a water pump, $434 less for a muffler, $28 less for front brake pads, $133 less for a fuel pump, $401 less for a timing belt/chain and $482 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/08/10

Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Corolla Hatchback as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Trax isn't recommended.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Chevrolet Trax by almost three to one during 2019.

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

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