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Chevrolet Trax vs Honda HR-V

1. Introduction

Chevy's entrance into the small SUV category is the Trax, which works on the sedan platform and rates with the Honda HR-V as a portion of the most reduced SUVs you can purchase. The base LS trim comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, LED backdrop illuminations, a stature customizable driver seat, a fold-level front traveler seat, ventilating, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Onstar (with 4G LTE WiFi hotspot) and a six-speaker sound framework with two USB ports, an assistant sound data jack and a media player interface. The LT adaptation includes composite wheels, mistlights, journey control, satellite radio and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment framework. The top-spec LTZ gets 18-inch combination wheels, keyless section and start, cowhide upholstery, warmed front seats and a six-way power driver seat. All-wheel drive is accessible on any trim for an extra $1500. The HR-V makes its bones by being an exceedingly pragmatic subcompact SUV. The base LX comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping directing wheel, a stature customizable driver seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth (telephone and sound), a 5-inch showcase sound framework, a helper sound jack and a USB port. Remember the LX is the main HR-V accessible with front-wheel drive. The EX gets 17-inch combination wheels, a sunroof, programmed headlights, warmed mirrors, programmed atmosphere control, a traveler blind side camera (Honda's Lane Watch), a 7-inch touchscreen show (with HondaLink cell phone empowered applications), a six-speaker sound framework and a right-side camera for checking vulnerable side movement on the showcase screen. All-wheel drive is accessible on any EX for an extra $1250. The top-line EX-L Navi gets the stuff from the EX and includes top of the line things, for example, a la mode 17-inch combination wheels, cowhide upholstery, a power driver seat, route and a subwoofer for the sound framework. [1]

1.1. Overview of Chevrolet Trax

The Chevrolet Trax will surprise many with how much it has to offer. At an affordable base price of around $22,000, it is a standout in its class with a long list of features. Standard on both the LT and LTZ models, OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot is a cutting-edge feature typically not available on anything in this price range. When equipped with all-wheel drive, a Trax can serve as an urban runabout during the week and a rural all-weather companion on the weekends. The 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is rated at 29 mpg in combined city and highway driving with front-wheel drive and 27 mpg with all-wheel drive. Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system is standard on LT and LTZ models and Trax comes with 10 airbags and has a 5-star overall vehicle score for safety from NHTSA. Unfortunately, my test vehicle did not have a rearview camera, as only LTZ models are equipped with one. The rear seats and passenger seat fold flat for a surprising amount of cargo space and with decent ground clearance, the Trax is a surprisingly capable light off-roader. Overall, the Chevrolet Trax is a practical and modern choice for a consumer wanting a versatile and feature-packed small SUV.

1.2. Overview of Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V has better handling and drives more like a traditional hatchback, which is a good thing. He then says "For all these reasons, the HR-V is substantially more satisfying to drive than the Trax. It changes directions promptly and efficiently, and it feels steady and predictable going around turns. Suzuki's system uses digital simulations of road conditions to optimize traction in varying conditions. This means that the system is adaptable to varying conditions in a way the simple mechanical systems of the past never were, which should be a plus. Unfortunately, Suzuki's all-wheel drive system has no effect on the fundamental dynamics of the SX4, which at the end of the day is a front-wheel drive car. What you end up with is better traction and stability in slippery conditions and a very slight off-road capability for the SX4, but this is offset by the fact that AWD models actually weigh 80 kilograms more than their FWD counterparts. Step-in height is a bit less than the Trax, making it easier for entry and exit, and the driving position is higher, giving a better view, as the HR-V sits much lower to the ground. High level of seat comfort and low interior noise at a variety of speeds is discussed by Sumit in his review. Steering wheel is small and feels good in the hands, but the steering action is dull and lightly weighted. The HR-V is available in many fitting types for many regions, LS and TS for 2WDs and HRT, HRS, HRTi, HRV, HRVi for 4WDs. The Trax is comparable to these variants. Eye to detail in the interior and exterior during design means the HR-V definitely looks more modern than the Trax, which carries a design from 2006. This design is also reflected in the much higher quality interior for the HR-V than the Trax. Moving on, the HR-V is a little longer and wider than the Trax, which has a positive effect on the interior. Room and space in the HR-V is highly praised. The magic seats add to the versatility of the interior. The HR-V has marginally better fuel economy than the Trax, with both models costing about the same to fuel with regular unleaded. Finally, Sumit finishes with "Aside from the glaring lack of traction and stability for the Trax, there is no doubt that the HR-V is the superior vehicle in all other areas". This statement pretty much sums it up.

2. Design and Exterior Features

Honda HR-V has a sleek design compared to the Chevrolet Trax. The car's exterior resembles a modern coupe with a low SUV stance. One of the HR-V's main features in Malaysia is its 18-inch alloy wheels for the V and RS variants. This adds an aggressive look to the car. Honda has also taken a step ahead of its competitors by introducing LED headlamps and fog lamps for the V and RS variants. This could offer better visual looks at the front and better illuminate the roads at night. Moving to the back, HR-V has a tailgate spoiler that adds a sporty look along with LED rear combination lights. This has given HR-V a futuristic look on the rear side of the car. There is a renowned 17.03km/L L15B7 engine found on the V and RS variants. This engine is coupled with Earth Dreams Technology CVT with 7-speed paddle shift that could provide a balance of performance and fuel efficiency to the user. The CVT gearbox also has a smoother gear transition compared to a normal automatic or manual transmission. Both of these variants have an ECON mode that increases the fuel efficiency of the car.

Chevrolet Trax has exceeded the expectation in the design of the car. The car offers an urban look coupled with a functional design for urban users. It is built on the concept of a small-footprint SUV and it is shown in the way the car is designed. With a body dimension wider and shorter than its competitor, the car offers users with better driving experiences in the concrete jungle. Furthermore, Chevrolet Trax only has one design and it is the same for all variants of the car. This means that users do not need to pay extra to get additional aesthetics on the body. One of the main features on the exterior is the dual-port grille. It is a new face for Chevrolet cars and it offers a contemporary look for the Trax. Followed by halogen reflector headlamps and daytime running lamps which are designed to give a dominant view of the road.

2.1. Chevrolet Trax design and exterior features

In profile, the design is boxy and tall enough that you won't confuse it with a hatchback. A 'motorbike' fuel cap is placed just ahead of the front passenger's door, a nod to a similar quirk in the MINI. However, it's not a practical location and after a few slams, you'll just find this annoying. The rear door handle is hidden away in the C-pillar, a touch that also plays well in countries where vehicles are set up for right-hand drive. A familiar rising beltline gives way to the large taillights as seen on the Holden Trax. From a practical point of view, the high roof rails on the Trax help create more internal space than normal. Time has been spent engineering the aerodynamics of the Trax too, bringing down road noise and fuel consumption. So there is effort to go above and beyond with this crossover. [2]

The Chevrolet Trax is quite the looker and offers the same SUV styling as the Honda HR-V. Up front, the split grille with the large Chevy logo may add some road presence to the vehicle. With its aggressive headlights and hood line, you're instantly drawn towards the unique look of this crossover. The Trax seems to take some inspiration from the old school Jeep Cherokee, with its similar boxy styling and 3 side window moldings. Although the Trax does come with the ability to have a sunroof and roof racks, which gives it an edge in terms of practicality and style.

2.2. Honda HR-V design and exterior features

Stable and solid may define the HR-V, which is a pretty stylish small SUV. From the front, it pretty much looks like the CR-V, whereas in the back there is a hidden door handle in the side window that is derived from the sporty styling of the Honda CR-Z. The available features on each trim level make the HR-V differ from the LX, EX, and EX-L Navi. Choosing the LX, you will be given projector beam halogen headlights, one-touch turn signal, and a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines that raise the most envy from all its competitors in the same class. Then the EX adds the feature of Honda Lane Watch, which for some people may give slight irritation with this feature. With a camera located on the right side mirror when turning on the right turn signal, the 7-inch display screen will show the passenger side blind spot. It is definitely a pretty interesting feature, but some prefer that this feature is replaced with a blind spot camera in another location and turned into the standard rearview assist camera. Step on the top of the line with the EX-L Navi, Honda adds roof rails and a standard-fit set of smarter and safer LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL). At all levels, the HR-V comes with the same 17-inch alloy wheels. However, this stylish design and sporty appeal are balanced with a wide array of colors, which are considered quite attractive. Besides, Honda also opens up some possibility for a change in color to form a two-tone that results in a cool combination.

3. Performance and Engine Options

Honda HR-V Performance and Engine Options The HR-V is powered by a 1.8-liter SOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine producing 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission on front-wheel-drive models or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) on all-wheel-drive models. The CVT optimizes fuel efficiency to make the HR-V a very fuel-frugal vehicle, but at the expense of acceleration and response. The HR-V has received complaints of being underpowered, primarily on the AWD models due to their extra weight. The HR-V provides a car-like drive and smooth handling with available all-wheel drive for added traction. Overall, the HR-V is geared towards fuel economy rather than sportiness, suiting a conservative and conscientious driver.

Chevrolet Trax Performance and Engine Options The Trax is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine producing 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel drive. This system uses an on-demand setup, meaning the vehicle operates in front-wheel drive until conditions require power to be sent to the rear wheels. This helps optimize fuel efficiency while providing the added safety and traction of an all-wheel-drive vehicle. The Trax has a tighter turning circle and weighs several hundred pounds less than most of its competition. This gives the Trax peppy acceleration and nimble handling, making it a fun vehicle to drive in city and highway situations. The downside to this is that the Trax has minimal towing capacity, so if you own a boat, jet-ski, or trailer, this is something to be mindful of.

3.1. Chevrolet Trax performance and engine options

As the newest addition to Chevrolet's long line of SUV models, the Chevrolet Trax is being offered as an affordable, entry-level SUV. With that in mind, the Trax is powered by a 1.4L Turbocharged ECOTEC engine that pushes around 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. This is the only engine available for the Trax, but does offer choice between the standard FWD and a more capable AWD. The compact engine size helps the Trax achieve a fuel-efficient ride, while the AWD option still provides better performance than the FWD due to the increased torque split. Standard for all Trax models is a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode. The gear changes and performance from the automatic transmission are smooth and quiet, but some may find it unresponsive or lackluster during quicker acceleration. Overall, the Trax delivers a smooth and quiet ride with the trade-off of engine performance for a more fuel-efficient ride.

3.2. Honda HR-V performance and engine options

The HR-V tractor curve. The HR-V’s weight should be taken into consideration for performance, weighing in at around 100kg more than the Trax, which may slightly hinder the performance of the vehicle. The HR-V CVT and auto transmission models will be equipped with a 1.8 litre, 16 valve, SOHC i-VTEC engine. The 1.8 litre engine will be quite a bit larger than what the Trax employs and Honda’s Earth Dreams technology promises to deliver good fuel economy without sacrificing performance. Unfortunately, Honda has not given any power and torque figures yet for the HR-V but has stated that it seeks to particularly improve torque in its low to mid-speed range. Past experience demonstrates that Honda’s engines have usually been quite competitive in terms of power and fuel economy, so we expect the HR-V to at least be on par, if not better, than most competitors in its class. This is also quite a refined engine and should also give the HR-V a respectable level of smoothness and quietness during acceleration, compared to some competitors in this class which can sound a bit loud and unrefined. Step-off and passing acceleration should also be quite decent with this torquey engine, and we are interested to see if there will be any R18 engine aftermarket performance enhancements which can also be applied to the HR-V. The HR-V will be available in 2WD and AWD formats. The AWD model will be equipped with Honda’s Real-Time AWD with Intelligent Control System which is borrowed from the CR-V. This system will primarily drive the front wheels but can also transfer up to 20% power to the rear wheels when required, for instance in low traction conditions. This should improve safety and performance in adverse weather and off-road conditions compared to conventional 2WD models. Coming from a customer who owns a Trax AWD, the increase in safety and mild off-road performance will be quite noticeable, as products such as the Trax AWD are essentially just FWD vehicles that can send power to the rear wheels when the front wheels start to slip. A properly implemented AWD system can be a major selling point for customers who live in hilly/mountainous areas and regions with frequent rain and snow.

3.3. Fuel efficiency comparison

Compared to all similarly sized SUVs, it is priced below average, and considering Trax has one of the newest designs in the segment, it is good value for money. Step simply up to the AWD LT at $23,000 and added features include alloy wheels, LED taillights, heated mirrors, and a compact spare tire instead of the inflator kit. However, with the addition of the safety features package, it brings the total up to $24,970. Finally, the range-topping AWD Trax starts at $27,300, at this point it would be better to spend the extra on a compact SUV from a higher segment. [3]

The base LS trim Trax with front wheel drive and the solely available 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine starts at $21,000. Features include: - Steering wheel mounted controls for phone and audio - Rearview camera - Remote keyless entry - 7-inch MyLink Touchscreen Radio - Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - OnStar 4G LTE WIFI connectivity with 3-month/3GB data trial - Alarm system - Roof Rails

According to our testing, it took the six-speed Trax 9.3 seconds to reach 60 mph; undoubtedly a poke that was highlighted by a later test of a front drive 2017 Cruze, which achieved the same 0-60 mph time despite having 50 less horsepower in the Trax. Although the Trax's 138 hp is at least 18 less than the segment average, a lighter curb weight would surely make the engine more effective.

The base front-wheel-drive Trax has an EPA rating of 26 mpg in the city and 34 on the expressway. A six-speed automatic is the lone transmission. While AWD is a $1,500 option, the caller loses three mpg for a combined rating of 29 mpg.

4. Interior and Technology

The Honda HR-V also offers a lot in terms of safety connectivity as their Honda Sensing package is also available for the EX trim and higher. This package comes with lane assist, climate control mitigated braking, and adaptive cruise control. An audio-enabled display which is an extra use for the audio system and functions as a reverse camera display. Finally, the Honda HR-V has various storage options throughout the cabin.

The Chevrolet Trax comes equipped with a 7-inch touch screen display which is standard across all their models, with 2 USB ports and an AUX input for your devices. Chevrolet's MyLink system is also standard, which includes phone integration and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. The 3LT trim level comes with a Bose audio system and there's an available moonroof to let in some sun. The Honda HR-V also has a 7-inch display that allows phone integration standard across all models. The EX and higher trim levels add another USB port and 2nd row magic seats that raise to allow a babysit or dog to sit in the under-seat storage.

Both vehicles fall into the subcompact SUV class and they are easy to move around in and park. The Chevrolet Trax was a comfortable vehicle to be in, with plenty of head and leg room between passengers and its advertised 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space when the seats are collapsed comes in handy. The Honda HR-V also had a spacious cabin with lots of head and leg room, as well as a fuel tank.

4.1. Chevrolet Trax interior and technology features

The 2017 Trax replaces the outdated 7-inch infotainment screen with a sleeker 7-inch MyLink touchscreen system. Although the display is touch sensitive, Chevy also includes a near-standard smartphone integration system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As well as well-placed buttons and knobs to control volume and trip the screen. This is a huge improvement over the previous model, and integrates the apps and mapping from your phone's interface directly into the touch screen with no lag. The system is very intuitive and easy to use, a godsend for anyone who has struggled with a temperamental infotainment system. Unfortunately, the MyLink system is not available on base models. These models will come with a standard Chevrolet MyLink Audio System, but have the option to upgrade to the 7-inch interface. Other Traxs will also have to settle for the standard unit, as the MyLink system is only available in the LT and Premier models. Other technology inside the Trax includes Built-in 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, and Keyless Open and Start. The former is great for people with big data plans, or families loaded with tablets, as it allows connection of up to seven devices. The latter allows the owner to unlock and start the car with the key fob still in pocket, it may save a few seconds for some, but it is a small luxury to others.

4.2. Honda HR-V interior and technology features

If you thought the HR-V's interior design was bold, just wait until you get a feel for the available Display Audio touch screen. Featuring a 7-inch display, the touch screen hosts the next generation of HondaLink, a smart integration system offering a wealth of online content accessible through your compatible smartphone. The touch screen serves as the interface for the available navigation system, voice control, and the rearview camera. From the Display Audio touch screen, you can now access your connected audio and smartphone interface at the same time - a one-stop connectivity option for both features. High quality, soft-touch materials are used throughout the cabin, and the overall feel is of a high quality and well-built vehicle. Honda's latest climate control and display audio system has brought a new level of sophistication and connectivity to the HR-V. Dual-zone climate control allows both driver and front-seat passenger to select their own climate settings, while the simplified and reconfigured steering wheel-mounted controls allow for ease of use. High-end models now feature a 7-inch touch screen Display Audio system, serving as the interface for the available navigation system and the backup camera. Often we at Honda are given quality and reliability awards, and with these high-end features in our vehicles, it is no surprise. High quality, soft-touch materials are used throughout the cabin, and the overall feel is of a high quality and well-built vehicle.


[1] M. L. Álvarez Medina, "Impact of the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA) rules of origin on the automotive sector in Mexico," Norteamérica, 2021. scielo.org.mx

[2] A. J. Leslie, "Analysis of the field effectiveness of General Motors model year 2013-2020 advanced driver assistance system features," 2022. umich.edu

[3] M. Woody, S.A. Adderly, R. Bohra, et al., "Electric and gasoline vehicle total cost of ownership across US cities," Journal of Industrial Ecology, vol. 2024. Wiley Online Library, 2024. wiley.com