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Chevy Trax vs. Jeep Renegade

1. Introduction

General Motors' company Chevrolet has been in the business of producing and commercializing motor vehicles since 1911. Primarily, Chevrolet has been at the forefront of producing trucks and small cars. Their entry into the crossover class with the Chevrolet Trax for 2015 is a grand venture, off the heels of the highly capable Chevrolet Equinox. Prior to release in 2018 as a 2019 model year vehicle, Jeep, a division of FCA US LLC, had its entry into the same crossover class with the Jeep Renegade, which the Jeep website still claims it is "Comfortable on urban drives and off the beaten path". Both of these vehicles are virtually small cars with the benefits of cargo space and ground clearance with all-wheel-drive options. With the crossover class growing in popularity within the last decade, it is no wonder Chevy and Jeep placed their bets in this category, but whose vehicle is better and why? This article explains just that. [1][2]

1.1. Overview of Chevy Trax

First of all, let's work on the dash of Chevy Trax. This car has a chic and modern dash. It has an amazing touch screen which is located in the middle of the dash. It is unique and pretty since it has rounded air vents under the touch screen and a little more storage under the air vents. On the left and right of the air vents, there are fast sound settings making it possible for the driver to adjust the sound without tapping the touch screen. And the kitchen is always the most favorite part of the house, same goes with this Trax. The java-colored dash makes you feel homey and comfortable. You will also find two cup holders and a little more room for small things storage in front of the shift stick. This storage is very helpful for the driver to put small things like a mobile phone or wallet but still reachable. And also on the other side, to the right of the wheel, you will see a small storage that is opened or closed by pressing it. It is a good secret storage which is only possible to put your private things. Well, Chevrolet always makes a good interior. Let's take a peek into the cabin. We will look left and right and we will see that it has a friendly seat color. And taking a look at the Chevy Trax's tiny body, you wouldn't think to get a wide cabin inside there. But this Trax proves that you are wrong. It has a wide cabin, but still, you will feel the sensation that you are sitting in a small SUV because the seats are placed a bit higher. And for the seats themselves, Trax has good leather quality for the seat making it comfier. An adjustable headrest, a backrest that fits the body posture; it makes you feel back home after a long tiring day.

1.2. Overview of Jeep Renegade

Jeep Renegade comes with two 4-cylinder engine options as well. The base powerplant is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four rated at 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. This one comes with a six-speed manual transmission. Optional on the front or standard on the heavier AWD models is a 2.4-liter four good for 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes connected to a nine-speed automatic, but the extra weight and parasitic losses of the 4WD system were noticeable in acceleration testing. The 0-60 mph times varied by trim and configuration, ranging from still acceptable to unbearably slow. This compares to the Chevy Trax that is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 that produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is not one of the Trax's selling points as it feels underpowered on the road. The base LS model comes with front-wheel drive only and has a six-speed automatic transmission, while all other trims come with all-wheel drive. This is a big advantage for the Jeep, because even though it may not be overly powerful, it is closely related in performance to other vehicles in its class. The second engine option for the Renegade is more powerful, but will still not be setting any speed records on the track. A loaded AWD Renegade with the 2.4-liter engine is still capable of outperforming the top-flight Chevrolet Trax when it comes to off-road or adverse weather situations. This can be a huge selling point for a vehicle in this price range, and could be the deciding factor for many people. Both of the small engines for the Renegade are not very fuel efficient however. The 1.4-liter turbo is rated at 25/31 mpg city/highway, or 24/31 mpg with the nine-speed automatic. Step up to the 2.4-liter Tigershark and the 4WD system becomes standard. This results in 21/29 mpg. The combined fuel efficiency for the Chevy Trax is only 28 mpg with the front-wheel drive and slightly lower with all-wheel drive.

2. Exterior Features

In terms of size and dimensions, both of these vehicles offer something unique. The Trax is a step away from the typical small SUV styling often seen today. Chevrolet describes it as a "city-friendly" 5-door small SUV boasting "versatile, agile performance". The car is actually quite larger than one might expect when told that it is smaller than the Equinox. This car certainly offers a unique option for someone looking to downsize from a larger SUV without sacrificing space. In stark contrast, the Renegade is the smallest offering from Jeep and is only slightly larger than the Audi Q2. This car would appeal to someone looking to have a rugged vehicle with that esteemed Jeep badge yet still has the size and efficiency ideal for city driving and street parking. The compact nature of both of these vehicles is certainly an appealing factor.

Chevrolet's Chevy Trax has been praised highly in terms of its attractive look and exceptional styling. This vehicle not only boasts an air of elegance but is also an example of robustness with a stylish look. Distinctive styling sets the Trax apart from both its platform-sharing siblings as well as more direct competition. The Jeep Renegade has taken its renowned name back to basics with its instantly recognizable styling. This car boasts an air of ruggedness, and the rustic appearance has proven to be quite a hit with consumers across the globe. The identifiability of the Jeep brand is an important factor, and this has not been lost with the Renegade. Both of these cars are unique in their own ways, and the styling of them will undoubtedly help them stand out in a crowded market.

2.1. Design and Styling

Jeep has a clear mission with the styling of the Renegade. The rugged character carries through all elements of the design, from the round headlamps to the boxy overall shape. The traditional Jeep grille, plastic side cladding, and rugged steel wheels make it clear that the Renegade is built with off-road intentions. The squared-off wheel arches are another traditional Jeep styling cue, and the overall look is simple, clean, and rugged. It may not appeal to everyone, but it makes no apologies for what it is. The Trailhawk further separates itself from the rest of the lineup as a serious off-roader with additional ground clearance and approach angles, along with unique front and rear bumpers to increase the off-road capabilities. Both in form and function, the Renegade is the more serious SUV.

The Trax's front-end styling is an interesting contrast to its corporate sibling, the Buick Encore. Both share a general profile and a few styling details and chrome accents, but the Trax's grille and headlamp treatment give it a sportier look than the pricier Encore. In the back, the taillamps are vertically oriented, and the rear bumper has a faux skid plate with more matte black trim. Roof-rack side rails and some body cladding complete the look. Chevrolet's positioning of the Trax as an Urban Explorer seems quite clear given its styling.

2.2. Size and Dimensions

Additionally, there's a wheel period, which is an important factor for this kind of SUVs. In comparison, Chevy Trax is priced $100 higher than the equivalent Jeep Renegade. However, the next determination will be a big thing for the performance of the vehicle once in the wild. Trax has a standard wheel well worth at twenty-five percent over 16.35 millimeters, while the Renegade features a wheel well worth at the pass of fifteen percent or 18.6 millimeters. This, of course, will make lighter versions of Jeep balk because the earth weighted down beneath must be counterbalanced by more electric, so it is consistent with a bit there's lower power of the engine on Jeep Renegade. This accomplishes a great crossover from Chevrolet.

Beside what has been explained in segment 2.1, there are many variations in the game performed with the aid of both Jeep and Chevy, occasionally in terms of duration and breadth among the vehicles. In terms of duration, Trax 1.6 is absolutely on the nearest range of length with Renegade 1.4. It can also be seen from the wheelbase where Trax is shorter by 5 millimeters from Renegade. However, the difference in the overall dimension of both cars is very distinctive. Trax appears more sinister with the lower overall height, which enhances the aerodynamics and makes the car look stronger to do journey in difficult terrains.

2.3. Available Colors

Jeep Renegade is available in Atlantic Blue Metallic, Colorado Red (limited availability), Commando, Alpine White, Glacier Metallic, Granite Crystal Metallic, Jetset Blue, Mojave Sand (limited availability), Omaha Orange, and Solar Yellow (limited availability). Chevrolet Trax features a smaller selection by only offering 8 color choices: Crimson Metallic, Orange Burst Metallic, Sandy Ridge, and Brimstone (limited availability), as well as continued options of Silver Ice Metallic and Summit White. Removed colors include Black Granite Metallic and Cyber Gray Metallic. Pricing between the two can affect color availability, as the more basic the color may lead to limited availability due to popularity in higher-end paints. Both have a wide range of colors, including a "fun" category of brighter colors to reflect on their vehicle's image. An example of this would be the Solar Yellow and Mojave Sand for the Renegade, as well as the Brimstone for Chevrolet. Both vehicles also have a fair amount of metallic and more premium colors available in the mid-range price point. Summit White and Colorado Red for the Jeep are standard and require no additional pricing, which some customers will appreciate. Metallic colors include Granite Crystal, Omaha Orange, and Glacier Metallic for the Jeep. Chevrolet offers the customer a chance to get the color they want for a bit less with the top 3 metallic colors only having a $395.00 difference. Overall, there is a wide range of various color options and pricings for both vehicles that can give the customer the satisfaction of getting their desired vehicle color without breaking the bank.

3. Interior Features

The Chevy Trax has some major advantages over the Jeep Renegade in this area. Both are capable of seating up to 5 passengers; however, the Trax has more front head and legroom, and slightly more rear headroom. Also, the Trax's extra passenger volume of 5 cubic feet and more rear legroom will allow your passengers to stretch out and enjoy the ride more. The Jeep Renegade still has plenty of room and comfort for passengers though, and its durable interior has washable and reversible cargo floor panels, which is handy for people who regularly use their backseats for extra cargo space. Both vehicles have the option of folding down the rear seats to further extend the cargo space. The Trax has a 60/40 split seat, which maximizes passenger and cargo flexibility, and an additional flat-folding front passenger seat. The cargo capacity for the Trax is 48.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded compared to the Jeep Renegade's 50.8 cubic feet, making them very similar in this area. With the rear seats up, the Trax can carry up to 18.7 cubic feet compared to the Renegade's 18.5 cubic feet. Finally, the Trax has a 3.5-inch floor-to-load surface height, which makes for easier loading and unloading of cargo.

3.1. Cabin Space and Comfort

For a small family transport. The cabin of the Jeep offers far utility with a 70/30 split folding rear seat which slides to and fro and or reclines all will the backrest which also has a 16 various position adjustment. The sliding function which is not available on any trim level of the Trax creates more flexible passenger and cargo space and can make more room. For taller rig the rear passengers or create access to the rear for those that have installed one car seat with more room to spare the and adjustment of themes 16 backrest will make the color in the rear the Passengers can more simply recline the seat to find the most comfortable position for a nap on a long trip or fold the seat completely flat for a little less legroom. People and families who are offen taking longer trips or are buyers who primary use for the crossover is transporting haulger goods and or pets will find this feature alongside the more overall space to be a selling point to choose the Renegade over the Trax. [3][4][5]

Renegade aside, from the small cabin and lackluster interior quality of the Trax, the most notable difference in the interior between these two subcompact crossovers is in the available space and versatility of the 2015 Jeep Cabin Renegade. Space atop the inch larger wheels inch wheelbase of inch the Renegade is the driving force between the 2 inch difference in hip room and 4 inch difference in shoulder room between these cars, which results in much better accommodations for four adults in the Jeep. Two notable ergonomic features that will ease the entry and exit of rear passengers are Renegades allow rear doors which open to a 90 degree angle and an available flip forward front passenger seat allowing entry to the second row without the need to unbuckle a child seat and or remove an a infant car a car. Step up in the cabin. The Trax offers a flat second row bench seat that is rated to fit three adults across. But the lower hip and shoulder dimensions show in less overall width and better comfort of the Jeep for two rear passengers. Both vehicles are rated to fit child car seats with top tether left and right lower and top teather seat locations but the extra space of the Renegade and ease of access from the flip forward front passenger seat make the installation and access to safety seats a little bit easier for parents and caregivers in the Jeep.

3.2. Technology and Infotainment

Chevrolet's OnStar services will be the best choice for Canadians who will purchase Trax. OnStar is a similar service to Guardian but provides better deals with a more diverse selection of plans and services at less costly prices. This is a market that Jeep has yet to tap into with Sirius XM Guardian. By having price and location services on their side, both Trax and Renegade are looking to market their vehicle technology to the point that the Canadian and American customers who desire a convenient technology-filled vehicle will choose the country's centralized vehicle, which has a system that is better suited for the user's needs.

Being from two different countries, Chevrolet and Jeep also support the cars' technology differently in terms of location services. Jeep supports Renegade with Sirius XM Guardian in the United States. This is UConnect's newest feature built to assist vehicle owners with a wide range of safety, security, and remote convenience services. It will be launched with a free 12-month subscription and will then require a monthly subscription fee. Guardian hit the market just this year at a starting price of $14.99 per month (Sirius XM Canada, 2016). The release of the free trial and the low price of Guardian subscription will certainly give Renegade an edge over competitors using technology as a marketing point for purchase.

Jeep Renegade comes with UConnect services through a 6.5-inch or 7-inch touch screen interface, holding similar capabilities to Chevrolet's MyLink by streaming music and phone calls hands-free through Bluetooth connection. The UConnect software presents on-screen navigation and can also be projected through the user's smartphone. For users who are after a cheaper option, Renegade still holds old-style audio streaming through compact discs, which can be played through a 5.0 touch screen interface WITHOUT UConnect software. UConnect software is only optional in Latitude and standard in higher models. This gives Chevrolet an edge over Fiat in terms of infotainment due to Trax' MyLink and Sirius XM installation being available in every model.

Chevy Trax works with Chevrolet's MyLink seven-inch colour touch screen, which helps in using mobile technology employing Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. MyLink is designed to get in sync with the users' smartphones. This includes an optional navigation, which can be projected to the car's interface through the phone, simply by running the phone's maps application. Users have the capability to install Sirius XM travel link, which can be used to find a particular destination or just an easier way to find gas stations and the cheapest fuel prices. This feature will give Trax a head start in competition, as not many cars come with a built-in application for mapping routes and location services.

3.3. Cargo Capacity

The Jeep Renegade has 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats and 50.8 cubic feet with both rear seatbacks folded down, while the Trax has 18.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 48.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The cargo floor of the Renegade is flat with a narrow ledge right at the opening which allows for easy loading and unloading of cargo. The Trax has a load floor lift gate that leads to a cargo hold that is two-tier and includes storage compartments underneath. The cargo floor can be set to two height positions or moved to the lower position to allow for a deeper well. While the storage space is comparable, the Trax has a unique Cargo Storage Tray which can be slid back and forth to increase or decrease storage space in the cargo hold and is useful when you want to keep smaller items organized. Both the Renegade and the Trax have a 40/20/40 split bench and a 60/40 split fold rear seat which allows for versatility in managing cargo and passengers. The Trax has Slim-Fold-Flat rear seats that can fold down instantly and be placed back up again to provide a flat load floor for the rear cargo area. The Renegade lacks this feature but provides a height-adjustable rear cargo floor to allow for varying levels of storage. Both models offer what is necessary in managing cargo, but the Trax comes out with a little more cleverness in this area.

4. Performance and Handling

Trax and Renegade are each equipped with a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, though the Trax has a mild advantage with turbocharged power. The Trax has 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, while the Renegade holds 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque with the manual transmission. The Trax also only has a 6-speed automatic transmission, whereas the Renegade gives you the option between a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. If you are looking for a different driving dynamic that comes with a manual transmission, the Renegade is your only option. If you are looking for an automatic transmission, something else you might factor in is the Trax's optional all-wheel drive. All models come with a knob between the front seats that allows the driver to switch between two-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive, which is not common in the subcompact SUV category. Like the 4-wheel drive option, the Jeep Renegade offers an automatic 4-wheel drive system that engages in conditions such as rain, snow, or mud. With the small advantage in power for the Renegade and the above-mentioned 4-wheel drive system, it is designed to be the more capable off-roader of the two. This is demonstrated by the Renegade's traction's ability to pull 0.75 g in lateral acceleration, compared to 0.71 g for the Trax. If off-roading or acceleration means nothing to you, and fuel efficiency is more important, keep reading.

4.1. Engine Options and Power

The Trax has a 1.4-liter Ecotec Turbo that delivers 138 horsepower and 148 ft/lb of torque. Affiliated with a 6-speed standard transmission, it comes out to 26/34 mpg city/highway. This motor gives its best performance when around or under 3,000 lbs. There has been a lot of negative feedback from automotive journalists regarding this engine, but potential buyers should think of it as a simple commuter motor. Throughout my test drive, I did think it was underpowered, but in my mind, the 2-300 lb weight savings versus other cars with similar size engines is a key advantage for the Trax. It will never be fast, but small savings in weight can improve all-around driving dynamics. The Renegade also comes with two engine options. As someone that might go off-roading, the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine is probably the last thing you want under the hood. In my mind, the Renegade 4x4 would and should come with a version of the Fiat Multiair engine, but let's save that discussion for a later date. If you plan on hanging around on the pavement, the 2.4 will suit you just fine. Coming in at 180 horsepower and 175 ft/lb of torque, it's no speed demon, but it'll get the job done. This motor is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and comes out at around 21/29 mpg city/highway. It's probably not the best option for someone living in a big city, but someone looking to replace their Cherokee or Patriot will feel right at home. High Altitude, Limited, and Trailhawks models come with the 3rd version of this engine featuring start/stop technology. This shuts off the engine when the vehicle is at a standstill to save fuel and restarts it when the brake pedal is released.

4.2. Fuel Efficiency

K. Fuel efficiency - This section is another toss-up between the two vehicles' different shortcomings. Getting straight to the point, the Renegade has a bigger front and is less aerodynamic than the Trax, which affects its performance and fuel economy. The Trax's lightweight and smaller engine demand less fuel with such a heavy load. The smaller front is also a slight contributing factor. The Trax boasts a 1.8L engine with a very good 7.6/100km utilizing FWD and a 1.4L turbocharged engine with 6.9/100km utilizing AWD. The AWD option sticks out particularly well as the Renegade has a marketing edge against 4x4 capabilities with Jeep's renowned history. However, the 1.4L engine being an optional 4x4 is comparable to the Renegade's figures. Jeep offers a 1.4 Petrol and a 1.6 Diesel engine, both using 6L/100km, slightly better than the Trax. However, the kicker is the 2.4L and 9-speed auto AWD. After some arithmetic and an hour on Google, we could not find any official fuel consumption figures, likely due to its heavy load and the engine's capability to revert to FWD when AWD isn't necessary (thus it's complicated). For estimation's sake to the consumers, we'd guess it's quite a bit higher than the manual 2.4L's 7.5L/100km. We're talking an easy 1.5L/100km more on the AWD version. It's known generally the more complex the 4WD/AWD system is, the higher the fuel consumption, and chances are you're buying a Jeep because you want AWD/4WD, which is going to use even more fuel. The manual 1.6L Diesel is the best bet fuel-economically for the Renegade, and the difference is quite minimal, last but not least. This is hypothesized the Trax will be more reliable, having full availability of parts and being built in South Korea, whilst the Renegade (the first Jeep built in Italy at the Melfi plant) is new in the market, and we're not too sure yet about reliability and part cost. All a contributing factor to the overall cost of the vehicle. As for all-inclusive costs and benefits to owning a specific engine type, we'll let the reader weigh up how important fuel efficiency is on the perceived differences.

4.3. Driving Experience and Handling

Step inside the cars and it's likely to be a much more even showdown. The cabin noise in both cars is fairly well contained and the driving positions are similarly high and commanding. However, cabin quality is not great in either vehicle and whilst the Chevy can boast better head and legroom in both the front and rear, the new Renegade offers a very clever rear seat and a boot that can be configured in a number of ways to prioritize space for rear passengers. This really shows where the small SUV market is going with manufacturers starting to value practicality over style.

When fitted with the 1.4-liter turbo engine, the Trax becomes a significantly more dynamic machine with the extra power masking the lack of body control and average grip levels. Unfortunately, this engine is not available in the UK and all models come with the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter petrol which is neither fast nor frugal. Conversely, the Renegade offers a 1.4-liter turbo petrol with a very impressive 168bhp as well as a 138bhp 1.6-liter diesel and the former of the two is a decent compromise between performance and economy. In addition to this, the Jeep's nine-speed automatic gearbox is a lot more advanced and more efficient than the six-speed auto and six-speed manual offerings in the Trax. This will be reflected in the running costs section to follow.

Trax and Renegade are pretty much on a par when it comes to driving engagement. Both cars have fairly relaxed electric power steering, although the set-up in the Jeep is a little more feelsome. The Chevrolet feels a touch more stable at high speeds, whereas the Jeep has a more forgiving suspension set-up, meaning it's better when dealing with rough urban roads and light off-roading. Neither is particularly noteworthy in terms of handling dynamics, but the Chevy is probably the crisper of the two in corners. Jeep offers two and four-wheel drive systems, which are far superior to the city-focused front-wheel drive only set-up in the Trax. It's clear that both cars struggle with body control in corners, highlighting the fact that they're best suited for urban commuting rather than B-road blasting.


[1] M. H. A. M. Hindam, "Development strategies for a new product in the automotive sector: The Jeep case," 2020. polito.it

[2] D. A. Ensminger, "Roots Punk: A Visual and Oral History," 2023. [HTML]

[3] V. Jaras, "A model for determining the market price of a car," 2024. vu.lt

[4] J. Verdonck, "Predicting car sales with search trends data and Instagram data," 2020. ugent.be

[5] R. Wigglesworth, "Trillions: How a band of wall street renegades invented the index fund and changed finance forever," 2021. penguin.co.uk

Chevy Trax vs. Jeep Renegade

Explore our detailed comparison between the Chevy Trax and Jeep Renegade to see which compact SUV suits your driving needs best. We dive into performance, comfort, pricing, and more.

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