|5-star||NHTSA Safety Rating||Not Rated|
|318 HP||Horsepower||122 HP|
|Yes||Available 4G LTE Wi-FI||No|
When looking for a subcompact SUV, you are most likely looking for an SUV that offers the most value. And while value can be subjective, there are certain things we’ve all come to expect from an SUV. So in looking at the 2020 Chevy Trax vs 2020 Nissan Kicks, a few things stand out. Most notably the absence of an all-wheel drive option for the Nissan Kicks, as well as an underwhelming engine and general lack of utility. So the question is, what are you looking for in an SUV? What do you need and expect from your vehicle?
It’s important to know what you need from a vehicle before starting your search. Do you live in an area where it snows, for example, where you will need your SUV to tackle inclement weather? If so, the all-wheel drive option for the Chevy Trax would come in handy. Similarly, do you want the ability to set out on off-road weekend adventures? Knowing you are not limited to the pavement when planning your next trip can be invaluable. With this added utility, you will have the freedom to explore and find your next favorite fishing or swimming hole. It’s hard to put a price on this kind of freedom. And this is the kind of value we’ve all come to expect from an SUV.
The 2020 Chevy Trax delivers as an affordable option loaded with usefulness and value. While the Nissan Kicks’ value aligns more with a subcompact sedan, the Chevy Trax brings everything you would expect from a sport-utility vehicle. A powerful engine with good fuel efficiency, off-road capability, and the freedom to hit the open road with your friends or family, even if that road happens to lead to a ski slope or pristine mountain lake.
Both the Chevy Trax and Nissan Kicks offer only one engine choice, which means it better be a good engine, right? Unfortunately for the Nissan Kicks, the engine Nissan has decided to drop into the Kicks is not a great one aside from its fuel efficiency rating. With the weight of a few people and some cargo, you will find the Kicks has a difficult time getting going. The Chevy Trax, on the other hand, offers a powerful engine that also returns good gas mileage ratings.
The 2020 Chevy Trax comes with a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 that produces 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. This turbocharged engine offers a good balance of power and efficiency with EPA ratings of 26/31 MPG (FWD) and 24/29 MPG (AWD). So you will not have to sacrifice fuel efficiency for the added power. This is a powertrain that screams road-trip. You will have the passing confidence on the highway and the ability to pass by gas stations as well.
The 2020 Nissan Kicks offers a 1.6-liter inline-4 with 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. For similarly sized vehicles, you can see how underpowered the Kicks is when compared to the Trax. With the underpowered engine and stiff suspension, this is not an SUV you would want to take on a road trip, even with its excellent fuel efficiency of 31/36 MPG. The ride can be characterized as jittery and is certainly not a powertrain that inspires confidence. This is an SUV more suited for in-town driving.
While the Nissan Kicks is confined to city streets, the Chevy Trax is begging to be taken off-road. With a good amount of torque at your disposal, and with the available all-wheel drive, you have the ability to venture into the great unknown, and that’s the point, isn’t it, of buying an SUV? An SUV should be capable of inspiring your next adventure, and the Chevy Trax can do just that.
Where the Chevy Trax truly shines, beyond its subcompact off-road prowess, is with its base-level trim. Standard features abound in the Trax, which brings even more value to an already value-heavy SUV. With the entry-level LS trim, you can expect features such as a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Other standard features include a pair of USB ports and Bluetooth phone/audio streaming. You’ll also find OnStar onboard, and a 5-year subscription included that allows access to services such as automatic crash response and turn-by-turn navigation, as well as one month or up to three gigabytes of free Wi-Fi. And that’s just the basic trim.
The Nissan Kicks offers little in the way of modern technology in the base trim. While you will find air conditioning and cruise control, you will not find the infotainment options we’ve come to expect in vehicles. You will find Bluetooth, however, USB connectivity and Siri Eyes Free. But this is truly an entry-level trim in every way, as it does not offer many surprises at this price level.
Moving up in trim levels, you’ll find the Chevy Trax adds things like Bose audio, heated seats, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, power-adjustable driver’s seat, keyless entry/ignition, simulated leather upholstery, and rear parking sensors. Another interesting feature of the Trax is its integrated 4G LTE Wi-Fi system, which brings fast internet access using your phone or other devices (up to seven). Moving up in trim levels with the Nissan Kicks now brings features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and automatic climate control, as well as NissanConnect infotainment, Sirius satellite radio, and remote start.
You can see how much more value can be found in the Chevy Trax, as it is a fully capable SUV loaded with tech and convenience features, even at the entry-level trim. And even when compared to the top-level trim, the entry-level Trax outperforms the Kicks in many key areas.
The 2020 Chevy Trax features a class-leading ten airbags, so you know Chevy prioritized your safety when designing the Trax. This impressive array of protection includes frontal and knee airbags for driver and front passenger, and head-curtain and seat-mounted side-impact airbags for all outboard seating positions. This is for all Chevy Trax trim levels, as this is a standard feature. OnStar Automatic Crash Response is another safety feature you’ll find standard on the Chevy Trax. With this system, if you are involved in an accident, built-in sensors automatically alert a specially trained advisor of your situation so that they can send help even when you cannot ask for it.
The 2020 Nissan Kicks also comes with standard safety features. Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 offers automatic emergency braking and a radar-based blind-spot monitor, along with lane-departure warning and a rear cross-traffic alert system. Both the Trax and Kicks place a good deal of emphasis on safety, and you will certainly appreciate the peace of mind this provides for you and your family.
The Chevy Trax suite of safety features includes blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors, as well as forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning. There is no shortage of modern technology to keep you and your family safe on the road. As its name suggests, Chevy’s Driver Confidence suite is meant to do just that—inspire confidence on the road. You will not be disappointed with the many options to outfit your Trax with important safety features, designed specifically for you and your family. And with a class-leading ten airbags as standard, you know you will be in the safest ride around, as evidenced by the NHTSA’s five-star overall safety rating.