|31||Highway Fuel Economy (MPG)||29|
|7||Standard Screen (in)||4.2|
|92.8||Passenger Volume (cu.ft.)||91.9|
Subcompact crossover SUVs are all the rage these days, and as a potential SUV shopper, you need to know which one of these stylish crossovers is right for you. In the showdown of the 2021 Chevy Trax vs 2021 Ford EcoSport, we take you through the ups and downs, pros and cons, and different features available for two of the more popular subcompact vehicles on the market.
Both the 2021 Ford EcoSport and 2021 Chevy Trax come in a number of different trims and drivetrain configurations, so you have a variety of choices in which to meet your all-wheel drive needs or keep it simple and efficient with a two-wheel drive format. The 2021 Chevy Trax is available in two different trims, the LS and the LT, and has two special editions as well. The 2021 Ford EcoSport comes in four different trims, including the S, SE, Titanium, and SES. However, unlike the Chevy Trax, the EcoSport falls short when it comes to standard features, forcing you to upgrade to the higher trims.
Performance for an SUV is more than just horsepower and torque. For the compact and subcompact models, a lot of times, SUV shoppers want great fuel economy as well. Both the Ford EcoSport and Chevy Trax have exceptionally good fuel economy, but the powertrain differences between the two subcompacts also affect the overall fuel economy as well.
In the case of the Ford EcoSport, the fuel economy looks impressive, coming in at 28 miles per gallon combined. However, that figure is only when equipped with the underpowered 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. The mileage drops significantly when all-wheel drive is selected, with the more capable Ford EcoSport only managing 25 miles per gallon combined. While all-wheel drive is always less efficient, the big drop is because the EcoSport only makes all-wheel drive available if you also upgrade to the larger 2.0-liter engine. Even worse, you have to choose all-wheel drive if you want more than the 123 horsepower of the base three-cylinder engine.
On the other end of the spectrum is the 2021 Chevy Trax, which manages better fuel economy than its Ford rival across the bar without sacrificing power. The standard 1.4-liter turbocharged engine manages to produce an impressive 28 miles per gallon combined, matching the base model EcoSport in efficiency despite delivering 155 horsepower. In fact, with its 177 pound-feet of torque, the standard Chevy engine even out-muscles the 149 pound-feet of torque available from the upgraded Ford engine.
The Trax also performs better overall when it comes to all-wheel drive fuel economy, managing 27 miles per gallon combined. That's nearly as good as the front-wheel drive EcoSport, even though the Trax is bringing far more power and four-wheel traction to the table. Simply put, if you want the best balance of fuel economy and power available, the Chevy Trax comes out on top regardless of trim or powertrain configuration.
Both the 2021 Ford EcoSport and 2021 Chevy Trax seat up to five passengers, but how they utilize their interior cabin space are quite different, resulting in a variance of cargo and passenger volume. The 2021 Ford EcoSport has a maximum passenger volume of 91.9 cubic feet of space within the cabin. This translates to 39.6 inches of front headroom, 53.3 inches of shoulder room, and up to 42.9 inches of legroom. The EcoSport features map pockets in the passenger seatback, as well as an overhead console with storage for sunglasses. The EcoSport SE, Titanium, and SES trims also come with an Adjustable Cargo Management System, which features a cargo net and organizers, as well as a rear load floor and shelf.
Despite an almost identical wheelbase and the same ability to seat up to five people, the 2021 Chevy Trax manages to out-perform the 2021 Ford EcoSport in total passenger volume, clocking in at 92.8 cubic feet of space. The Trax cabin space provides 39.6 inches of front headroom, 40.8 inches of front legroom, and 54.1 inches of shoulder room. Both the LS and LT trims provide up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row and up to 18.7 cubic feet of space behind the second row of seats.
Instead of having the cargo options limited per trim, all trim levels of the 2021 Chevy Trax offer the availability of a cargo area organizer with the ability to fold flat to save space. There's also the availability of a cargo tray area, cargo net, and a cargo shelf to keep your goods hidden from view, or you can remove the cargo tray to store larger items. Front passenger under-seat storage also comes standard on the LT, while all trims and configurations of the Trax feature a rear cargo area stored beneath the rear cargo floor. In the battle of interior storage capacity and passenger volume, the 2021 Chevy Trax has more storage options and a slightly larger passenger volume than its EcoSport rival.
Safety and technology go hand-in-hand in today's automotive world. You can't have one without the other, and you need to know that a vehicle has all of the standard technological amenities and caters to the safety of both the driver and the passengers.
The 2021 Ford EcoSport comes with dual-stage airbags for the front driver and passenger, along with driver and passenger-side knee airbags and front and second-row side airbags. However, the Ford Co-Pilot360 technology is bereft of some of its more advanced driver safety assistance technologies when it comes to its feature-set for the 2021 Ford EcoSport. It does come with Automatic Emergency Braking, the BLIS system for blind-spot information and cross-traffic alerts, and basic passive features like hill start assist and AdvanceTrac stability and traction control.
An auto start-stop technology is also standard in the EcoSport, along with an anti-theft system. But the biggest technology failing of Ford's subcompact SUV is its obsolete standard infotainment system. Although a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support is available, the standard system is little more than a glorified radio with a tiny 4.2-inch display.
For the 2021 Chevy Trax, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System with a 7-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth audio streaming comes standard across all trims, which means no matter which version of the Trax you purchase, you will have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is also made standard, so wireless smart device connectivity isn't an issue for the Trax.
Safety is also prominently featured throughout all the trims of the 2021 Chevy Trax, with the vehicle coming standard with ten airbags as well as OnStar and Chevrolet Connected Services so you can receive roadside assistance. Basic features include rear child security locks and the StabiliTrak electronic stability and traction control so that drivers can maintain electronically assisted control over the Trax while on the road. The availability of various advanced safety features, such as Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, and Cross Traffic Alert, only sweetens the deal.
While both subcompact crossover SUVs come with the Lower Anchors and Tether System (LATCH) for children and have standard safety amenities such as airbags and stability control, the Trax simply has far more standard and available safety features and technology. Given that it has more airbags, more available alert systems, and a few extra entertainment conveniences over the EcoSport, the Trax is the clear winner in this category. The standard inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with the availability of additional driver aids, only makes the Trax look even more well-rounded.