Sportage

Trax

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

78.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Sportage has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trax (16.4 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sportage’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Trax:

Sportage LX/S/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

Trax

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

9” drums

Opt Rear Rotors

10.6 inches

The Kia Sportage 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 Sportage stops shorter than the Trax:

Sportage

Trax

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage has larger standard tires than the Trax (225/60R17 vs. 205/70R16). The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trax (245/45R19 vs. 215/55R18).

The Sportage LX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Trax’s standard 70 series tires. The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Trax’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trax. The Sportage SX Turbo’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Trax.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Sportage 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 Sportage has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Sportage 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 Sportage’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Trax (105.1 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Trax.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Trax LT AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the Trax LT AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Trax’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Sportage has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Trax (6.8 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Sportage to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Sportage has 5.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Trax (98.6 vs. 92.8).

The Sportage has .7 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 3 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trax.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Sportage’s rear seats recline. The Trax’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Trax with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 18.7 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Trax with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

The Sportage’s cargo area is larger than the Trax’s in almost every dimension:

Sportage

Trax

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

33.4”/68.2”

29.3”/57”

Max Width

52.3”

39.5”

Min Width

41”

36”

Height

29.5”

31.8”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Sportage EX/SX’s liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Sportage’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Trax doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

The Sportage has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Trax has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Sportage has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Trax doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Sportage to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Trax doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 Sportage’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 Sportage detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Sportage has standard extendable sun visors. The Trax doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Sportage (except S/LX) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Trax doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Sportage’s optional (except S/LX) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Trax doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Sportage’s optional 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 Sportage’s optional 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 Sportage and the Trax offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sportage 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 Sportage (except LX) offers an optional Smart 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 Sportage (except S/LX)’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 Sportage 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 Kia Sportage (except LX) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Trax doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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

The Sportage will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Sportage will retain 47.52% to 50.83% of its original price after five years, while the Trax only retains 41.97% to 42.46%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the Trax because typical repairs cost much less on the Sportage than the Trax, including $152 less for a water pump, $181 less for a muffler, $16 less for front brake pads, $83 less for a starter, $242 less for a fuel pump and $514 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports? recommends the Kia Sportage, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Trax isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage third among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Trax isn’t in the top three.

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

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