Crossovers are all the rage right now and are very popular to suit the active lifestyles of many people. That popularity makes the subcompact SUV or crossover market a fairly crowded one, with many options to choose from. This is generally a good thing, as it equates to more choice for buyers looking for specific features and options. There isn’t one perfect vehicle for everyone – what might be right for one person might not work for another. Two very good options in this segment of the market are the 2019 Chevrolet Trax and the 2019 Hyundai Kona. Both offer an assortment of options and available upgrades and they both provide good fuel economy. So how do you decide? Let’s compare both vehicles, 2019 Chevy Trax vs 2019 Hyundai Kona, to see which one might be right for you.
Trax LS: The base model Trax includes automatic headlights, power-adjustable mirrors, keyless entry, and a rearview camera. In the cabin you’ll find a 60/40 split rear seat, cloth upholstery, adjustable steering wheel, air conditioning, GM’s OnStar communication system with 4G LTE connection and WiFi hotspot, the MyLink infotainment system with large 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, two convenient USB ports, and a robust six-speaker audio system.
Trax LT: Jumping up a level to the LT gets you everything available on the LS plus roof rails, upgraded exterior lighting, heated mirrors, remote vehicle start, and cruise control. Interior enhancements include the addition of satellite radio and a power outlet is available for the folks in the back seat.
Trax Premier: The top trim level also receives larger 18-inch wheels, fog lights, full faux leather seating, and heated front seats.
Kona SE: Standard features for the base Kona include remote keyless entry, adjustable steering wheel, and driver’s seat, split folding rear seats and alloy wheels. Tech and infotainment on the inside include a rearview camera, Bluetooth, 7-inch touchscreen display, USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto smartphone capability, and six-speaker stereo.
Kona SEL: The next level up adds larger wheels, roof rails, heated exterior mirrors, keyless ignition, heated front seats, voice recognition, and satellite/HD radio.
Kona Limited: Moving up to this trim level includes all of the above with the addition of features such as a turbocharged engine, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and universal garage door opener.
Kona Ultimate: The top tier Kona adds automatic high beam headlights, automatic wipers, a larger 8-inch touchscreen display, GPS navigation system, and wireless charging pad.
Trax: The same powertrain is offered for all three trim levels: a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine with 138 horsepower and 148 ft-lb of torque, coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission and front wheel drive. Along with FWD comes front disc and rear drum brakes. Optional all-wheel drive, available on all models, includes disc brakes all around. Fuel economy numbers on the base LS are 26 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, also the same for the top of the line Premier model.
Kona: Hyundai’s offerings are a bit more varied, with the SE and SEL trim levels powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder power plant offering 147 horsepower and 132 ft-lb of torque. These two models get a six-speed automatic transmission. The Limited and Ultimate bump up the engine to a 1.6L with 175 horsepower and 195 ft-lb of torque and a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Front wheel drive is standard across the board, and all Konas can get an upgrade to all-wheel drive which includes a more sophisticated suspension system. Fuel economy numbers range from 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway on the base SE model to 26/29 on the Ultimate.
Trax: Standard safety features across all models include anti-lock brakes, stability control, front impact, side impact, overhead and knee airbags, seatbelt tensioners to keep occupants in place in the event of an accident and a security system equipped with an ignition disable device which will prevent the car from being started without the original key. The LT model offers an optional driver confidence package which includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. The Premier also adds peace of mind by including forward collision and lane departure warning systems.
Kona: All models of the Kona have mostly the same set of base safety features as the Trax, minus the knee airbags and ignition disable system. The SE model adds forward collision warning with emergency braking and lane keeping systems along with a driver attention monitor, all new for 2019. The top tier Ultimate adds rear parking sensors, pedestrian detection.
Trax: The cargo capacity on Chevy’s offering is a bit less than the competition, offering 48.4 cu.ft. of available space. The split rear seats offer more convenience and the fold-flat front seat offers more room for longer cargo. If you’re towing a small boat or trailer, the Trax provides up to 1,260 LBS of towing capacity to work with.
Kona: The trunk of the Kona is easy to access thanks to its wide, flat floor. Total storage capacity with the seats down is 45.8 cu.ft. Under the folding load floor is an additional storage compartment which offers a few more inches of space for taller items. The Kona’s towing capacity is slightly less than that of the Trax at 1,100 LBS, but still capable enough for hauling smaller loads.
Trax: Additional packages available for the LT trim level include a convenience package which includes premium cloth upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, six-way adjustable driver’s seat, and keyless ignition and entry. The sun and sound package adds in seven-speaker Bose audio system and sunroof. An appearance package is the major highlight of the LT’s Redline Edition, which adds body accents and black painted 18-inch alloy wheels. The Premier trim level includes all of the extras above aside from those found on the Redline Edition.
Kona: Just one additional tech package is available for the SEL model which adds in fog lights, sunroof, power adjustable driver’s seat, Hyundai’s Blue Link communications system, and an upgraded eight-speaker Infinity audio system. All of these features are included on the Limited and Ultimate trim levels.
Going head to head, both the Chevy Trax and Hyundai Kona fare well in most areas and the ultimate decision for buyers is going to come down to personal choice. Both vehicles are a toss-up when it comes to fuel economy, but the broader range of engine options in the Kona might sway in you in that direction. On the flip side, the more streamlined options available on the Trax may prove for easier decision making. In areas such as safety, infotainment and cargo space, the Trax and Kona are pretty comparable without too much of a difference. For drivers comparing price, the base model Trax clocks in at $21,300 while the base model Kona is a bit less at $19,990. No matter which vehicle you are considering, both are excellent options and a smart buy for fully-featured crossovers in this competitive market.