No one would have predicted it twenty years ago, but subcompact sport utility vehicles are all the rage right now. Drivers like them because they sit high on the road without costing an arm and a leg to fuel. In this comparison guide, we put two manufacturer heavyweights' offerings on the block to see which subcompact SUV--the Ford EcoSport or Chevy Trax--wins in the lightweight division.
Pricing: 2018 Ford EcoSport
A lot of potential buyers approach the subcompact SUV class hoping to save a few dollars. And they're not wrong. They're certainly less expensive than larger SUVs. The 2018 Ford EcoSport starts at $19,995. The EcoSport comes with MyKey, two USB ports, six-speaker audio system, rearview camera, and SYNC infotainment system with 4.2-inch display. You can choose between three more trim levels after, the best one being the Titanium that starts at $25,880 that sports full leather upholstery and a nine-speaker premium audio system.
The 2018 Chevy Trax starts at $21,000. While that's pricier than the Ford EcoSport, the Trax has some nifty standard features, including Wi-Fi hotspot and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If those are features you'd use, this might be a tie. But since there are some buyers not interested in these options, the Ford EcoSport still wins here for starting at a lower price.
Performance: 2018 Ford EcoSport
The beauty of the 2018 Ford EcoSport is that it has two engine choices. That being said, we recommend skipping the base engine. The 166-horsepower four-cylinder is good for this class and won't fill you with regret while you sit in the slow lane.
It doesn't take much to move a vehicle this size, but the Chevy Trax didn't put much in it. There's only one engine option, and it's a 138-horsepower turbo-four engine in there. While that's technically more horsepower than the base engine in the EcoSport, that doesn't seem to make it sporty. You'll do fine downtown, but beware the fast lane.
Fuel Economy: Tie
Subcompact SUVs are wonderfully fuel efficient. It's a virtual tie between these two gas sippers. The 2018 Ford EcoSport gets 27 city miles and 29 highway miles per gallon while the 2018 Chevy Trax gets 25 city miles and 33 highway miles. Interestingly, the EcoSport has better city miles but the Trax has better highway miles. Which one will save you more overall depends on where you drive the most.
The competition is close between the EcoSport and Trax. But with only one lackluster engine option, the Trax seems a bit drab. So we recommend the EcoSport--with superior city miles, lower price, and a better engine, the EcoSport pulls ahead at the finish line.