Ford EcoSport Vs. Chevy Trax: Small People Haulers With Style

By Justin Cupler | December 1st, 2018

The subcompact crossover realm is exploding as more manufacturers release new tiny people haulers nearly every year. Two stalwarts in the segment are the 2019 Chevy Trax and the 2018 Ford EcoSport. Both subcompact crossovers offer Saginaw area buyers tons of value, utility, and fuel economy, but which is the better buy for you? Keep reading to find out.

Exterior

Visually, the 2019 Chevy Trax and 2018 Ford EcoSport are very similar as they both sit atop tiny platforms and feature sportier looks to appease their key demographics. The big difference between the two is in their front ends. The 2019 Trax features distinct upper and lower grilles on a more pointed front end, giving it more flexibility in its sportiness, plus its hood boasts more ridges to add to its character. The 2018 EcoSport has a more rounded front end with the signature Ford grille. The EcoSport takes its sportiness a step further with its SES trim, which boasts dark wheels and grille.

While the 2019 Trax and 2018 EcoSport are both subcompact crossovers, the Trax is the larger model of the two. The 2019 Chevy Trax is 167.2 inches long, 69.9 inches wide, and 66 inches tall. This body sits atop a 100.6-inch wheelbase that provides 6.2 inches of ground clearance. The EcoSport is 5.9 inches shorter in length, 0.4 inches narrower, and 0.9 to 1.2 shorter in height. The EcoSport’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches shorter, but it offers 1.6 inches more ground clearance to handle rougher terrain.

Advantage: 2018 Ford EcoSport

  • Smaller body is easier in traffic and tight spaces
  • Higher ground clearance for rugged terrain
  • Sporty SES trim

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Trax

  • Sharper body design
  • Longer wheelbase smooths out bumpy roads

Interior

With these tiny crossovers aimed directly at the younger crowd, Ford and Chevy made sure the 2019 Trax and 2018 EcoSport have cabins to fit this group. The 2019 Trax features more swoops in on its dashboard, heavier seat bolsters, and more to help dress it up. Plus, it can tote longer items with its fold-flat front passenger seat. The EcoSport’s cabin is far more basic and horizontal, though its floating infotainment screen is a neat touch for this class. Where the EcoSport separates itself is in the SES trim, which includes splashes of color.

Interior room is tight in the 2019 Chevy Trax and 2018 Ford EcoSport, but they do well with the space their compact footprints afford them. In the front seats, the 2019 Trax offers 39.6 inches of headroom, 40.8 inches of legroom, 54.1 inches of shoulder room, and 51.7 inches of hip room. The EcoSport’s front seats beat the Trax in headroom by 0.1 inches and legroom by 1.9 inches, but it loses in shoulder room by 0.8 inches and hip room by 0.1 inches.

In its rear seats, the 2019 Chevy Trax offers 38.8 inches of headroom, 35.7 inches of legroom, 52.8 inches of shoulder room, and 50.7 inches of hip room. The 2018 Ford EcoSport’s rear seats beat the Trax in legroom by 1 inch and hip room by 0.2 inches, but it loses in headroom by 1.3 inches and shoulder room by 1.5 inches.

Though these subcompact crossovers are not big on hauling, they have respectable cargo room for their class. The 2019 Chevy Trax’s cargo room checks in at 29.3 cubic feet with all the seats upright and 57 cubes with the rear seats folded. The EcoSport’s extra legroom eats into the cargo area, making it 8.4 cubic feet tighter with the rear seats upright. With the seats folded, the EcoSport makes up ground but remains tighter at 50 cubes.

Advantage: 2018 Ford EcoSport

  • More front and rear legroom
  • Colorful interior accents

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Trax

  • Wider seating
  • Huge cargo room advantage
  • Swoopy and stylish interior

Performance

The 2019 Chevy Trax boasts a standard 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a six-speed automatic that ships power to the front wheels as standard. Buyers can also opt for all-wheel drive. Chevy does not recommend towing with the 2019 Trax.

The 2018 Ford EcoSport comes standard with a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. Optionally, buyers can upgrade to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 166 horsepower and 149 pound-feet of torque. Both engines pair with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is included when upgrading to the 2.0-liter engine. The 2018 EcoSport can tow 1,400 to 2,000 pounds.

Fuel economy is where these small crossovers earn their keep. The 2019 Chevy Trax gets up to 26 mpg city, 31 highway, and 28 combined. With all-wheel drive, the 2019 Trax delivers up to 24 mpg city, 29 highway, and 28 combined.

The 2019 EcoSport checks in at 27 mpg city, 29 highway, and 28 combined when equipped with the 1.0-liter engine. The EcoSport’s 2.0-liter engine, which includes all-wheel drive, drags fuel economy down to 23 mpg city, 29 highway, and 25 combined.

Advantage: 2018 Ford EcoSport

  • More powerful optional engine
  • SES’ sport-tuned suspension
  • Can tow a small trailer

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Trax

  • More powerful base engine
  • Better fuel economy
  • No need to swap engines for all-wheel drive

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Chevy Trax comes in three trim levels: LS, LT, and Premier. Starting prices range from $22,295 to $28,595.

The 2019 Ford EcoSport is available in four trims — S, SE, SES, and Titanium — and starting prices range from $19,995 to $26,880

2019 Chevy Trax Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LS: $22,295

  • 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front disc, rear drum brakes
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 16-inch painted-aluminum wheels
  • Halogen headlights
  • Daytime running lights
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Body-color door handles
  • Front and rear intermittent wipers
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • 3.5-inch driver-information center
  • Power windows
  • Power door locks
  • Single-zone manual climate control
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Cloth seating
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Retractable cargo shade
  • Front and rear floor mats
  • Remote keyless
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Chevrolet Infotainment System 3 with 8-inch touchscreen
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Rearview camera

LT: $24,195

  • All LS features, plus
  • 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels
  • Tinted glass
  • Halogen projector-beam headlights
  • LED taillights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Roof-mounted side rails
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Front passenger under-seat storage
  • Deluxe cloth seating
  • Cruise control
  • 110-volt power outlet
  • Remote ignition

Premier: $28,595

  • All LT features, plus
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color door handles with chrome strips
  • Chrome liftgate applique
  • Power sunroof
  • Bose premium seven-speaker audio system
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Illuminated front vanity mirrors
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Leatherette seating
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Bright front door-sill plates
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Forward collision alert
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Blind-zone alert

2018 Ford EcoSport Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $19,995

  • 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine
  • Auto-stop/start technology
  • Hill-start assist
  • Six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 16-inch low-gloss Magnetic-painted machined-face aluminum wheels
  • Black door handles
  • Upper grille with black-painted bars and surround
  • Black power mirrors with integrated spotter mirrors
  • Black beltline molding
  • Halogen quad-beam reflector headlights
  • Capless fuel filler
  • Swinging rear hatch door
  • Rearview camera
  • Variable intermittent wipers
  • Acoustic laminated windshield
  • Manual single-zone air conditioning
  • Four cargo tie-downs
  • Front carpeted floor mats
  • Urethane steering wheels
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • Two smart-charging USB ports
  • Automatic headlights
  • Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • SYNC
  • 4.2-inch LCD touchscreen
  • Cloth seating
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Ford MyKey

SE: $23,000

  • All S features, plus
  • 16-inch Shadow Silver-painted wheels
  • Body-color door handles
  • Upper grille with painted-silver bars and surround
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Halogen quad-beam projector lights
  • LED signature lighting
  • Fog lights
  • Black roof rails
  • Reverse parking sensors
  • Tinted rear glass
  • Automatic climate control
  • First and second row floor mats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  • Moonroof
  • Chrome inside door handles
  • Keyless ignition
  • Intelligent Access
  • SiriusXM
  • SYNC 3
  • Heated front seats
  • Six-way power driver’s seat

Titanium: $25,880

  • All SE features, plus
  • 17-inch premium Dark Stainless-painted machined aluminum wheels
  • Upper grille with chrome bars and surround
  • Heated mirrors
  • Chrome beltline molding
  • Silver-painted roof rack side rails
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 110-volt power outlet
  • Ambient lighting
  • Nine-speaker B&O PLAY Premium Audio System by HARMAN with subwoofer
  • SYNC Connect
  • Navigation
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Perforated leather seating
  • Heated seats
  • Six-way power driver’s seat

SES: $26,880

  • All Titanium features, plus
  • Four-wheel drive
  • 2.0-liter engine with auto-stop/start
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters
  • 17-inch tarnished dark-metallic aluminum wheels
  • Upper grille with Magnetic-painted bars and surround
  • Roof-rack crossbars
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Orange contrast stitching
  • 110-volt power outlet
  • Ambient lighting
  • Copper-colored instrument panel accents
  • Seven-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio system
  • SYNC Connect
  • Navigation
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Partial-leather-trimmed seats with unique cloth and copper stripes

Who Should Buy the 2019 Ford EcoSport?

The 2019 Ford EcoSport is for buyers who are more interested in price than anything else. Throughout its entire lineup, the EcoSport is dollar-for-feature cheaper than the Trax, but there are sacrifices.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Chevy Trax?

The 2019 Chevy Trax is for buyers looking for the whole package: style, features, and fuel economy. With its slightly higher pricing and more lateral room, this will appeal to younger families with growing kiddos.

Ready to hit the streets of Saginaw, Michigan in your own 2019 Chevy Trax? Come down to Garber Chevrolet Saginaw new-car dealership serving Saginaw and Freeland today to test drive the new Trax. If you can’t stop in, you can also check out our online inventory to see what 2019 Chevy Trax models are waiting for you in our showroom.