Buyers in search of subcompact SUVs with small price tags and small footprints have a few options available in the segment, two of which hold pricing down below $22,000 for a new vehicle from either Chevy or Honda. Granted, that pricing goes for the entry-level trim with absolutely no extras, but if you need to stick to a small budget, at least you know new SUVs can be had for a bargain-basement price. Then again, if you actually want a few conveniences rather than just driving around a box on wheels, you are going to find one SUV has far more features than the other. If we compare the 2022 Chevy Trax vs 2022 Honda HR-V, these tiny SUVs have a few things in common, but it might surprise potential buyers which SUV offers more for the lowest price.
When you’re looking for a sub-compact vehicle, it’s probably for one of two reasons: 1) you want to save on gas, or 2) you drive in a city and need to fit in a small parking space. Depending on which aspect of owning a small vehicle you prefer, you will find slight differences between the 2022 Trax and the 2022 HR-V. For fuel efficiency, the Honda certainly offers better numbers at 28/34 mpg as compared with the Chevy at 24/32 mpg. These fuel efficiency numbers come with a price, however, that may not matter to some, but it bears mentioning for those who will have to live with your vehicle’s performance every day.
Driving a small SUV is unlikely to be very exciting, but it does matter if you can get past someone on the highway or get moving better than a snail when the light turns green. Each of these SUVs comes standard with a single engine option, and both are powered by four cylinders. Chevy upgraded its engine for the 2022 Trax, giving it a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that makes an increased 155 horsepower with 177 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the 2022 HR-V, which comes equipped with a 1.8-liter engine that makes only 141 horsepower with a weak 127 lb-ft of torque, the Trax will perform better for acceleration. Hands down. Honda doesn’t give the HR-V any turbo, and the engine is paired to a continuously variable transmission which can be awkward when shifting. Chevy’s engine gets a six-speed automatic transmission which will handle shifting more smoothly.
Parking duty with the 2022 Trax will be easier as well, with an exterior length of 167.2 inches compared to the 2022 HR-V length at 170 inches. It might not seem like much, but think about city parking. Every inch matters, and when you can pull into a space nobody else can fit into, it can mean the difference between parking steps away from your destination and blocks you have to walk. That exterior parking advantage from the Chevy isn’t the only upper hand you will get with the 2022 Trax. While size matters, the number of features you get for the lowest price will make a difference, too.
Standard Features and a Few Options
Bargain prices are only great if you get a good deal, and good deals mean you get lots of goodies for the price, right? Looking at the standard features you get for the entry-level trims for the 2022 Trax and 2022 HR-V, one of these things does not look like the other. One of these sub-compacts has lots of goodies, while the other is spectacularly sparse. Even though Honda maintains an excellent rating for overall value, it is traditionally not great with giving much on its entry-level trims. It’s a bit of trickery to lure you into looking at all the awesome features you could have if you want to pony up extra dough, but your brain sees that low entry-level price, and you believe it’s a good value.
For the base trim, the 2022 HR-V has bare-bones tech with a small five-inch screen, Bluetooth, and a single charging port in the center stack. Considering this is a vehicle most likely to attract young people with low-paying jobs, your connectivity is going to suffer on the road. Convenience features like a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, steering wheel-mounted controls, and remote entry are good, but they are generally standard for every vehicle at this point. The advanced safety features typically found on most Honda vehicles are also missing for the base trim of the HR-V, outside of a few government-mandated technologies like a rearview camera, brake assist, and stability control. Yikes.
Compared to the Honda, the 2022 Trax manages to look like a luxury car with far more tech, like dual charging ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a seven-inch touchscreen, a SiriusXM three-month trial, Chevy Connected access with complimentary services, and a WiFi hotspot. For the money, the Trax’s tech alone far outstrips the HR-V. Convenience features mentioned for the Honda are all present for the Chevy, and then you gain the option to add remote start if you really love being able to warm up your vehicle on cold days. Standard safety features for the Trax include a rearview camera and stability and traction control, but you also gain OnStar access.
Having the option to be able to call for emergency service, find your vehicle if you lose it, or get roadside assistance can make a big difference in your life if you happen to need help. Brake assist is a great feature, but being able to call for help (or have help called for you automatically if you were in an accident and are unconscious) seems like a better deal. Honda doesn’t offer connected service until the second trim level. You also get under-floor storage in the cargo area of the Trax, compared with Honda’s “magic seat” feature that lets you fold the rear seat bottom up to accommodate taller items, plus a cargo area cover is standard for the Trax. If you live in the city, being able to tuck items away is a plus, though some buyers may be more interested in having the magic seats. Buyer preference will prevail here.
Now it comes down to money. Bargain hunters will find that Chevy offers significant differences in comparison to Honda when all things are said and done. Base pricing for the 2022 Trax begins at $21,400, and then a destination charge of $1,195 will apply for purchase at a dealership. To add all-wheel drive to any trim, a fee of $620 gets you that option. Even if you decide you prefer the upper-level trim with all the bells and whistles, you can have the 2022 Trax for under $28,000.
In contrast, the 2022 HR-V base pricing begins at $21,420, and then you add a destination charge of $1,225, which is a difference of only $50 from the Chevy pricing at this stage. Add all-wheel drive, however, and a hefty $1,500 is the charge at entry-level, with pricing changing between $1,300 and $1,600 depending on the trim. No matter what trim you choose, it’s more expensive. For the entry-level, it’s a nearly $1,000 difference. Go for the fully-loaded top trim of the HR-V, and you can spend over $30,000 with all the added extras.
Honda may have an advantage with fuel efficiency in the 2022 HR-V, but Chevy delivers in capability, standard features, technology, and pricing for the 2022 Trax. The usual safety features for a Honda won’t be found until upper trims of the HR-V, which add a lot of extra money to the purchase price, though that isn’t what you want if you’re looking for a low-priced deal. Having all-wheel drive is certainly going to cost hundreds less for the 2022 Trax, and that alone might be a deal-maker for some buyers. Even considering what you might save on gas in the Honda, you could probably make up those savings with the lower price of buying all-wheel drive for the 2022 Chevy Trax.