One of the fastest-growing vehicle classes in the automotive industry is the compact SUV. This is designed to give drivers the best of both worlds: the roominess and ruggedness of an SUV coupled with the drivability and fuel efficiency of a compact car. Two of America’s largest manufacturers, Jeep and Chevrolet, have their own entrants in this market. Jeep has the Renegade, and Chevy has its Trax. While there are a number of similar features in the two models, a deeper dive into both vehicles will review certain key differences between them. The following will compare certain key features to determine the outcome in the matchup of the 2020 Jeep Renegade vs 2020 Chevy Trax. For purposes of this comparison, we will look at the entry-level models of each vehicle, the 2020 Jeep Renegade Sport, and the 2020 Chevy Trax LS. And while Jeep has not officially released a lot of information about the 2020 Renegade, we have enough to go on based on 2019 model specs and information released by FCA.
The 2020 Jeep Renegade and the 2020 Chevy Trax have a number of common features. Both seat five passengers with a two in the front, three in the back configuration, with the rear seats, they fold down to provide greater area for cargo if only traveling with two or fewer passengers. In addition, both the 2020 Jeep Renegade Sport and the 2020 Chevy Trax LS feature their respective manufacturer’s infotainment system.
The Renegade Sport comes equipped with the Uconnect 3 system, with a five-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth streaming audio, and AM/FM radio. Similarly, the Chevy Trax LS has the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, with a seven inch touchscreen, Bluetooth streaming audio, and AM/FM radio. Finally, both compact SUVs have plenty of USB ports so that you and your passengers can keep your devices charged during your trip.
Engine and Drivability
The 2020 Jeep Renegade Sport features a 2.4L Tigershark I-4 engine. It produces up to 180 horsepower and will give you 175 pounds to lb-ft. The Renegade Sport also has a standard 9-speed automatic transmission and has been rated to tow up to 2,000 pounds. By comparison, the 2020 Chevy Trax LS is equipped with a smaller engine, a 1.4-liter EcoTec 4-cylinder engine, and a 6-speed automatic transmission. It produces up to 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. As a result, the Renegade Sport will give a driver more pickup than the Trax LS. In addition, the nine-speed automatic transmission gives you more control than the 6-speed automatic transmission featured in the Trax.
While both vehicles are front-wheel drive, the Jeep Renegade Sport has an available all-wheel drive for better control in inclement weather. Finally, even though the Chevy Trax has a shorter wheelbase than the Jeep Renegade, 100.6 inches compared to 101.2 inches, the Renegade actually has a tighter turning radius, 17.65 to 18.15 inches, compared to 17.7 to 18.35 inches on the Trax. Therefore, drivers should find the Renegade easier to handle in tight spots than the Trax, improving its drivability.
Advantage: Jeep Renegade
One key draw for compact SUV drivers is above average fuel efficiency. While both vehicles won’t hurt you at the pump, one has a distinct advantage over the other. The 2020 Jeep Renegade Sport should provide an estimated 22 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway while in front-wheel drive.
Shifting to all-wheel drive may lower these numbers by roughly one mile per gallon. The EPA has rated the 2020 Chevy Trax LS to deliver 26 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway. This difference in fuel economy is probably due to the fact that the Jeep is using a more powerful engine, so Jeep drivers will have to give up a little mileage to gain extra speed and power.
Advantage: Chevy Trax
One factor that really draws drivers to the compact SUV is the fact that this vehicle tends to be roomier than compact coupes and sedans. This is due to the fact that, while they tend to be built on the same platform as the coupe and sedan, the compact SUV has greater vehicle height, providing more room for passengers and cargo. Both of these vehicles fit that definition.
The 2020 Chevy Trax has a length of 167.2 inches, a width of 69.9 inches, and a 100.6-inch wheelbase. The interior space provides front-seat passengers with 39.6 inches of headroom, 40.8 inches of legroom, 51.7 inches of hip room, and 54.1 inches of shoulder room, while rear-seat passengers have 38.8 inches of headroom, 35.7 inches of legroom, 50.7 inches of hip room, and 52.8 inches of shoulder room. There are 29.3 inches of cargo space behind the rear seat, providing up to 18.7 cubic feet of space, while there are 57 inches of space when the rear seat is folded down, providing up to 48.4 cubic feet for cargo.
By comparison, the 2020 Jeep Renegade is slightly larger. It has a wheelbase of 101.2 inches, a width of 79.6 inches, and a length of 166.6 inches. This provides front-seat passengers with 41.1 inches of headroom, 41.2 inches of legroom, 53.1 inches of hip room, and 55.9 inches of shoulder room. The Jeep’s rear seat provides passengers with 40.5 inches of headroom, 35.1 inches of legroom, 51.9 inches of hip room, and 55.1 inches of shoulder room. There are 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and 50.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat down.
While the cargo capacities are fairly similar (more room in the Chevy with the rear seat up, more in the Jeep with the rear seat folded down), the Jeep Renegade is roomier than the Chevy Trax, particularly for rear-seat passengers.
Advantage: Jeep Renegade
Most manufacturers are making more and more safety features standard, particularly on their base model vehicles. This is certainly the case with the 2020 Jeep Renegade Sport. It comes equipped with seven airbags, a Parkview rear backup camera, advanced high strength steel frame, 4-wheel anti-lock disc braking system, daytime running lights, stability and traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a post-collision safety system. Each of these will help you and your passengers remain safe in your Jeep Renegade in the unfortunate event of a collision.
The 2020 Chevy Trax LS also comes with a number of standard safety features. These include ten airbags, daytime running lights, rear vision camera, tire pressure monitor system, StabiliTrak with traction control, and 4-wheel anti-lock braking system with disc brakes in the front and drums in the back. These are also excellent safety features, but it seems that the Jeep provides slightly more standard ones. For example, the Jeep utilizes disc brakes on all four wheels, while the Chevy Trax only features them on the front wheels. Also, the Jeep features a post-collision safety system.
Slight Advantage: Jeep Renegade.
The 2020 Chevy Trax LS has an MSRP of $21,300. This is over two thousand dollars less than the 2020 Jeep Renegade Sport, with an estimated MSRP of $23,775. However, value often goes beyond just the purchase price of the vehicle. The Jeep provides greater space, a more powerful engine, and better drivability.
In addition, Chevy Trax LS drivers will have to pay extra for certain safety features that come standard on the Jeep Renegade Sport, such as disc brakes on the rear wheels, probably making the prices closer when comparing vehicles with comparable trim and features. As a result, the 2020 Jeep Renegade Sport will be a better overall value than the 2020 Chevy Trax LS when comparing the capabilities and features of the two compact SUVs.