Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A grey 2021 Jeep Renegade is shown from the front parked in a desert.

Subcompact SUV Showdown: 2021 Jeep Renegade vs 2021 Chevy Trax

It’s truly remarkable how much SUVs have taken over the streets, and if you’re searching for your next reliable vehicle, it just makes sense to consider one of the many SUVs available. Although there are many different types of sport utility vehicles out there, the subcompact segment is extremely popular due to the variety of models you have to choose from, in addition to the easily maneuverable size and stylish offerings from many celebrated brands. Two beloved options on the road are from Jeep and Chevy, two completely different automakers with two undeniably unique designs. When you want to compare the 2021 Jeep Renegade vs 2021 Chevy Trax, we’re here for it. In a world of subcompact options, which vehicle will provide you with exactly what you’re looking for in virtually any driving situation? Let’s put these two exceptional models to the test.

When You Want a Smooth Ride

Don’t let the name Renegade fool you. The 2021 Jeep Renegade is not only a dream to drive; it’s ready to wow you with two lively engines to choose from to maximize your experience in any driving situation. From its 1.3L Turbo, which offers extraordinary efficiency, to its 2.4L Tigershark engine, which provides the Renegade with reliable performance, you can’t go wrong with either option. Agile, responsive, and easy to handle, you’ll enjoy a refreshing ride while you’re onboard the Renegade. With its aerodynamic design, you’ll be hugging curves and maneuvering through winding roads with the finesse of a pro. If a smooth ride is what you’re looking for, then the 2021 Renegade will surely grant you that and so much more.

One look at the Chevy Trax, and you might be attracted to its cute design and small stature. However, the cuteness wears off as soon as you put your foot down on the pedal. With only one engine to choose from, a boring 1.4L EcoTec, you’re stuck with unfortunate acceleration and an overall below-average ride. Not only will you find yourself wanting more out of its dull engine, but its loud cabin and rough ride also take away from any type of journey. If you’re looking for a comfortable ride, you unfortunately won’t find it in the Trax.

A white 2021 Chevy Trax is shown from the side parked in a city during a 2021 Jeep Renegade vs 2021 Chevy Trax comparison.

When You Crave Adventure

Everyone knows that Jeeps were made to explore, and the Renegade won’t let you down when it comes to adventure. From its Selec-Terrain Traction Control technology to its incomparable all-wheel drive capabilities, the 2021 Renegade is the ideal companion for any off-road action. With unmatched water fording abilities, high ground clearance, and a suspension system like no other, the Renegade is a top option along the trails, in the mud, on the rocks, and everywhere in between. There is absolutely no denying that when you’re in the mood to get away, the Renegade was built to deliver an inspiring ride. And when you want to get even more out of your adventure, opt for the Trailhawk trim for off-road prowess that can’t be replicated.

Although the Trax does offer all-wheel drive capabilities, it’s virtually impossible to compete with a Jeep. Sure, you’ll be able to traverse a variety of road conditions with more confidence, especially if you’re traveling on icy or rain-slicked streets, but that’s about it for the Trax. You won’t be venturing too far off the beaten path, and that’s due in part to its design, as well as its lackluster engine. If you’re looking for your next adventure, do yourself a favor and choose a Jeep.

When You Desire Designer Comfort

It may sound like we’re biased, but there’s no denying that the Renegade stops at nothing to impress its drivers, and its interior design is no exception. From its unique style to its comfortable appointments and weather-proof amenities, the Renegade offers both form and function. Not only are you able to enjoy upgrades like a heated steering wheel and beautiful seating appointments complete with accent stitching, but you’re also able to take advantage of functional assets like 60/40 split-folding rear seats, adjustable cargo floor, and more. From the moment you step inside the Renegade, it’ll be apparent that it’s ready to make any journey more complete.

Here’s where the Trax makes up for its boring performance. With a nice, open cabin, as well as a sprinkling of elegant features throughout, like leatherette seat trim and black accents available in its special editions, you’ll find comfort inside of the Trax. However, the enjoyment may be cut short when you take a closer look and notice that there are more chintzy-looking aspects than you desire. Cheap plastics and more budget-friendly materials make the Trax look like the low-cost SUV that it is, and although there are some nice features about its interior, the cheap stuff ends up taking away from it all.

When You Need Capabilities

You may be shopping for an SUV because you need the extra room, or you may be looking at the various capabilities that go along with many SUV options, including towing capabilities. Well, rest assured that the 2021 Jeep Renegade will be there for you in any situation. With a towing capacity of up to 2,000 lbs, you’ll be able to haul with confidence, whether you’re venturing out on your next adventure or embarking on the road trip of a lifetime. Helpful features, like Hill Descent Control, come in handy whether you’re towing or simply navigating hilly terrain, offering heightened control during any drive. There’s no doubt about it; the Renegade is ready to rock when it comes to the potential of your ride.

The petite Trax isn’t quite outfitted with the most advanced capabilities. You won’t find all the bells and whistles in the Trax that you will in the Renegade, so if you’re looking to put this little traveler to work, you may be a bit disappointed. We have already mentioned that the Trax is available in all-wheel drive, so that’s a plus when you’re looking at capabilities; however, if you want more, we recommend looking elsewhere.

A red 2021 Jeep Renegade is shown from the front parked in a city.

When You Demand the Latest Tech

It’s not surprising that shoppers are looking for vehicles that offer the best technology in the industry. After all, we need to be able to stay connected during our commutes, adventures, errand running, and more. The 2021 Renegade offers innovative infotainment, available through a standard 7-inch or an available 8.4-inch touchscreen, which includes access to favorites like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus upgrades like built-in navigation and more. If you want all of your coveted apps right at your fingertips, the Renegade will deliver just that.

The 2021 Chevy Trax also offers a 7-inch touchscreen but has no other options, so in a way, you’re limited when it comes to your tech experience. Even though you don’t have much of a choice with its touchscreen, you can enjoy a responsive system with access to an abundance of features found in many vehicles on the road. In short, if you want the bare basics, the Trax won’t let you down.

2021 Jeep Renegade vs 2021 Chevy Trax

It may be fairly evident by this point that we have a favorite, and if you’re searching for your next spirited traveler, the 2021 Jeep Renegade will wow you. From its agile ride to its unsurpassed off-road capabilities, towing abilities, interior comfort, and more, the Renegade is the clear winner in our subcompact SUV showdown. When you want it all in a vehicle, the Renegade is designed to make your drive more focused and complete, whereas the Trax has a hard time keeping up. No matter what you want to get out of your next ride, you can be certain that the Jeep Renegade is a top option, delivering power, poise, convenience, and functionality to make each new journey better than the last.