Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A white 2019 Chevy Trax is driving through a city at dusk.

Trax vs Kicks: Not a Saturday Morning Showdown

You know, this generation has definitively proven that there is something out there for literally everyone. For once, we are not talking about car generations. Call them what you will – Millennials, Generation Y, what have you – this current generation of up and coming car buyers have shown that utility and performance in a vehicle are no longer necessary. Style has started to usurp the basics of a vehicle, such as engine efficiency and versatility. Today’s car buyers are moving toward a more aesthetically motivated market, and the world’s automakers are supplying the demand. If you need proof, look no further than the 2019 Chevy Trax vs 2019 Nissan Kicks.

Trax vs Kicks might sound like a showdown for the hottest Christmas toy of 1995, but these are actually two subcompact crossovers that were not even a whisper of a thought in 1995. The Chevy Trax has been around since 2013, while the Nissan Kicks put its foot into the market in 2016. The timing of these two vehicles is not a coincidence, nor are the names. With the millennial generation buying power in full swing in the mid-2010s, Chevy and Nissan introduced these two subcompact crossovers and named them something that would quite possibly remind its target demographic of a childhood commercial during Saturday morning cartoons.

The grand appeal of the 2019 Chevy Trax and the 2019 Nisan Kicks is not in the size, utility or versatility of the subcompact crossover. Let’s be honest, if you are looking at one of these vehicles you aren’t planning on lugging around a couple of tons of lumber, nor are you looking for the luxurious interior space of a higher end SUV. What you are looking for is probably something with modern stylings, great fuel efficiency, and agile handling. The good news is, you will find all of the latter points in each of these vehicles. Let us take a look at some of these finer points.


If, like some of us, you tend to have a lead foot and let one of the many powerful engines on today’s crossover SUV market get away from you from time to time, consider the 2019 Chevy Trax or the 2019 Nissan Kicks. You will have no problem at all reigning in the horses under these hoods.

The 2019 Chevy Trax comes with only one engine, in the North American market, anyway. That engine is an inline 4-cylinder 1.4-liter that gets 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. This engine is not designed to win any road races, nor is it meant to tow much of anything. It does, however, get pretty good gas mileage. It is estimated at 25 miles to the gallon in the city and 33 miles to the gallon on the highway.

The 2019 Nissan Kicks also has but one engine, and it is even less impressive than its counterpart in the Trax. The Kicks’ engine is an inline 4-cylinder 1.6-liter that gets 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. Again, it is not advised that you try any feats of impressive performance in this vehicle. What is impressive, like the Trax, is the fuel efficiency. This engine is estimated at 31 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Even in a class that prides itself on fuel efficiency, those are better than average numbers. The fuel efficiency in the 2019 Nissan Kicks rivals that of some of the better sedans on the market; what’s left of them, anyway.

Both of these vehicles utilize their adequate engine performance with agile handling, perfect for city driving. If you are looking for an engine with a little more giddyup, the 2019 Chevy Trax is the winner. If you are more concerned with how far your gas budget can stretch, go with the 2019 Nissan Kicks.


It may be a stereotype to say that the millennial generation is technology driven, but that assessment cannot be too far off. The gadgets that we as a society have nowadays control nearly every aspect of our daily lives. This technological boom of the 21st century has certainly spread to the automotive world, as well.

The black interior of the 2019 Chevy Trax is shown. Check out features when comparing the 2019 Chevy Trax vs 2019 Nissan Kicks.

Modern automotive technology has turned even a mundane trip to the grocery store into an interactive experience. Everything from smartphone integration to satellite radio, navigation to wi-fi connectivity makes any amount of time spent in your vehicle just like having the creature comforts of home. DVD and Blu-Ray players have long been in some vehicles already, and it is only a matter of time before we will be able to stream Netflix on our daily commute.

True to its target demographic, both the 2019 Nissan Kicks and the 2019 Chevy Trax offer a ton of standard and optional features. Some of these are in the infotainment arena, while some are in the convenience and safety realm.

To that end, both vehicles feature easy to use infotainment systems. Standard on both are a 7” touchscreen, Bluetooth and a six-speaker audio system. The Kicks comes with 3 USB ports, while the Trax has only two. However, the Trax features a wi-fi- hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard features. These last few features are only available through an upgrade on the 2019 Nissan Kicks.


Much has been made in the news lately about how the millennial generation is eschewing the rites of passage that past generations have done without question. Some of these include home ownership and having children. Those who are making these decisions point to the present and future financial stability as a serious issue. These decisions are not entered into lightly, and, at least, the millennial generation is making informed decisions that directly relate to their futures.

Automakers, the shrewd businesspeople that they are, recognize this trend, too. The 2019 Nissan Kicks and the 2019 Chevy Trax are both priced in a very reasonable range, especially for the number of standard and optional features that both have, the vast majority of which we didn’t even cover.

Both vehicles have three trim levels, but the price disparity at the top and bottom is quite a gap. The 2019 Nissan Kicks starts out at $18,540 at the base level, while the top trim level (the SR) starts out at $20,870. The 2019 Chevy Trax starts out at $21,200, and the top trim level (the Premier) starts out at $24,700. If you were comparing high-performance sports cars or heavy-duty pickup trucks, a matter of $3000-$4000 wouldn’t be that noticeable. But, when you are on a scale of less than $25,000, that $4,000 could be a deal breaker. Just ask any millennial if $4,000 is a significant sum of money. We are quite sure they would agree with no hesitation.


We are not insinuating that the 2019 Nissan Kicks or the 2019 Chevy Trax is inferior vehicles. On the contrary. In today’s automotive market, there truly is something for everyone. These two subcompact crossovers fit the bill of an affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle with desirable interior technology and a stylish exterior look. Not everyone is interested in the massive SUVs or the luxury sedans. Those are turning into more of a niche market than the affordable subcompact crossover, anyway.