A silver 2022 Chevy Trax is shown driving up a steep city hill.

Which Sporty Crossover SUV Fits Your Lifestyle Best?

I need a vehicle that can transition between my work life and my personal life. My work life consists of music gigs, writing, and seasonal office jobs. At a moment’s notice, I need to be ready to load my harp and music accessories, pick up supplies, or throw together a few suitcases for a writer’s retreat. In my personal life, meanwhile, I like to travel—road-tripping to state parks and campsites across the U.S. with friends. That’s why I’m taking a look at the 2022 Chevy Trax vs the 2022 Ford EcoSport.

A sedan or coupe can’t hold everything I need, but a full-size SUV is too large and cumbersome to drive. I need something covered, unlike a pickup truck, so that my harp is in a climate-controlled space. An affordable crossover like the Trax or EcoSport should do the trick.

While both the 2022 Chevy Trax and the 2022 Ford EcoSport are considered sporty crossover SUVs, they are not the same vehicle in the least. Depending on what you’re looking for, you may be drawn to one or the other. I’ll tell you what I find interesting about each of them and leave the decision to you.

A gold 2022 Ford EcoSport is shown during a 2022 Chevy Trax vs 2022 Ford EcoSport comparison.

A Similar Surface

Firstly, I’m drawn to the Trax and the EcoSport because they’re both compact. I’m a short person, and I need something small enough for me to handle, yet big enough to hold all the supplies I need to take along for work or vacation. If I have two or three co-workers or friends going with me to a given event or activity (which is common), I need space for four people and all our equipment, tools, and toys. A car just won’t cut it.

Looking at them side by side, the Ford EcoSport is more angular, which brings to mind faster, sportier cars. The Chevy Trax, on the other hand, is slightly rounder, with curves that remind me of vintage luxury vehicles. Although one shouldn’t make a vehicle decision based on aesthetics alone, this is valuable to consider.

Does one look more professional? Does either crossover appear better equipped for playtime? Depending on your lifestyle, your preference may change once you ponder these differences.

What Lies Beneath

When it comes to differences under the hood, the immediate feature that springs to mind is the powertrain. Knowing how the vehicle will be expected to handle on a regular basis is essential when choosing between the Chevy Trax and Ford EcoSport. While the 2022 Chevy Trax comes with an EcoTec turbocharged four-cylinder engine with six-speed automatic transmission, the 2022 Ford EcoSport offers a regular four-cylinder engine with six-speed automatic transmission. Do you actually need a turbocharged engine? If you’re like me, then the answer is yes—though “need” is admittedly a strong word. The reason I love a turbocharged engine is that it’s more economical, not relying on natural air pressure to do the work of forcing air into the engine.

While the Trax has a superior torque rating of 177 lb-ft, the EcoSport’s slightly higher horsepower maxes out at 166. These are only serviceable ratings, to be sure, but higher torque is my preference when dealing with start-and-stop city traffic.

Since both come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, that won’t factor into my decision. I learned on manual, but I don’t need to have that in every single vehicle I purchase. And unfortunately, it is becoming less and less of an option for American drivers. Another factor to consider is that the 2022 Ford EcoSport is only offered with all-wheel drive, while the 2022 Chevy Trax has the option of front-wheel or all-wheel drive—the former being more economical and efficient.

What this comes down to, in my opinion, is preference. Depending on which engine type and what option you prefer between front-wheel or all-wheel drive, you may lean more toward the Chevy Trax or Ford EcoSport. As for me, so far I’m leaning toward the 2022 Chevy Trax.

How Much Can These Two Handle?

The big difference between the 2022 Ford EcoSport and other crossover SUVs is that it can tow quite a bit more than others in its class. Just comparing these two, the 2022 Chevy Trax is capable of towing nearly 1,300 lbs, but the 2022 Ford EcoSport can tow 2,000 lbs—a significant addition of over 700 lbs.

I think my choice here boils down to knowing what I will be towing. Do I need to tow 2,000 lbs? Probably not. I’ll probably tow items occasionally, like a small trailer if I’m moving from one town to the next. But it’s not high up on my list because I just want to use the space provided in the cargo area itself.

However, my friend Robert is a musician, and he is likely to need a U-Haul trailer (the smallest of which tops out at 1,600 lbs when fully loaded) to tote all his guitars, drums, amps, etc. to gigs. Therefore, the Chevy Trax would not be the best option for him.

If you’re debating between these two, do yourself a favor and jot down some quick math; just how much towing capacity will you likely need, either now or in the future? That way you’ll be able to choose which vehicle suits your needs without getting a nasty shock when your vehicle is suddenly incapable.

The rear liftgate of a silver 2022 Chevy Trax is shown in the city.

Consider This…

Other considerations on my list of pros and cons are comfort, built-in features, and price. If I’m going to be spending a large amount of time in a single vehicle, I want to know that it’s at least somewhat comfortable, especially if I am going to be performing, lifting things in and out, and traveling long distances. I don’t want to drive for six-to-eight hours and then feel worn out from uncomfortable seats and cramped leg space.

While the backseat and cargo area can be less comfortable since I’m most likely putting a lever harp, a few suitcases, or camping gear back there, I do need to feel like I’m not a piece of luggage being crammed into a small space. This is why the 2022 Chevy Trax appeals to me as a driver, because the driver and front passenger area looks like a road-tripper’s dream—with such broad windows and wider seating, I feel like it would be both comfortable and stimulating.

The seemingly lower and slightly narrower front row of the 2022 Ford EcoSport has given me a bit of pause, but upon investigating further, it does have slightly cargo space and isn’t as cramped for passengers sitting in the back. As far as built-in features go, I like that the Chevy Trax has both Apple and Android capabilities that come standard, and the option for in-car Wi-Fi is intriguing. The Ford EcoSport does not offer in-car Wi-Fi, but does have Bluetooth compatibility.

As far as pricing goes, the 2022 Chevy Trax is slightly cheaper, but only by a few hundred dollars. Of course, if I were to consider going above the standard vehicle, that might change my mind. But right now, I’m looking more for durability than luxury.

Putting It All Together

My final thoughts on the matter: For me, personally, I think the 2022 Chevy Trax is the better choice; but I would again caution that if you are searching for a sporty crossover like me, it would behoove you to do your research, take them both on a test drive, and then decide which one suits your lifestyle best. I would also like to note that this is the last year that the Ford EcoSport is being produced, so if you want a newer model, you may need to figure out a way to get your hands on one soon.