A white 2021 Chevy Trax is parked at the top of a hill in a city.

Why Crossovers Are Quickly Populating Our Streets And Highways

Just like restaurants and clothing styles, vehicles tend to go through trends. What was the “in” vehicle ten years ago might now be long forgotten. Remember when the Nissan Cube hit the market and caused a stir in the industry? The same can be said about the PT Cruiser. These are examples of trendy vehicles that were just that, a trend that was inevitably going to run its course. The latest trend in the automotive industry is the rise of the crossover, the pint-sized SUV that has basically taken the place of the minivan, which is another dying trend in the industry.

The thing is, people have to wonder if the crossover is just a trend or if it will stick around for a long time, like the SUV. The crossover craze is in full force, and manufacturers have designed and introduced their very own models. There are compelling reasons why a crossover is a good fit for certain consumers, and it looks as though the crossover might be here to stay. The Chevy Trax and the Jeep Compass are two fine examples of small crossover vehicles. Which one is right for you? You will find out after they go head to head in our comparison of the 2021 Chevy Trax vs 2021 Jeep Compass.

What Is a Crossover?

You are not alone if you don’t exactly know what a crossover is; many people don’t. Crossovers share several similarities with both SUVs and minivans but are also different enough to have their own label. The term “crossover” is used when something new is created that blurs the lines between two items already in existence. There are plenty of examples in the real world – in the music world, there are crossover bands that pull influence from two or more distinct genres.

Basically, a crossover has features from SUVs, minivans, and even sedans. Crossovers come in a variety of sizes, but in general, they are smaller than your typical SUV yet taller than a sedan. They have cargo space in the back like an SUV, but unlike their bigger SUV cousins, they are typically built on a unibody car platform. This design is the reason why crossovers offer a better ride quality than an SUV, and it is also a lighter frame that increases fuel efficiency. There are several reasons why crossovers are popular, and people keep flocking to them.

A silver 2021 Jeep Compass is shown from the back driving through a city.

Reasons Why Crossovers Are so Popular

SUVs are the ideal choice for a number of reasons; they are great in off-road conditions, they have plenty of passenger room, and they have a lot of storage space. That’s all fine and dandy, but SUVs can also be gas guzzlers, uncomfortable to drive, and difficult to squeeze into tight parking spots. And contrary to popular belief, not everybody enjoys driving a big SUV if it is not necessary.

As mentioned earlier, crossovers are built on a lighter frame. This means crossovers can be paired with a smaller engine, allowing drivers to enjoy better fuel economy. Crossovers offer the same amount of passenger seating as a full-size SUV, and they have plenty of cargo space in the back. And while the interior of a crossover is smaller than a full-size SUV, they offer far more interior space than a typical sedan or hatchback.

Let’s break that down for you. The 2021 Chevy Trax boasts up to 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway, while the 2021 Jeep Compass is nearly as fuel-efficient at 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. The Trax also offers a full 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space. And thanks to the available all-wheel-drive and ground clearance, the Trax holds its own in off-road conditions.

Why a Crossover Might Be Perfect For You

One of the more compelling reasons to buy a crossover is the price. Anybody who has shopped for an SUV knows that they don’t come cheap. Even the base models can set you back financially. And while you can expect to pay over $30,000 for a basic SUV, you can get a brand new Chevy Trax for thousands less. Better still, the Trax costs far less than even other SUVs like the Jeep Compass. So if money is a huge factor when choosing your crossover, the Trax is the obvious choice.

While crossovers tend to have smaller and more efficient engines, this does not mean they lack power and performance, far from it. The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine under the hood of the Trax might not win you many drag races, but it has the power you need to zoom around town with the family and get things done. After all, it’s not like you are buying a crossover to tow and haul heavy loads; if you want to do that, buy a truck.

Because crossovers are built on car platforms, they are lighter, more fuel-efficient, and handle a lot better than larger SUVs. Crossovers also have lower ride heights than SUVs, and they are shorter in length, which translates into easier maneuverability. Whether you own an SUV or a crossover, you will often have to park them in a crowded parking lot. And even experienced drivers will admit that they would rather park a crossover instead of an SUV.

Everybody knows that larger vehicles are safer on the road. And while a full-size SUV might be safer than a crossover, a crossover is safer than a hatchback or sedan. It’s all just a matter of physics, but a subcompact car is going to be the loser in a collision with a crossover. In addition, because you sit higher in a crossover, you get a better view of the road in front of you and around you, which makes driving a safer task.

A black 2021 Chevy Trax is parked outside of a record store after winning a 2021 Chevy Trax vs 2021 Jeep Compass comparison.

Is the Trax Better Than the Compass?

The Trax has been in the Chevy lineup since 2015, and it has become a popular choice. The Trax has a lot going for it, including a great price, respectable fuel economy, and plenty of passenger space. Of course, the Jeep Compass is also a popular choice and has a lot going for it as well.

If you do your research, you will find they rank very similar in many fields. But for the most part, you will find that the Chevy Trax scores better in safety, performance, and reliability. And at the end of the day, these are critical factors that will certainly sway many of you. One other factor that separates the two is size. The Compass is wider and longer than the Trax, which means it will be more difficult to maneuver in tight spots. At the end of the day, if you are interested in a crossover, the Chevy Trax is a good choice with lots of options that make it highly customizable.

Consumers continue to flock to the crossover, making it more of a staple as opposed to a trend. The crossover has filled that gap between smaller hatchbacks and full-size SUVs and has become the go-to vehicle for families all across the nation. Crossovers are the practical choice because they offer the best SUV features and car features without breaking the bank. A crossover is a no-nonsense way to get to where you need to go.