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Answering a reader question, TFL compared the Trax and the HRV. It's a great short read if you are trying to decide between the two vehicles.

Q: Mr. Nathan Adlen! I’m a big fan of the show and I love it when you and Roman review cars together. The funny thing is that you have reviewed both of the cars I’m interested in.

I want a small crossover that gets good mileage and has lots of usable room for my small family. I have an infant and a 3-year old. We’re an active family that enjoys road trips and we do a lot of commuting too. We don’t have much money, so it needs to cost about $25,000 or less with all wheel drive.

I narrowed my search to the Chevy Trax and the Honda HR-V. What do you think? I want the most for my money and need maximum utility too. The Chevy has more power, right? Maybe that’s a good place to start. Your money, which one would you buy?

Thanks buddy!

C.R. Portland, OR

A: Great question. Both vehicles are very utilitarian with the Honda HR-V having better packaging and more variety for seat configurations. The Chevrolet Trax is no slouch with good headroom and enough room to haul a seven-foot ladder, when configured correctly.

The Honda HR-V puts out more horsepower (141 hp & 127 lb-feet) while the Chevrolet Trax makes a lot more torque (138 hp and 148 lb-ft). Both drive great in the city with the Chevrolet Trax having better oomph off the line thanks to its turbo kick.

The only transmission available for the Chevrolet Trax is a six-speed automatic. The Honda HR-V has a manual option for its front-wheel drive models. Otherwise, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the only transmission available with all-wheel drive.

In all-wheel drive-guise, the Chevrolet Trax feels slightly more lively.

Read about the Honda HR-V (Honda HR-V first test)

Read about the Chevrolet Trax (Chevy Trax first review)

In many ways, the manual-optioned Honda HR-V reminds me of a Honda Civic hatchback, which is a good thing. My money? I would take the HR-V with the manual transmission. It’s a bargain for what it is.

Otherwise, if all-wheel drive was a “must” – the Chevrolet Trax is a fine choice.

Keep in mind, there are a lot of other choices out there.

Fiat 500X
Mini Countryman
Mazda CX-3
Jeep Renegade
Nissan Juke
As good as these vehicles are, none of them can match the utility of the Honda HR-V or the bang-for-your-buck, tech-heavy Chevrolet Trax.

Best of luck!

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