Is Kia’s safety rating on small SUVs better than Chevy’s?

The Kia Sportage received top marks from the IIHS, while the Chevy Trax earned low scores in comparison. The average rate for SUV auto insurance is 18% above normal vehicles.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 22, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The Kia Sportage is tied for first place for safest small SUVs on the market
  • The Chevy Trax did not receive a headlight rating this year
  • The Kia’s factory warranty is two years and 24,000 longer than the Chevy’s

No two consumers are the same, which is why vehicle manufacturers make such a wide array of options available for buyers.

Take the Kia Sportage and the Chevrolet Trax for example. They’re both small SUVs in a class that consists of 23 similar vehicles in the current model year.

When consumers look at these two small SUVs, they want to know which one is better for their family. They also want to know which one has the options and features they’re looking for.

Buying a small SUV is a substantial investment. These two run close in price with the Kia costing approximately $2,000 more for the base model up to $4,000 more for the fully loaded model.

Despite the similarities in cost, however, there are certain things buyers must know before they begin the process of car shopping that make a big difference in the long run.

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The Most Important Features to Look For in A Small SUV

Most small SUVs provide more space than a sedan, and they’re not too different in terms of overall size and storage capacity. However, not all buyers are looking for the same features. Some want more, some want more cost-efficiency.

Whatever you’re looking for, you want to be sure you’re getting the best deal for the least amount of money.

The warranty is something you must look at when you buy a new car. The Kia comes with a 5-year, 60,000-mile warranty that far surpasses the 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty offered by Chevy.

This means you’re potentially saving more money on the Kia thanks to its longer warranty and better protection.

Gas mileage is another factor if you drive often. The Chevy’s gas mileage is anywhere from 3 to 10 miles per gallon more efficient than the Kia depending on the kind of driving you do.

Another factor is safety. An SUV with better safety ratings saves money by way of insurance premiums. If you drive a vehicle with a great safety rating, your car insurance company is likely to charge you less to insure it.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provides ample resources dedicated to helping you understand which small SUVs have the best safety ratings so you get the best price on insurance.

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IIHS Safety Ratings Explained

Crashworthiness, crash avoidance and mitigation, and child seat anchors are the three main categories used to rate small SUVs in safety tests.

Each category is tested when the vehicle undergoes professional crashes on closed courses where no one is hurt.

Once the crash test is complete, both small SUVs go through a detailed examination to see how well each area of the SUV performed in crash tests.

Each area is then graded with a good, acceptable, marginal, or poor rating, which is abbreviated with the first letter of each grade on official paperwork.

Any vehicle that earns perfect scores for crashworthiness, as well as any rating other than basic during front crash prevention tests, is awarded an IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

If said vehicle earns an acceptable or good rating for its headlights, it’s awarded a Top Safety Pick+ award. These awards mean the vehicle is less expensive to insure due to its high-performance capabilities during an accident.


Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage is tied for the top spot in the small SUV class.

  • It’s got acceptable ratings in the headlights and the LATCH system, and it scores perfectly in every other category.
  • It’s tied with the Hyundai Tucson for the top spot on the list of small SUVs rated for safety measures, and Hyundai just so happens to be the primary interest holder in the Kia business.
  • It’s impressive safety ratings earn this vehicle a Top Safety Pick+ award this year.

Chevrolet Trax

The Chevy Trax does not perform as well in safety tests as the Kia Sportage.

The Chevy falls just short in areas such as small overlap front passenger side in which it only received an acceptable rating. It also falls short in terms of front crash prevention. It did not earn top marks like the Kia.

Instead, it earned the lowest possible score of basic. The headlights on the Chevy Trax were not rated.

Simple Ways to Make Driving A Small SUV More Affordable

The easiest way to get the best rate on car insurance is to shop around. Safety features are important, but comparing free insurance quotes with several companies allows consumers to see which vehicle is most cost-effective to own. Learn more here: where can I compare several affordable auto insurance rates.

Safety is often first, but the price is an important factor to consider.

If you really want to save on your premium, consider opting for a high deductible policy. You must be able to pay this deductible if something happens, but it’s a great way to save money on the overall cost of insuring your car.

A longer factory warranty is good, but an extended warranty is typically a waste of money.

Between these tips, knowing that the Kia has far more safety savings available than the Chevy, and knowing which vehicle has the best warranty, you can make an informed decision for your family.

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