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

Things to remember...

  • The IIHS performs various crash and safety tests on small SUVs and vehicles in other classes
  • The Chevy Trax is a small SUV that debuted in 2015 and boasts cargo space and advanced technological features
  • The latest Trax was assessed by IIHS and earned “Good” ratings in most of the tests performed but a “Basic” crash prevention score
  • Compared to Audi’s small SUV the Q3, the Chevy Trax performed slightly better in IIHS tests

Compact SUVs have dethroned the sedan as the most popular class of vehicles sold in America. Smaller Sport Utility Vehicles offer riders a spacious cabin without compromising fuel economy and they also offer manufacturers the opportunity for larger profits.

Now, more and more automakers are improving the designs of small SUVs that have been available for over a decade.

To compete with the ever-growing small SUV segment of the marketplace, in 2015 automaker Chevy released the Trax. The five-seater SUV gets 34 miles to the gallon and is built on a platform that was initially made for the Chevy Aveo.

Offering value to consumers doesn’t equate to a safe ride. If you’re comparing the Chevy Trax and the Audi Q3, make sure to take insurance costs into consideration. Enter your zip code above to compare rates between these two vehicles.

Table of Contents

Where to Look for Reliable Safety Ratings

You shouldn’t go to any car dealership unless you’re informed first. Being informed about interest rates, Kelley Blue Book values, manufacturer warranties, and vehicle safety information is what will put the power in your hands.

The trouble with this is that many consumers don’t know where to find reliable safety information.

Salesmen at dealerships are always going to focus on the positives to cast a shadow on the negatives.

That’s why you need to reference ratings that are listed by trusted associations.

You can look up the vehicle rating on Edmunds or other sites like JD Power, but the information used here is just taken from other crash test associations like Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

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What You Should Know About Crash Tests Performed by IIHS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety doesn’t just inspect cars, the institute crashes them and sees what can be determined by inspecting the wreckage.

The purpose is to help car buyers get informed so that they know the risk they’re taking on when driving a specific vehicle model. The tests conducted include:

  • Small overlap front (driver-side)
  • Small overlap front (passenger-side)
  • Moderate overlap front
  • Side crash strength
  • Roof strength
  • Head and seat restraints
  • Front crash avoidance and mitigation
  • Headlight performance and visibility
  • Ease of use of child seat latches

IIHS hasn’t always been publishing safety ratings. It took decades for the non-profit to design a Crash Hall and to come up with parameters so that ratings could be assigned universally to all vehicles.

While the tests have gotten more advanced throughout the years, the rating system hasn’t changed. Here are the ratings you’ll reference when comparing the Chevy Trax to the Audi Q3:

  • Good
  • Acceptable
  • Marginal
  • Poor
  • Crash Avoidance and Mitigation System Capabilities – Superior, Advanced, Basic

Safety Ratings for the 2017 Chevy Trax

  • Small overlap front crash (driver-side) – Good
  • Small overlap front crash (passenger-side) – Acceptable
  • Moderate overlap front crash – Good
  • Roof crash strength – Good
  • Side crash – Good
  • Head restraints & seats – Good
  • Front Crash Prevention and Crash Avoidance System – Basic (with optional equipment)
  • Headlight Evaluation – N/A
  • Child Seat Anchor Ease of Use – Acceptable

Chevy hasn’t had much time to perfect the design of the Trax since it was only released in 2015. Even so, the compact SUV has earned high ratings for a rookie.

Crash tests in 2017 revealed that the safety cage maintains space well and there’s a low risk of driver-side injury in frontal crash tests. The Trax also earned “‘Good” ratings inside, rear, and rollover accidents.

One area where the 2017 model struggled was in crash prevention tests. Although the vehicle is equipped with Forward Collision Warning systems, these systems only earned a “Basic” score.

The headlight system was not tested and the cloth seats in the Trax are equipped with latch system tethers that are a bit too deep in the seats.

Safety Ratings for the 2017 Audi Q3

  • Small overlap front crash (driver-side) – Good
  • Small overlap front crash (passenger-side) – N/A
  • Moderate overlap front crash – Good
  • Roof crash strength – Good
  • Side crash – Good
  • Head restraints & seats – Good
  • Front Crash Prevention and Crash Avoidance System – N/A
  • Headlight Evaluation – Poor
  • Child Seat Anchor Ease of Use – Acceptable

The Audi Q3 and Trax have a similar body style and a short-standing history on the market. Like the Trax, the Q3 was released in 2015. The first generation earned good scores in crash tests and not much has changed in the last three years.

The 2017 Q3 has managed to maintain “Good” ratings for driver space intrusion, instrument panels, side panels, and roof strength.

Unfortunately, the Q3 did not undergo a passenger-side front crash test or a front crash prevention test, which makes comparison purposes difficult. In the newest headlight test, the 2017 model received a “Poor” rating because of the fair visibility on sharp and gradual curves.

This rating is why the vehicle wasn’t eligible for any safety rating awards.

Are small SUVs by Chevy safer than small SUVs by Audi?

Neither the Chevy Trax or the Audi Q3 earned Top Safety Pick awards in 2017. Out of the two vehicles, the Trax performed slightly better because it was equipped with some crash mitigation features.

While ratings change from year to year, the current small SUV by Chevy is the safer choice.

If you’d like to go to the dealer to take advantage of sales they may have, keep safety in mind. Safety ratings can have a large influence on your insurance premiums.

Walk onto the lot with power by getting insurance quotes right here for the vehicles you’re most interested in.


  1. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/class-summary/small-suvs
  2. http://www.chevrolet.com/previous-year/trax-small-suv#
  3. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/chevrolet/trax-4-door-suv/2017
  4. http://www.jdpower.com/cars/articles/auto-sales/compact-suvs-are-most-popular-vehicles-america
  5. https://www.caranddriver.com/chevrolet/trax
  6. http://www.chevrolet.com/suvs/trax-small-suv
  7. https://www.audiusa.com/models/audi-q3-crossover
  8. http://www.iihs.org/iihs
  9. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ratings-info/frontal-crash-tests
  10. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ratings-info/LATCH-evaluation
  11. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/audi/q3-4-door-suv/2017

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