If you’re in the market for a compact SUV, but want something a little smaller and more friendly for city driving and parking, we’ve got a couple of vehicles for you to take a closer look at. A crossover utility vehicle (CUV) could be the way to go if you’re looking to meet these kinds of driving needs. Both the Buick Encore and the Chevy Trax fall under this class of vehicles.
Between the two of them, which one is the better choice for you? We take a closer at the Buick Encore vs. Chevrolet Trax to see which one is a fit for your driving needs.
The first thing we should do is look at what similarities have narrowed the choice down to these two vehicles. Of course, both of them are made by General Motors. The other similarity is that they are both CUVs, meaning that regardless of which one you choose, you’re getting a vehicle that looks like an SUV but in a smaller package. This can make city driving and parking easier. The similarities between both vehicles mean you get similar storage capacity, as both of them have generous rear space. You have the ability to fold down the rear seats and front passenger seat to get you a little bit more room when you need it. Under the hood, again, both models are for the most part similar; both models are equipped with a 1.4L 4-cylinder engine with a six-speed transmission.
While there are performance differences between the Buick Encore vs. the Chevy Trax, these depend a lot on your choice of trim. Should you go with the base models, both vehicles use an identical power train. However, for those that decide to go with one of the higher trims of the Encore, this gets a different, slightly more powerful engine, which is a 1.4L 4-cylinder, which is turbo-charged, compared to the standard 1.4L 4-cylinder ECOTEC engine that the Trax gets.
This translates into slightly better acceleration for people that choose the upgraded engine on the Encore. Without that option, however, either the Chevy Trax or Buick Encore offers similar handling and responsiveness, and they both offer front- and all-wheel-drive options.
If having choices is something that matters to you, and your budget is a little more flexible, the Buick Encore provides more options. The Chevy Trax has three trims, going from entry-level to a premium trim. The Buick Encore, however, offers four trims. Top trims for both models offer added convenience features like blind zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert.
For fuel economy, as you may have guessed, with identical power trains, and, on many trims, an identical engine, the consumption of gasoline between the two vehicles is similar. Both the Buick Encore and the Chevy Trax average 9.9L/100km in the city and 8.1L/100 km on the highway.
People that choose the higher end Encore, with the turbocharged engine, also get start/stop technology with that engine. This means that the engine stops when you do, at traffic lights and other situations, and quickly restarts when you’re ready to go. This offers a slight bump to fuel efficiency in city driving situations since it means less fuel is consumed in typical traffic situations.
What is the difference between the Chevy Trax and Buick Encore when it comes to safety? In this regard, both vehicles acquit themselves well, and you can’t go wrong with either vehicle. Both vehicles come with airbags to help protect drivers and passengers in a collision. They also include front seat belt pretensioners, which tighten on impact and lock occupants in place in the safest position in the seat.
So, which vehicle is the better choice? This depends on your priorities. If you want the best value, with similar overall performance and features, the Chevy Trax may provide more value for your dollar, with entry-level models at more affordable price points than the Buick. However, if you want slightly more premium features on top of your performance, the upper-end trims of the Encore will give you a little bit more than what the Trax can offer. It comes down to your needs and budget.