Stubby Buick Encore, Chevy Trax Might Not Be Long For This World
General Motors did not confirm the information and only offered this statement in response to coverage of the GM Authority Encore and Trax stories:
“At Buick, our lineup of premium SUVs offers customers a wide range of sizes, performance and innovative technologies in the largest and fastest growing segments in the industry. Buick will continue to offer four distinct SUVs in the United States and Canada going forward. , we cannot confirm future product plans at this time.”
Okay, that’s a bit vague, but the subtext – and again, it’s so GM AuthorityBuick’s report proves true – that Buick will continue to offer the Encore GX, Envision and Enclave, leaving that fourth spot open for a promised future EV. Or it means the Encore (and therefore its Chevy Trax sibling) isn’t going anywhere.
The thing is, while the Encore was once Buick’s surprise top seller, as soon as the Encore GX joined it in the lineup, sales plummeted precipitously. (The bigger, snappier GX picked up those sales and more.) Right now, in fact, the Chevy Trax is only $200 less than the much newer and, yes, bigger Trailblazer. Sure, the new GX/Trailblazer twins only pack three-cylinder engines (the Buick coming standard with the Chevy’s optional 1.3-liter turbo unit), but those powertrains move small SUVs well. .
More importantly, both new crossovers have a much livelier look than their older counterparts. The Buick Encore, in particular, has long been affectionately referred to as the potato on wheels. Some people swear it looks like an egg. Either way, while cute, the Encore’s small cargo space, bubble-like interior, and poor fuel economy for its size have long been covered up by its great price and manageable footprint.
We don’t care how it looks, of course, but the Encore has tapped into an attractive market niche as a premium, affordable small SUV. The only problem is that, over the past two years, the Encore GX has tapped into that same vein with a much bigger needle.
The Chevrolet eschews the potato references of the Buick with its blocky, nameless styling. In a world filled with outgoing, over-styled SUVs across the price range, the Trax stands out for its simplicity. It’s just boring, which means it’s less covered than the Buick for its flaws.
Again, the slightly larger and better looking Trailblazer has eaten lunch at the Trax since its appearance two years ago. For now, all we can do is speculate that the Encore and Trax will likely go extinct, if only due to their age and positioning among newer priced models. similar that now offer a bit more value. We’ll be sure to update this space if or when GM confirms the fate of the small SUVs.