2021 Buick Encore vs. 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/30

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Buick Encore are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Chevrolet Trailblazer has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Encore Preferred offers optional Ultrasonic Park Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Encore and the Trailblazer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Encore the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 192 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trailblazer has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/30

The Buick Encore’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Trailblazer’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Encore’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Trailblazer’s camshafts. If the Trailblazer’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore third among small suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Trailblazer isn’t in the top three in its category.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 7 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Encore has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels

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The Encore’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Trailblazer L’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trailblazer L.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/30

The Encore has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Trailblazer’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/30

The Encore is 5.1 inches shorter than the Trailblazer, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Encore uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Trailblazer doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/30

The Encore has .4 inches more rear headroom and 4.4 inches more rear hip room than the Trailblazer.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Encore easier. The Encore’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.8 inches, while the Trailblazer’s liftover is 30.8 inches.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 12% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

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The Encore Preferred’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Trailblazer’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Encore’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Trailblazer LT/ACTIV/RS.

The Encore has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Trailblazer L/LS doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Encore’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Trailblazer’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/30

The Buick Encore has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Encore

Trailblazer

Consumer Reports® Recommends

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Car Book “Best Bet”

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