2021 Buick Encore vs. 2021 Chevrolet Trax

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 2020/10/27

The Encore Preferred offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Trax doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Encore Preferred’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Trax doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 Trax doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Encore and the Trax 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, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Buick Encore has a better fatality history. The Encore was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 16% lower per vehicle registered than the Trax, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Encore’s reliability 26 points higher than the Trax.

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.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Buick Encore is faster than the Chevrolet Trax:

Encore

Trax

Zero to 60 MPH

9.4 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

17.1 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

79.5 MPH

78.2 MPH

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 Trax doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Buick Encore has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Trax. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Encore stops shorter than the Trax:

Encore

Trax

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Encore has larger tires than the Trax (215/55R18 vs. 205/70R16).

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 Trax’s standard 70 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

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The Encore handles at .82 G’s, while the Trax LT AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Encore AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Trax LT AWD (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

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The Encore has .1 inches more front shoulder room and .1 inches more rear legroom than the Trax.

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’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Trax’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 Trax’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Encore has standard extendable sun visors. The Trax doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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

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 Trax’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

With standard voice command, the Encore offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Trax doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/10/27

Insurance will cost less for the Encore owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Encore with a number “5” insurance rate while the Trax is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Trax because it costs $55 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Trax, including $142 less for a water pump, $201 less for a muffler, $44 less for a starter, $4 less for fuel injection, $127 less for a fuel pump, $24 less for front struts, $316 less for a timing belt/chain and $348 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/27

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

Encore

Trax

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

TRUE

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