A new breed of small SUVs like the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore is taking the automotive market by storm. This hot segment tries to capture the price and fuel economy of a sedan, combined with the amenities and cargo space of an SUV. These compact SUVs offer flexibility that fits most lifestyles. Today, Carsforsale.com is comparing the Chevrolet Trax vs Buick Encore to find out which compact SUV reigns supreme.
Chevrolet Trax Overview
Engine: Turbocharged 1.4L 4-Cylinder
Horespower: 138 HP
Fuel Economy: 26 City / 34 Hwy
MSRP: From $20,120
2015 Chevrolet Trax Review
Before seeing the “city smart” 2015 Chevrolet Trax, one could guess what it would look like. Squish a Chevrolet Equinox down, you have the Trax. Chevrolet fans will enjoy the traditional styling cues, but some may find the exterior design to be a bit too generic, unlike the edgy Encore. The Trax has a short front end while maintaining the tall SUV appearance. It parks more like a car than an SUV, thanks to the short length.
Inside, the Chevrolet Trax comes standard with cloth upholstery, while upgraded models will feature chocolate brown and black two-tone vinyl upholstery. Most of the inside is what you’d expect from a base Chevrolet. The design is practical and the buttons and controls are easy to use. Storage space is a high point of the Trax, with 48.4 cubic ft. of cargo room. The Trax is comfortable for four adults, and is incredibly spacious with the back seats folded down.
The Chevrolet Trax comes standard with front-wheel drive, and has adequate power in the city. Take the Trax out on the highway and you will begin to notice the lack of power. For a slight price increase any trim can receive AWD. The Trax handles bumps and rough roads quite well for a vehicle in this price range. For a compact SUV, you can’t complain about an estimated 34 hwy mpg.
Both the NHTSA and the IIHS have given the Trax top safety ratings. This SUV comes with 10 airbags standard. Chevrolet equips every Trax with a rear-view camera. As expected in modern vehicles, this SUV has stability control, traction control, tire-pressure warning, anti-lock brakes and more.
At this price point, very few vehicles beat the 2015 Chevrolet Trax in features. Most vehicles would charge you extra for a backup camera with a 7-inch touch screen, but not the Trax. That’s only the beginning. With standard 4G LTE and built-in WiFi, MyLink entertainment system and OnStar, the Trax offers a very high level of base technology features. Upgraded trims will have Bose audio, rear park assist, auto-dimming rearview mirror, roof rails, fog lamps and more.
Buick Encore Overview
Engine: Turbocharged 1.4L 4-Cylinder
Horsepower: 138 HP
Fuel Economy: 25 City / 33 Hwy
MSRP: From $24,065
2015 Buick Encore Review
There are a variety of opinions on the styling of the 2015 Buick Encore. The Encore looks like a squished Buick Enclave, rather than its own vehicle. Despite this, the design feels modern. It appears edgy, unique and more luxurious than many vehicles in the class.
Inside the Encore, the styling is what you would expect from Buick. The instrument gauges and buttons have both class and functionality. The higher-end feel of the interior is impressive for a vehicle at this price range. Seating is comfortable for four adults, but adding a fifth will probably lead to discomfort. There is ample headroom throughout, but horizontal space is limited.
The turbocharged 1.4L 4-cylinder engine should take 9 seconds to drive 0-60 mph. Add the optional AWD, the time increases due to added weight. For city driving the Encore will suffice. At highway speeds, you’ll feel the lack of power.
Even with the small engine, the ride of the Encore is refreshing. The ride of this vehicle is smooth, comfortable and quiet in most circumstances.
The Encore has competitive safety ratings and features. The NHTSA gave it a five star overall safety rating. The Encore does, however, have very poor rear vision. Thankfully, a rearview camera comes standard. Upgrade your Encore and it can have lane departure warnings, blind spot mirrors, parking sensors and cross-traffic alerts.
All 2015 Buick Encores come with a rearview camera, ambient lighting, heated mirrors, Buick IntelliLink with a 7-inch screen controlled by knob or voice command, active noise cancellation and more. Upgraded trims will come with automatic climate control, Bose audio, remote start, fog lamps, safety features mentioned earlier and more.
Chevrolet Trax vs Buick Encore Winner:
Base model: Chevrolet Trax
The impressive suite of techy base features and surprisingly low price point bump the Chevrolet Trax ahead of the competition. It’s hard to find any compact SUV at this price, not to mention one that feels fully loaded.
Upgrades: Buick Encore
The fully loaded Encore’s safety features and superior interior styling push the Encore slightly ahead of the game. The Encore has a level of luxury in the premium trim that the Trax cannot compete with.
Overall winner: 2015 Chevrolet Trax
The Trax and the Encore are competitive in most categories. This makes price a primary consideration when comparing the Chevrolet Trax vs Buick Encore. The Trax reigns supreme by providing an experience similar to the Encore at a significantly lower price. The Encore does offer more luxurious handling, comfort and appearance, but not enough to overcome the great value of the 2015 Chevrolet Trax.