|26 / 31||Fuel Economy (MPG)||25 / 30|
|Available||Bose 7-Speaker Audio System||Not Available|
If you are looking for a new subcompact SUV, then you are probably interested in comparing the 2020 Chevy Trax vs 2020 Buick Encore. As similar vehicles sold by two different brands of General Motors, one would expect the Chevy product to be affordable and perfect for the everyday driver, and the Buick to be more luxurious. However, that is not necessarily the case. While the Buick Encore did use to be a step up from the Chevy Trax, the recent introduction of the all-new Buick Encore GX has seen the old Encore lose some of the features that set it apart from the Trax. While the base trim of the 2020 Chevy Trax is still an economy vehicle, its higher trims now actually outperform the 2020 Buick Encore in some key areas.
From fuel economy to infotainment to safety, the 2020 Chevy Trax edges out a narrow victory over the 2020 Buick Encore despite the two vehicles being virtually identical in size and mechanics. And while the higher trims of the 2020 Chevy Trax compete with the 2020 Buick Encore in terms of features, if you prefer simplicity in a vehicle, then the base trim of the 2020 Chevy Trax also has a price tag a few thousand dollars lower. So keep reading to see more details on how the 2020 Chevy Trax vs 2020 Buick Encore compare.
The engines of the 2020 Chevy Trax and the 2020 Buick Encore are virtually identical. Both vehicles are powered by a 1.4L turbocharged engine that produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. While this means that neither of these vehicles will ever be an impressive performer, the engines are sufficient for daily driving and offer solid fuel economy. However, fuel economy is where the 2020 Chevy Trax pulls slightly ahead with its top estimated rating of 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. In comparison, the 2020 Buick Encore only manages only 25 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. While this is a fairly small difference, the money saved on fuel will add up over time.
As is common in SUVs, both the 2020 Chevy Trax and 2020 Buick Encore are available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive versions are cheaper and have better fuel economy, while the all-wheel drive versions provide superior performance in bad weather or offroad. Which system is better for you will depend on your location and needs. However, it should be noted that on the 2020 Chevy Trax, choosing all-wheel drive also upgrades to four-wheel disc brakes while the front-wheel drive version has rear-wheel drum brakes. In comparison, the 2020 Buick Encore has four-wheel disc brakes in both configurations, giving it a small edge if you prefer front-wheel drive.
But if the 2020 Chevy Trax falls behind when it comes to brakes, it more than makes up for it by offering fog lights and skid plates. The 2020 Buick Encore lacks both of these options, which makes the 2020 Chevy Trax a much better performer in bad weather or off-road. While these features may not matter to many drivers, they are part of what makes a compact SUV more than just a hatchback with higher ground clearance.
Perhaps the most important part of any car is its interior. After all, it is where you are going to be spending all of your time. While high performance and sharp looks may give you bragging rights, when you are stuck in traffic or cruising on a long road trip, those advantages become much less important than having a comfortable and convenient interior. Fortunately, both the 2020 Chevy Trax and the 2020 Buick Encore are well-designed and feature-rich interiors.
Fully equipped, both vehicles offer more modern features than might be expected at their price points. These include items such as remote start, push-button start, four express-down windows, a power sunroof, and a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. This makes them both comfortable vehicles that will allow you to relax a bit more during your daily commute or when just out and about. However, if you need heated seats in your car, then the 2020 Chevy Trax is the only one to offer that feature. Still, there are a few places where their economic natures show through. Even on the highest trims, you will only find single-zone manual climate control and a manual passenger’s seat. But while this is somewhat unfortunate, it should be remembered that even the most expensive versions of these two vehicles will probably run you less than $30,000. All in all, they are both bargains for what they offer.
In terms of interior capacities, the 2020 Chevy Trax and the 2020 Buick Encore both seat five people with plenty of head and legroom for their front and rear seats. While they are not as spacious as a full-size SUV, they do offer more interior room than a sedan. And with their 60/40 split-folding rear seats, they have up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space, making them highly versatile vehicles that can handle virtually any common task.
Both the 2020 Chevy Trax and the 2020 Buick Encore come with excellent infotainment systems for their price points. However, there are some differences in what they offer. Starting on the dashboard, the 2020 Buick Encore comes with an 8” color touchscreen and a 4.2” driver information center.
In contrast, the 2020 Chevy Trax only has a 7” color touchscreen and a 3.5” driver information center. However, both trims of the 2020 Buick Encore only have a six-speaker sound system, which is the same as the base system of the 2020 Chevy Trax. But the higher trims of the 2020 Chevy Trax also offer a superior seven-speaker Bose audio setup.
Whether it is better to have larger screens or high-quality audio depends on how you use your vehicle’s infotainment, so it is difficult to declare either vehicle the clear winner in this category. However, the 2020 Chevy Trax does have the additional feature of an eight-point digital compass standard in all of its trims.
In terms of software and connectivity, the two infotainment systems are effectively identical. Both offer support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, including third-party navigation apps, which somewhat makes up for not having the option of a factory navigation system in either vehicle. Both systems also include SiriusXM satellite radio, a 4G LTE wireless hotspot, and Bluetooth. For charging portable electronic devices, both vehicles offer a standard three-prong power outlet on top of the usual 12-volt outlet and USB ports. However, this outlet is only an option on the top trim of the 2020 Buick Encore while it is a standard feature on all but the base trim of the 2020 Chevy Trax.
While we all hope to never be in an automobile accident, should the worst occur, the safety features of your car are key to ensuring that you walk away unharmed. Fortunately, both the 2020 Chevy Trax and the 2020 Buick Encore are very safe vehicles. They have both passed the independent IIHS series of tests, and both earned five-star ratings on the government’s NHST tests. With tough bodies and no fewer than ten airbags to protect their occupants, you can trust both the 2020 Chevy Trax and the 2020 Buick Encore to keep you safe in the event of a crash.
However, while both vehicles perform similarly in crash testing, a truly safe modern vehicle should also offer advanced safety equipment in order to avoid some accidents entirely. This is where some significant differences emerge in comparing the 2020 Chevy Trax vs 2020 Buick Encore that put the Trax far in the lead. The only crash-avoidance features available on the 2020 Buick Encore are rear cross-traffic alert and side blind zone alert. And while these are both extremely valuable features for avoiding fender-benders, these two safety features alone are not enough for a vehicle to be considered truly modern. Further, the systems are only an option on the top trim of the 2020 Buick Encore.
However, the 2020 Chevy Trax does not have these problems. While it has the rear cross-traffic alert and side blind zone alert offered on the 2020 Buick Encore, on top of those two systems, it also adds forward collision alert and lane departure warning. This additional equipment helps the driver avoid two much more dangerous types of accidents and makes the 2020 Chevy Trax the overall safer vehicle. Further, the 2020 Chevy Trax also offers rear park assist to help you avoid one of the most common and embarrassing accidents––driving into an obstacle while backing up. And to top it off, the advanced safety equipment on the 2020 Chevy Trax all comes standard on the top trim.