Chevy Trax Vs. Buick Encore: Subcompact Cousins Do Battle

By | December 20th, 2018

The subcompact-crossover segment is booming, and General Motors has a pair of them to offer Saginaw, Michigan buyers in the 2019 Chevy Trax and 2019 Buick Encore. Both models offer plenty of room and just the right amount of pep to go with great fuel economy. But which one is the better subcompact crossover for you? Find out below.


The similarities between the 2019 Chevy Trax and 2019 Buick Encore are clear because they are based on the same platform. From the sides and the rear, they are virtually identical, but they show off distinct front ends. The Trax takes on the typical two-port grille and fascia while the Encore boasts the Buick waterfall grille.

Where these subcompact crossovers show their differences is in their features. The Trax is a true entry-level crossover with basic 16-inch wheels, halogen daytime running lights, and more basic features, while the Encore has 18-inch wheels, an acoustic windshield, LED fog lights and  more.

In size, the Trax and Encore are nearly identical. The 2019 Trax is 167.6 inches long, 69.9 inches wide, and 64.8 inches high. The 2019 Encore is 0.8 inches longer and rides 0.4 inches higher. Both crossovers ride on the same 100.6-inch wheelbase.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Trax

  • Slightly smaller body

Advantage: 2019 Buick Encore

  • More upscale appearance
  • Premium options


Inside, the similarities between these cousin crossovers fades, though a keen eye can still pick up on their shared bits. The 2019 Chevy Trax’s dashboard is more youthful with its swooping lines, U-shaped trim around the infotainment system, and its typical Chevy three-spoke steering wheel. The Encore takes on a more upscale look with its more horizontally oriented dash lines, thicker steering wheel, larger driver-information center, 8-inch infotainment screen, and upscale materials.

The tale of the tape shows off these crossover’s similarities. The Trax’s front seats offer 39.6 inches of headroom, 40.8 inches of legroom, 54.1 inches of shoulder room, and 51.7 inches of hip room. The Encore has the same headroom and legroom, but it has an extra 0.7 inches of shoulder room and 0.1 inches of hip room. In its rear seat, the Trax has 38.8 inches of headroom, 35.7 inches of legroom, 52.5 inches of shoulder room, and 50.1 inches of hip room. The Encore’s rear seats have the same measurements.

Cargo room is not the forte of subcompact crossovers. The Chevy Trax offers 18.4 cubic feet with its seats upright and 48.4 cubes with the seats folded. The Encore has an extra 0.4 cubic feet of room with the seats up and the same space with the seats folded.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Trax

  • Shaplier and more youthful interior design

Advantage: 2019 Buick Encore

  • More standard features
  • Additional options


Both the 2019 Chevy Trax and 2019 Buick Encore come standard with the same 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. They both use a standard six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, but they also have optional all-wheel drive. They sprint to 60 mph in the low- to mid-nine-second range.

The 2019 Buick Encore has the added wrinkle of an upgraded 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. This engine also pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is an option. With this added power, the Encore’s 0-to-60 sprint falls by about a second.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Trax

  • Same base power as the Encore

Advantage: 2019 Buick Encore

  • Upgraded optional engine
  • Quicker to 60 mph with optional engine

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Chevy Trax is available in three trims: LS, LT, and Premier. Starting prices range from $22,295 to $28,595.

There are four trims that make up the 2019 Buick Encore: 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring, and Essence. The starting prices range from $24,195 to $30,295.

2019 Chevy Trax Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LS: $22,295

  • 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • 16-inch painted aluminum wheels
  • Halogen headlights
  • Daytime running lights
  • Body-color power side-view mirrors
  • Body-color door handles
  • Intermittent front and rear wipers
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Chevrolet Infotainment System 3
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Two USB ports
  • 3.5-inch driver-information system
  • Power windows with express-up/down front windows
  • Black belt-line moldings
  • Power door locks
  • Single-zone manual climate control
  • Rear HVAC duct
  • Flat-folding passenger seatback
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Retractable cargo shade
  • Digital compass
  • Floor mats
  • 12-volt power outlet
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Four cargo tie-downs
  • Cloth seating
  • Rearview camera

LT: $24,195

  • All LS features, plus
  • Auto-on/off halogen projector-beam headlights
  • LED taillights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Silver-painted front and rear skid plates
  • Tinted glass
  • Power and heated side-view mirrors
  • Roof-mounted side rails
  • SiriusXM
  • 110-volt power outlet
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Front passenger under-seat storage
  • Cruise control
  • Deluxe cloth seating

Premier: $28,595

  • All LT features, plus
  • Body-color door handles with chrome accents
  • Fog lights
  • Chrome liftgate trim
  • Bright sill plates
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels
  • Seven-speaker Bose audio system
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Keyless open and ignition
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Leatherette seating
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Power sunroof
  • Forward-collision alert
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Blind-zone alert

2019 Buick Encore Key Features and Pricing by Trim

1SV: $24,195

  • 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Roof-mounted antenna
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Body-color door handles with chrome strips
  • Styled stainless-steel exhaust tips
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Deep-tinted glass
  • Halogen headlights
  • Luggage rack
  • Heated, power-adjustable mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • 18-inch machine-faced alloy wheels with Light Argent Metallic pockets
  • Intermittent front and rear wipers
  • Single-zone manual climate control
  • Buick Infotainment System with 8-inch touchscreen
  • Six-speaker AM/FM stereo
  • SiriusXM
  • Two USB ports
  • Bluetooth streaming for audio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Cruise control
  • 4.2-inch driver-information center
  • Power door locks
  • Power windows with express-up/down
  • Keyless open and ignition
  • Active noise cancellation
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Rearview camera
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Six-way power front driver’s seat
  • Satin silver-and-chrome shifter
  • Leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted control
  • Front passenger under-seat storage

Preferred: $25,595

  • All 1SV features, plus
  • Rear cargo cover
  • Front and rear floor mats

Sport Touring: $26,795

  • 18-inch Midnight Silver aluminum alloy wheels
  • Rear spoiler
  • Fog lights
  • Remote ignition

Essence: $30,295

  • All Preferred features, plus
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels with Technical Gray pockets
  • Fog lights
  • LED headlights
  • 120-volt power outlet
  • Six-way power passenger’s seat
  • Driver’s seat memory
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Remote ignition
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Blind-zone alert
  • Universal home remote

Who Should Buy the 2019 Chevy Trax?

If your budget is more important than luxury, the 2019 Chevy Trax is right for you. It has all the roominess and the powertrain of the Equinox without all the premium features, If you want features, though, the Trax still has them in its higher trim levels.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Buick Encore?

The 2019 Buick Encore is for buyers who want luxury on a budget. It costs more than the Trax, but its quieter cabin, additional standard features, and higher-end options make it a value in the luxury segment.

Whether you’re commuting to Saginaw every day or just head to Midland or Bay City on occasion, the 2019 Buick Encore can offer than and then some while delivering up to 31 mpg highway. Head down to Garber Buick serving the Saginaw area today to take this turbocharged subcompact crossover for a spin. If you cannot make it in, you can check out our online inventory to see what Encore models we have in stock