Small crossover buyers may soon have a little less choice in the marketplace sometime this year. According to a recent report, General Motors may be looking to axe both the Buick Encore and the Chevrolet Trax.
Dotting driveways in suburbia and street-parked between cars in cities around America are Chevrolet Trax (Traxes? Traxs? Traxi?) and Buick Encores. The little crossovers offer a frugal way into a high seating position and something that feels like an SUV. Now, as GM Authority reports, the show comes to an end for both after the 2022 model year.
The Buick Encore was the first to reach America.
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Launched for the 2013 model year, the Encore was a smash hit. It sold nearly 50,000 units by its second year. The General was so impressed by the Encore’s sales that it slapped a Chevrolet bowtie on it. In 2015, the Trax hit the road and it too became a hit.
The two are built at the General Motors Bupyeong Plant in South Korea and ride on the GM Gamma II platform. Other platform mates include the Chevy Spark and Sonic. They both get the 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo four with 155 HP and 177 lb-ft torque.
These crossovers get decent enough fuel economy, have nifty tech, look rugged and sit just high enough that entry and exit are easy. Plus, they come packaged with an attractive price. Trax starts at $21,400 while the Buick comes at $24,600. Keep in mind that the average transaction price of a car in America has surpassed $47,000.
However, as GM Authority notes, the Encore has become a victim of cannibalization from within Buick. The Encore GX launched for the 2020 model year and immediately stole the Encore’s thunder.
And don’t let the names fool you; the Encore GX is riding on a completely different platform. It’s bigger than the Encore while still slotting in under the Envision. The Encore sold 20,072 units in 2021 compared to 41,752 in 2020. Yet, the Encore GX stormed through 2021, selling 71,247 units. It’s a similar story for the Trax, where the new Trailblazer has been stealing that vehicle’s sales.
General Motors has been foreshadowing this future. There were six trim levels for the Encore in 2018, four in 2020, two in 2021 and now just one today. The Trax lost a trim level in 2021 and an option package this year.
Discontinuing both vehicles opens up room for the Trailblazer to grow.
General Motors hasn’t confirmed the news as of yet, instead offering a vague statement to Car and Driver and others that “Buick will continue to offer four distinct SUVs.” I’ve reached out to General Motors for confirmation.
Do you own one of these? If so, do you like it?