With many so many SUVs set for revivals and the all-new models, it’s hard to keep up. Two of the newest crossover SUVs under the General Motors wheelhouse are the resurrected Chevy Trailblazer and the first-ever Buick Encore GX. The 2020 Encore GX and the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer are nearly identical. But are there any major differences?
What it’s like to drive the Encore GX and the Chevy Trailblazer
For a bit of background, the 2020 Encore GX is an entirely separate model from the original Encore. And even though the 2021 Trailblazer is technically a revival, it doesn’t share the same off-roading chops its predecessor had. That said, the Encore GX and the Trailblazer aim to satisfy those looking for a zippy, small crossover.
The Encore GX and the Trailblazer share the same set of engines. The Encore GX and the Trailblazer come standard with front-drive and a 1.2-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder that makes 137-horsepower. Standard models also come with a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The larger 1.3-liter turbocharged three-cylinder produces 155-hp and features all-wheel-drive. Models with AWD get a smooth nine-speed automatic transmission and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds according to Consumer Reports’ testing.
Overall, critics like CR and Car and Driver commend the Encore GX and the Trailblazer for their surprisingly peppy performance. Models with AWD offer the most dynamic experience, though. It’s also important to note that neither the Encore GX nor the Trailblazer is what we would call sporty. And while handling is responsive on both models, they can feel jaunty on bumpy roads.
The key differences between the Encore GX and the Trailblazer are on the inside. Since the Encore GX is technically a luxury model, it offers a swankier interior compared to the Trailblazer. The Encore GX offers a two-tone interior design while the Trailblazer’s interior is on the plain side. Although, the higher Trailblazer trim levels come with colorful accents.
Both crossovers can tote five people and come with desirable in-car electronics. The Encore GX and the Trailblazer come standard with a sharp touchscreen infotainment display, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. These infotainment systems are easy-to-use, but the touchscreens are known to lag.
The Encore GX and Trailblazer also come with advanced safety features, including automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection. However, the Encore GX offers a little more in this category. The Encore GX has available features such as automatic parking and a surround-view camera, which are items the Trailblazer doesn’t offer at all.
How to pick between the Encore GX and the Trailblazer
The Encore GX and the Trailblazer drive the same and offer many of the same interior features. What it all comes down to is pricing. The Encore GX starts at $24,100, and the Trailblazer is the only new SUV you can get for under $20K. The upscale features on the GX are enticing, but the Trailblazer presents a better value.