By on March 16, 2022

While the market is awash with crossovers and SUVs, not all of them make the cut. According to the crew at GM Authority, General Motors is planning to axe the Buick Encore and Chevrolet Trax after the 2022 model year.

Citing unnamed but apparently well-placed sources, GM Authority says production of those two models will cease later this year. The vehicles are assembled side-by-each at a GM plant in South Korea. Alert readers will recall that Buick and Chevy started offering these vehicles about 10 years ago – they were first introduced for the 2013 model year in some markets – but have only thrown the veneer of a mid-cycle refresh at them since that time. Easing these two out of production has likely been in the works for some time since ’22 models are denuded of some trim levels and option packages compared to previous years.

These are small rigs, meant to compete at the far end of the scale in terms of size and price. Last year, they were both handily outsold by their stablemates Trailblazer and Encore GX. The former even managed to knock off the Hyundai Kona in its segment, beating it by about 100 units according to the number supplied by GMA. Nothing else in the segment seems to come close to the Honda HR-V, however, at least in terms of outright sales.

And, before you ask, the Encore GX has little to do with the Encore. In a confusing naming scheme, Buick introduced the Encore GX more recently than the Encore, applying the ‘plate to a machine that is just infinitesimally larger (think just a couple of cubic feet of extra cargo space) compared to the non-GX Encore. The fact that those two consonants sound more like a simple trim level than anything else has also added to some confusion on the dealer floor.

Looking to the bowtie brigade, expect the Trailblazer to take up some of the slack in terms of sales and attention once the Trax shuffles off this mortal coil. And bargain seekers needn’t think they can pick up a Spark after ’22 since that machine is also scheduled to depart the roster next year. This will leave the Trailblazer, whose entry-level LS trim with its 137 horsepower 1.2-liter turbo is currently priced at $22,995 in America when equipped with front-wheel drive.

[Image: GM]

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45 Comments on “GM Could Ditch Encore, Trax...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    These weren’t great even back when they first came out, and are long past their prime now.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The Trailblazer and Encore GX are so much better than the Trax and original Eggcore that this is not a surprising development. It’s like comparing an X-Body to an A-Body

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Except for overworked, wheezy turbocharged *** three-cylinder *** engines, correct?

      I know that a couple auto mechanic YouTube sites have said that the turbo on the soon-to-be-executed Encore is essentially a wear item. I wonder if the TrailBlazer and Encore GX are suffering similar fates? (If not now, certainly the day after the warranty expires!)

  • avatar
    probert

    They’re so cute – I always smile when I see one. I’d plonk that body on a Bolt drivetrain and unleash the hounds!

    You see a bunch in Northern New England – I think they took the place of the late lamented Suzuki SX4.

  • avatar

    I’ve rented both the Trax and Encore. They’re nasty. They won’t be missed.

    As it is, Buick is only three relatively undistinguished crossover models. Talk about slow, lingering brand death. How long until Chevy, GMC, and Cadillac finally take up that slack in North America?

    I see the Spark is going away but Malibu is still for sale. Will that be Chevy’s sole sedan entry for “23?

    For old duffers like me, Chevy’s mainstream model lines only make sense when you think of crossovers as dead sedan nameplates: Chevette, the NUMI sedans, Cavalier, Corsica, Celebrity, Lumina, and Caprice. Same goes for Ford. The main difference is the loss of drawing power to dealerships: nowadays the top consumers flock to the Japanese, Koreans and German brands.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Talk about slow, lingering brand death”

      When Buick China sells 5x the volume of Buick USA, you can guess where the attention is going.

      But Cadillac is in even worse shape.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      We will know GM is near the end when they name a new crossover Vega.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @Jeff: “We will know GM is near the end when they name a new crossover Vega.”

        That’ll be when they develop a Lithium-Iron-Aluminum battery!

        BTW, what about the rumored Corvette Crossover?

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          @mcs–That could be Corvette’s first EV. I have for the past 47 years owned GM vehicles and for the most part have liked them but their quality has taken a nose dive and they don’t make anything I really like. The last GM vehicles I liked were the last Chevy Impala and the Buick Lacrosse. GM for the most part is a shell of its former self and it just seems to be shrinking itself out of existence.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate and give the Encore some love. I hated on that car for years, but a few years ago, I rented one for several weeks when my DD was in the shop for hail damage. I even ended up taking it on a Denver-St. Louis road trip. Bottom line: it was a lot better than I expected it to be – in particular, it was very good on the highway. Around town, it was slow, but the height and small size made it great for urban traffic. Fuel economy was also somewhat disappointing for a car that small. Otherwise, it was surprisingly good.

    My main issue was that the thing retailed for something like thirty-four grand, but GM was putting a crapload of money on the hood and heavily subsidizing leases.

    It was good enough that I actually recommended it a few years back when my oldest kid was looking for a new car.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      I leased a 2016, turned it in with 27,500 miles, loved the way it handled and rode on the highway and easy to park, its ride was better than the Equinox that I now have even though the Equinox is a better size.

  • avatar
    Crashdaddy430

    Not even worthy of the trashcan and they should be put in. However, still troubling to see low price vehicles exit the market in current times.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    I’ll join FM in offering some Praise for the Encore. It was a surprise hit for Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      it debased what was left of that moribund brand – the Encore was about 1/2 of “Buick” sales at one point

      the Encore is documentation of how far Buick has fallen

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        This also eliminates a couple more cheapie models which seemed tailor-made to be rental fodder! (In fact, I thought that the Trax spent its first couple years on the market as a fleet-only item in the U.S., with retail availability only in Canada.)

        One wonders how much more expensive rental cars will be even once the lots are stocked again as supply-chain issues ease, since the rental companies are going to be paying more, just like the hoi polloi getting raked over the coals at the dealer!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @thornmark:

        Buick had been debasing itself for a LONG time by the time the Encore came out. Remember the Skyhawk?

  • avatar
    ajla

    I drove an Encore at a Buick event in 2014. It was better than a Caliber or Crosstrek or *insert early 1980s car here* but not quite as good as a reasonably maintained PT Cruiser Limited.
    Compared to the Verano, Regal, and Lacrosse it didn’t feel like it belonged in the same showroom. Plus the new GX is way better anyway.

  • avatar
    B-BodyBuick84

    Not going to miss them, the Trax especially, but the Encore was actually a pretty average little crossover, which in GM terms meant is was near spectacular. There’s a reason it almost made half of Buick sales some years though, and I think that some credit has to be given to the Encore in that regard. Despite basically twinning the Trax, GM went to extra mile to make sure it drove and felt better than it’s lesser sibling, something they’ve rarely done this past decade.

  • avatar
    smicallef427

    The Trax is one car that just ticks me off. I can’t count the number of times I’ve uttered the phrase “loser Trax”. It looks so dopey and has such awkward proportions. The trailblazer looks like a supermodel by comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Not very many car shoppers will even notice that they are gone. GM is good at making forgettable vehicles that will never be sentimental favorites or collector’s items.

  • avatar
    smicallef427

    The Trax felt out of place kind of like the Ford Ecosport. You could tell it was designed for third world markets because they’re poor and don’t know any better. It felt like they were added to the US lineups right about the time subcompact SUVs started taking off. I still can’t understand why anyone would buy a loser Trax over a Cruze h/b or an Ecosport over a Focus. People in this country have terrible taste.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      As I mentioned above, I thought that the Trax was fleet-only for the first couple of years on the market, at least in the U.S.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      At the product approval meeting, one of the top executives got embarrassed and wanted to leave and said to the person next to him “Let’s make tracks!” but the person taking meeting notes misheard and transcribed “Let’s make Trax” and the rest is history.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Proportionally speaking the Encore GX looks better and from certain angles so does the Trailblazer, but other than that the endless slicing of the crossover pie is only going to end badly.

    Do 3 well instead of filling in every niche.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Will the Encore come out for an encore?

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      More likely it will go out with a whimper. Would you rather not have a Buick? Buick in the US is done especially without sedans which is what Buick was known for.

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    “The former even managed to knock off the Hyundai Kona” You write that as if it’s some unheard of accomplishment. “What!? It even beat the Kona. How can this be!?” By the way, that is not the correct use of the word “denuded”. Good lord, the state of writing today.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have reached the point where I don’t care what models GM discontinues or adds I will probably never own another GM. The only reason I am buying a Ford product is because of the Maverick otherwise I would not buy another Ford. This will be the first time in over 20 years that I have not owned a GM product. For me the next new vehicle I will get in the future will most likely be an EV but it will not be a Tesla and then I will look at GM and Ford along with the Japanese and Korean offerings but as for ICE I do not want a turbo 3 or 4 and I have no need or desire for a large pickup or suv.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This is hilarious. After effectively creating and for a long time leading the segment, yeah F it we don’t need this anymore.

    Seriously though, this has 100% to due with the fact Opel developed the model (Mokka) and GM unloaded Opel to PSA. One would think just having whatever passes for R&D introduce a revised model would suffice but GM’s long standard of fix and drop the product prevailed.

  • avatar
    3SpeedAutomatic

    I drove a rental of the Chevy version recently. Constantly reminded of the rough 4 cylinder engine when hitting the accelerator. Even with the turbo, acceleration was so-so. Asian cars usually meant smooth engines and nice interiors. Apparently, GM-Korea didn’t get the memo.
    In regular times, these would depreciate heavily and a used one was something you give your son or daughter on their way to college or trade school. Once they got their first regular paystub, off it goes to the dealer as a trade in. I’d imagine its pure headache once the turbo goes to hell.

  • avatar

    Acura outsells Cadillac. What a disgrace!

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