Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
Should you buy the 2024 Chevrolet Trax or Buick EnVista? That’s what we’re going to find out.
The new Chevy Trax and Buick EnVista launched with quite a bit of buzz, thanks to their really low affordable pricing that makes them look like really attractive buys.
But just because you can buy one of these in the low to mid $20,000 range, does that mean that you should? So of course, the major story with these two is the really attractive pricing.
The Chevy Trax starts at around US$22,000, and the Buick EnVista, which is basically mechanically identical to the Trax, only with a unique, more stylish design. It’s only a few thousand more. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
And that makes these two, two of the most affordable crossovers that you can buy right now. And they’re not as small and basic as you might expect.
In fact, these are actually quite fair-sized vehicles. They have the exact same wheelbase length as the Honda CRV, which is quite a surprise.
In terms of overall dimensions, they’re pretty similar to a lot of crossovers that cost a lot more money, like the Subaru Crosstrek or the Toyota Corolla Cross.
Between the two of them, though, they are more or less the same size, with a very similar amount of interior space and cargo space.
As mentioned, even though they obviously have very unique designs, they are mechanically identical, and they’re both manufactured in the exact same plant in South Korea. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
Now, there’s nothing really special about the ride or handling, but they are decently comfortable and quiet, and perhaps most importantly of all, you don’t feel like you’re being punished for driving something that’s on the more affordable side.
These are perfectly fine vehicles to drive on a regular basis. They’re both very easy to drive, and it’s quite tough to find something to complain about in terms of the way they feel.
The EnVista does feel like it’s a little bit more on the quieter side, but the differences between them are really not that big.
In terms of the drive trains, they are absolutely identical. This is where there are a few issues with these two.
Now, the first issue is that you can only get the Trax and the EnVista with front-wheel drive, which, admittedly, is not a major concern.
Even if you live somewhere where there are harsh winters, as As long as you get a set of proper winter tires, you should be perfectly fine driving one of these with front wheel drive. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
Even though it would have been nice to see all wheel drive available, having front wheel drive is definitely not a deal breaker, especially at this price point.
I do have a few issues and concerns, though, when it comes to the engine that’s used underneath the hood.
It’s a very small 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that’s turbo-charged to produce 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque.
Now, when you’re driving it normally, the power is actually perfectly adequate. It’s only when you’re pushing it really hard where it really starts to feel like a really small engine.
You can feel and hear it struggling a little bit. When you put your foot down, especially getting up to highway speed, the power is really not there.
Because you have that turbocharger that’s working the engine so hard, it’s not as fuel-efficient as you might expect. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
Although both of these are rated for up to 32 miles per gallon, I’ve only been averaging around 24 to 30 miles per gallon, which is roughly 8 to 10 liters per 100 kilometers.
Nowhere near as good as I was expecting for a small three-cylinder engine. There is another major concern that I have with this engine, which is its potential long-term reliability.
It has a few design traits that don’t exactly bode well for longevity.
For example, it’s direct injection only, which means that carbon buildup could potentially become an issue with time It’s also a timing belt engine, and it’s a timing belt that circulates through the engine oil, which could become problematic as the vehicle ages, especially if you’re not meticulous with your oil changes and will eventually need to be replaced, which could be quite costly.
Then, of course, we have the fact that it’s turbocharged, which means that not only turbocharge or failure is a potential concern, but because we have a very small three-cylinder engine that’s heavily relying on the turbo to make any decent power, it’s putting a lot of heat and pressure on the engine, which is not great for its long-term reliability.
Now, there are some things that are good with this drivetrain. For one thing, it is good that GM decided not to go with a really complicated dual clutch or CVT.
Instead, they went with a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, which is really good. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
I just really wish they would have gone one step further and just gone with a simple and much less complicated four-cylinder engine, which I think would have been a lot better.
Now, hopefully, I end up being wrong about these reliability concerns, but looking at GM’s track record in the past, that’s where I have my doubts.
I mean, just look at the Chevy Cruise as an example, which also had a very small displacement, turbocharge engine, and also had a lot of reliability issues over the years.
Gm’s track record is not exactly the best when it comes to this thing. Now, with that said, there are quite a few things that I do like about both the Trax and the EnVista, especially when it comes to the interior.
Both of these vehicles have a very similar interior that’s actually quite comfortable, and it’s also filled with a lot of good tech. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
Most of the controls are very straightforward, and we have really nice-looking dual screen setup that has a pretty good infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
You also get a surprising amount of space with a lot of room in both the front and rear seats, with enough space for adults to sit comfortably in the back.
There’s also a really spacious cargo area, and of course, the back seats can be folded flat to give you even more space.
It is nice to see that both vehicles also come with a compact spare tire underneath the cargo floor.
Even though these two are supposed to be affordable, they’re definitely not missing out when it comes to features and tech. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
In fact, the most basic and cheapest version of the trax really comes with everything that you need, including an 8-inch touch screen, all the active safety features like emergency braking, lane keep assist, and lane departure alert.
For an extra 500 bucks, you can add blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.
To get all of that in a fairly spacious and practical small crossover for a price between 22,000 to 26,000 US.
But here’s the thing with these two. You really don’t need to spend the extra money and go for one of the higher trims just to get a few extra features.
I mean, you really don’t need to have features like the synthetic leather seats, the sunroof, the wireless charging pad, or the larger touch screen.
When you spend more money and go for one of the higher trims, you’re pushing the price of this vehicle up to the point where it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
That includes spending more money for the EnVista, which, aside from a more unique and stylish design, you’re really not getting a whole lot more.
For the extra $3,000 or $4,000 that you’re going to spend.
When you’re pushing a price tag that’s closer to $30,000 to $35,000, it really makes more sense to spend your money on something that’s just giving you better value, a vehicle that has a better reputation for reliability, and one that also maintains its value better with time. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
A small crossover like the Subaru Crosstrek, the Honda HRV, or the Toyota Corolla Cross would be a much better buy at that price point.
But if all of those are too expensive and you’re looking for that’s more in that $25,000 price range.
I’d say unless you’re absolutely dead set on having a crossover and need to have that cargo space, even then you’d be better off buying something like a Toyota Corolla LE.
At least that way, you won’t have to roll the dice and wonder whether you’re going to have a car that’s going to last you a long time.
Excellent reliability is one of the things that the Corolla is well known for more than almost anything else. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
Because of that, it’s also going to maintain its value value a lot better with time, too. Price, of course, is very important, and it is great that you can buy a Chevy Trax at such a low price point, and maybe for a three to four-year lease where long-term reliability is not going to be a real concern.
This could be a really good buy if you can get a really good deal on one. But as I often say, there’s a lot more to value than just the purchase price alone.
When you factor other important things into the equation like resale value, longevity, repair costs, and overall reliability, well, there are just better options that you could be buying instead. Chevy Trax Vs Buick Envista Review
Let me know what you think of the Chevy Trax and the Buick EnVista. Would you consider buying one of these or would you go for something else instead? Let me know below.