GM has been characteristically shy about the reports.
“Chevy will continue to offer five premium SUVs in the United States and Canada in the future,” spokesman Kelly Van Miley said in an email. “Furthermore, we cannot confirm future product plans at this time.”
Assuming the full-size Tahoe and Suburban are not included in this distinction, Chevy is currently selling the Trax, Trailblazer, Equinox, Blazer and Traverse, with electric versions of the Equinox and Blazer planned for 2023.
Regardless of GM’s official position, Trax and Encore were on life support. General Motors has stripped both models by reducing trim and premium offerings in recent years. Last year, the top-of-the-line model of the 2021 Chevrolet Trax was scrapped, leaving only LS and LT models left. The premium seat package has been discontinued this year, according to General Motors Authority. Likewise, the 2022 Buick Encore has been stripped down to the preferred model only. Neither vehicle was equipped with standard automatic emergency brakes; Most major automakers, including General Motors, have agreed to provide at least 95% of new cars sold with collision-reduction and life-saving functionality by September of this year.
General Motors was one of the first automakers to introduce a secondary crossover. With the launch of the Encore in 2013, and the Trax in 2015, both models have become obsolete and have been replaced by newer, larger, and more competitive models. Reviving an old nameplate, General Motors launched the Chevy Trailblazer in 2021, and Buick has made no secret of its intention with the Encore GX launched that same year. The new models were objectively superior on most measures and subjectively better. And the starting prices weren’t that far off.
Early market access was still paying a dividend for General Motors, which sold 42,590 Traxes in 2021 and 20,072 Encore in the US last year. Larger models should absorb that volume without a huge price increase, but it’s also likely without dealer incentives.
The front-wheel drive 2022 Chevy Trax LS costs $21,400; A similarly equipped 2022 Trailblazer costs $21,800, excluding destination. Buick reverses its pricing scheme, essentially incentivizing a GX purchase: the 2022 Buick Encore Preferred starts at $24,600; The 2022 Encore GX Preferred costs $24,400.
With the end of the Chevy Spark after 2022, that marks the end of the ability to buy a new Chevy for less than $20,000.