If it’s a subcompact crossover that you’re after, then GM has a few options on the table, including the all-new 2024 Buick Envista, as well as the all-new 2024 Chevy Trax. However, while both of these vehicles ride on the GM VSS-F platform (sometimes known internally at GM as 9G), they provide a very different driving experience. Now, GM Authority is exploring the reason why.
For those readers who may have missed it, GM Authority got an opportunity to drive the 2024 Buick Envista and the 2024 Chevy Trax last year, providing us with firsthand experience behind the wheel of both all-new crossovers.
Comparing the experiences, the Chevy Trax was sharp, connected, and agile. In fact, we even went so far as to call the new Trax the “Corvette of its segment” with regard to handling in our first drive review.
By comparison, the Buick Envista is totally different, with the Tri-Shield brand’s crossover feeling nowhere near as sharp or agile as the Trax, but rather, much softer and more plush.
To find out why this is the case, GM Authority Executive Editor Alex Luft asked GM chassis engineers in a recent interview, who told us that this was done on purpose, “as [GM] wanted to give the Buick a different feel, that reined youthful feel.”
More specifically, the different bushing rates are what really differentiates the driving feeling on offer from these two vehicles, with the Buick Envista equipped with softer bushings, as compared to the harder bushings in the Chevy Trax.
It’s also worth noting that the Buick Envista offers a Watts Link rear suspension setup, whereas the Chevy Trax does not. The Envista’s Watts Link rear suspension is only available with the Experience Buick Package (RPO code PCJ), which includes a power moonroof. The Experience Buick Package is available for the Envista ST and standard on the Avenir, and not available for the Preferred trim.
As a reminder, both the Chevy Trax and the Buick Envista cradle the turbocharged 1.2L I3 LIH gasoline engine, and both are produced in South Korea (Envista at the GM Bupyeong plant, and Trax at the GM Changwon plant).