Slotting in aloft the baby Encore in the Buick SUV lineup, the 2021 Encore GX offers the brand’s semi-luxury attributes in a handsome, bunched package. Two altered turbocharged powertrains are offered here, but abnormally they are both three-cylinder engines—a 1.2-liter is accepted while a 1.3-liter is optional—and neither accommodate quick acceleration. If you can get accomplished the broken-down powertrains, the Encore GX’s added ancestry are added agreeable: it offers a bland ride and well-controlled anatomy motions, acceptable autogenous room, and affable berth surroundings. It straddles the band amid boilerplate and affluence markets, so those comparing it adjoin a Nissan, a Ford, or its accumulated twin, the Chevrolet Trailblazer, will acquisition it an adorable and well-equipped alternative. However, back up adjoin exceptional models from Germany and Japan, the Encore GX isn’t about as compelling.
For its additional year on the market, the Encore GX receives alone a few baby updates. Both SiriusXM accessory radio and wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto accept become accepted appearance beyond the lineup, and adaptive cruise ascendancy is now accessible on the Preferred archetypal as allotment of the alternative Assurance package.
The best amount in the calendar appears to be the mid-range Select model. It comes with handsome 18-inch wheels, roof-rack ancillary rails, an eight-way ability adjustable driver’s seat, acrimonious advanced seats, a rear-seat centermost armrest, alien start, and dual-zone automatic altitude control. The Experience Buick amalgamation adds aeronautics and a ability sunroof. All-wheel drive is alternative and adds $2000 to the amount of any Encore GX.
The Encore GX is powered by two altered turbocharged three-cylinder engines. The abject adaptation is a 1.2-liter that develops 137 application followed by an alternative 1.3-liter that makes 155 ponies. The above pairs with a continuously capricious automatic manual (CVT) and front-wheel drive. While the added able agent is accessible on adherent front-drive models, it’s included on every Encore GX with all-wheel drive. Likewise, the hardly bigger agent alone uses a nine-speed automatic transmission. At our analysis track, the Encore GX with all-wheel drive, the nine-speed automatic, and the beyond 1.3-liter four-cylinder appropriate a accustomed 9.3 abnormal to ability 60 mph. The Encore GX’s luxury-branded rivals–the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, and the Volvo XC40–all action added able engines and far quicker dispatch times. On the road, the Encore GX feels peppier than its dispatch after-effects suggest, decidedly about boondocks breadth the baby turbo agent delivers acceptable low-end grunt. The Buick’s ride is additionally affably bland and controlled, but it doesn’t action any administration thrills.
Ironically, the beyond of the two three-cylinder engines receives the accomplished ammunition abridgement ratings from the EPA. With front-wheel drive and the CVT, the turbocharged 1.3-liter is said to accomplish up to 32 mpg highway. Activity with the abate 1.2-liter comminute drops that amount to 30 mpg and activity with the 1.3-liter with all-wheel drive and the nine-speed automatic drops it added to 29 mpg. However, on our 200-mile artery ammunition abridgement analysis route, the Encore GX with the beyond engine, all-wheel drive, and nine-speed automatic managed 30 mpg, assault the EPA’s appraisal by 1 mpg.
The Encore GX’s quiet berth appearance covering upholstery, acrimonious seats, and added commuter amplitude than the abate Encore. Buick’s accession in the bazaar straddles the band amid affluence and mainstream, so it’s bigger able than base-level versions of rivals such as the Nissan Kicks and Subaru Crosstrek, but it doesn’t accommodate the aforementioned akin of fit-and-finish as the Audi, BMW, and Volvo. The Encore GX’s front-passenger bench folds collapsed to aid in loading best items and we apprehend the rear burden breadth to be added acceptable than the abate Encore. We fit bristles attache accoutrements abaft the GX’s rear seats and 16 with the rear seats folded, which is alone a few beneath than the hardly beyond Cadillac XT4.
Its infotainment arrangement supports a accurately chip touchscreen that comes accepted with appearance such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a adaptable Wi-Fi hotspot. The Encore GX employs GM’s latest infotainment software interface, which is both abrupt in its responses and automatic to use. A head-up affectation is an accessible advantage and buyers can accept a high-definition 360-degree camera arrangement as well.
The National Artery Traffic Assurance Administration (NHTSA) has accustomed the Encore GX a four-star assurance rating, but the Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance (IIHS) has not appear crash-test results. The Encore GX offers abundant accepted driver-assistance technologies; a rearview camera mirror and 360-degree camera arrangement will be optional. Key assurance appearance include:
The Encore GX offers added assurance advantage than boilerplate rivals such as the Kicks and the Mazda CX-3 as able-bodied as luxury-branded offerings such as the Mercedes-Benz GLA-class and the Audi Q3. Breadth the Buick avalanche abbreviate is adjoin the X1 and XC40, which both action chargeless aliment for three years or 36,000 miles.
2020 Buick Encore GX AWD
VEHICLE TYPE front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED $35,720 (base price: $27,095)
ENGINE TYPE turbocharged and intercooled DOHC inline-3, aluminum block and head, absolute ammunition injectionDisplacement 82 in3, 1338 cm3Power 155 hp @ 5600 rpmTorque 174 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic
CHASSIS Suspension (F/R): struts/torsion beamBrakes (F/R): 11.8-in vented disc/10.4-in discTires: Hankook Kinergy GT, 225/55R-18 98H M S TPC SPEC 3139 MS