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2021 Buick Encore GX

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Encore GX
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Used Car Price Range
$15,995 - $21,998
$15,995 $21,998
Select a Trim
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2021 Preferred Front-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $24,200
2021 Select Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $25,800
2021 Preferred All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $26,200
2021 Select All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $27,800
2021 Essence Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $28,600
2021 Essence All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $30,600
Expert Rating
2.9 (Fair)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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What's New

The 2021 Buick Encore GX enters its second year on the market with standard SiriusXM satellite radio and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android compatibility. Adaptive cruise control is now available on the base trim.

The Encore GX is a plusher and slightly larger complement to Buick's entry-level Encore crossover.

Choosing Your Buick Encore GX

The Encore GX is available in three trim levels: Preferred, Select, and Essence. Pricing starts at $25,195 including destination and tops out at $29,595 for the Essence.

Engine Choices

All Encore trims start out with a turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine. A more powerful 1.3-liter turbo-three is available for $395.

Engine TypeHorsepowerTorqueFuel Economy (Combined)
1.2L Turbo 3-Cylinder137 hp162 lb-ft29 mpg
1.3L Turbo 3-Cylinder155 hp174 lb-ft31 mpg

Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are standard. Models equipped with the 1.3-liter engine can get all-wheel drive for $1,605, which replaces the CVT with a nine-speed automatic. Note that AWD is mandatory on Preferred models equipped with the 1.3-liter engine.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The Encore GX is a subcompact crossover with room for five passengers. Buyers get 23.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and 50.2 cubic feet with it folded. These figures are typical for a crossover of this size.

Buick Encore GX

Safety Features

Standard safety technology on the Encore GX includes lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, a following distance monitor, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.

The $895 Safety Package for the Preferred adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors.

The blind-spot monitoring system and front parking sensors are standard on the Select and Essence. The Advanced Technology Package ($1,935) for these trims includes adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, a head-up display, and a surround-view camera system.

The Convenience Package ($770) for the Essence tacks on a rearview camera mirror with exterior washers and an automated parking system.


The Encore's standard infotainment system features an 8-inch touchscreen, six speakers, wi-fi capability, SiriusXM radio, two front and two rear USB ports, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

The Advanced Technology Package for the Select and Essence provides navigation, an SD card reader, and SiriusXM with 360L. A seven-speaker Bose system with HD radio can be added to package on the Essence only for $595.

Wireless device charging is also available on the Essence as part of its Convenience Package.

Buick Encore GX

Preferred - From $25,195

The Preferred imparts a premium feel with leatherette seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, push button start, proximity key access, LED fog lights and running lights, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.

The Cold Weather Comfort Package ($950) furnishes a 10-way power driver seat, heated front seats, and remote start. A hands-free power liftgate costs $520, and a panoramic sunroof is available for $1,250.

Select - From $26,795

The Select comes standard with the contents of the Cold Weather Comfort Package, plus dual-zone automatic climate control.

The $1,500 Experience Buick Package adds the panoramic sunroof and chrome-accented wheels.

Essence - From $29,595

The Encore GX Essence features leather upholstery, a power passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, a cabin air ionizer, a rear power outlet, and LED headlights and taillights.

The aforementioned Convenience Package ($770) is exclusive to the Essence. It adds an automated parking system, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a wireless charging pad, and the rear camera mirror.

Compare Encore GX Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

The 2021 Buick Encore GX Preferred is heavily equipped for a base model in this class. Even so, the Select is close enough in price to emerge as the better value. The most compelling reason for upgrading to the Essence is the genuine leather seating, which some buyers can't live without.

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

  • Quiet ride
  • Handsome styling
  • Well equipped
  • Decent gas mileage
  • Slow
  • Pricey top trims
  • Narrow, flat front seats
  • No four-cylinder option
Expert Rating
2.9 (Fair)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Encore to the Encore. The original Buick Encore was a trailblazer (no, not the Chevy model). Prior to its 2013 debut, subcompact crossovers were a mighty rare species and usually took the form of oddball vehicles like the Nissan Cube or Dodge Caliber. The Encore changed all that. It made the pint-size class mainstream with its appeal to the ordinary. Today, subcompact crossovers are enjoying some of the strongest sales growth of any segment.

GM has recognized the success of their original formula, and so the Encore now has a running mate in the Buick stable: the Encore GX. The new ute shares the Chevrolet TrailBlazer chassis but adds more sound deadening and uses its own swoopy sheet metal and a proper Buick-grade interior. The whole package offers shoppers more style and luxury than the standard Encore.

A commendable job was done tying in Buick's latest design cues as well. The front end of the 2021 Buick Encore GX sports a mesh grille that's split through the middle by a chrome bar, which decorates a more upright front end than the shovelnose Encore.

The rear of the Encore GX is also more tasteful and thankfully shares no Chevy bits; the same can't be said of the Encore. From all angles, it's clear the Encore GX's new style brings improved proportions over the Encore.

Three-cylinder power. Unlike many of its wee competitors, the Encore GX offers only turbocharged three-cylinder power. Base models get a 1.2-liter engine making 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, but a few hundred dollars buys a 1.3-liter making 155 hp and 174 lb-ft. The 1.2-liter is strictly front-wheel drive and uses a continuously variable transmission. The bigger engine offers that combo as well, or can pair with all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic.

The lightest Encore GX tips the scales at 3,000 pounds, a figure which can tax the little turbo-threes motivating that mass. The 0-60 mph sprint requires nearly 10 seconds, so flat-footing it is pretty much a requirement when getting on the highway. High-speed passing is likewise dismal due to its laggard nature.

At around-town speeds, however, the slowness fades into the background. Both turbocharged powertrains provide the torque right off the bat, enabling the tiny crossover to scoot from stoplight to stoplight without thought.

The heaps of sound deadening that have become a Buick hallmark has the Encore GX feeling more luxurious than it is. If the engines are straining, no one would know, as only a few muted revs ever penetrate into the cabin. Even hard acceleration won't interrupt the cabin's reverie of quiet.

The ride nicely complements that hushed environment. Never sporty but always composed, the Buick clearly has its priorities straight – and those priorities are smoothness, silence, and stability. It won't disappoint buyers who just want a relaxed driving experience. Yet there's nothing overly soft about the Encore GX, either. Buick got the chassis tuning just right in our eyes.

The 1.2-liter turbo-three is EPA rated at 28 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway, and 29 combined. This increases with the larger engine to 30/32/31 mpg (city/highway/combined). In real life, however, we'd expect those numbers to trend a little lower, as any sort of hastiness in the Encore GX pretty much requires flat-out acceleration. It's inevitable such behavior will have an impact on fuel economy.

Buick Encore GX

Luxurious interior. Buick traditionally was a bona-fide luxury manufacturer, building cars that could compete against Cadillacs in all ways but ostentatiousness.

Though that hasn't been the case for some time now, Buick still knows how to craft a fine cabin. The Encore GX is a reminder of that. It's replete with quality materials and showcases an attention to detail that merits the Buick badge. For the price point, it's hard to fault this well-conceived interior.

If there's anything to quibble with, it's the seats. They do get leather upholstery and power adjustment on most trims, but we found them uncomfortably narrow and flat. You don't notice it on short trips, but set out on a road trip and anyone of a larger build will understand why we bring this up. Those with smaller frames won't take as much issue with the narrowness of the seats. The flat cushions are universally disappointing, though.

The back seat is more comfortable, and riders shouldn't have trouble stretching out their legs. It feels as if the Encore GX has more leg room than the original Encore, though the spec sheet says that there's only another half-inch of it.

That feeling might be born out of the general sense of roominess permeating the cabin of the Encore GX. Generous head room and a fair amount of glass area keep things airy inside.

It can fit 24 cubic feet worth of cargo behind the rear seats. That's five more than the Encore, and also more than competitors such as the Kia Soul and Mazda CX-30. It also is roomier than pricier, more luxurious competitors like the Volvo XC40 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

Uniquely priced. That brings us to talks of the competition. Buick sells itself as upmarket, but its pricing puts it in the thick of the mainstream class. A starting price of about $25,000 puts it at about $5,000 more than the related Chevy Trailblazer and its competitive set, but is still a good $10,000 less than true luxury models like the aforementioned Volvo and Mercedes. Only fully-loaded examples come near the $35,000 mark.

This middle ground could be a boon to the Buick, appealing as it does to people who want something nicer than what the mainstream models can offer but can't or don't want to spend big dollars on such a small ride. The attributes of the Buick – a composed ride, quiet cabin, and a generally luxurious look and feel – certainly support it in its mission to offer luxury traits at a more affordable price.

Yet, what could prove to be its undoing is embedded in that very argument. Luxury cars aren't rational at any price point; they're primary selling point isn't space or practicality but image. A BMW or Mercedes conveys a certain ideal that's absent on more affordable cars.

And with lease offers being what they are, the spread in MSRP between a Mazda and a Mercedes doesn't look all that big when shown in monthly payment form. This phenomenon killed off the mid-tier luxury market long ago, yet Buick remains insistent on trying to make it work.

Final thoughts. We hope for the sake of the 2021 Buick Encore GX that the automaker can make a go of it. As an enticing offering in a unique price point, it doles out more luxury than the mainstream set but doesn't have the requisite luxury-car price tag. Modestly priced and well-appointed, the Encore GX ably upholds the torch first held aloft by the original Encore.

Check prices for the 2021 Buick Encore GX »

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.2L I-3 / 137 HP / 162 ft.lbs.
2-spd sequential shift control CVT w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
28 / 31 / 29 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.2L I-3 / 137 HP / 162 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
28 / 31 / 29 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Semi-independent Torsion Beam Beam
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
13.2 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
50.2 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
Exterior Length
171.4 "
Exterior Width
71.4 "
Exterior Height
64.1 "
Front Headroom
39.7 "
Rear Headroom
38.1 "
Front Legroom
40.9 "
Rear Legroom
36.0 "
Front Shoulder Room
55.4 "
Rear Shoulder Room
53.6 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
Wheel Base
102 "
Turning Radius
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
18.0 " Silver Aluminum / 18.0 " Silver W/painted Accents Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Clearcoat Two-tone / Clearcoat Monotone With Badging / Metallic Monotone / Tri-coat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated, Convex Spotter Passenger
Body-colored With Metal-look Insert / Body-colored With Colored Insert / Front Body-colored With Metal-look Insert
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Accents / Colored / Black W/body-color Surround
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way / (8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
6-way / (8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Clock, Seek-scan / Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Rear Side-impact Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Forward Collision Alert With Automatic Emergency Braking Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Change Alert With Side Blind Zone Alert Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Keep Assist With Lane Departure Warning Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Front Pedestrian Braking Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Intellibeam Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Rear Park Assist Rear
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles

Used 2021 Buick Encore GX for Sale

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