Buick Encore vs. Buick Encore GX

By

Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


, Automotive Editor - March 10, 2020

The Buick Encore GX sounds like a familiar name, but it’s an entirely new model. The crossover slots above the existing Buick Encore and below the Buick Envision.

At least for the time being, the Encore and Encore GX will be sold simultaneously. Both are priced above the usual mainstream suspects, but well below luxury imports. Which is the better buy? Here’s our breakdown.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Encore & Encore GX»

What the Encore Gets Right

The Encore’s first advantage is its price. With starting costs just north of $24,000, the Encore is $900 cheaper than a base Encore GX.

The Encore uses an older engine, but it produces just as much power as the Encore GX. The 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 138 horsepower, which keeps up fine with the 137 hp from the GX’s new 1.2-liter turbo three-cylinder.

The Encore also starts with many of the same features. Both vehicles use the same 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, and both base models start with niceties like keyless entry and 18-inch wheels.

The Encore is the smaller of the two vehicles by about 3 inches of length. While some buyers might appreciate the extra size, the Encore’s parkability might be a virtue for many, especially urban dwellers.

What the Encore GX Gets Right

For others, the extra utility in the Encore GX will be welcome. The GX gains 4.7 cubic feet of cargo space and a bit of leg room over its little sibling.

While the GX starts with a 1.2-liter engine, it has the option for a 1.3-liter turbo three-cylinder unit. This engine produces 155 hp and better suits the vehicle’s size. The Encore once had a similar option, but it’s gone for 2020.

With either engine, the Encore GX gets superior gas mileage. Even with the more powerful engine and all-wheel drive, the GX earns 28 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA. At its best, the Encore GX gets 31 mpg combined. Conversely, a front-wheel-drive Encore only gets 27 mpg combined.

The Encore GX may be slightly more expensive to start, but above the base trim, the difference evaporates. In fact, the top Essence trim is $800 cheaper in the Encore GX.

Even in base, the Encore GX offers standard active safety features like automatic emergency braking. That feature isn’t available on any Encore, which makes the smaller car harder to recommend for family duty.

New and Improved

The Buick Encore was already starting to show its age, but the new Encore GX puts it to a real test. The Encore’s biggest advantage is price, but it’s only cheaper in the base trim and comes without standard safety tech. Everywhere else, the Encore GX is superior. It’s more powerful, more efficient, more practical, a better value, and better outfitted.

Our Verdict: Buick Encore GX

Some of these comparisons are close … but not this one. The Buick Encore GX has a leg up on the Buick Encore in just about every way that matters. Unless starting price is the only priority, we recommend stepping up to the new model. Buick hasn’t yet released details about the future of its lineup, but we can’t imagine that the Encore will be around (in its current form) for much longer.

Take a closer look at the Encore »

Take a closer look at the Encore GX »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


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