By on August 14, 2018

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

Buick’s pint-sized Encore is the brand’s biggest volume generator, accounting for 44 percent of all U.S. Buick sales in the first half of 2018. While hard to imagine for those who just stepped out of the time machine from 1975 (just think if the Skylark was the model holding up the brand), it’s nonetheless a reality we have to live with. Crossovers are king, and crossovers are what’s keeping Buick alive.

The division no doubt wants to keep it that way, which is why there’s an all-new Encore coming for the 2020 model year. Here’s our first glimpse.

While the camouflage is thick with this one, the next-gen Encore carries proportions similar to its strong-selling Korean predecessor. It didn’t morph overnight into a lengthy midsizer, though its dimensions will surely see a slight increase — especially if General Motors ditches the Gamma-2 platform for upgraded bones. There’s a new platform, dubbed VSS-S, under development for front-drive, unibody crossovers, and this camouflaged model does seem a little wider than the outgoing Encore.

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

We can clearly see Buick’s signature grille peeking through the camo, looking much like the current, refreshed Encore’s, though a little broader. It actually comes across looking more like the Enclave’s grille.

Besides that, the Encore keeps the recipe intact. It does appear more angular than before, though until those bandages come off, we won’t know to what extent.

Beneath that short hood almost certainly resides a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder, mated to either the existing six-speed automatic or perhaps GM’s nine-speed unit. Current Encore customers willing to shell out extra dough can get their hands on the second-generation 1.4L engine, which adopts direct injection and a smidgen of extra displacement to make 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. That’s a considerable improvement over the standard 138 hp, 148 lb-ft motor.

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

It remains to be seen whether the GM kicks the first-gen engine to the curb between now and the new Encore’s debut. While one of its users, the Chevrolet Sonic, seems not long for this world, it also finds a home in the Encore’s lower-priced Trax twin. Given its status among the two subcompact crossovers, GM might see fit to add additional power to its Buick offering.

Expect to see the 2020 Encore show up at this winter’s auto show circuit, ahead of its 2019 launch.

[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

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37 Comments on “Spied: The 2020 Buick Encore You’ve Been Waiting For...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

    MY NEXT WHIP!!! (Well this, or maybe the Envision).

    I’m going to do a Chinese Domestic Market de-badge and re-badge job right after I GET THIS QUADFECTA TUNED TO MAKE 588 HORSEPOWER/602 LBS FEET OF TORQUE!!!!!

    78 mpg highway @ at a constant 120 mph/58 mpg city will never FEEL SO GOOD!!!

    NORMSVTRIFECTATUNEAREA51GUANGZHOU-THAT’SNOTABRUICK ARE YOU WITH ME?!!

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      DeadWeight

      If Hyundai/KIA and the Japanese brands didn’t suk. Buick wouldn’t be selling 100,000 Encores a year.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      +1. I’m not sure how I got by without this obviously very creative and cutting-edge vehicle. I am just waiting with bated breath to see it.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Superdessucke

        Seats 4 adults comfortably.
        Enough cargo space for Costco runs.
        Fits a standard sized flat screen T.V. inside.
        Parking on a city street isn’t a problem.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      It will be interesting if ChiDM becomes a thing like JDM has. I even saw a flicker of AuDM subculture when GM was bringing the Holden stuff over to the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        And when people matter-of-factly and even proudly say “yeah I had to order it direct from Shanghai” about a part they need.

        I hope not. I hope our great President puts them right in their place.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Buicks used to have gravitas.

      Now Buicks are embracing the pissant.

      Nothing embodies that more than the “Buick” Encore. If the Encore is what Buick has become, crap imported commerce w/ KMart mystique, then Buick is dead, the obtuse marketers at GM simply don’t know it yet.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The Encore led the segment over Audi Q3 until the redesign in CR rankings. There is something to be said about a nicely packaged, raised luxury box on the cheap.

        Just think what the CDX could do if Honda+ would stop sitting on their hands?

  • avatar
    TwoBelugas

    It’s always 5 o’clock where DW is.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Let’s see…51% Korean and 18% Chinese content(at least for the current model). Will those numbers change much with the new one? Likely not. Still going to pass on this, as I’ve not been waiting for an Encore. I guess it’s better than the Envision, with it’s 85% Chinese parts. Sigh, Buick…where did ya go?

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      treeer

      Where did you get the content numbers? I really want to see where the Lexus NX or the Genesis G80 get their parts.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        A small luxury SUV made by Toyota at their Miyawaka, Fukuoka plant. I’d say most of the parts where made in, oh I don’t know; Japan? The Genesis G80 made by Hyundai in Ulsan. I’d say most of the parts where made in, oh I don’t know; South Korea? It’s not really where the parts came from; it’s the engineering behind them and superior assembly techniques that make vehicles stand out. Huge, monstrous hint: bragging about Kelly Blue Book and J.D. Power awards on your website are not,repeat NOT the signs of automotive excellence. https://auto.howstuffworks.com/buying-selling/jd-power-ratings3.htm https://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/best-buy-awards-program-2017/2100001434/ not a Buick to be found. I gotta give Chevy credit where credit is due; but Oh No Mr. Bill! Buick didn’t make this (and a lot of other) cut(s).https://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/most-awarded-brands-2018/2100005645/

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Peter, pulled the content right from a window sticker.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      With the rest of GGM!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    A wider Encore would be great; the current one feels far too narrow.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Brake Stops.

    Gravity Kills.

    Adults Lie.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Most importantly, will old folks like it?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Why even bother to camo it? It’s not like its a new Corvette or something.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Lol, really, how different can they look that they don’t want to spoil the surprise?

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      No, no, no; the cladding is Buick’s newest and greatest safety feature! If you get up to five miles an hour under the speed limit; all the cladding flies off causing bright sunlight to shine in and music not heard on 8-track tapes or cassettes to be played in Delphi stereophonic sound. I did hear a crack Chinese-South Korean engineering team is developing extra-large, easy to pull knobs for the Astro-Ventilation for a new millennium.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        @el Scotto

        Cutting down Buick will not make whatever piece of sh t you drive any better.
        I suggest you take a good long look at your vehicle needs. Make a list of every vehicle in your price range that meets those needs. Then widdle down the list relying on facts and your own first hand opinion. Until you find the vehicle thats right for you.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Peter Gazis, does GM (Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors) pay you to defend their sh*thole company and sh*thole divisions by the post?

    Buick is one lame a$$ brand, bro.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’ve done my share of hating on this car, but I recently got one as a rental loaner and unexpectedly had to lay on a last-minute 1,000-mile road trip (long story that began with a s**tload of hail damage to my daily driver in Denver and a family emergency in St. Louis). And lo and behold…it’s actually a darn nice little car to drive. It knocked out the outbound journey at 85-90 mph, returned about 27 mpg doing it, and it was comfortable and quiet the entire way. Seating, in particular, is first-rate. It could use a few more horsepower and (more relevantly) a couple of higher gears for the Interstate, but it proved to be a pretty legit little highway cruiser.

    I still hate the styling, but the Encore earned my respect. At a bare minimum, it’s about 2,112% better than the Ecosport I reviewed a while back, and I see why Buick sells so many of these.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I get that there’s a lot of residual anger due to the Great Financial Crisis and years of brand debasement, but the vehicle stands on it’s own merits, as modest as they may be. However, there’s a certain undertone of derision with folks who most likely have only ever seen one of the cars, much less actually driven or owned one for any length of time. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; it’s a semi-free country. I get it.

    But there’s a reason why I don’t consider the “Best and Brightest” moniker a compliment, and it’s comments sections like the above that prove my point. The usual suspects, spouting the usual drivel accompanying the usual snark. Much heat, but no light.

    I don’t expect a Family Feud-style “Good Answer!” kind of mindless agreement with the post, but man, some of this stuff gets old.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    How did a model called the “Encore” not start on at least its 2nd generation?

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