By on November 14, 2019

gm

A new Buick arrives from across the Pacific early next year, and it may be priced in a manner that relegates the hot-selling Encore to the runner-up spot.

The Encore GX, which aims to split the size difference between Encore and Envision, may be larger than its subcompact sibling, but it sheds one cylinder beneath its hood. It also doesn’t add much in the way of cost, pricing guides reveal.

According to guides seen by CarsDirect, the Encore GX starts at $25,095 after destination in entry-level Preferred trim. This gets you a front-drive vehicle powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder mated to a continuously variable transmission. Output is 137 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque.

In contrast, a base 2020 Encore starts at $24,195, or a difference of just $900. However, compare models of equal trims, and the math works out in the larger crossover’s favor. An Encore GX Preferred undercuts the Encore Preferred by $500. Move up the trim ladder to the top-flight Essence (FWD), and it’s a similar story.

gm

At $29,495, the GX undercuts a similarly-equipped Encore by $800, and does so while offering additional cargo volume. The bigger crossover’s rear hold swallows nearly 5 additional cubic feet of junk.

As for power, the Encore soldiers on with the 1.4-liter turbocharged four found in the first-generation Chevrolet Cruze and current Sonic. It makes 138 hp and 148 lb-ft; the uplevel 1.4L, rated at 153 hp and 177 lb-ft, disappeared during the 2019 model year.

Unlike Encore buyers, GX customers can opt for a more potent engine — all-wheel drive variants come standard with a 1.3-liter turbo three, good for 155 hp and 174 lb-ft. It’s optional in front-drive GXes in mid-level Select and Essence trims.

Buick recorded 73,905 Encore sales in the U.S. through the end of September, making it by far the most popular Buick on offer. Volume is up 6 percent, year to date. It’s easy to see how a larger Encore GX could boost Buick’s overall volume, to the detriment of the Encore — and perhaps the Envision.

The Encore GX enters dealerships in early 2020.

[Image: General Motors]

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61 Comments on “Buick Encore GX a Bargain Proposition?...”


  • avatar
    IBx1

    Oh good lord, STOP DRAWING LINES ON THE BOTTOM OF THE DOORS. I swear they pay by the crease these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

      They’re useful in spotting poor build quality at a glance. For example, I’ve yet to see any Ford vehicle after 2013 on which all the various cutlines and zig-zags between panels lined up correctly.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        My old 2010 Highlander had creases (which were lined up well) but the first time my BIL saw it he dropped to one knee next to it to see if it had been hit by another vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Those lines are pretty much how manufacturers keep today’s better-packaged crossovers from looking like minivans.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      Thanks a lot! Now I can’t unsee those lines.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Was going to say, I wonder how many more creases we can squeeze in between the A and C pillars. [Even a little tiny bonus crease on the rocker!]

      (While I’m here – 137 hp or 155 hp? Not sure I would be able to control all that power…)

      • 0 avatar
        Kenn

        ” I wonder how many more creases we can squeeze in between the A and C pillars”

        So many people seem to think that’s a measure of “style,” as if it were a matter of quantity. More creases and curves = “more style,” while tasteful restraint in a sleek and relatively-simple design always = “boring.” The Asian designers (with the possible exception being Kia) seem to be catering to this group, these days.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “Buick recorded 73,905 Encore sales in the U.S. through the end of September”

    WOW! Now I can calculate how many idiots live in America.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      slavuta

      At a speech I attended given by an ex-General Chief of Staff for a past U.S. president-and I quote

      “Everybody hates us, (referring to America) but wants to be just like us”.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        CKNS….

        My motto is slightly different.

        EVERYBODY HATES AMERICANS, BUT EVERYBODY WANTS TO LIVE HERE.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        SKNS…

        Tell your general that he is just another brainwashed idiot. If everyone wanted to be like us, there wouldn’t be Mexico, Canada, China, Russia, India . . .with their specific cultures etc.
        Around 6000 US citizens officially renounce US citizenship every year and many more just leave without official renunciation. And thousands of people absolutely can come here and live here legally but don’t do it.

        I served in military and I know all the brainwash, de-personalization and other good for discipline stuff that happens.

        And please don’t assume that I hate America. I hate stupid. And this is obvious to me here. To buy this car, you gonna be pretty … If it was an iconic small car, Mini, Fiat, it is one thing. But this is car for broad audience and it really gives you little to none.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          If you are old, and you want an inexpensive, conservatively styled small car with a comfortable ride and high hip point, what would be a better choice?

          Most of the competition either rides hard, has garish styling, or both.

      • 0 avatar

        “Everybody hates us, (referring to America) but wants to be just like us”.

        That’s true. Hatred (a.k.a Hate sessions) is a new American pastime.

    • 0 avatar

      “WOW! Now I can calculate how many idiots live in America”

      It cannot be that low.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Unfortunately you’re right. And stupidity has totally penetrated the government as well. Today’s example

        Brad Wenstrup, … used his time to criticize the administration of President Barack Obama, for denying to Ukraine lethal military aid, such as Javelin missiles. He derided Obama for donating blankets and Meals Ready to Eat(MRES) to Ukraine.

        “Now we’re providing Javelins, which kill Russian tanks,” Wenstrup said. “MREs and blankets do not do that.”

        Hahaha. They killed exactly ZERO tanks.
        https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/03/far-from-the-front-lines-javelin-missiles-go-unused-in-ukraine/

        “Under the conditions of the foreign military sale, the Trump administration stipulates that the Javelins must be stored in western Ukraine—hundreds of miles from the battlefield. ”

        And Americans are being brainwashed and believe all these said things. Kill Russian tanks… Kill one Russian tank and end of Ukraine.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The Encore already manages to feel significantly nicer than its Trax counterpart, such that it’s actually a decent vehicle if you want a small CUV–especially with Buick’s perennial cheap lease deals. The Encore GX looks nicer than that, and its size actually puts it in a subcompact-plus category, along with the Nissan Rogue Sport.

    Though not something I’d ever buy, I could see this as a good niche for Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      Agree. I think this will be a solid, under-the-radar hit for Buick, just like the regular Encore has been. I see an awful lot of millennials driving Encores. The GX is perfect to roll people into coming off of $99/mo Encore leases. Given the pricing, their lease payment might not even have to change!

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I just cannot make any sense of how putting a smaller engine in the larger vehicle..MAKES SENSE!!!

      I can barely see a three-popper in the Fiesta, or something around the size and weight of a Geo Metro (which was equipped thus). But this is like putting a three-banger in a theoretical vehicle sized between a Civic and Accord! (Or putting the 3er in the Civic and leaving the four-hole motor in the Fit!)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    At least the bigger engine gets you a real transmission.

    Just wish the engines were 4 cyl turbos and not 3 cyl turbos. I wonder how close the transaction prices for the Encore GX, Envision, and showroom competition Terrain will be?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I wish, I wish. Just say as it is – POS

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      What are the chances of that boosted three cylinder engine pulling a CUV around without requiring a rebuild by 100,000 miles?
      Air-cooled VW Kombi engines barely made it that far.
      I get the feeling these Buicks are not going to last ten years before disappearing from the roads. “Lease ’em new, sell ’em used, then fill the service bays with ’em.”

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I don’t fundamentally have an issue with turbocharged 4 cylinder engines, but the spat of 3 cylinder engines bugs be for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. Don’t they require extra gear to smooth them out that even a 4 cylinder wouldn’t need? Is there really a fuel economy benefit?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Supposedly German engineers sat down and tried to determine a perfect cylinder volume for the qualities that are generally sought in engines (balancing efficiency with power etc) and determined each cyl should be 0.5 liters. These engines do not follow this rule.

      By their logic the best displacement for a 3 cyl would be 1.5 ltrs, for a 4 cyl 2.0 ltrs, so on and so forth.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I think there’s more than a bit of marketing spin in that claim (which was specific to BMW) for their line of engines sized to minimize Chinese displacement taxes and use as many common components as possible.

        Some of the most delightful engines I’ve ever experienced have had smaller cylinders, while the most efficient engines out there (those in heavy trucks) have much larger ones.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        I suppose my 3.5L V6 (0.58) and my 5.0L V8 (0.63) are bending the rules.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, it seems everything now is a 2.0 four, so 500cc, also the common 3.0 six.
        Upgrade is the 2.3 liter four, or 3.6 liter six, for 600cc each.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      In a larger vehicle like this, a 3 cylinder might have little or no fuel economy benefit in the real world, much like the Ecoboost vs V8 in the F150.

      In a smaller car sized appropriately for the engine, a 3 cylinder really does provide a noticeable improvement in mileage. See the 1L Fiesta for example.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      3 cylinders are not in primary balance, but that can be solved in one of two ways- either a balance shaft (like my FZ-09) or do what Ford did on the 1.0 Fox engine and counterweight the flywheel and crank pulley.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    That’s because it’s not a rule, it’s BMW marketing froth.

    If a 500cc per cylinder were as sacrosanct as Newton’s laws of motion, BMW’s would also have a certain bore and stroke, but the N20 from 2011 to 2016 was superseded by the B37 and B47 engines with 500 cc cylinders of a different shape. And then the BMW V8 has been 4.4 liters for years, breaking their own rule by being 550cc per cylinder.

    These GM light duty 3 and 4 cylinder engines have been around for about five years now. And were the first thing Peugeot decided to can in Opel Astras, replacing them with their own more advanced pure Tech units. You might recall PSA bargained down GM’s selling price for Opel because of “outdated” engines, even if they were almost brand new.

    GM makes them in Hungary, Korea and China besides the US for the Malibu. Where the European-made units end up these days is anyone’s guess, probably in smaller Opels until PSA can replace them all. Opel has been charged by PSA to design a new 1.6l engine for the Group, based on the Pure Tech system, so as to keep Russelheim engineers busy.

  • avatar
    Robotdawn

    I wonder if they will drop the MSRP/sticker on the Trax and Encore then. Both models are perennially on sale up to 20% off. GM has ratcheted back the discounts on a lot of their vehicles (annoyingly), but not the Trax and Encore.

    I’d consider a Trailblazer if they would put a bit larger engine in it. When you drive ~75 mph most of your commute you need more displacement than 1.3L.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    It’s going to have a very un-Buick like exhaust note. But I guess they’ll just play V8 sounds over the radio.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I think this will be a good model for Buick. Encores are selling well as long as the quality is good and they are not priced into the stratosphere.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Wow. That thing is hideous. It is almost a cube and could be reduced to a six inch by six inch by six inch one after compacting.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Cadillac is dead last in CR’s New Reliability Index (30th out of 30).

    Chevy and GMC are also horrid.

    Go Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors!

    Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac among least reliable in Consumer Reports rankings

    https://www.abc12.com/content/news/Chevrolet-GMC-Cadillac-among-least-reliable-in-Consumer-Reports-study-564926372.html

    “General Motors brands Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC were among the least reliable in annual Consumer Reports rankings.

    By Tom Krisher, Associated Press | Posted: Thu 12:54 PM, Nov 14, 2019  |  Updated: Thu 12:55 PM, Nov 14, 20”

  • avatar
    deanst

    Make the bigger engines standard and then add something with more power and this would almost make sense.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Sorry, but I don’t consider anything that’s Chinese built and pushing $30K US with a 3-cylinder mouse motor under the hood a bargain in any way, shape or form.

  • avatar
    Fliggin_De_Fluge

    Junk.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “At $29,495, the GX undercuts a similarly-equipped Encore by $800, and does so while offering additional cargo volume. The bigger crossover’s rear hold swallows nearly 5 additional cubic feet of junk.”

    Christ on a bike, 29,4!?! For this sh!tbox?

    Present company excluded, but this has to be those damn Millenials.

    MY18 Buick Encore AWD Premium – which is the trim with the HIGHEST valuations of the five I see:

    3/5/19 $24,100* 322 5.0 4GT/A Gray Regular Southeast Statesville
    11/29/18 $22,900* 2,220 5.0 4GT/A White Regular Northeast Albany
    12/28/18 $23,000* 2,223 4.9 4GT/A White Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
    1/11/19 $24,000* 4,813 4.6 4GT/A Red Lease Northeast Pennsylvania
    5/15/19 $21,500* 10,861 4.9 4GT/A Gray Regular Southeast Darlington
    6/10/19 $21,500* 10,872 – – 4CY/A Gray Regular Southwest Dallas
    5/14/19 $21,400* 11,593 4.4 4GT/A Gray Lease Midwest Ohio
    6/28/19 $21,250* 13,230 4.1 4GT/A Black Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
    7/23/19 $20,200* 15,443 4.4 4GT/A Brown Regular Northeast NY Metro Skyline
    4/17/19 $21,100* 22,729 4.0 4GT/A Black Regular West Coast Seattle

    That’s right 22,9-24 with like 3K miles.

    Internet:

    “The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base 2018 Buick Encore starts around $24,000. Moving up the line, the Encore Preferred opens around $25,360, the Sport Touring at $26,560, the Preferred II at $27,800, the Essence just over $30,000 and finally the Premium at just a hair north of $31,500.”

    $31,5!?! So you’re at 33+ with TTL.

    but

    $22,9-24 with like 3K miles

    Where is your god now CUV proles?

    *Mr Burns laugh*

  • avatar
    RHD

    Hecho, not Hencho.

    It’s the past participle of the verb Hacer: to do or to make.

    “Hangugsan” would be “Made in Korea”, in Korean. (I can’t write the Korean characters with an English keyboard!)

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