Three-banger Buick's Fuel Economy Released

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
three banger buicks fuel economy released

It’s the news you were waiting for on a Friday afternoon. After General Motors provided a fuel economy estimate of its own, the EPA has now carved the upcoming Buick Encore GX’s gas mileage into stone.

So, what can the tiny engines found in this small crossover do for pump-averse buyers?

If you’re not buying the larger of the two mills, not all that much, apparently. Buick’s Encore GX, which splits the size difference between the Encore and Envision, employs a 1.2-liter and 1.3-liter turbo three-cylinder shared with its (still unrated) Chevrolet Trailblazer sibling.

Power from both engines travels through a continuously variable automatic for front-drivers, or a nine-speed automatic in 1.3L/all-wheel drive spec. There’s no four-wheel motivation for the base engine.

While GM’s estimate of “up to 31 mpg combined” certainly came true, it’s only achievable with the larger of the two engines, in FWD form. There, the Encore GX returns 30 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined, according to the EPA.

Add AWD, and the rating sinks to 26 city/29 highway/28 combined. In comparison, those combined figures are a 4 mpg improvement over a FWD Encore and a 2 mpg bump over the AWD version. A win for Buick GX buyers, considering the Encore GX’s additional cargo room and power (1.2L versions make 137 horsepower and 166 lb-ft; 1.3L models generate 155 hp and 175 lb-ft).

It’s worth noting that the 1.3L makes the same ponies as the last 3.1-liter Buick Century, less 20 lb-ft. In modern times, the regular Encore’s larger, 1.4-liter four-cylinder makes the same 138 hp and 148 lb-ft as before.

Buyers looking to get into an Encore GX as cheaply as possible — and many might, seeing as it’s priced so close to the Encore — won’t see as big of a fuel economy boost. The 1.2-liter earns a rating of 26 city/30 highway/28 combined, which is up just 1 mpg on the FWD Encore in city and combined driving.

The tweener Encore GX hits Buick retailers this spring.

[Images: General Motors]

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  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Jan 27, 2020

    2020 marks the start of Malaise era II and these silly drivetrains are just one of numerous reasons for this. Comparing the 1.3T to a 90's derived 3100 ignores the fact that with 25 years of so called progress the engine does indeed shrink in size and cylinder count but power and fuel economy in a similar weight vehicle has barely improved as 30-32 highway MPG was easily obtained with a W-body with the 3100/3800 or even the full sized G/H body cars with the same 3.8 motor. Torque also suffers, especially when speaking of the larger engine that made up to 230 LBS FT and low obtainable RPM's.

  • Ravenuer Ravenuer on Jan 27, 2020

    A 3cyl Buick. My father is rolling over in his grave.

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.
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