Contrary to previous reports, the Buick Encore will not be replaced by a slightly larger, China-sourced crossover. Instead, Buick plans to supplement the subcompact Encore’s healthy sales by slotting a new model alongside it: the Encore GX.
Appearing early next year for the 2020 model year, the Buick Encore GX fills the space between the Encore and the compact Envision. Expect its price to bridge the gap, too.
Buick didn’t go deep into specs in its announcement; rather, the division claims the Encore GX firms up Buick’s presence in the divisions buyers seek out the most: subcompact, compact, and midsize. We’re talking crossovers, of course â after putting the LaCrosse sedan out to pasture earlier this year, Buick’s lineup now contains just a single passenger car nameplate. Ninety percent of the brand’s U.S. volume comes from utility vehicles.
âAs we look to the future of Buick, the Encore GX positions us strongly as a consideration for those who want to purchase small or compact SUVs,â said Duncan Aldred, global vice president of the Buick and GMC brands.
The automaker claims the Encore GX ups the Encore’s cargo volume by 5 cubic feet, placing it just 3 cubes shy of the Envision’s rear storage space. Convenience and safety features stand to impress buyers, as Buick plans to offer a host of content as standard kit. Among those items is front pedestrian braking, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, and lane keep assist with lane departure warning. The rear camera mirror found in the larger Enclave shows up here, too, along with a high-def surround camera system. Both are available options.
Other dimensions, as well as power specs, will have to wait until closer to its launch. Car and Driver reports that the Encore GX will boast more power than the basic Encore, suggesting that the optional second-generation 1.4-liter turbo dropped from the Encore lineup for 2020 will find a home here. That mill makes 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, compared to the Encore’s 138 hp and 148 lb-ft.
An automatic transmission will sent the four-banger’s power to either the front or all four wheels. As the provided photos show, the Encore GX’s cabin improves on its smaller sibling’s interior, with the dash lending a sense of width to the still-small vehicle.
Again, the Encore GX lands on these shores early next year. The basic Encore is also due for a revamp before too long, but it won’t be the Encore that just bowed in China. That model ditches the current-gen model’s Gamma II platform for GM’sÂ Global Emerging Markets (GEM) architecture, a platform developed with overseas buyers in mind.
Feel free to predict it will never sell, just like the Encore, Buick is dead blah blah blah. How is Chrysler doing with their product roadmap and changing with the times?
I thought the original Encore was a cruel joke, but I like the side profile. The rear speaks Kia to me and the front is a bit Golfish perhaps? Not sure. I’d like to see a bit more power.
I’m not a huge fan of Buick interiors over recent years but at least it’s not filled with sun-blinding chrome.
It’s not a bad car at all (see post below), and I’m not the only one who thinks so. I recall Bark did a fairly complimentary review of this car as well.
I wouldn’t talk you out of one, as long as you’re down with a tiny car that eats gas (again, see below).
If I were in the market for a slow little CUV, I’d probably opt for something a bit bigger, like a CR-V or Tucson. Far as I’m concerned, every car in this mini-CUV class is a ripoff.
I got to know this car pretty well – I had one as a rental last summer for about three weeks while my car was in the shop for hail repair. As long as you can get past the looks (which I can’t), it’s not bad at all – it’s very handy on tight city streets. It even got pressed into service for a Denver-St. Louis road trip, and it acquitted itself quite well.
The biggest issue I had with the Encore was fuel economy – I never got more than 24 mpg around town, and I got about 26 mpg on the road trip. That’s ridiculous for a car this tiny.
Poor Chevrolet, you mean. Like the regular Encore does to the Trax, this will eat the Trailblazerâs lunch. The Trax is basically an unfinished Encore that is the same or a higher price, while riding rougher and looking even dorkier. No reason things will change with this pair of siblings.
It occurs to me that manufacturers’ crossover lineups are now going to look like their car lineups did in the past, where they were essentially selling variations of the same thing, or cars that didn’t have much measurable difference between them. Think of the Chevy Biscayne, Impala, and Bel Air in the 60s.
Makes sense as these nothing but lifted stations wagons. People want CUVs so that is what they will get – several variations of them. Apparently the market for these things is so big you can offer small differences and still find enough buyers. Odd since the truck market is huge yet its almost all full size units. Only recently has the mid-sizer come back into the fold. Does this means the true small truck will be next?
153 ponies! Grandpa is finally going to get his sporty Encore. Actually this isn’t an Encore at all Buick just decided to tag this obviously larger crossover with a very popular name. Smart move
The Encore is not my kind of car. I don’t care for the front seats or powertrain, which is too bad because it looks decent and the ride and handling are not bad.
But the first time I saw it, I sensed that “this will be a hit–it’s perfect size for lots of people”
If GM is not ‘greedy’ (they usually are–they’ll come up with a good idea, and because they know it’s good, they overcharge for it), they will sell a lot of these.
Insane…but then again, this is GM, so it’ll be discounted to a non Looney Tunes price point, which is what they’re doing with the current Encore.
Is that a heads up display I see ine fourth picture? I guess the less grandma takes her eyes off the road the better. “Look sonny, I can see how slow I’m going up on the windshield!”
Is that a heads up display I see in the fourth picture? I guess the less grandma takes her eyes off the road the better. “Look sonny, I can see how slow I’m going up on the windshield!”
Good lord, look at the bottom of those doors. In and out, in and out, in and out and in, IT’S ENOUGH, STOP DRAWING LINES ON THE CAR.
I think I pointed out the Encore / Encore GX strategy when TTAC originally reported that the Encore had lost its optional engine. Good to see such speedy reporting of the news here.
On a side note, I find the Chinese Encore the most attractive of the bunch. Only GM could build 3 different models for essentially one vehicle.
Wearing my cynical hat. GM is making these vehicles that are so similar in size and appearance because the smaller gap in size and price it makes it easier to upsell the more expensive versions to consumers. “Encore’s too small? For another $30/mo we can put you into a nice Encore GX which is a little bigger and nicer. Look at all this stuff you can get.”
This is a new car, right? Bigger than the Encore – not sure half the commenters read that far before launching of into side stories.
This GX has the pre-wrinkled neck look, making it suitable for seniors, most apparent over the sill and front doors. Wrinkling, now there’s a new styling flourish.
And Norm, just back from a tour of Jupiter’s moons in his Envision, during which he got tens of thousands of leagues per gallon, is fearing for Acura, god bless him. So thoughtful. Acura aren’t quite yet in the grandma market, but their version of a HR-V might be a suitable candidate if they chose to enter it.
I’m just happy any time I see a new vehicle that doesn’t have some ridiculous oversized cartoonish grille like the new Trailblazer or everything from Lexus.
Aside from the extraneous bit at the bottom of the doors, I’d say this looks mostly okay. I’d be curious to see it when it comes out because the proportions don’t really show in pictures.
The only part of the front end that really gives pause would be the fog light surrounds. This possibly looks better in a darker color, maybe midnight blue.
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For everyone who thought “the Encore’s actually not bad with the upgraded engine, just wish the seats were a little wider and the cargo area would fit a proper dog”…is this our (wife’s) new car?
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