2020 Buick Encore GX First Review Finds Rough Ride, Noisy 1.3-Liter Engine

With all the chaos going on in the world, we forgot that Buick made a few changes at the bottom of its model range, which is made up almost exclusively of crossovers now. The regular Encore has been joined by the new 2020 Encore GX, a slightly posher and more expensive model.
2020 Buick Encore GX 7 photos
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The Encore GX kind of feels like a separate car, looking different in most regards. It slots between the $23,200 Encore and the $29,400 Regal TourX lifted wagon. With a base price of roughly $25,000, it's right up there with bigger and more practical crossovers like the Toyota RAV4, but if you're dead-set on a premium subcompact, this could be your best bet.

Two engines are available, both turbocharged 3-cylinder units. The base 1.2-liter makes 137 hp and is matched to a CVT, while the 1.3-liter is rated at 155 hp and comes with a 9-speed automatic. Yeah, it's better to get the 1.3-liter, especially because it's somehow more efficient.

Even though 155 hp is more than most compact sedans and hatchbacks have, it's barely enough for the Encore GX. In its inaugural review, KBB found that acceleration is unimpressive, and to get the most out of the engine, you have to rev it, which blows away what was left of the premium experience.

We'd recommend buying a bigger car, but some people really like the way a small crossover like this looks, and we can kind of see why. However, you will need a few options to get the desired appearance from the GX. One of them is the Sport Touring package, which costs $650 and adds sportier accents on the outside, including revised grille and bumpers, black wheels, and red accents in the grille. Priced at $1,995 is the Experience Buick pack, which includes better alloy wheels, power moonroof, a navigation system, and a 360-degree camera system.


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