Updated: Jul 7, 2021
Now that's a cool looking car
The caption above is exactly the feedback I got from strangers several times on the streets and parking lots about the Buick Encore GX. You may have seen my review on the Buick Encore, one of the top subcompact crossover SUVs ever built by GM. It's even Buick's first subcompact crossover SUV and fourth SUV overall coming behind the Rendezvous in 2002 and the Rainier in 2004, then in 2008 Buick released the Enclave.
In case you didn't know, the Buick Encore GX is a front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon. It's a unique and impressive vehicle priced around $35,720 (base price: $27,095).
So let's dig in with a closer look at the Buick Encore GX. It seats up to five and is available with all-wheel drive, sport touring edition and the black roof package. Inside there's a flat folding front passenger seat with a 4060 split second row And for storage you can basically count on about 8 ft. of space diagonally. Back at that cargo area you have an available hands-free programmable liftgate. Maximum cargo room is about 50.2 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. How about the street and highway impressions - the performance?
You know I love to deal with performance more than anything else. This baby has a 1.2 liter turbo i3 engine producing 137 horsepower and the 1.3 liter turbo produces 155 horsepower with a sturdy 9-speed automatic transmission.
I found the drive to be exceedingly smooth and because of the size of the vehicle, which seemed to allow it a measurable degree of agility. From a standing start, its swift and responsive. I was quite impressed by the take-off and acceleration that the turbo provided. That quick acceleration really mattered when getting off the street and onto the highway. The estimated miles per gallon is 28 and the city and 31 on the highway for the 1.2 l, 30 on the city 32 on the highway for the 1.3 l. The 0-60 track test resulted in a 9.1 second to 9.5 second time. It's not built for speed, but rather for convenience, practicality, style and functionality. The technical upgrades elevate the driver user experience.
Inside the cockpit, the infotainment and connectivity systems are on point, featuring an 8-inch diagonal color touch screen which is standard and a navigational system that's available on a Select and Essence trims. Right off the bat, I was impressed by the visibility the car provides. Great views all around. Then there's the surprisingly ample leg and head space.
There's a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot with available 4G LTE. As I mentioned earlier, safety technology is so important which is called select driver awareness. In addition to the items I mentioned there's automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, following distance indicator and the super-intensive intellibeam headlamps. I'm fascinated by that technology; really cool. There's also a standard high-definition rear vision camera to spot anything behind you that may be an obstacle or even a pedestrian.
They say its what's inside that matters most and I agree with that sentiment but the first thing you see in a car that delivers an emotional reaction is the exterior. The overall styling is innovative, consistent and shows off Buick's vision and athletic for a small SUV.
The overall styling is innovative, consistent with Buick's vision and athletic for a small SUV.
The Front Facia
Starting up front, the grill is classic Buick; an expression of it's direction and vision with a black grill infused with intricate designs inside the grille frame that features the Buick badge and what appears to be narrow wings flowing from the middle. The mid bumper is separated by both the upper and lower areas with the lower area being the bottom spoiler that flares out with air and takes and lights mounted right in front of the front wheels. What's most noticeable as you go down to the bottom of its front fascia is the height and clearance for you adventurous types that would take it off road. I'm now making a suggestion, just thinking out loud.
The Side Profile Design
The side view shows how athletic the stance of the GX is. With a snub front flowing right into the front windshield, you can imagine that the visibility during the driving experience is going to be exceedingly wide.
I'm showing off the profile that features a snub nose front, aerodynamic side & athletic rear design
Standing next to it, you get a better sense of the size and scale of the Encore GX. The center side view reveals seams and lines that flow front to back giving it an aerodynamic look and the lower area beneath the doors having a border line that flows all the way back to the rear wheels. The back area is also abbreviated as this is a subcompact small SUV with a sporty tail design, roof spoiler, and handsome overall profile design effect.
The Rear design
The back is athletic also, showing a slightly wider appearance than one would imagine for a subcompact simple because the design flares slightly wider on the sides to not only accommodate the tires but also giving the tail lights a bit more visibility. Keep in mind this is also where the cargo till liftgate is and does that additional width helps for additional cargo space.
Historically speaking the first generation encore debuted at the 2012 North American international Auto show or the Detroit Auto show. In 2017 after gradual and continual improvements the encore got a facelift. That facelift included revised headlights and bumpers, LED tail lights and an interior that got improvements from the dash, the technology, and design.
In 2019 the GX version was introduced at the LA Auto show. It includes several standard safety assistant features like the automatic emergency braking forward collision alert and lane departure warnings. The second generation was released in 2020. This technology is a great investment for Buick because those are items that soccer moms and millennial executives are looking for. That GX was launched in three trims, Preferred, Select and the Essence and it also has a sport touring package that adds style and visual swag like a custom grill, red accents and a sportier front and rear design. Also that includes 8-in wheels.
It's a pleasure to witness Buick elevating and transforming the brand and tricking it out to make it more competitive, attractive and suitable for emerging car buyers. This semi-luxury handsome, compact package is perfectly geared for thoughtful consumers who look at their style of life and quality of life when making their purchase. This is an attractive option for that demographic.
Stay tuned for a detailed TV episode on the Buick Encore GX on "She Drives" with Woodie Lesesne in the coming week.
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