2020 Buick Encore GX sets the table for small crossover SUVs to come

November 19, 2019

Buick revealed more details about its 2020 Encore GX on Tuesday, ahead of the 2019 Los Angeles auto show, and months before the crossover goes on sale in the U.S.

With the Encore GX, Buick offers a larger crossover than the pint-size 2020 Encore—although it's unclear if the two will live together on Buick lots for long.

The Encore GX relies on most of what made the Encore appealing to premium crossover buyers: small footprint, tall ride height, plenty of cargo space, and a domestic badge on the front. (Even though, like the Encore before it, the Encore GX is sourced from General Motors' operations in Korea.)

Buick detailed the Encore GX's trim levels and powertrain availability, but left a few details off the table. Included in every crossover are automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, and high-beam assist. Adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, automatic parking assistance, and a surround-view camera system are available as options. 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility are baked-in to all models, but it's unclear how big the touchscreen in the Encore GX will be. Buick gave us one measurement, however: 25.3 cubic feet. That's the space behind the rear seat available for cargo, which is larger than many very small crossovers and nearly as big as the Envision, which is one size larger than the Encore GX.

Buick didn't specify what trim levels would be available on the Encore GX, but we expect Preferred, Select, and Essence trim levels. Sport Touring appearance upgrades will be available on some trims, and we expect that a 137-hp 1.2-liter turbo-3 engine will be standard on front-drive models and mated exclusively to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). An uprated 155-hp 1.3-liter turbo-3 is available on all-wheel-drive versions and is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Our partners at CarsDirect have reported that the 2020 Encore GX will cost $25,095 in base trims, which is $900 more than the 2020 Encore, but apples-to-apples versions of the Encore GX and Encore favor the new Encore GX. The GX costs anywhere from $500 to $900 less in comparably equipped models, which may not bode well for the Encore in the long run.

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