2022 Buick Encore GX

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
June 30, 2021

Buying tip

The Encore GX Select blends value and equipment best, for about $27,000.

features & specs

AWD 4-Door Essence
AWD 4-Door Preferred
AWD 4-Door Select
MPG
26 city / 29 hwy
MPG
26 city / 29 hwy
MPG
26 city / 29 hwy
MSRP
$30,400
MSRP
$26,200
MSRP
$27,600

The 2022 Buick Encore GX slips into a small premium crossover niche with turbo-3 power and good infotainment.

What kind of car is the 2022 Buick Encore GX? What does it compare to?

The Encore GX five-seat crossover blends hatchback utility, crossover-SUV traction, and a layer of premium trim that’s more than a thin veneer. It’s bigger and better than the Encore still sold in Buick showrooms, but trust us: The GX is the Encore you want to sit through. Rivals include the Audi Q3, Volvo XC40, and the Lexus UX.

Is the 2022 Buick Encore GX a good car?

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Sold in Preferred, Select, and Essence editions, the 2022 Encore GX scores a TCC Rating of 6.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Buick Encore GX?

Just some paint colors. Otherwise, the Encore GX still sits at the nexus between small crossover-SUV and hatchback, wearing a handsome body styled with better proportions and more slimming body trim than its outdated namesake. It’s attractive on the inside, too, with a wing-like dash and upholstered dash trim that surround an 8.0-inch touchscreen.

Buick fits a 1.2-liter turbo-3 to the base Encore GX, but for a few hundred dollars more it installs a slightly more powerful 155-hp, 1.3-liter turbo-3. Pick it with front-wheel drive and a CVT, and the Encore GX scoots through traffic with the right mix of energy and refinement. Select all-wheel drive and traction improves, while a 9-speed automatic takes over shifting duties. You won’t be going off-road very far in it, but the Encore GX handles rocky and dusty city streets well, and can handle a curve or two to boot. 

Rated a five-seater, we’d peg the Encore GX at four adults and their stuff. It’s good for more than 50 cubic feet of cargo with just two people on board, and can tote eight-foot-long objects (a ladder, a garden trellis, flat-pack bookcases) with a folded-down front passenger seat. It can stop short of an accident, too, thanks to standard automatic emergency braking—but if the worst should happen, the NHTSA says its crash protection earns five stars. 

How much does the 2022 Buick Encore GX cost?

Pricing for 2022 isn’t out yet, but it won’t veer far from last year’s base of about $26,000. Spend a little more on the turbo-3 engine and the Select trim and you’ll get 18-inch wheels, a power driver seat, blind-spot monitors, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The top-end Essence rises to more than $37,000; that’s too much.

Where is the 2022 Buick Encore GX made?

In South Korea.

6

2022 Buick Encore GX

Styling

It’s an efficient hatchback, but the Encore GX has style.

Is the Buick Encore GX a good-looking car?

The Encore GX has an appealing shape, with the curves to correct the impression that it’s all about utility. It’s stylish enough to gain a point for its exterior, for a 6 here. 

The appealing shape starts with slim LED headlights that frame a broad wing-like grille. They lead into body sides with a trio of deeply sculpted lines that shear some visual weight from the car, and tease its body upward to the rear end. It’s not strikingly different in concept from the older Encore, but it’s entirely more successful, especially in the way Buick doles out splines of metallic trim and blacks out the roof on some editions to make a leaner, more handsome shape.

The wing-like grille echoes in the Encore GX dash. It’s trimmed in basic versions with basic plastic and cloth, but more expensive models get metallic-look trim and dash panels with brown or black cloth or synthetic leather. An 8.0-inch touchscreen lays back too far to be easily read, and the Encore GX has some hard plastic trim on its dash and doors, but in all it’s more deserving of the premium label than the car it superseded. (Which is still on sale, right over there, keep your voice down.)

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5

2022 Buick Encore GX

Performance

The Encore GX charges 3-cylinders with its power needs.

With its turbo-3 engines, the Encore GX has amiably quick acceleration and responsive steering. It earns a 5 for performance.

Is the Buick Encore GX 4WD?

Those with the larger engine can be fitted with all-wheel drive; otherwise, the Encore GX is front-wheel drive.

How fast is the Buick Encore GX?

It’s not very quick, but it’s enough. Buick sells a base version with a 137-hp 1.2-liter turbo-3, but hasn’t offered one for a test drive. It’s sold only with front-wheel drive and a CVT—but it doesn’t weigh much less or have that much less power to make a big difference from its slightly more expensive sibling.

The optional 1.3-liter turbo-3 costs under $500 as an upgrade, and it’s an easy choice. With 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, it’s also teamed with a CVT in front-wheel-drive versions; when it’s fitted with all-wheel drive, it gets a 9-speed automatic. We like it with the CVT, where it makes excellent use of its low-end torque for a 0-60 mph time of about eight seconds. The engine’s muted by plenty of sound deadening, and the CVT even allows the driver to flick through imaginary gears (since CVTs use pulleys and belts, they don’t have actual gears).

The Encore GX can tow up to 1,000 lb, and weighs from 3,025 to 3,273 lb. 

Buick rightly puts its weight down in favor of ride quality. The Encore GX absorbs the gaps in city streets well, and settles into a mostly calm lope on interstates. It even grips in corners with good steering precision, outshining the older Encore, though the steering itself doesn’t relay much information about the road surface. Where the Encore GX could be improved is in suspension noise; it thunks over bumps while its tires cope with steel patches and potholes in the road.

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5

2022 Buick Encore GX

Comfort & Quality

The Encore GX has narrow seats, but decent cargo room.

We give the Encore GX credit for its ample cargo space, but deduct that point for seats with narrow cushions, for a 5 here.

The Encore GX has a wheelbase of 102.2 inches and sits 171.4 inches long; it’s about the size of an old Honda Element. It’s bigger than the Encore Buick still sells, by a couple of inches in length.

We haven’t driven a base model, which has manually adjusted front seats. In the Essence, power seats with leather upholstery have good travel to accommodate small and tall drivers. The seats have narrow bottom cushions, though, and feel too slim and flat for bigger drivers.

The GX offsets that with a deep console and a bin for smartphones.

In back, two adults will fit well thanks to big door openings, a high seat, and good knee room. There’s a place for a third passenger, but they should be on the small side, and should only get the invite for short trips. With good shaping to the seat itself, the Encore GX feels much more comfortable than the older carryover Encore.

The Encore GX sports 23.5 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats, which expands to 50.2 cubic feet when the rear seatbacks fold down. That’s not much less than the larger, more expensive Buick Envision—and the GX’s front passenger seatback folds flat to carry objects up to about eight feet long.

With lots of plush materials and sound deadening, at least in the Essence trim, the Encore GX looks and sounds suitably upscale.

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7

2022 Buick Encore GX

Safety

The IIHS has yet to rate the Encore GX.

How safe is the Buick Encore GX?

We give it a 7, with a point above the median for its NHTSA five-star rating and one for standard automatic emergency braking. The IIHS hasn’t tested one yet, though.

All Encore GXs also have LED headlights, automatic high beams, and active lane control.

Some models can be fitted with automatic park assist, a rear camera mirror, a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and front and rear parking sensors. We’d pay extra for them, since the Encore GX’s outward vision is just OK, especially toward the rear.

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7

2022 Buick Encore GX

Features

Buick’s infotainment picks up a point, as does its standard features list.

The Encore GX has a savvy infotainment system and lots of standard features, but its warranty and options list come off thin. We give it a 7 for features.

At about $26,000, the Encore GX Preferred with the smaller engine and front-wheel drive has 18-inch wheels, keyless start, cloth and synthetic leather seats, power features, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Which Buick Encore GX should I buy?

We’d move up to the Encore GX Select with the bigger engine. For about $28,000 it gains heated front seats, blind-spot monitors, remote start, satellite radio, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. 

How much is a fully loaded Buick Encore GX?

The Encore GX Essence starts at about $32,500. It has a power front passenger seat and leather upholstery. It can be fitted with a panoramic sunroof, Bose premium audio, a hands-free power tailgate, a surround-view camera system, and wireless smartphone charging; with a head-up display and adaptive cruise control, it can cost more than $37,000. 

Buick’s average warranty covers the car for 3 years/36,000 miles.

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6

2022 Buick Encore GX

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy’s a good reason to pick the Encore GX.

Is the Buick Encore good on gas?

It’s very good, with all models rated at more than 30 mpg highway, for a score of 6 here.

Base versions with the 1.2-liter turbo-3 earn EPA ratings of 29 mpg city, 31 highway, 30 combined. The uprated 1.3-liter engine sits at 29/32/30 mpg with front-wheel drive; with all-wheel drive, it’s 26/29/27 mpg.

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$24,200
MSRP based on FWD 4-Door Preferred
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6.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety 7
Features 7
Fuel Economy 6
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2022 Buick Encore GX Pricing Insights

  • 2022 Encore GX arriving; 2021s still in stock
  • Lease: From $219/mo
  • Rebates: Up to $2,000 off 2021s; $1,750 off 2022s
  • Finance: From 0% APR
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