The 2024 Buick Encore GX is making waves in the subcompact SUV market with its refreshed design, competitive pricing, and an array of new features. In this comprehensive review, we will delve deep into the 2024 Buick Encore GX, exploring its specifications, performance, interior, safety features, and more. By the end of this article, you’ll have a thorough understanding of whether the Encore GX is the right choice for your next vehicle.
Buick, a brand known for its blend of luxury and affordability, introduces the 2024 Encore GX with a fresh makeover. This subcompact SUV is positioned as the smallest model in Buick’s SUV lineup and aims to attract younger buyers while providing a premium, though not quite luxury, experience. Let’s dissect what the Encore GX has to offer and whether it lives up to its ambitions.
What’s New for 2024?
The 2024 Buick Encore GX receives a significant styling overhaul, featuring sleeker exterior lighting elements, reshaped bumpers, and an updated grille. These changes give the Encore GX a more modern and attractive appearance. Inside, Buick has introduced a new 19-inch digital dashboard, comprising an 11.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and an 8.0-inch gauge display. Notably, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now included, and there’s an optional wireless smartphone charging pad. The lineup has also seen the addition of the Sport Touring and Avenir trims, each offering unique features and finishes.
Pricing and Trim Levels
The 2024 Buick Encore GX is priced competitively, starting at $26,895. Here are the available trim levels and their starting prices:
- Preferred: $26,895
- Sport Touring: $28,095
- Avenir: $33,195
Compared to luxury SUVs like the BMW X1 or the Mercedes-Benz GLA250, the Encore GX may not stand out, but it holds its own against mainstream rivals such as the Honda HR-V and Toyota Corolla Cross. For a balanced blend of style and affordability, the mid-range Sport Touring trim is recommended.
Engine and Performance
The Encore GX offers a choice between two turbocharged three-cylinder engines. The base engine is a 1.2-liter, producing 137 horsepower, while an optional 1.3-liter unit boosts it to 155 horsepower. The transmission differs depending on the drivetrain, with front-wheel-drive models equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and all-wheel-drive variants featuring a nine-speed automatic.
Acceleration times may not be the Encore GX’s forte, with the larger 1.3-liter engine taking 8.8 seconds to reach 60 mph. However, it feels peppier in city driving, thanks to its low-end grunt. The ride quality is comfortable, but it’s worth noting that the Encore GX prioritizes comfort over sporty handling.
Fuel efficiency is a significant consideration for subcompact SUV buyers, and the Encore GX offers respectable ratings. The larger 1.3-liter engine achieves up to 31 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive and the CVT. Even in real-world testing, it managed to surpass its EPA estimate, achieving 30 mpg on a 75-mph highway route. Opting for all-wheel drive with the 1.3-liter engine and nine-speed automatic still provides a commendable highway rating of 29 mpg.
Interior and Comfort
Buick’s positioning in the market straddles the line between luxury and mainstream, and this is reflected in the Encore GX’s interior. While it offers more equipment compared to base-level rivals, it doesn’t quite reach the level of fit and finish you’d find in luxury brands like Audi or BMW. The front-passenger seat can fold flat to accommodate longer items, and cargo space is adequate for its class.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Encore GX features a sleek infotainment system with an 11.0-inch touchscreen that is both responsive and intuitive. A separate 8.0-inch screen serves as the driver’s gauge display. Notably, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, along with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, keeping you connected on the go.
Safety is a priority for Buick, and the Encore GX offers a range of standard driver-assistance technologies, including automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist. An available rearview camera mirror and 360-degree camera system enhance visibility. For detailed crash-test results, you can refer to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Warranty and Maintenance
The Encore GX comes with warranty coverage similar to mainstream rivals, with a limited warranty covering three years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty covering five years or 60,000 miles. However, it falls short when compared to luxury competitors like the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40, which offer free maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles.
For those who crave the technical details, here’s a glimpse of the specifications for the 2024 Buick Encore GX Avenir:
- Price (Base/As Tested): $34,795/$39,580
- Engine: Turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-3
- Power: 155 horsepower, 174 lb-ft of torque
- Transmission: 9-speed automatic
- Dimensions: Wheelbase 102.2 inches, Length 171.4 inches, Width 71.4 inches, Height 64.1 inches
- Passenger Volume: 50/42 cubic feet (front/rear)
- Cargo Volume: 50 cubic feet behind front seats, 24 cubic feet behind rear seats
- Curb Weight: 3,384 pounds
- Performance: 0-60 mph in 8.8 seconds, 1/4-mile in 16.9 seconds
The 2024 Buick Encore GX offers a compelling package for those in search of a subcompact SUV with a balance of affordability and features. While it may not reach the heights of luxury brands, it provides a comfortable ride, competitive fuel economy, and a modern infotainment system. For those looking for a well-rounded choice in the subcompact SUV segment, the Encore GX deserves serious consideration.
In summary, the Encore GX may not be the most thrilling option on the market, but it caters to a specific niche of buyers who prioritize comfort, affordability, and a touch of luxury. It’s a crossover at a crossroads, aimed at those who want a bit more from their vehicle without breaking the bank.