You'll be pleasantly surprised at the generous dimensions of the Encore GX's interior and the modern sweeping design of the dashboard. Buick has made extensive use of soft-touch plastics, but we still get a cheap feeling from some of the cabin materials, despite a solid fit and finish. This interior reminds us of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, which is not a bad thing. Standard features are reasonably good, and the higher up one goes in the lineup, more premium features such as leather upholstery and even a head-up display become available. Once seated, visibility is good all-round, and the seating position of the driver is nice and high. You could certainly do worse.
There is enough space for five adults inside the Encore GX. Those in the front get good head and legroom, and despite its compact size, those in the rear can't complain much either. That is except for the middle rear passenger, who will have to endure a hard seating surface and somewhat of a squeeze. Those in the front get manually adjustable seats in the entry-level car. In contrast, mid- and top-level cars get ten-way power-adjustable driver seats and eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seats. The Encore isn't a sports car, but we would have appreciated a bit of added side bolstering, but at least the seats are comfortable, and the seating position in the front is raised for excellent forward visibility.
|Buick Encore GX Trims||Preferred||Select||Essence|
|Headroom Front Seat||39.7 in.||39.7 in.||39.7 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||38.1 in.||38.1 in.||38.1 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||40.9 in.||40.9 in.||40.9 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||36 in.||36 in.||36 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||55.4 in.||55.4 in.||55.4 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||53.6 in.||53.6 in.||53.6 in.|
|Hip Room, Front||51.9 in.||51.9 in.||51.9 in.|
|Hip Room, Rear||47.5 in.||47.5 in.||47.5 in.|
The base Encore GX is offered with your choice of Ebony upholstered seats in cloth with leatherette inserts and Ebony interior accents, or Whisper Beige with Ebony interior accents. These upholstery options also apply to the mid-level Select trim. The top of the line Essence is offered with the same color schemes but in leather and is also offered with Signet leather with Ebony interior accents. Although there is a leather-wrapped steering wheel from the base trim onwards, the overall feel of the Encore GX's interior is that of a sub-luxury car.
US car buyers in this segment of the market are first and foremost looking for practicality when buying a car, and thankfully the Encore GX offers a lot of it. Despite its diminutive size, the Encore GX still manages to provide a decent 23.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. That is enough space to fit a small disassembled coffee table from Ikea, or both your Labradors. If more dogs or Swedish furniture need transporting, the Encore GX's 60/40 split-folding seats can make way for a total of 50.2 cubic feet of space.
Small items can be stored in the large glovebox and decently-sized door pockets in the front and back. There's also a set of cupholders in the front and a large storage bin behind the gear level. There's a small pocket in front of the armrest, and the armrest itself also includes a shallow tray.
Starting with the base model, the Encore GX offers standard features such as manually adjustable front seats, two USB charging ports, single-zone climate control, a compass display, cruise control, keyless open and start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a noise control system, and a rear vision camera. All models also come standard with driver assistance features such as automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert, a following distance indicator, and auto high-beam assist. The Select adds features such as a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support and power front passenger seat, a rear center armrest, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, remote start, and a cabin humidity sensor. The top of the range Essence bolsters the list of features with an eight-way power fold-flat front passenger seat with power lumbar support, an Air Ionizer, rearview auto-dimming mirror, Leather-appointed seat trim, a heated steering wheel, an electric auxiliary heater/defroster, memory settings for seat and mirror positions, and a universal home remote. Optional extras include wireless phone charging, rear park assist, and a head-up display.
The infotainment system plays a significant role in the modern automobile, and we're glad to report that the system found inside the Encore GX is one of the best in its price range and class. All models are equipped with an eight-inch touch screen display with Bluetooth streaming audio for music and calling, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, a six-speaker sound system (with an additional amplifier in the AWD model) and a three-month all-access trial to SiriusXM satellite radio. Optional extras on the Select and Essence are a navigation system and a head-up display unit. The menu system is easy to navigate, the display is beautifully crisp, and we love how easily it connects with Amazon Alexa. The Essence also gets an optional seven-speaker Bose sound system, which sounds epic when blasting Age Of Consent by New Order.