The market has spoken.
The Buick Encore subcompact crossover has been around since the 2013 model year and, amazingly, has changed very little since then. It quickly became the premium brand's best-seller, though it's expected to lose that title to the new Encore GX. While it's also in the same size classification, the Encore GX is all-new, pricier, and more luxurious. Buick's customer situation is nearly the same as that of the Chevy Trax and Trailblazer.
And like Chevy, Buick is currently selling both crossovers in order to appeal to more budget-focused and premium customers. Although there has been talk the regular Encore, like the Trax, will be phased out, a new report from GM Authority claims that's no longer the case.
A second-generation Encore is on the way and is probably already in a very advanced stage of development for one key reason: China. The world's biggest automotive market also sells both the Encore and Encore GX, the former is all-new for 2021 and pictured below. Riding on a new platform, called GEM, this setup was originally intended to be only for emerging markets.
At present, GM does not sell any GEM-based vehicles in North America. That's now expected to change because a GEM-based Encore would supposedly be even less expensive to build than the current model, which rides on the Gamma II architecture. Price-wise, the 2021 Encore GX begins at around $24,000 while the Encore costs slightly less.
This pricing formula is expected to continue. In fact, China's new Encore retails for 125,900 yuan, around $19,500 at current exchange rates. The Chinese market Encore won't be identical to the second-gen North American market version, but it does appear GM is making the necessary platform modifications. The report doesn't mention a potential launch date, but it's definitely not too far out.
And if a new Encore is on its way, does this also mean a second-gen Trax? It's certainly possible because Chevy attracts plenty of customers on a budget and the elimination of the Spark hatchback amplifies the need to keep these buyers from shopping elsewhere.