Buick retaliates against a growing list of competitors.
Although Buick struggled to find success with its sedan lineup, the same can't be said for its crossovers. The only remaining sedan in Buick's portfolio will soon be the Regal, though its Regal TourX wagon sibling has turned out to be the surprise hit. This is no mistake. Americans love crossovers, or a premium raised wagon in the case of the TourX. This is where Buick has found success and it continues to pour resources into this segment, the latest example being the 2020 Encore GX. But wait, isn't there already a Buick Encore? Indeed, and it's been a phenomenal sales success. However, it dates back to 2012 and despite its 2017 model year facelift, its age is showing.
Enter the 2020 Buick Encore GX, the fourth SUV crossover in the GM premium brand's lineup. It will fill the slot between the smaller Encore and larger Envision, while the Enclave remains the flagship. Aside from a similar nameplate to its smaller sibling, the all-new Encore GX rides on an all-new platform and gain more luxury and some much-needed styling attitude.
At first glance, the 2020 Buick Encore GX does resemble the Encore, but a closer examination reveals a far more provocative design. Buick's latest design language has been applied here and there are definitely elements of the Regal and Enclave factored in. Not only is the sheetmetal more curvaceous, but it also moves the model into a more upscale category. This is evidenced by additional side character lines, more pronounced wheel arches, and a front end with some attitude. Notice the larger air vents that house the fog lights and the red-accented grille.
Buick has to provide full details, but it appears the example pictured here features LED headlights. Out back LED taillights appear to be present as well, and notice how the exhausts are built into the rear bumper. This provides a sportier touch we're consistently seeing more of in compact crossovers in general. We've also included several photos of the 2019 Encore (pictured in blue) for design comparison's sake. See for yourselves just how much time and effort Buick put into the Encore GX design.
Buick has released only one image of the interior and there's definitely a Buick family resemblance. The general dashboard layout includes styling elements from the current Encore, such as around the climate controls. Generally speaking, however, the styling does not break any new ground for Buick. That's not necessarily a bad thing because Buick interiors have earned high praise over the past few years. From the looks of things, all basic controls appear to be nicely laid out and a large touchscreen is within easy reach of both driver and front seat passenger. There also appears to some additional storage in the center console.
Precise interior measurements also are not yet available, but Buick promised the Encore GX will be five cubic feet larger than the Encore, making it only three cubic feet smaller than the Envision. Seating will once again be up to five; the Encore GX will only be offered with two rows of seats.
Buick has yet to announce what's motivating the Encore GX but we have a couple of very good guesses. Chances are a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with either 138 hp or 153 hp will be the chosen engine. A six-speed automatic transmission will send power to the front wheels. All-wheel-drive will likely be optional.
Several standard safety features will include automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning. A rear camera mirror and surround-view camera system will cost extra.
Considering nearly 90 percent of US Buick sales come from SUVs, the 2020 Encore GX will no doubt be a huge success. Of course, that will depend on whether it'll be priced competitively, but Buick knows what it's doing in this regard.
Official pricing has not been announced and likely won't be until we get closer to the Encore GX's launch date in early 2020. A rough price estimate is rather simple to calculate. The 2019 Encore begins at $24,195 and the Envision at $32,990, so figure the 2020 Encore GX to base around $26,500. With appropriate pricing and packaging, the 2020 Buick Encore GX should have no problem fending off competitors such as the BMW X2 and Lexus UX.