2021 Buick Encore GX vs 2021 Volvo XC40

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  • 2021 Buick Encore GX

    A black 2021 Buick Encore GX Select is angled left.

    Starting at


    2021 Volvo XC40

    A black 2021 Volvo XC40 T6 Inscription is angled right.

    Starting at


    30 / 32Fuel Economy (city/hwy mpg)23 / 32
    39.7Front Headroom (in)39
    FWD / AWDAvailable DrivetrainFWD / AWD

    When it comes to finding a luxury SUV, automakers like Buick are revolutionizing the market by proving that you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get behind the wheel of a sleek and sophisticated ride. Does this sound too good to be true? While some might argue that Buick’s affordability comes at the cost of quality when compared to automakers like Volvo, that isn’t the case at all. Comparing the 2021 Buick Encore GX vs the 2021 Volvo XC40 proves that you can enjoy the comforts and conveniences of a luxury SUV without sacrificing affordability.

    The 2021 Encore GX is a testament that times are changing in the automotive industry. Luxury and affordability are no longer mutually exclusive. You can, in essence, have your cake and eat it too. This means that you don’t have to skip the leather seats, technology package, and advanced safety and driver-assist features to stay within your budget, at least not when you shop for a luxury SUV like the 2021 Encore GX.

  • Trims

    A white 2021 Buick Encore GX ST is shown parked in front of a modern building after winning the 2021 Buick Encore GX vs 2021 Volvo XC40 comparison.

    Priced starting at $24,200,* the 2021 Buick Encore GX proves that you don’t have to spend a lot to get behind the wheel of a luxury SUV that’s packed with features. The Encore GX’s affordability is especially significant compared to the higher-priced 2021 Volvo XC40 that offers a price range starting at $33,700.* This noticeable difference in pricing begs the question, “What’s the better value SUV?”

    The Encore GX

    The Encore GX comes out the clear winner thanks to its exceptional suite of features that start with the Preferred base model. Starting at $24,200,* the Preferred sits on 18-inch aluminum wheels and offers an exceptionally quiet ride thanks to Buick’s QuietTuning technology. This adds to the SUV’s comfort by giving the driver and passengers a ride that blocks the noises of the road and the world outside. The Preferred sets the stage for connectivity and safety thanks to the 8-inch Buick Infotainment System and the Buick Driver Confidence suite of safety and driver-assist tools. Buick allows you to seamlessly sync your smartphone with the vehicle using the wireless Android Auto or Apple CarPlay integration.

    These features carry over to the Select trim, which starts at $25,800* and includes a few more conveniences like remote vehicle start, automatic dual-zone climate control, and heated front seats. The model also includes advanced safety and driver-assist tools like Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert to give you more confidence behind the wheel.

    The Encore GX Essence is the top trim in the GX lineup, but you wouldn’t guess as much from its affordable starting price of $28,600.* This modest price increase adds leather seating and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel. Buick also adds LED headlamps and taillamps to the Essence, as well as an air ionizer to ensure the air is always clean inside the cabin. You can also charge your devices using a 120-volt outlet in the center console.

    The Volvo XC40

    Like the Encore GX, the Volvo XC40 offers three trims, all of which are more expensive than the GX. The XC40 Momentum starts the lineup at $33,700* and sits on a dynamic chassis with 18-inch five-spoke silver alloy wheels. The interior is outfitted in leather upholstery and offers a tech-friendly cockpit courtesy of a 12.3-inch digital driver display and a high-performance sound system. The model also includes a Lane Keeping Aid to ensure the Momentum stays centered in its lane at highway speeds.

    The XC40 R-Design, which starts at $38,950,* delivers a sportier and more responsive experience behind the wheel thanks to its sport chassis and larger, 19-inch five-double spoke matt black diamond-cut alloy wheels. You’ll find the same driver display and sound system as the Momentum with noticeable upgrades to the interior like Nappa leather and Nubuck upholstery with Cutting Edge Decor inlays.

    The XC40 Inscription starts at $39,450* and mirrors the Momentum with only a slight difference in wheels, with the Inscription sitting on 18-inch six-spoke black diamond-cut alloy wheels for a more sophisticated look. While this is a good array of trims, the higher price points for similar features mean that the Buick Encore outshines the more expensive Volvo XC40.

  • Safety

    A close up shows the mirror and blind spot monitoring icon on a 2021 Buick Encore GX.

    The Encore GX takes the lead over the Volvo XC40 when it comes to pricing and value, but how will it fare in the category of safety? The GX shines once again thanks to the Buick Driver Confidence suite that equips the SUV with integral safety and driver-assist tools that are designed to keep you safe while you’re behind the wheel. So, what’s included in the suite?

    Safety in the Encore GX

    The Buick Driver Confidence suite enhances your visibility and minimizes the potential for collisions, whether you’re navigating traffic in the city or cruising down the highway. The suite includes Automatic Emergency Braking that can enhance your braking or bring the GX to a complete stop in the event of a collision. The IntelliBeam Auto High Beam Assist improves visibility while Front Pedestrian Braking keeps an eye out for pedestrians ahead of the SUV and works in tandem with the Forward Collision Alert. The Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning tool works to keep the SUV safely in its lane.

    If you’re looking for even more safety tools, you’ll love the GX’s available upgrades. Rear Cross Traffic Alert warns you of traffic behind the vehicle when you’re in reverse, while High Definition Surround Vision uses multiple cameras to give you a clear view around the vehicle when operating at low speeds. You can also take advantage of the Automatic Parking Assist with Braking tool, which takes the guesswork out of parking by steering and braking the vehicle into a parallel or perpendicular space. Adaptive Cruise Control is also a great feature that monitors the SUV’s distance from the traffic ahead to adjust the speed accordingly.

    Safety in the Volvo XC40

    Volvo's Assisted Safety suite of features is similar, albeit more costly than Buick's Driver Confidence, thanks to the XC40’s higher sticker price. The XC40 is equipped with four high-definition cameras that give you a clear view around the vehicle, which is great for navigating busy areas. The SUV is also equipped with intelligent driver-assist technology that alerts you to potential front and rear collisions. For example, the technology can detect other vehicles, pedestrians, and large animals in the front path of the SUV day or night, while the cross-traffic alert tool detects obstacles behind the SUV. You can also use the blind spot information system with steer assist to confidently change lanes on a busy highway.

    So, while the Volvo XC40 offers similar features to Buick, they come at more of a premium. With Buick, you get exceptional safety features at an excellent price.

  • Technology

    The infotainment screen and backup camera view is shown in a 2021 Buick Encore GX.

    The Technology of the Buick Encore GX

    When it comes to value and technology, the Encore GX earns its place in the luxury class of SUVs. For its price, the GX offers an exceptional suite of technology features that extend beyond the XC40. Buick designed the GX to deliver a personalized driving experience that puts everything at your fingertips through the Buick Infotainment System and touchscreen display. By seamlessly syncing your smartphone with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, your media is within reach on the full-color touchscreen display that houses your favorite smartphone apps as well as a variety of in-vehicle apps like Alexa Built-In and Marketplace. This means that you can add items to your Amazon shopping list, play your favorite music, listen to a podcast, make dinner reservations, or blaze a new route with the touch of a button or a simple voice command.

    Aside from its wireless smartphone charging station, you can also enjoy the Encore GX’s available rear camera mirror. If you need a clearer view behind the SUV, you can switch from the traditional rear-view mirror to the rear camera mirror with the touch of a button. The rear camera mirror allows you to customize the view using brightness and zoom controls as well as a vertical tilt adjustment.

    The Technology of the Volvo XC40

    The XC40’s technology suite isn’t as extensive as the GX, but it’s still impressive. Also equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, you can sync your smartphone and gain access to your messages, maps, and more. The SUV boasts a dedicated smartphone storage space that serves as a wireless charging station which, like the GX, eliminates the need for charging cables. You can also take advantage of the Volvo On Call app, which is similar to Buick Connected Services that allows you to control certain features from an app on your smartphone. Again, these features are similar to Buick but not necessarily worth the extra cost.

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