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Buick’s reputation for building luxury vehicles extended in 2020 when the automaker debuted the all-new Encore GX. Known as a subcompact SUV, the Encore GX was designed to give drivers more room than the smaller Encore without the higher price tag of the larger Envision. By creating a happy medium between two of the best-selling SUVs in the lineup, Buick hit the jackpot and recently debuted the newest version of the subcompact-plus SUV––the 2021 Buick Encore GX.
Offering seating for five across three trims, two powertrains, and a special Sport Touring package, the 2021 Encore GX gives drivers plenty of options to get behind the wheel of an SUV that meets their every lifestyle, budget, and driving needs. Buick also equips the 2021 Encore GX with advanced safety and driver-assist features like Adaptive Cruise Control as well as the latest in connectivity like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. This means that drivers have everything they need to travel safely and confidently at the touch of a button or with a simple voice command.
Designed for nimble handling, whether traveling at highway speeds or navigating busy city streets, the 2021 Encore GX is equipped with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. This combination delivers a healthy amount of power to the tune of 137 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 162 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm. The Encore GX’s nimble handling is even more enjoyable since drivers don’t have to refuel as often, with the Encore GX averaging 28 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway.
For drivers looking for more power under the hood, Buick offers a 1.3-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers 155 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 174 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm. Drivers can also choose between front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive Encore GX is equipped with a continuously variable transmission and has the best fuel economy average of 30 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway.
Buick’s intelligent all-wheel drive option optimizes traction and ensures the Encore GX performs its best when accelerating on a dry road, navigating slippery road conditions, or cruising through sharp corners. To maximize performance, Buick pairs the all-wheel-drive models and the 1.3-liter engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission. This pairing delivers the same horsepower and torque rating with a slightly lower fuel economy rating of 26 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway.
Designed to fit every lifestyle need, from commuting to work, hauling kids to school, and running errands in town to trekking across the country on a family vacation, the 2021 Encore GX is capable of handling it all. To ensure this, Buick gives drivers three trim options that fit a wide range of budgets and offer a progressive suite of features starting with the Preferred base model and ending with the feature-packed Essence. How do these models compare?
Sitting on 18-inch wheels, the Preferred starts at $24,200 and is equipped with only the basics. Its connectivity features are housed on the 8-in Buick Infotainment System that offers wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The interior is outfitted with Buick’s QuietTuning Technology to ensure a quiet ride while drivers also reap the benefits of the Buick Driver Confidence package, which offers a suite of driver-assist and safety features. This package includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, IntelliBeam Automatic Headlamps, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.
Next in the lineup is the Select that starts at $25,800 and builds on the Preferred’s standard suite of features. The Select is equipped with automatic dual-zone climate control as well as heated driver and front passenger seats that ensure the comfort of both the driver and passengers. Drivers can take advantage of the Select’s remote vehicle starter system, which is ideal for warming up the car during frigid winters or cooling it off during sultry summers. The Select also features advanced safety tools like Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert.
The Essence is the most luxurious in the lineup but remains affordably priced at $28,600. The Essence is equipped with the same QuietTuning Technology but adds an air ionizer that neutralizes the air inside the cabin. The model is also equipped with a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather seating, as well as LED headlamps and taillamps that increase visibility. Drivers can also take full advantage of the 120-volt outlet in the center console that ensures they can keep all their devices fully charged wherever the road takes them.
While these three trims are certainly impressive, Buick ups the ante with the 2021 Encore GX Sport Touring package that combines sophistication and luxury with athleticism and performance. The Sport Touring package, which starts at $25,795, is available on every trim and adds an exclusive suite of features like the Sport Touring mesh grille that features high-gloss black and red inserts with brushstroke accents to create a dramatic look. Drivers can also opt to add the Black Roof Package, which is available on the Chili Red Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, or White Frost Tricoat Encore GX, and equips the SUV with a black roof, black roof rails, and black exterior mirrors for an even bolder aesthetic.
Buick gives drivers everything they need to stay connected and safe when they get behind the wheel of the 2021 Encore GX. For safety, Buick equips every trim with the Buick Driver Confidence suite that includes Automatic Emergency Braking, IntelliBeam Headlamps, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. These tools are designed to prevent collisions by optimizing the driver’s visibility, driving awareness, and response time.
The IntelliBeam headlamps automatically turn on and off depending on the environment, which gives drivers optimal visibility at all times. Automatic Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Alert work together to prevent or minimize collisions. The technology alerts drivers to potential collisions and when they are following too closely. When the driver responds, Automatic Emergency Braking can enhance the driver’s braking or, if the driver fails to respond, can activate hard emergency braking to prevent or minimize the impact. The feature also works with Front Pedestrian Braking.
Beyond the Driver Confidence suite, drivers can add enhanced safety features to the Encore GX like Adaptive Cruise Control and more. These features include High Definition Surround Vision that gives drivers a clear view of the vehicle at low speeds. Rear Cross Traffic Alert is a great tool for backing out of parking space in a busy area, and Automatic Parking Assist with Braking takes the guesswork out of parking by steering the vehicle and alerting the driver when to shift gears. Of course, the driver always has the power to override the feature and resume control of the vehicle.
Beyond these innovative safety features, the Encore GX is also equipped with the latest technology to keep drivers connected to their busy lives beyond the SUV. This technology is centralized in an 8-inch color touchscreen display known as the Buick Infotainment System. The system features a suite of in-vehicle apps and Connected Navigation that delivers turn-by-turn directions to get drivers from point A to point B on the most efficient route. The Encore GX is also compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as Alexa Built-In that enables drivers to control their smart-home devices, add items to their Amazon shopping list, play music, and more with a simple voice command.
Buick also realizes that not everyone who gets behind the wheel of the Encore GX is a seasoned driver, which is why the automaker includes Teen Driver Mode. This configurable feature is designed to help young drivers learn the ropes of what it means to be a safe and responsible driver. The system gives owners the ability to create custom driving profiles, activate vehicle settings to ensure safe driving, and review in-vehicle report cards to help young drivers create the safest driving habits possible.
Drivers also reap the benefits of several other connectivity and tech features like the wireless smartphone charging pad that keeps the interior of the Encore GX free of charging cords and clutter. The Rear Camera Mirror is a great customizable tool that gives drivers a clearer and wider view behind the Encore GX and can easily be switched back to the traditional rearview mirror with the touch of a button. Additional features include an available 4G LTE Wi-FI hotspot, SiriusXM Radio, a 4.2-inch Buick Driver Information Center, and access to the Buick Marketplace.