Buick Encore or Encore GX—Which 2020 Model Should You Choose?
For the model year 2020, Buick has released the all-new Encore GX—a crossover that is set to add even more depth to an already-loaded compact SUV segment. Unlike what the name would suggest, the Buick Encore GX is not a trim level of the Encore. The Encore and Encore GX are two separate models with their own sets of trim levels.
Sure, there are some similarities between the two, but there are also some significant differences that should be considered if you are trying to determine which SUV is right for you. Below, we’ve provided some information on both the 2020 Buick Encore and 2020 Buick Encore GX and highlighted some of their key distinctions.
To the casual observer, the Encore and Encore GX are quite similar in terms of all-around design and appearance. However, they are built on two different platforms. Naturally, this means that they differ in overall size. Both the Encore and Encore GX are about 64 inches tall. The Encore is roughly 70 inches wide, while the Encore GX is a hair over 71 inches wide.
The length is where these two SUVs become noticeably different in appearance. Measuring 175.7 inches long, the Encore GX is significantly longer than the Encore (168.5 inches). Furthermore, the Encore GX’s wheelbase comes in at 104 inches while the Encore’s measures about 100 inches. This extra distance between the front and rear wheels makes for a smoother riding experience and better handling, not to mention a more aggressive appearance.
Along with the dimensions, the Encore and Encore GX are distinct in their exterior stylings. Similar to recent years, the 2020 Encore sports sedan-like design with its curved front and compact, rounded grille and air intake. The Encore GX looks more like an SUV. It has more of a squared-off shape overall and a front-end that is more horizontal than it is rounded.
Set between the headlamps—which are further apart than those of the Encore—is a new grille that also plays a big part in distinguishing the Encore GX from the Encore and other vehicles. A newly-designed lower fascia and fog lights also contribute to a more aggressive appearance. Moreover, deeper character lines along the side and rear, as well as a newly-designed rear fascia and taillamps, help distinguish the Encore GX even more.
Both the 2020 Buick Encore and Encore GX provide drivers with plenty of options in regards to technology. Available in the Encore is a four-inch infotainment touchscreen, a six-way power-adjustable driver seat, and a six-speaker audio system, though you can opt for a Bose audio system. The Encore GX comes with GM’s most recent infotainment software, which has been recognized for being especially easy to use and responsive. All and all, you can’t go wrong with either of these SUVs if you want a vehicle with great technology, though the Encore GX offers more standard features.
The Encore and Encore GX also boast plenty of safety features. However, the Encore GX seems to offer more features standard in this category as well. With the Encore, you can opt for front and rear parking assist, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning. The Encore GX comes standard with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist. What’s more, you can get an HD 360-degree camera system and head-up display on the Encore GX, which go a long way in increasing visibility.
The engines on the Encore and Encore GX are quite different and can play a major role in determining which SUV is right for you. All Encore trims come with a 1.4-liter DOHC turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. This engine is matched with a six-speed transmission, and it provides plenty of power for a compact SUV.
There are two engine options for the Encore GX: an ECOTEC 1.2-liter Turbo and ECOTEC 1.3-liter Turbo. The 1.2-liter engine is good for 137 horses and is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. The 1.3-liter makes 155 ponies and comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The more powerful engine can be had with either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.
If you’re looking for a compact SUV that provides more luxury than the price tag reflects, both the 2020 Buick Encore and 2020 Buick Encore GX fit the bill. The Encore is a solid choice if you like the rounded appearance of recent Encore models and are willing to pass on a few features. However, if you are hoping for a slightly bigger, more aggressive-looking SUV with more standard features, you would do better to go with the Encore GX. Of course, the best way to see for yourself is to schedule a test drive at Liberty Buick GMC!