First Drive: 2020 Buick Encore GX is at Home on the Highway

Buick's lineup gets another subcompact SUV and a second Encore

2020 Buick Encore GX Consumer Reports

Although it shares part of its name with an existing Buick SUV, the Encore GX is an entirely new vehicle. It’s slightly larger than the current, tiny Encore but smaller than the compact Envision. Designed and built mostly in Korea, the Encore GX has a starting price below $25,000 and a small footprint that can fit in tiny parking spaces.

The base model comes with a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine and front-wheel drive. Encore GX buyers who spend a little more can get all-wheel drive and a slightly more powerful three-cylinder turbo engine, plus a few splashes of luxury, including a panoramic moonroof and larger wheels. Prices top out at around $37,000.

Depending on whether buyers want more space, more sportiness, or more style, the Encore GX’s closest competitors run the gamut from the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona all the way up to the Lexus UX.

Update: Since this first drive was originally published in March 2020, we finished testing the Encore GX.

See the complete Buick Encore GX road test.

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We purchased our own Encore GX with all-wheel drive and the most popular option packages, including a panoramic moonroof, 18-inch wheels, and adaptive cruise control. And we put it through more than 50 tests at the CR Auto Test Center, including those that evaluate acceleration, braking, fuel economy, handling, car-seat fit, and controls. CR members have access to the full road-test results.

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What we bought: 2020 Buick Encore GX Select AWD
Powertrain: 155-hp, 1.3-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine; nine-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $27,790
Options: $4,450 for surround-view camera, head-up display, rear park assist, adaptive cruise control, navigation, moonroof, 18-inch wheels, power liftgate
Destination fee: $995
Total cost: $33,145

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