The 2021 Buick Encore GX is a compact hatchback crossover, redesigned for 2021. It’s a companion to the prevailing Encore hatchback, however they’re not the identical vehicle.
The curvy Encore GX is extra fashionable, safer, and has a nicer cabin with extra (*32*) and improved know-how, with out being a lot greater or extra expensive. It additionally has a brand new engine, a turbo-3 as an alternative of the non-turbo 4-cylinder within the Encore.
One revolutionary new feature is Amazon Alexa compatibility, which lets customers ping the service to manage navigation, learn audiobooks, and even ship orders to a home-based gadget.
The Encore GX is 171.4 inches lengthy, with a wheelbase of 102.2 inches and width of 71.4 inches. That’s longer general than the Encore by about two inches, longer in wheelbase by 1.6 inches, and wider by about an inch.
The bottom engine is a 1.2-liter turbo-3, however for a mere $395 that may flip right into a extra highly effective 1.3-liter with 155 hp. It’s mated to a constantly variable automated transmission (CVT) with front-wheel drive, or a 9-speed automated with all-wheel drive. The GX with this engine lays down eight-second 0-60 mph occasions, adequate for a small commuter car. It rides properly, however doesn’t have a lot curiosity in twisty roads.
The EPA charges the Encore GX with the 1.2-liter turbo-3 at 28 mpg metropolis, 31 freeway, 29 mixed. With the 1.3-liter engine, it will get 30/32/31 mpg with front-wheel drive, and 26/29/28 mpg with all-wheel drive.
It hasn’t been crash-tested by the NHTSA and IIHS but, but it surely comes standard with automated emergency braking, lively lane management, and LED headlights with automated excessive beams. Elective safety gear (standard on some fashions) features a surround-view digicam system, a rear digicam mirror, adaptive cruise management, a head-up show, and parking sensors.
The 2021 Encore GX is available in three trims: Most well-liked, Choose and Essence. The Encore GX Most well-liked comes properly geared up with fabric/artificial leather-based seats, energy (*32*), an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Amazon Alexa, 6-speaker audio, keyless begin, and 18-inch wheels.
The Encore GX Choose provides blind-spot displays, heated entrance seats, satellite tv for pc radio, distant begin, and an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. For $395, it good points the 1.3-liter turbo-3 engine.
Choices embody Bose audio and a panoramic roof. Anticipate a sticker price close to $27,000.
The Encore GX Essence consists of leather-based upholstery, a heated leather-based steering wheel, and an eight-way power-adjustable passenger entrance seat. Past the Bose audio and panoramic roof, extra choices embody a hands-free energy tailgate, wi-fi smartphone charging, and a surround-view digicam system.
The Buick warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles.
The GX’s cresty, curvy physique is extra good-looking than the Encore, and wears higher particulars from its broad single-wing grille to its chrome roofline trim to its softly rounded LED taillights.
It has a extra interesting form, with three sculpted strains that carve some weight out of its doorways, whereas the beltline rises progressively to the rear finish. A rib on the rear roof pillar, and the selection of a black-painted roof, make good sense of its brief dimensions.
A Sport Touring package deal clothes it up with gloss wheels, body-colored fender arches, and a black mesh grille with purple accents.
We haven’t seen the bottom Most well-liked mannequin but, so we are able to’t say how basic the supplies are. However the Essence wears plush supplies, together with artificial leather-based upholstery and graphic trim that simulates etched steel. A lovely wing-like sprint echoes the grille, with upholstered panels in black, brown or beige. Some exhausting plastics end off the decrease sprint and unfold to the doorways.
There’s a slender heart console with a deep bin, a giant glovebox, and door pockets that may maintain water bottles. With numerous sound deadening, the cabin is quiet.
An 8.0-inch touchscreen leans away from the motive force. It’s smarter, with a clear interface that’s simpler to make use of and has good connectivity.
The Most well-liked has handbook seats. Our Essence leather-based seats have been powered, with lots of vertical journey for a commanding view of the street. However the seats are slender, too slim and flat to be snug for lengthy distances. The entrance passenger seat folds flat to make room for objects as much as 8 toes lengthy.
4 adults match properly, with good rear head and leg room, however not 5. Curiously, the rear seat cushion is extra snug than the entrance, because it tilts on the ahead edge. And the door cuts make it simple to step into the GX. The rear seats break up and fold ahead for a complete of fifty.2 cubic toes of storage.
Behind the rear seat, there’s 23.5 cubic toes for cargo, on a two-level cargo ground. A hands-free energy tailgate is non-compulsory.
The standard 1.2-liter turbo-3 engine makes 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, and comes with front-wheel drive and a CVT. For simply $395 extra you will get a 1.3-liter turbo-3 making 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque.
It’s also possible to add all-wheel drive and exchange the CVT with a 9-speed automated, for about $2,000.
The 1.3-liter engine with front-wheel drive and the CVT makes essentially the most of its modest torque, by delivering it at low rpm for fast response. Acceleration from 0-60 is about eight seconds. Due to the sound deadening within the Essence, the little engine isn’t loud underneath exhausting acceleration.
The CVT is an effective one; it acts almost invisibly, an exception amongst small automobiles. Higher but, there’s even a clicker to alter by means of simulated low gears. So in case you don’t want all-wheel drive, it’s not value the additional cash to get the accessible 9-speed automated.
The Encore GX is fairly gentle; it weighs from 3,025 to three,273 lb, and a few fashions can tow as much as 1,000 lb.
The journey is absorbent sufficient on metropolis roads, though the suspension thunks because the tires attempt to deal with potholes and metal patches. It’s principally calm at freeway speeds on first rate roads.
The GX’s gentle steering doesn’t ship a lot really feel, nonetheless it’s secure at pace on lengthy, broad curves. And the suggestions from the brake pedal is nice.
The brand new Encore GX outclasses its personal Buick cousin and makes for a beautiful city runabout. For $395, the non-compulsory engine has extra energy, torque, and better gasoline mileage—it’s a no brainer.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Automobile Connection
– 2021 Buick Encore GX –
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