Buick Encore GX a Bargain Proposition?

A new Buick arrives from across the Pacific early next year, and it may be priced in a manner that relegates the hot-selling Encore to the runner-up spot.

The Encore GX, which aims to split the size difference between Encore and Envision, may be larger than its subcompact sibling, but it sheds one cylinder beneath its hood. It also doesn’t add much in the way of cost, pricing guides reveal.

According to guides seen by CarsDirect, the Encore GX starts at $25,095 after destination in entry-level Preferred trim. This gets you a front-drive vehicle powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder mated to a continuously variable transmission. Output is 137 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque.

In contrast, a base 2020 Encore starts at $24,195, or a difference of just $900. However, compare models of equal trims, and the math works out in the larger crossover’s favor. An Encore GX Preferred undercuts the Encore Preferred by $500. Move up the trim ladder to the top-flight Essence (FWD), and it’s a similar story.

At $29,495, the GX undercuts a similarly-equipped Encore by $800 and does so while offering additional cargo volume. The bigger crossover’s rear hold swallows nearly 5 additional cubic feet of junk.

As for power, the Encore soldiers on with the 1.4-liter turbocharged four found in the first-generation Chevrolet Cruze and current Sonic. It makes 138 hp and 148 lb-ft; the uplevel 1.4L, rated at 153 hp and 177 lb-ft, disappeared during the 2019 model year.

Unlike Encore buyers, GX customers can opt for a more potent engine — all-wheel-drive variants come standard with a 1.3-liter turbo three, good for 155 hp and 174 lb-ft. It’s optional in front-drive GXes in mid-level Select and Essence trims.

Buick recorded 73,905 Encore sales in the U.S. through the end of September, making it by far the most popular Buick on offer. Volume is up 6 percent, year to date. It’s easy to see how a larger Encore GX could boost Buick’s overall volume, to the detriment of the Encore — and perhaps the Envision.

The Encore GX enters dealerships in early 2020.

shared from TTAC

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