2020 Buick Encore GX: Buick’s Baby Gets a Brother

Contrary to previous reports, the Buick Encore will not be replaced by a slightly larger, China-sourced crossover. Instead, Buick plans to supplement the subcompact Encore’s healthy sales by slotting a new model alongside it: the Encore GX.

Appearing early next year for the 2020 model year, the Buick Encore GX fills the space between the Encore and the compact Envision. Expect its price to bridge the gap, too.

Buick didn’t go deep into specs in its announcement; rather, the division claims the Encore GX firms up Buick’s presence in the division’s buyers seek out the most: subcompact, compact, and midsize. We’re talking crossovers, of course — after putting the LaCrosse sedan out to pasture earlier this year, Buick’s lineup now contains just a single passenger car nameplate. Ninety percent of the brand’s U.S. volume comes from utility vehicles.

“As we look to the future of Buick, the Encore GX positions us strongly as a consideration for those who want to purchase small or compact SUVs,” said Duncan Aldred, global vice president of the Buick and GMC brands.

The automaker claims the Encore GX ups the Encore’s cargo volume by 5 cubic feet, placing it just 3 cubes shy of the Envision’s rear storage space. Convenience and safety features stand to impress buyers, as Buick plans to offer a host of content as standard kit. Among those items is front pedestrian braking, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, and lane keep assist with lane departure warning. The rear camera mirror found in the larger Enclave shows up here, too, along with a high-def surround camera system. Both are available options.

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Other dimensions, as well as power specs, will have to wait until closer to its launch. Car and Driver reports that the Encore GX will boast more power than the basic Encore, suggesting that the optional second-generation 1.4-liter turbo dropped from the Encore lineup for 2020 will find a home here. That mill makes 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, compared to the Encore’s 138 hp and 148 lb-ft.

An automatic transmission will send the four-banger’s power to either the front or all four wheels. As the provided photos show, the Encore GX’s cabin improves on its smaller sibling’s interior, with the dash lending a sense of width to the still-small vehicle.

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Again, the Encore GX lands on these shores early next year. The basic Encore is also due for a revamp before too long, but it won’t be the Encore that just bowed in China. That model ditches the current-gen model’s Gamma II platform for GM’s Global Emerging Markets (GEM) architecture, a platform developed with overseas buyers in mind.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC

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