General Motors launched a new generation of its smallest crossover. Besides the cosmetic changes, we saw more cancellations than upgrades. The carmaker is no longer offering more powerful units, but it could be only a break. On the other hand, the 2021 Buick Encore will get a larger sibling, Encore GX, which will be 6 inches longer. There are four trim levels available, and the upcoming version is bringing at least one more model.
There are differences in the US edition and the 2021 Buick Encore for the rest of the world. A 1.4-liter engine is the most powerful in the lineup, while other choices are 1.0 and 1.3 inline-three units, available both for Encore and Encore GX. The compact SUV also uses a 1.2 displacement for some markets. The new styling is attractive, but we must say the price is not so affordable, especially with a lack of advanced features for the base trim.
2021 Buick Encore Pros and Cons
The major advantage of the 2021 Buick Encore is its fresh styling. Also, the carmaker worked on comfort and the noise cancellation system is the best in the market. The first ride impressions are more than positive. Drivers are very happy with improved suspension and steering. This subcompact crossover is agile and perfect for the urban drive. Plus, a high seating position allows superb visibility.
Many safety features are optional. The base package is an underachiever. The mini SUV doesn’t have enough power for highway drive and it is still new, which means unproven resale value. The price remained the same as for the previous edition, which is a wise move by GM. Also, the 2021 Buick Encore is not among the best subcompact models when it comes to the fuel economy. While most rivals are returning 30 mpg combined, this one reaches this output only on highways.
2021 Buick Encore GX
Standard Encore is getting a bigger brother. The 2021 Buick Encore GX joins the lineup as the compact crossover. The new model is taking the spot between its smaller sibling whose name it is going to use, and a larger Envision. The GX will be 176 inches long and it will fix one of the lacks of the base Encore – interior room. The vehicle is already available in China, where it will be produced for the rest of the world. A pair of inline-three units will power the 2021 Encore GX. A 1.2-liter engine is good for 137 horsepower, and the 1.3-liter model develops 165 ponies. GM is aiming for a better fuel economy. The I3 configuration will definitely be more efficient than a larger mill.
Standard Configuration – Inline-Three Replaces Four-Banger
The new generation brought a big change. For a long time, the crossover was offering only a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Instead, the second-gen Encore brought a pair of fresh power sources. The entry-level drivetrain is now a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder mill. The EcoTec is not going to be too popular because of its low outputs. However, the fuel economy will get a huge boost. Compared to the unleaded configuration, the turbocharged version will burst more than 120 ponies. A 1.3-liter unit is the same as for the GX. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, while the larger one is probably offering the CVT in certain markets. The GX comes with a nine-speed gearbox.
2021 Buick Encore Features and Accessories
The base offer includes two trim levels. The entry model is not going to impress you, but still, there are a few notable features that might make some buyers go after the 2021 Buick Encore. For example, we would like to mention a huge center of the infotainment system, an 8-inch screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, as well as sound isolation. Upgrade the 1SV with the Preferred version, and you are getting a larger set of wheels and upgraded infotainment system.
A more serious offer comes with the 2021 Buick Encore Sport Touring crossover. The package includes a more aggressive appearance thanks to spoilers, special bumpers, and fog lights. Top of the class version, for now, is Essence. Leather upholstery is added, with heated and ventilated seats. Safety is enhanced with the blind-spot monitor. We expect news about the Avenir model. Well, this bundle is there only for the largest SUV in the lineup, Enclave. But, the success there will bring it to other classes.
The base price of the 2021 Buick Encore is $23,500. This is not too affordable for the subcompact segment. Still, upper trim levels are going to offer more features and get a price bump. The GX is a different tier and its MSRP will be above the smaller sibling. All-wheel drive costs $1,500. The company is going to update the color palette, where only one paint is free. Also, new packages with additional equipment will refresh the offer.