- Buick today released new details on the Encore GX, which will fit between the Encore and Envision in its lineup.
- The new crossover will feature six standard driver-assistance features and several more for buyers who are willing to pay extra.
- The GX will be available at dealerships in early 2020.
There is no gap in a carmaker's SUV lineup so small that it cannot be filled with a new model. Nissan proved this by offering both the Kicks and the Rogue Sport, a mere 3.3 inches apart in length. Now Buick is trying out the philosophy with the new Encore GX, announced in May with new details confirmed today, which fits into the space between the existing Encore and Buick's larger Envision and Enclave.
In the case of the GX, Buick may be filling an actual need: there's a nearly 16-inch gap between the little Encore and the mid-size Envision. Without specific dimensions from Buick, we can't be sure which of its siblings the GX will be closest to, but its claimed 25 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row suggests it will be roughly Envision sized; that car has 27 cubic feet of cargo space, whereas the regular Encore has only 19.
The Encore GX will come standard with six pieces of active-safety technology: forward-collision alert, automated emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beams, and a following-distance indicator. Several more assistance technologies including rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control will be available. The GX will also have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, a wireless charging pad, and the ability to pair two Bluetooth phones at one time. No word yet on whether a connected passenger will be able to override the driver's music preferences.
The Encore GX will fit in nicely with the rest of its family, with design that's firmly in the Buick dialect. A wide stance, wide grille, and bold LED headlights mark the front end. Drivers in search of a little more drama might prefer the ST model, which will have a black mesh grille with red accents, body-color molding, and trim-exclusive wheels.
Practicality also seems to have been a priority when designing the GX. The rear seats and front passenger seat all fold flat. The two-level cargo hold can be adjusted to allow for extra storage space or to create a flat load floor. Inside, the design is functional and can be lightly luxurious, with available leather-trimmed seats and heated steering wheel. Sound-deadening glass and triple-sealed doors should help minimize road noise. The Encore GX will come with a choice of turbocharged three-cylinders, a 1.2-liter and a 155-hp 1.3-liter. All front-wheel-drive GXs will have a CVT, but all-wheel drive models will all have the 1.3-liter engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The Encore GX will go on sale in early 2020. We expect pricing to start around $27,000.
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