2024 Buick Encore GX Avenir Just Wants to Fit In



The Buick Encore GX is working by means of a little bit of an identification disaster. Now in its fourth 12 months of manufacturing, the 2024 Encore GX replaces the Essence with the Avenir trim on the high of its lineup. The Avenir arrives alongside a refreshed search for Buick’s smallest SUV, whereas some new tech and nicer supplies inside assist elevate the GX above equally sized subcompact crossovers just like the Honda HR-V and Volkswagen Taos and convey it nearer to luxurious rivals such because the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40. Nonetheless, the Avenir is just not fairly certain which facet of the road it needs to toe.

Exterior, the refreshed Encore GX options slimmer headlights, reshaped entrance and rear bumpers, and an up to date grille. Moreover, the GX is the primary U.S. mannequin to function Buick’s up to date tri-shield crest, although it is comparatively simple to overlook the change from the outdated emblem if you happen to aren’t in search of it.

Buick additionally gave the GX’s inside a bunch of updates supposed to assist it transfer additional upmarket. Our top-level all-wheel-drive Avenir got here swathed in leather-based upholstery, with a heated steering wheel and an inductive charging pad am0ng the niceties. It is enticing and intuitive, and the inclusion of higher-end supplies makes for a extra nice cabin than cheaper alternate options such because the HR-V or Toyota Corolla Cross—although equal premium-brand rivals such because the Mercedes-Benz GLB-class provide a richer end for only some thousand {dollars} greater than the Buick’s $39,580 as-tested worth.

The Encore GX’s new digital show panel, which must be the centerpiece of the brand new inside, has a garish bezel that diminishes the GX’s in any other case premium really feel. The twin screens—an 11.0-inch central touchscreen and an 8.0-inch instrument show—are crisp and responsive. Buick’s native software program works effectively, and wi-fi smartphone mirroring is customary.

Small SUVs just like the Encore GX aren’t sometimes lauded for his or her sportiness, and that is true right here as effectively. The Buick’s base engine is a 137-hp turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder, and even the step-up engine choice, a turbocharged 1.3-liter three-cylinder, generates solely 155 horsepower. With the 1.3-liter choice, our take a look at automobile required a lazy 8.8 seconds to succeed in 60 mph, although that determine is 0.5 second higher than we recorded with the same powertrain in a 2020 Encore GX. That stated, stepping as much as the pricier 221-hp Mercedes GLB manages the same sprint in a far more acceptable 6.0 seconds.

Whilst you would possibly assume such a minuscule engine would have a commensurately small urge for food for gas, the GX’s powertrain struggles to redeem itself with its gasoline mileage. We measured 30 mpg in our 200-mile freeway fuel-economy take a look at. That determine beats the EPA’s 28-mpg estimate, besides, the extra highly effective Mazda CX-30 matches the Buick’s gas financial system at a comparable worth level, whereas an all-wheel-drive VW Taos beats it by 3 mpg.

Fortuitously, on a regular basis driving is not dominated by on-paper statistics, and whereas the Encore GX is actually not fast, the 1.3-liter hits peak torque at 1600 rpm, giving it sufficient low-down pep to go away stoplights with some authority, and it may possibly simply sustain with site visitors—even when the nine-speed automated transmission is sometimes sluggish to downshift. If the sound of a three-cylinder considerations you, the Buick’s engine does not increase its voice a lot. Beneath wide-open throttle, the Avenir measured a quiet 72 decibels in our testing. The significantly dearer Mercedes-Benz GLC300 emits 76 decibels in the identical take a look at. At a gradual 70 mph, the Encore GX rolls at a hushed 68 decibels.

The trip is mostly easy and comfy, if not fairly as refined as some luxurious rivals such because the Audi Q3 or aforementioned X1. Dealing with does not fairly devolve into slop, and it feels safe proper as much as its low skidpad grip of 0.81 g. Sportiness is not the flavour right here.

Regardless of its measurement, the Encore GX manages to supply spectacular practicality. We would not advocate stuffing your tallest buddies within the again seat for lengthy highway journeys, however the rear of the Buick is comfy and spacious sufficient for shorter journeys. The Encore GX actually is not constructed for schlepping main cargo, however the entrance passenger seat’s fold-flat functionality permits you to stuff in an extra-long IKEA flat-pack or a ladder. For extra versatility, the load ground will be adjusted up or down, and there is a detachable shelf within the cargo space permitting for much more storage. In our testing, we discovered there’s room for six carry-on suitcases behind the rear seats, 19 with them folded.

As a mainstream crossover, the Encore GX Avenir is quiet, comfy, and sensible. However up in opposition to equally priced competitors, the little Buick rapidly falls off the leaderboard. Bridging the hole between the mainstream and luxurious markets proves to be a troublesome ask. At almost $40,000 as-tested, the GX Avenir is priced extra like the posh automobile it needs to be, however there are too many reminders right here {that a} base Encore GX begins at $26,895. Certain, it is modified its hair and acquired some new garments, however Buick fees absolutely for it, and in consequence, the GX struggles to slot in.

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2024 Buick Encore GX Avenir

Car Sort: front-engine, entrance/all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon


Base/As Examined: $34,795/$39,580

Choices: panoramic moonroof, $1495; Avenir Know-how package deal (adaptive cruise management, assessment digicam inside mirror, surround-view digicam system, wi-fi machine charging), $1395; Avenir Comfort package deal (Bose premium audio system, hands-free energy liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, rear park help), $1295; White Frost Tricoat paint, $600


turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 12-valve inline-3, aluminum block and head, direct gas injection

Displacement: 82 in3, 1338 cm3

Energy: 155 hp @ 5600 rpm

Torque: 174 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm


9-speed automated


Suspension, F/R: struts/torsion beam
Brakes, F/R: 11.8-in vented disc/11.4-in disc

Tires: Continental ProContact TX

245/45-19 98H M+S TPC Spec 3178MS


Wheelbase: 102.2 in

Size: 171.4 in

Width: 71.4 in

Top: 64.1 in

Passenger Quantity, F/R: 50/42 ft3

Cargo Quantity, Behind F/R: 50/24 ft3

Curb Weight: 3384 lb


60 mph: 8.8 sec

1/4-Mile: 16.9 sec @ 82 mph

100 mph: 28.1 sec

Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 10.1 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 4.8 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 6.8 sec

Prime Velocity (C/D est): 120 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 176 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.81 g


Noticed: 22 mpg

75-mph Freeway Driving: 30 mpg

75-mph Freeway Vary: 390 mi


Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 27/26/28 mpg


Affiliate Information Editor

Jack Fitzgerald’s love for vehicles stems from his as but unshakable habit to System 1.
After a short stint as a detailer for an area dealership group in faculty, he knew he wanted a extra everlasting solution to drive all the brand new vehicles he couldn’t afford and determined to pursue a profession in auto writing. By hounding his faculty professors on the College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he was in a position to journey Wisconsin in search of out tales within the auto world earlier than touchdown his dream job at Automotive and Driver. His new objective is to delay the inevitable demise of his 2010 Volkswagen Golf.


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