2024 Buick Encore GX Sport Touring AWD

The 2024 Encore GX is the smallest vehicle in Buick’s crossover lineup. This subcompact SUV has attractive looks, a comfortable ride, stylish interior, lots of standard features, good gas mileage and relatively low price tag. Meh performance keeps it from being a top contender in this very competitive class, but the Encore GX still has a lot going for it.

Base Price: $28,400
As Tested: $35,170
Horsepower: 155
Mileage: 26 mpg city/28 mpg highway/27 mpg combined

The Encore GX debuted for the 2020 model year. For 2024, it gets a significant refresh with many exterior tweaks, a new 19-inch digital dashboard including an 11-inch touchscreen, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also for 2024, the Sport Touring trim replaces the Select trim, and the Avenir trim replaces the Essence trim.

The five-passenger 2024 Encore GX comes in three trims: Preferred, Sport Touring and Avenir. Starting prices are $26,895, $28,095 and $33,195. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on all trims.

Two different engines are available. A 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that makes 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque is standard. Or you can get a 1.3-liter three-cylinder that makes 155 hp and 174 pound-feet. A continuously variable transmission is standard on trims with front-wheel drive, while a nine-speed automatic is standard on trims with AWD.

The Encore GX does not have thrilling performance, but it’s easy to drive. My tester has the larger engine. Acceleration is relatively brisk with little turbo lag, but the engine can get loud when you hit the accelerator. The Encore GX is perfectly fine to drive around town, but you may wish for more oomph when speeding up for merging and passing on the freeway. Steering is light but accurate, and it’s easy to squeeze the Encore GX into tight parking spaces. The Encore GX corners well with little body roll. The nine-speed automatic can hesitate as it tries to find the right gear. The ride is mostly smooth, but you will notice larger bumps and rough roads. Visibility is limited to the rear due to the thick roof pillars.

Fuel efficiency is good for a subcompact SUV. EPA ratings for my AWD tester with the larger engine are 26 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with a combined rating of 27. I got 29 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.

When properly equipped, the Encore GX can tow up to 1,000 pounds.

The cabin is spacious and upscale, especially considering the price point. Most materials look and feel nice, although there are some hard plastics especially in the second row. Seats are comfortable and supportive. Passenger space is very generous for the class. The front seats are roomy enough for taller adults, and two average size adults will be fine in the second row.

Standard features include proximity keyless entry, cloth and synthetic leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, two-way lumbar support for the driver’s seat and front passenger seat, driver’s seat memory settings, six-way power-folding passenger seat, flat-folding passenger seat, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, eight-inch digital gauge display, infotainment system with 11-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Wi-Fi hot spot, rear center armrest, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Available features include remote start, surround-view camera system, rear camera mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, seven-speaker Bose audio system, wireless device charging, rain-sensing windshield wipers, universal garage door opener, and a moonroof.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, following-distance indicator, pedestrian detection, and Teen Driver, which lets you set audio and speed limits for secondary drivers.

Available driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, park assist, and front and rear parking sensors.

The infotainment system is new for 2024 with a large 11-inch touchscreen. Graphics look crisp and the system is easy to use. Menus are logically laid out and the system responds quickly to voice and touch commands.

Cargo space is generous for a subcompact SUV. There are 23.5 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place, and 50.2 cubes with the second row folded. The rear seats split-fold 60-40, and the front passenger seat folds flat, providing flexibility in hauling passengers and gear. A hands-free power liftgate is available.

The good:

Stylish looks

Mostly smooth ride

Lots of standard features

Generous passenger and cargo space

Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Meh performance

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $28,400. The Experience Buick package is $1,695 and includes a panoramic power moonroof, and 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels. The Comfort package is $1,295 and includes remote vehicle starter system, driver eight-way power seat with two-way power lumbar control, heated steering wheel, driver and front passenger heated seats, flat-folding front passenger seatback, and rear center armrest. The Advanced Technology package is $1,095 and includes adaptive cruise control, HD surround vision, wireless charging and rear park assist. The Bose premium speaker system is $500. Cinnabar Metallic paint is $495. The Black Roof package is $395. Destination charge is $1,295 bringing the grand total to $33,875.

Bottom line:

The 2024 Buick Encore GX has an attractive and mostly upscale cabin, generous passenger and cargo space, and plentiful standard features, all at a reasonable price. No, it doesn’t have the athletic driving dynamics of some rivals but is still worth checking out if you’re shopping for a small crossover.

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