- Helping you drive happy

2024 Buick Encore GX Review: Not Quite a Wildcat, But Definitely Sharper Than Before

2024 Buick Encore GX | Photo: D.Boshouwers
  • EPA Category: Compact SUV
  • Price: 29649 $ - 36579 $
  • Warranty: 4 years / 80000 km

strong / weak points

  • Improved design
  • Good comfort, smooth ride
  • Reasonable pricing

  • Still some cheapish plastic elements
  • Fuel economy only average for such a small SUV
  • Model is a little power-challenged
Results77 %
Get the best interest rate
Derek Boshouwers

•    Auto123 reviews the 2024 Buick Encore GX.

Buick’s second-smallest SUV (counting the brand-new Envista sub-compact model) has been caught up in the wave of renewal washing over the Buick lineup in the past year, so it’s a refreshed edition now offering buyers a choice in the thinly sliced premium-but-not-quite-luxury segment.

A recent visit to Buick’s design centre in Michigan hammered the point home in no uncertain terms: for the hallowed American brand, design is at the centre of its identity.

At the same time, Buick has had a challenging time actually selling its vehicles in recent years, outside of China that is, so a full design overhaul of its lineup was clearly in order. Among the first to benefit was the Encore GX, the slightly bigger brother to the Encore small SUV, since eliminated and replaced by the all-new Envista.

The new 2024 Buick Encore GX
The new 2024 Buick Encore GX | Photo: D.Boshouwers

2024 Buick Encore GX - What’s new?

Obviously, the design is pretty much all new on the revitalized Encore GX, which also now gets its very own Avenir range-topping trim, meant to approach true luxury-car status. 

On higher trims we find new features, notably new LED taillights for the Sport Touring and Avenir models, with new 18-inch and 19-inch wheels available as options. 

Inside, the dashboard sports a new and impressive 19-inch digital display, which harbours an 8-inch gauge display on the left and an 11-inch multimedia display to its right. That feature alone goes a long way to freshening up the look and feel of the Encore GX.


2024 Buick Encore GX, front
2024 Buick Encore GX, front | Photo: D.Boshouwers

Design of the 2024 Buick Encore GX – 8/10

The updates start with the model inaugurating the new Buick logo and goes from there. The model features a new grille and new LED headlights, in line with the revised new Envision and Enclave SUVs recently introduced. In fact, to a lesser or greater extent, all of the new or renewed models in the 2024 Buick lineup are inspired by the Wildcat concept the automaker paraded around auto shows over the past couple of years.

2024 Buick Encore GX, interior
2024 Buick Encore GX, interior | Photo: D.Boshouwers

There’s a clear upgrade here in comparison with the outgoing model, notably in terms of design, quality of materials and overall refinement. We’re still not in the luxury realm, but then neither is the pricing (see below). (It’s worth remembering that price-wise, the Encore GX is basically on a par with the likes of the Subaru Crosstrek and the Honda HR-V.)

The base model comes with cloth seats and leatherette trim and a pretty good roster of standard equipment and goodies, for example wireless smartphone connections and heated front seats and steering wheel.

Cargo space is decent at 665 litres, or 1,280 litres with the seats. As a point of comparison, Subaru’s Crosstrek offers 564 litres of space, Mazda’s CX-30 572; Honda’s HR-V beats it though at 691 litres.


2024 Buick Encore GX, front grille, headlight
2024 Buick Encore GX, front grille, headlight | Photo: D.Boshouwers

Powertrain of the 2024 Buick Encore GX - 7.5/10

The offer includes just the one powertrain, featuring a 1.3L 3-cylinder turbocharged engine delivering 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can opt for a front-wheel drive configuration (which entails a CVT transmission), or all-wheel-drive, in which case power is handled via a 9-speed auto transmission.

Pricing of the 2024 Buick Encore GX – 8/10

The offering for 2024 includes three trims, and pricing for each is as follows:

  • - 2024 Encore GX Preferred (FWD) - $29,649 CAD
  • - 2024 Encore GX Preferred (AWD) - $31,649
  • - 2024 Encore GX Sport Touring - $33,299
  • - 2024 Encore GX Avenir - $36,579

Freight and destination fees add up to $2,000, although that can differ slightly depending on the province.

2024 Buick Encore GX, three-quarters rear
2024 Buick Encore GX, three-quarters rear | Photo: D.Boshouwers

Driving the 2024 Buick Encore GX – 7/10

This vehicle may not be the best choice for those who will be eating up highway kilometres throughout the year. The Encore GX can handle that perfectly well, but fact remains it makes do with a small engine and it’s a snug affair for families.

Where this model shines is in the city and suburbs, where its modest dimensions allow it to let its nimble flag fly, helped by light-as-air steering and a turbo engine that’s peppy and, most importantly, provides excellent low-end torque - especially when combined with the able 9-speed auto transmission. That said, some might find the vehicle a little under-powered.

As befits a Buick, the ride is both comfortable and quiet, Buick having opted for sound-reducing materials wherever possible along with what it calls Quiet Tuning technology to keep road noise at bay. Braking is effective as well, another sign that while Buick is clearly hard at work trying to draw in younger buyers, it hasn’t forgotten the core elements that have long pleased its more traditional clientele: ride comfort, quiet, security at the wheel.

Écran multimédia de Buick Encore GX 2024
Écran multimédia de Buick Encore GX 2024 | Photo: D.Boshouwers

Fuel consumption
While it certainly displays more and better qualities than before, for a small SUV with such a small engine, I couldn’t but find its fuel economy performance… tepid. Official figures, for the model with AWD, are 9.0L/100 km (city) and 8.0L/100 km (highway). 

Our recorded average was 9.9L/100 km but skewed towards city driving, and with a late-winter snowfall to contend with.

Competitors of the 2024 Buick Encore GX

  • - Chevrolet Trailblazer
  • - Honda HR-V
  • - Hyundai Kona
  • - Kia Niro
  • - Mazda CX-30
  • - Subaru Crosstrek
  • - Toyota Corolla Cross
  • - Volkswagen Taos
2024 Buick Encore GX, new Buick logo
2024 Buick Encore GX, new Buick logo | Photo: D.Boshouwers
2024 Buick Encore GX, three-quarters front
2024 Buick Encore GX, three-quarters front | Photo: D.Boshouwers
2024 Buick Encore GX, rear
2024 Buick Encore GX, rear | Photo: D.Boshouwers
Derek Boshouwers
Derek Boshouwers
Automotive expert
  • Over 5 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 50 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 30 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists