Future Cars

2024 Buick Encore GX Targets Female Shoppers

  • The refreshed ‘24 Encore GX has a new hood, grille, and fascia, redesigned LED lamps at the front and rear, and a new font for the Buick name. The brand’s new long-standing tri-shield badge appears for the first time.
  • The new Virtual Cockpit System places an 8-inch digital gauge cluster and an 11-inch central touchscreen behind one sheet of trapezoidal-shaped glass.
  • Buick identifies the Mazda CX-30 and Honda HR-V as rivals. Other popular small crossovers are the Subaru Crosstrek, Ford Bronco Sport, and Jeep Compass.

    When Buick killed off its Regal sedan and Regal TourX wagon in 2020, the brand was left with nothing but utility vehicles, and now there are only three of those crossovers: the small Encore GX, the midsize Envision, and the three-row Enclave.

    While the product picture might not look very rosy for Buick, the product and design teams think otherwise: The brand is growing increasingly popular with women, and its vehicles populate a sizeable niche in between mainstream and luxury brands.

    Today, Buick reveals midcycle updates for its smallest crossover, the Encore GX, which was all-new in 2019 as a 2020 model, arriving about the same time as its platform mate, the popular Chevrolet Trailblazer. The Trailblazer outsells the Encore GX about two to one, but the refresh of the current Trailblazer is coming later. Before the Encore GX, Buick sold the smaller Encore, but that vehicle was discontinued in November.

    The refreshed Encore GX has a new hood, grille, and fascia, redesigned LED lamps at the front and rear, and a new font for the Buick name. The brand’s long-standing badge consisted of three “strike marks” in the colors of red, silver, and blue, staggered in height and surrounded by a chrome ring. The new Buick logo, appearing first on this Encore GX, eliminates the chrome ring, aligns them evenly, and looks sleek and modern.

    The updated Encore GX is the first of five new or refreshed Buick models arriving over the next 18 months, and most of them will show hints of the road-hugging, futuristic Wildcat EV concept unveiled last year. The new front end of the Encore GX gets its trapezoidal grille and the leading edge above it—referred to internally as the “shark nose”— from the Wildcat.

    Previously, the trim levels for the Encore GX started with Preferred, then Select, then Essence, and a sporty ST package could be added to any of those.

    2024 Buick Encore GX Avenir trim.


    But the revised model brings a new trim walk, from Preferred (starting at just $26,895) to Sport Touring (starting at $28,095) to the range-topping Avenir, a luxury-leaning trim appearing for the first time on the Encore GX and starting at $33,195. Buick’s two larger crossovers, the Envision and Enclave, also have Avenir versions.

    The new Encore GX Avenir has more standard content than the previous Essence trim offered.

    “We’ve reordered some of our packages to be more consistent with what we think the customer would want in terms of price point—and some simplification for dealers as well,” Buick Marketing Manager Jazzy Teen says during a recent media preview.

    New Buick badge on hood of 2024 Encore GX.

    Tom Murphy

    buick logo until 2022


    Two models were displayed at the media preview at the General Motors Design Dome in Warren, Michigan: a sporty ST in Cinnabar metallic red with glossy black 19-inch alloy rims (18-inchers are standard) and a premium Avenir in a new shade of Ocean Blue with 19-inch Pearl nickel alloy wheels replacing the previously favored chrome rims.

    The biggest update inside the Encore GX is the Virtual Cockpit System (standard across all trims) that places an 8-inch digital gauge cluster and an 11-inch central touchscreen behind one sheet of trapezoidal-shaped glass, appearing to float above the fully redesigned instrument panel. A physical volume knob is positioned along the upper edge of the screen.

    Information displayed in the central screen can be swiped left to be shown in the cluster in front of the driver. The center cap on the steering wheel is new, displaying the redesigned Buick tri-shield badge. Wireless Apply CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and wireless phone charging is also available.

    2024 Buick Encore GX in ST trim.

    Tom Murphy

    While the ST interior is black, the Avenir trim is offered in lighter, more soothing shades. Upholstery starts with a mix of cloth and synthetic leather for Preferred, then steps up to leatherette in the ST trim, then full leather for Avenir. The updated ST trim, in addition to getting a flat-bottom steering wheel, also shifts from red accents to black, both inside and out.

    The three-cylinder turbocharged powertrain options carry over: the 1.2-liter engine rated at 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque and the 1.3-liter mill generating 155 hp and 174 lb-ft.

    All-wheel drive is available across all trims, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission for an estimated 27 mpg combined. Front-wheel-drive models are mated to a CVT for an estimated 30 mpg combined.

    The 1.3-liter has been more popular, and about 45% of Encore GX customers have opted for AWD, Teen says. She says that take-rate is expected to fall to about 40% for the new model, due to capacity constraints.

    Supply disruptions have eased up from the early days of the pandemic in 2020, says Sam Russell, Buick’s marketing director. In January 2022, Buick had a mere 2000 vehicles in dealer inventories across the US. A year later, dealer stocks had reached about 20,000 units. “We’re looking at a much more stable situation,” Russell says. “It’s a lot better.”

    Russell sees the Encore GX competing with other vehicles at the upper end of the mainstream market, particularly the Mazda CX-30 and Honda HR-V—both of which outsold the Encore GX handily in 2022. He also identifies near-luxury brands such as Acura, Infiniti, and Volkswagen as competitors.

    Virtual Cockpit System standard in 2024 Buick Encore GX.


    Among General Motors brands, Buick is No.1 in conquesting customers from other automakers. “So 45% of all Encore GX owners came from a non-GM vehicle,” Teen says.

    Among small crossovers, the Subaru Crosstrek, Ford Bronco Sport, and Jeep Compass are also big sellers. The Crosstrek was No.1 in 2022 with more than 155,000 sales in the US, compared with 33,348 deliveries for the Encore GX.

    Teen says Buick has connected with female shoppers, and that 54% of its customers in 2022 were women. “And the Encore GX leads that at 59%,” she says, citing the industry average of 39%.

    The 2024 Encore GX will start production next month in South Korea and will go on sale this spring. Customers can build and order a new Encore GX on Buick.com starting in May.

    Are you shopping for a small crossover, and is the 2024 Buick Encore GX on your list for consideration? Please comment below.

    Related Articles

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Back to top button