Have you ever purchased a vehicle that was within your budget, yet this, unfortunately, meant that any shred of luxury had to be omitted? It’s not entirely uncommon – in fact, when it comes to a wide range of the most popular vehicle manufacturers, luxury and performance are reserved for those who pay top dollar. Other manufacturers do things a tad differently, such as Buick, and if this sounds interesting to you, then you should visit your local Buick Dealership. Why is Buick considered what many would call a masterclass in automobile design? This manufacturer doesn’t overcomplicate things; it has narrowed in on a specific market that it can focus and excel in. The market in mention is premium SUVs, and this is the only style of vehicle that Buick currently manufactures.
What if you want a comfortable and elegant yet not overtly luxurious experience, and you’re on a budget? Buick SUVs can be customized in many ways, and those who want a more luxury-focused experience will have the choice of the Avenir trims for the Envision and Enclave. Today we’ve curated an overview of the 2022 Buick lineup to give you a better understanding of what you can expect to find once you visit a Buick dealership. With that out of the way, let’s get started with the first vehicle for the day, and that’s the Encore.
The Buick Encore: Compact Luxury
The entry-level model within Buick’s lineup, the Encore is typically the first SUV that shoppers will look at. Whether this is to get an understanding of what Buick has to offer on the cheaper scale, or even for those who plan on purchasing a more expensive vehicle, this gives them a way to gauge the upgrades that they’ll be getting by comparing the two. Just because a vehicle can fit within the budgets of more drivers, that doesn’t mean that it’s not well equipped. This SUV starts at an MSRP of $24,600 and can hold five passengers. Some may worry about a lower-cost smaller SUV, but those of you should not fear. Sure, the Encore isn’t the most spacious SUV in existence, but it still offers a maximum of 48.4 cu. ft. of space when the back seats are folded down and 18.8 cu. ft. for more common scenarios.
The engine inside of the 2022 Encore is a turbocharged 1.4L I-4 that links with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and here you’ll find 155 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. While it may not be the most powerful vehicle that Buick has in its lineup, it’s certainly not bad, and its fuel-saving capabilities are also worth admiring. Front-wheel drive Encore models get EPA-estimated ratings of 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, while all-wheel drive models get 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. With a 7-inch touchscreen, its infotainment center is the smallest of the lineup, yet it is larger than the standard screen size in some competing models. Purchasing the 2022 Encore is a relatively straightforward process, thanks to the single available trim level.
The Buick Encore GX: More Space and Style
Taking the Encore model we just spoke of but tweaking it in a few ways to be a generally more exciting prospect, the Encore GX is the next vehicle in Buick’s lineup. The Encore GX has a few extra bells and whistles that simply aren’t present on the older model. The Encore GX is available in three trim levels: the Select, Preferred, and Essence. Inside of the Encore GX is a turbocharged 1.3L engine that produces the same 155 hp but 174 lb-ft of torque. Also, instead of a 6-speed automatic transmission, this model can be fitted with either a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) or 9-speed automatic.
Fuel efficiency ratings for the Encore GX are 29 mpg city and 32 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models and 26 mpg city and 29 mpg highway for all-wheel drive models. Additionally, this model allows for light towing of up to 1,000 lbs, which isn’t an option on the regular Encore. Lastly, the infotainment center inside has been upgraded to an 8-inch screen, and the cargo space has been increased to 50.2 cu. ft., with at least 23.5 cu. ft. of cargo space available at all times.
The Buick Envision: The Premium Compact SUV
The Buick Envision is the logical next step above the Encore and the Encore GX, and that’s because it offers a significant performance increase over those two and is more spacious as well. The engine inside of the Envision is a turbocharged 2.0L I-4 that is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. With 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, this engine has 47% more horsepower and 48% greater torque output than the Encore GX’s engine.
Towing capacity is also increased to 1,500 lbs, which will give drivers some extra headroom when it comes to what they can and can’t tow. Fuel ratings are impressive for the Envision as well, with EPA-estimated ratings of 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with front-wheel drive, and 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with all-wheel drive. As I mentioned, the available cargo space is increased again, this time to a maximum of 52.7 cu. ft. when the back seats are folded down and at least 25.2 cu. ft. at all times. The Envision can also be purchased in the Avenir trim, which offers extensive additions to create a more refined and luxurious experience, most notably within its interior.
The Buick Enclave: Three-Row Family Vehicle
As it stands, the Buick Enclave is the most prominent model in Buick’s lineup. This SUV has it all, but it doesn’t stop there as the associating Enclave Avenir trim raises the bar to the absolute top. The Enclave can seat seven passengers and is the only SUV that Buick produces that’s able to do so. As you may expect, this also correlates to a much more spacious cabin, and this greatly enhances the available cargo space in this SUV. There are three different cargo measurements for this vehicle, starting with the standard configuration when all seven seats are in the upright position. At this point, the Enclave will have 23.6 cu. ft., which is interestingly less than the Envision. However, if you fold down the third row, this is increased to 58 cu. ft., which is more than the maximum cargo capacity of any other Buick vehicle. Lastly, when both the back rows are folded down, the Enclave will have 97.6 cu. ft. of space, which is 85% more than the Envision’s maximum capacity and 102% more than the Encore.
The Enclave is also the most powerful vehicle in Buick’s lineup too. This is thanks to a 3.6L V6 engine that is linked with a 9-speed automatic transmission. This combo returns 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. This is quite the leap over the previous engines that we mentioned, and the large increase in horsepower helps to bring the Enclave to a 5,000 lb maximum towing capacity. With this increase in power, fuel efficiency isn’t as limited as you might initially think, with front-wheel drive models getting 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, while all-wheel drive models get 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
Something For Everyone
Overall, the Enclave and its Avenir trim are easily the most recommendable, but it’s understandably not within everyone’s budget and may offer more than some drivers want. This is why we’re thrilled to see that each available model, including the Enclave, can guarantee a fantastic price to performance ratio. In general, we suspect it’ll be the Encore and Encore GX that will suit the needs of the majority of drivers, but those looking for something more than just the basics should certainly check out the Envision or Enclave.