There is an old saying: the more things change, the more they stay the same. This seemingly paradoxical statement actually makes some sense if you think about it in terms of vehicles. Each year, automakers put out new versions of existing models; unless there is a complete redesign of the vehicle signaling a new generation, these new models will vary only slightly. However, sometimes you’ll have major changes without a full redesign.
These mid-generation models often are the ones that show the future direction of a nameplate—and this is certainly the case with the 2024 Buick Encore GX. While most of the features from the 2023 model have continued, Buick made enough changes to warrant a deeper dive into what they’ve modified.
Buick first introduced the Encore GX in time for the 2020 model year. This subcompact SUV came to supplant the smaller Encore model, which was discontinued after 2022. Now, Buick can focus all of its efforts on the Encore GX, giving this model its full, undivided attention. You will see this even in small details, like the fact that Buick has given the 2024 Encore GX its own logo—and right on the front of its hood.
New Styling Features
Aside from the new logo, you’ll see that the 2024 Encore GX received a new front-end design. The goal is to make this model sleeker, sportier, and more luxurious than ever; for instance, the overall shape is more aerodynamic than the 2023 model, which should reduce wind resistance. Bob Boniface, the director of Global Buick Design, remarked, “It’s inherently functional, yet the new exterior design creates a more stylish and modern persona that is unique in today’s small SUV segment.”
The front end features a pair of LED headlights with a sweeping design that Buick calls “winged.” This will not only give you intense luminosity in the darkness but will also give the Encore GX a unique look in a segment where most other models seem to be stamped out of a cookie cutter.
Buick has done a good job of carrying the aesthetics of the Encore GX’s exterior into its redesigned interior. The seats are upholstered with a soft-touch material—to increase rider comfort—and unique stitching patterns to improve the looks. Bob Boniface points out, “We wanted to uplift every aspect of the Encore GX and put the entire small SUV segment on notice.”
The biggest upgrade is in the technological features of the 2024 Encore GX. Buick has replaced the 8.0-inch touchscreen with a standard 11.0-inch infotainment system, which is complemented by an 8.0-inch driver information cluster screen. Rather than the standard flat screens, these have been angled toward the driver to provide greater ease in viewing.
This system is referred to as the Virtual Cockpit System, and it allows for over 19 inches of high-definition screens under a single sheet of glass. The 2024 Encore GX is the first Buick model to feature the Virtual Cockpit System, but it will definitely not be the last.
New Trims for the Newest Encore GX
The 2023 Encore GX offered three trims: the entry-level Preferred, the midrange Select, and the top-tier Essence; a special edition Sport Touring was also offered. The only two trims that will continue to the 2024 Encore GX are the Preferred and Sport Touring. The new top-tier trim will be the Avenir, a familiar trim but not one previously offered on this model. (For those who don’t know, the Avenir is Buick’s ultimate trim level, synonymous with luxury.)
The Encore GX Avenir features heated leather front seats with an Avenir logo embroidered into the headrests. The steering wheel is also heated and has a specialized Avenir front grille. It rides on a set of 19-inch aluminum wheels with a pearl nickel finish. Buick has also given specialized interior and exterior styling to the Avenir exclusive to this trim.
The Sport Touring joins the full lineup as its own trim, as opposed to a special edition. As its name implies, the Encore GX Sport Touring is geared more toward performance with a new flat-bottom racing-style steering wheel. The Sport Touring rides on a set of 18-inch high-gloss black painted wheels and, like the Avenir, it has its trim name stitched into the front seat headrests.
Don’t Mess With Success
There is another old saying: you don’t mess with success. This is why Buick kept so many popular features on the Encore GX. One of the most popular is the choice of two different fuel-efficient engines. Drivers of the 2024 Encore GX will have the option of either a 1.2L EcoTec Turbo I-3 gas engine or the base 1.3L EcoTec Turbo I-3 gas engine.
The former is smaller, has a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and can deliver up to 137 hp at 5,000 RPM and 162 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 RPM. It has direct fuel injection and is available only with front-wheel drive; this will help deliver exceptional fuel efficiency of 29 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. This engine comes standard on the Preferred trim of the 2024 Encore GX.
The larger 1.3L Turbo I-3 is standard on the Sport Touring and Avenir models. It also features direct fuel injection and is available with your choice of a CVT or nine-speed automatic transmission. As a result, it can provide up to 155 hp at 5,600 RPM and 174 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 RPM. It is also available with front-wheel drive for better fuel economy or all-wheel drive for improved traction. Front-wheel drive models will provide up to 29 MPG in city driving and 31 MPG on the highway, while all-wheel drive reduces fuel economy slightly to a still-impressive 26 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.
Surprising Roominess for a Subcompact SUV
Buick continues to astound critics by providing a surprisingly spacious interior in the Buick Encore GX. Just like last year’s model, the 2024 Encore GX has 94.3 cu.ft. of interior space—plenty of room for up to five passengers to sit comfortably. The designers at Buick continue to do wonders, apportioning the space between the two rows of seats on the Encore GX so that passengers will have plenty of room no matter where they’re seated. For example, the front row of the 2024 Encore GX has 40.9 inches of legroom, while passengers in the back can stretch out with 36 inches of legroom.
Unlike most other subcompact SUVs, the 2024 Buick Encore GX does not skimp when it comes to cargo space. Just like the 2023 model, the trunk on the Encore GX can hold up to 23.5 cu.ft. of cargo. If you need more space, you can simply fold down the rear row of seats to free up a total of 50.2 cu.ft. for your belongings.
As an added bonus, the 2024 Buick Encore GX can tow up to 1,000 lbs. This is a touch of might, giving you a capability many other models in its class don’t offer—hence why Buick kept some of the performance, fuel economy, and passenger space features from the 2023 model of the Encore GX.
The 2024 Encore GX Is Ready for Its Curtain Call
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only constant in life is change.” This is not unlike the paradox posed by the quote at the top of the article: the more things change, the more they stay the same.
However, when looking at the 2024 Buick Encore GX, you can comprehend these platitudes in a tangible example. Buick has chosen to make the Encore GX better for the 2024 model year without giving up the features and performance that made the Encore GX a popular subcompact SUV in the first place.
With the added luxury, infotainment, and sportiness of the 2024 Encore GX, Buick might have singlehandedly shown the right way to conduct change.