Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2024 Buick Encore GX ST parked outside a building.

Which Buick Is Right for You: The Encore GX or Envista?

Finding the right SUV is not always easy—you have a lot of options to choose from, so narrowing them down can be tricky. It helps to work with a dealership that puts your needs first, but it also helps to limit your options a bit so you can focus on models that will work well for you. If you’ve decided on a Buick, then you’ve done the hard part already since your options are now nicely narrowed down to some of the finest SUVs on the road. Now you have to simply decide which option is right for you, which can still be a bit demanding since Buick delivers four vehicles to choose from.

I’m not surprised if the 2024 Buick Encore GX already caught your eye because it’s a very nice subcompact SUV with a lot to offer. That being said, it’s hard to deny the appeal of the all-new Buick Envista, a compact model that’s more accessible to a wider range of budgets. And since this is the first time the Envista has ever been available, it’s an even more appealing option that brings a lot of new features to the road. But Buick hasn’t rested on its laurels with the Encore GX either: it’s been refreshed and updated for the 2024 model year. So let’s take a look at these two SUVs, see what each of them has to offer, and get a sense of which one might be right for you.

Get to Know the 2024 Buick Encore GX

As I said, the vehicle is a subcompact SUV and the smallest model in Buick’s modern lineup, so if you’re looking for something that can fit into just about the most downsized of lifestyles, then this is a good pick. Updated for the 2024 model year, it looks better than ever, with refreshed front-end styling inspired by Buick’s Wildcat EV concept—this is the new guiding style for their vehicles. It has a new grille design and LED headlamps. A 1.2L engine with 137 hp is standard, though there’s a 1.3L engine available that offers 155 hp; both engines come with a continuously variable transmission.

One thing worth noting is that front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard on all models, but a model with the 1.3L engine can come with all-wheel drive (AWD) and a nine-speed automatic transmission—they’re not offered with the 1.2L standard engine. The Encore GX has two rows of seating inside for up to five passengers, and it’s quite spacious despite its subcompact design. You’ll find about 23 cu.ft. of rear cargo capacity, with up to 50 cu.ft. of total cargo space inside if you put the rear seats down. Every model comes with the Buick Driver Confidence package that includes a Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, and more.

Trim Levels for the Encore GX

To get a better sense of what you can get with the Encore GX, it helps to look at each of the three trim levels offered by Buick. These are:

  • Preferred – The starting model, the Preferred, comes with the 1.2L engine standard and has the 1.3L engine available. It has 18-inch Bright Silver wheels, with body-color bumpers, and a standard front grille. Inside, it features Buick’s new Virtual Cockpit system with an 11-inch infotainment display and an 8-inch Driver Information Center, giving you large screens to see everything you need.
  • Sport Touring – The Sport Touring comes with the 1.3L engine standard, as does the Avenir, and has some unique exterior details. You get 18-inch gloss Black wheels and a high gloss Black Sport Touring grille on the front of this model, along with silver-painted bumper inserts. LED tail lamps round out the look of this model, while a flat-bottom steering wheel speaks to its sporty looks and feel.
  • Avenir – The pinnacle trim from Buick; this is the first time an Avenir model has been available for the Encore GX. It features 19-inch Premium Pearl Nickel wheels with a Black Ice Avenir front grille, plus LED clear lens tail lamps. Inside, you’ll find dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and more. If luxury’s what you’re looking for, then you should go with the Avenir.

As you can see, each trim level has its own features that make it a great fit for a wide range of drivers, depending on what you’re looking for in your next SUV.

A red 2024 Buick Envista ST parked in a desert.

Take a Look at the 2024 Buick Envista

All-new for 2024, the Envista is the latest addition to Buick’s SUV lineup and an interesting option that brings some unique style and features to the road. This is a compact SUV, which means it’s in a larger class than the Encore GX, but due to its sedan-like design that fully adopts Buick’s Wildcat EV concept, it has less room inside. It comes with the same 1.2L 137-hp engine that is standard with the Encore GX; it’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, but the 1.3L engine isn’t available. This means that you can only get FWD with this model, so keep that in mind when considering which SUV is right for you.

Due to its sporty, sedan-inspired design, the Envista has less room inside than the Encore GX: just over 20 cu.ft. of rear cargo capacity and 42 cu.ft. of total cargo volume behind the front seats. This is still a two-row model with seating for up to five passengers, however, so you get plenty of space for the people you want to bring along with you. The Buick Driver Confidence package is also standard, which means you get a Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with a Lane Departure Warning, and much more on any model.

What About Envista Trim Levels?

You’ll find the same three trim levels (in name, at least) available for the Envista, which makes it easy to understand the design intent and concept behind each. Let’s see what they offer:

  • Preferred – The standard model comes with 17-inch Bright Silver wheels and a MacPherson strut front suspension for optimal comfort. It has Black body side moldings, heated and power-adjustable side mirrors with body-color caps, and LED front and tail lamps. Inside of the Envista Preferred we find the Virtual Cockpit system with its 11-inch infotainment display and 8.0-inch Driver Information Center, plus cloth seating with leatherette trim.
  • Sport Touring – Moving up to the Sport Touring, we find a lot of stylistic touches and details similar to what you get with the Encore GX. Here, we have 18-inch Black wheels along with gloss Black body side moldings and side mirror caps for an added touch of sophistication. Inside, you get leatherette seating with a wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel that’s perfect for its sporty feel.
  • Avenir – Once again, the Avenir model takes things further with 19-inch Premium Pearl Nickel wheels—the Envista Avenir also gets a Watts Link system rear suspension for a sturdier and more comfortable ride. You get heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and power-adjustable front seats with perforated, leather-appointed seating. A wireless charging pad, power rear liftgate, and more tech features round out what the Avenir brings to the road.

As you can see, there are many similarities in what these trims bring to the Envista compared to the Encore GX, which makes it easy to see what Buick offers and pick the right SUV.

A front angle shot of a blue 2024 Buick Encore GX Avenir parked on a driveway.

Which Buick SUV Is Right for You?

For the most part, your decision here will come down to the size of the SUV that you’re looking for. If you want a compact model, then the Envista is the way to go, but if you prefer a smaller, subcompact option, choose the Encore GX. And yet—you’ll get more cargo space inside the Encore GX, so keep that in mind when considering your options. It also has a more-powerful engine available and, perhaps more importantly, AWD; if you do a lot of driving on dirt and gravel roads, or you’re worried about traction in rough weather, then this is an important option to consider. Finally, note that a larger Buick Envision will give you more cargo space inside, while the three-row Buick Enclave offers additional seating for more passengers. These considerations can guide your decision and help ensure you get the right Buick SUV with features that work for you.