Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A blue 2024 Buick Encore GX is shown parked on a driveway after visiting a Buick dealer.

Which Buick SUV Is Right for You?

The Buick lineup might not have as many models to choose from as some other brands, but what it lacks in breadth, it makes up for in depth. From the SUVs available, Buick has gone above and beyond to deliver great vehicles that can elevate your driving experience each day. Two of the most impressive models you’ll find at your favorite Buick dealer are the Encore GX and the Envista.

Each of these has been designed to meet different needs, though they’re both terrific examples of modern SUV engineering and design. Let’s have a closer look at these two models to see what they offer and how they’re different from each other, and then get a sense of which one might be right for you.

The 2024 Buick Encore GX: Revamped and Stylish

To start with, let’s talk about the Buick Encore GX and everything it has to offer. This is a subcompact SUV, which makes it the smallest option in Buick’s lineup and a fantastic choice if you’re looking for something to fit into a modest lifestyle. Even if you’re not worried about space in your garage, the Encore GX is a terrific choice for navigating crowded city streets and being able to easily find a parking spot.

For the 2024 model year, Buick has updated and revised the Encore GX with new exterior styling and fantastic details inside and out. You have two engines to choose from here: a 1.2L Turbo with 137 hp or a 1.3L Turbo with 155 hp; both come with a continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive. The 1.3L Turbo is available with a nine-speed automatic and all-wheel drive if you prefer; both engines provide impressive fuel economy, which is no surprise given this SUV’s small size. Despite its subcompact design, you get more than 50 cu.ft. of total cargo volume inside the Encore GX, giving you plenty of room for everything you need to bring along with you.

Inside the Encore GX, we find a gorgeously designed and richly appointed interior utilizing Buick’s new Virtual Cockpit System to surround you with advanced technology. You get an 11.0-inch infotainment display (angled toward you, the driver) with an 8.0-inch Driver Information Center screen, providing you with 19 inches of high-definition screens under one sheet of glass. Wireless phone charging is available along with a first-ever Encore GX Avenir trim that includes leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and signature Whisper Beige/Jet Black interior upholstery. Altogether, this is a fantastic model in any trim, though there’s no denying that the Avenir elevates the interior beautifully.

A blue 2024 Buick Envista Avenir is shown parked near a building.

The 2024 Buick Envista: All-New and Sophisticated

If you’re looking for something a bit larger, then you need to check out the 2024 Envista, a completely new model in the Buick lineup. This is a compact SUV with sedan-like looks and a sleek design that’s eye-catching and quite stylish, thanks to its low roof. While I wouldn’t say it revolutionizes the Buick lineup, it certainly adds a nicely updated look and creates another option if you’re interested in a Buick SUV.

There’s a single engine here: a 1.2L Turbo that delivers 137 hp and comes paired with a six-speed automatic, plus you get front-wheel drive. In terms of cargo space, you get more than 20 cu.ft. of rear cargo volume, with 42 cu.ft. of total cargo room behind the front seats. Thanks to its long overall length and wheelbase, you can fit items more than seven feet long inside the Envista by utilizing the 40/60-split folding second row. It’s a great design that nicely combines functionality with style and comfort, so you and your passengers have plenty of room to stretch out once you hit the road.

In terms of tech, you get a standard Ultrawide Infotainment Display in the Envista that’s easy to use by combining a gorgeous 11.0-inch infotainment screen with an 8.0-inch Driver Information Center. Together, these provide you with plenty of data and information that you can easily keep track of since both screens are angled toward you while you’re driving. The Buick Driver Confidence suite of advanced safety technology is standard, which includes a Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with a Lane Departure Warning, and much more. All of this comes together beautifully to create a sleek, compact SUV with great looks to go along with its innovative tech.

The Encore GX vs The Envista

So, which one of these Buick SUVs is better? Well, this isn’t that kind of comparison; they’re both great models, and the “better” one simply comes down to what you need and which is better for you. In fact, they actually have a lot in common—although you might’ve noticed some of that already.

They have the same standard engine, they both feature 19 inches of total display screens inside, and they both have the Buick Driver Confidence package standard on every trim level. Speaking of which, both of these Buicks have the same three trims available: the Preferred, Sport Touring, and Avenir. This makes it incredibly easy to check out each of them and what they have to offer and then compare them directly.

So, what makes these two SUVs different from each other? For starters, you probably noticed the Encore GX has a 1.3L Turbo engine available, which the Envista does not. You might’ve also noticed that the Encore GX has more cargo volume than the Envista; the Encore GX has about 50 cu.ft. total, while the Envista has 42 cu.ft. This is in contrast to what you’d probably expect since the former is a subcompact model, and the latter is a compact option and longer in size. The low roof and sedan-inspired design cut down on cargo space inside the Envista—plus, the Envista has a couple of inches more legroom in the front and rear.

Ultimately, I’d say these two SUVs have more in common than sets them apart. Don’t get me wrong, the factors that differentiate them undoubtedly make them different enough, but there’s a surprising amount of things that they share. Just looking at specs on a sheet, you could easily confuse the two. Once you see them side-by-side, however, the differences become a lot clearer, especially with the style and design of the Envista. In the end, these two SUVs give you a pair of great options to choose from, which creates more opportunities to ensure you get everything you’re looking for in your next SUV.

The black dash of a 2024 Buick Encore GX is shown.

Which Buick SUV Has What You Need?

That’s a great question and, at the end of the day, the most important one for you to answer; sadly, it’s also a question that I absolutely can’t answer for you. This ultimately comes down to what you’re looking for in your next SUV, and the best way to figure it out is to head to your preferred Buick dealer, see them both, and get a feel for them.

I’d suggest getting inside them, feeling out their interiors, checking out the differences in cargo space, and visualizing which will work best for you. Then, take them each for a spin; a test drive is going to be your best bet for deciding which of these is right for you. I’d suggest trying an Encore GX with its available 1.3L engine just to feel that extra bit of power, and then you can choose the Buick that has the looks, feel, and functionality that best meets your needs.