There’s nothing like luxury, which is why many drivers prefer vehicles by manufacturers who focus on both function and form. Manufacturers such as Buick can not only provide a more than comparable experience to their strongest competition but do so with even more to offer. Meet the 2022 Buick Encore GX, an SUV that takes the premise of the Encore but transforms it into a luxurious experience coupled with the latest technology, luxury features, and an efficient and performant powertrain to boot. As appealing as the Encore is, drivers who are willing to spend a bit of extra money to acquire the Encore GX are seeking something more. Nowadays, it may seem impossible to select one new SUV from the ever-growing list of competition, but Buick has made the choice easier by narrowing your choice down to one manufacturer and one SUV.
For all of their differences, the Encore GX doesn’t cost too much more than the regular Encore, making its additional features even more appealing. There are three trim levels for the Encore GX, beginning with the Select for $25,800.[a] The next two trims include the Preferred, which will be familiar to you if you’ve owned an Encore before, and the Essence, which adds leather seating, an air ionizer built into the cabin for fresher air, and leather heated steering wheel to match the seats, among other additions.
If there’s one thing you can expect with an Encore GX, it’s luxury. The first noteworthy luxury feature is the seating. Cloth comes standard, but the Essence trim swaps this out for leather. On the base Encore GX, your driver’s chair will be a 10-way power-adjustable seat with 2-way power lumbar support. Should you invest in the Essence, the front-seat passenger’s chair will be an 8-way power-adjustable seat, with the same 2-way power lumbar support to match the driver’s chair. And, if you find that perfect seating position, other vehicles don’t save the preset, meaning the next time someone else uses the seat, you’ll have to find that preferred position again. With the Encore GX, you can preset two separate position configurations, meaning if you share your vehicle with a spouse, for example, you can both have an exclusive seating profile saved on the Encore GX.
Another impressive luxury feature you’ll find on every Encore GX trim is active noise cancellation. Hearing is believing with this feature, and you’ll immediately notice it when traveling on the freeway. As you know, traveling on the freeway is anything but quiet, even when the music is turned off, and nobody is speaking. With active noise cancellation, the cabin will muffle the sound of the wind on the highway and is not too different from that of noise-canceling headphones from audio engineers such as Bose.
If you’re serious about luxury, however, then we must recommend the Experience Buick package. With this package, the roof of your Buick will now have a sizable panoramic power moonroof, which adds both extra natural light and a tremendous amount of airflow to your cabin when opened. Additionally, the Experience Buick Package also swaps out the base wheels for a set of 18” Medium Android High Gloss Wheels, lending a dash of extra flair to your SUV.
There are two available powertrain configurations for the 2022 Buick Encore GX. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.2L I-3, and the better option is a slightly larger turbocharged 1.3L I-3. Your engines will either come with a Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT) or a 9-speed automatic transmission, the latter of which predictably offers slightly lower fuel economy ratings.
With the base engine, the Encore GX produces 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Not only are the EPA-estimated ratings impressive, but the Encore GX features a stop/start system, meaning the engine will completely switch off when brought to a halt and will immediately start up again when the driver begins accelerating. When you’re driving with the base engine, you’ll get EPA-estimated ratings of 29 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway.
The stronger powertrain is also more efficient, albeit only slightly. With the turbocharged 1.3L I-3 engine, your Encore GX will produce 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, which is a respectable increase over the base powertrain. This engine also makes towing a possibility for the Encore GX–1,000 lbs of towing, to be exact, which you can’t do with the regular Encore. The same stop/start system is found on this powertrain, which helps to maintain impressive fuel efficiency. With the 1.3L I-3, the Encore GX receives EPA-estimated ratings of 29 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. However, if you switch to the AWD drivetrain, these ratings are slightly lowered to 26 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. Given the size of the Encore GX, these fuel efficiency ratings are impressive, and it’ll easily be the perfect vehicle for extensive travel or commuting.
The Encore GX is loaded with impressive technology designed to make every facet of the driving experience better than ever. Many of these features are made through partnerships with other revered companies such as Bose, Apple, and Google. Speaking of Bose, the legendary audio manufacturer lends a premium audio system to Encore GX Essence drivers if they opt for it. This audio system comprises seven speakers, and they’re distributed across the cabin in a way where every occupant of the vehicle can enjoy the same studio-quality sound as the driver. If you purchase the base trim, the Select, you’ll get a regular 6-speaker system, and the Preferred adds an amplifier to the mix. If audio quality is important to you, then you won’t want to miss out on the Bose audio system.
Partnerships with Apple and Google can be seen through the additions of Wireless Apple Carplay and Wireless Android Auto. Having the wireless implementations of the two, the Buick Encore GX outmatches many of its competitors who keep these pieces of software tethered to a USB connection. USB ports can still be found within the Buick GX if you prefer to use them, but you won’t even need to charge your phone with a wire, thanks to an available wireless charging pad. The USB ports include Type-A, the increasingly common Type-C, and an Aux input port for connecting media players. Using Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be done through the included infotainment center. Although the regular Encore sticks with a 7-inch infotainment center, the GX model replaces this with an 8-inch touchscreen. In addition to all of the included tech within the infotainment center, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot also comes standard.
Other technology within the Encore GX can be found through all of its included safety features. Many of the safety features come standard, but those who want additional features will have the choice to invest in them. Features that come standard with the Encore GX include Buick’s Teen Driver system, making it easier than ever to ensure your newly-licensed driver in the house has all of the tools they need to travel safely, many of which are remotely controlled by you. Music volume, speed limits, and more can all be set by you ahead of time, and you’ll receive a detailed report on your son or daughter’s driving performance through the mobile app on your phone.
More safety features you’ll get standard with your Encore GX will include Forward Collision Alert, which works brilliantly with Front Pedestrian Braking and Automatic Emergency Braking. The alert will do as the feature is called, it’ll alert the driver, and the braking assistance will help to alleviate any potential damage from a collision or preferably prevent it. Your Encore GX will also come standard with both Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning, greatly assisting in highway travel. Features you can opt to invest in include Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, and Automatic Parking Assist, among others. All and all, there’s an impressive number of features in the Encore GX, both standard and not.