Buick Encore GX expected to come to the U.S. alongside the popular Encore

Longer-wheelbase model slips in between Encore and Envision

2020 Buick Encore GX for China
2020 Buick Encore GX for China / Image Credit: Buick
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When we posted on Buick unveiling the Encore GX at Auto Shanghai 2019 as a longer-wheelbase version of the Encore, we though the GX trim could supplant our local Encore. According to Automotive News, citing "sources familiar with the plans," Buick will sell both the Encore and the Encore GX here. Brand boss Duncan Aldred told Buick dealers in January to expect a new model this year, and it appears the slightly larger subcompact crossover is that product.

GM Authority reported the same news in March, the outlet saying that Buick intends to re-create in the U.S. the "model family" strategy the carmaker employs in China. Over there, our rebadged Verano sold as the first-generation Excelle, Excelle GT and Excelle GX, the GX being the wagon version of the sedan. When the Excelle trio moved a less expensive platform for the second generation, Buick introduced a Verano model in China in both sedan and Verano GS hatchback forms. AN reported that Buick is also planning a smaller three-row Enclave for China.

The Encore GX differs fundamentally from both the Chinese- and U.S.-market Encores. Our Encore, a rebadged Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, rides on the Gamma II platform. The second-generation China-market Encore rides on GM's new Global Emerging Markets (GEM) platform, an updated version of the Gamma II for regions like China and Latin America. The Encore GX rides on the Vehicle Strategy Set - Front (VSS-F) architecture. AN wasn't sure yet where our U.S.-market Encore GX will be built, but doesn't expect it to come from China.

The Encore GX here will slide into the lineup between the $23,200 Encore and $31,995 Envision. Whereas the Chinese model aims to stop hemorrhaging Encore sales in China, our version will want to expand the Encore success story. Since it went on sale in 2013, the model has posted double-digit sales increases here every year save for last year. In 2018 the model sold 93,073 units, accounting for 47 percent of brand sales. There's no reason to doubt the Encore GX will boost that number.

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