EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2020 Buick Encore GX are out, the most powerful engine taking the overall trophy. The new, slighty-less-compact subcompact crossover comes with a turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder as its base engine, putting out 137 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. Available solely with front-wheel drive and with a continuously variable transmission, the powertrain gets 26 miles per gallon in the city, 30 on the highway and 28 combined.
The optional engine is a turbocharged 1.3-cylinder with 155 hp and 174 lb-ft. Mating it to the CVT in front-wheel drive guise returns the best fuel economy in the Encore/Encore GX family, being 30 city, 32 highway, 31 combined. That's spot on GM's prediction last year for combined fuel economy. Buyers who opt for the 1.3-liter with all-wheel drive — the engine costing an additional $395, the drivetrain a $2,000 upgrade — get a nine-speed automatic transmission, that combo returning 26 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg combined.
Among luxury front-wheel drive entries, the 2020 BMW X1 sDrive28i gets 27 mpg combined utilizing an eight-speed automatic, the Lexus UX 200 gets 33 mpg combined with a CVT. Among less the expensive options, the Nissan Kicks returns 33 mpg as well through a CVT, the Mazda CX-30 rated at 28 mpg combined and employing a six-speed auto.
The Encore once offered two versions of its turbocharged 1.4-liter, but is now left with the lesser-powered unit producing 138 hp and 148 lb-ft, paired with a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy with front-wheel drive is 25 city, 30 highway, 27 combined; with all-wheel drive, that shrinks by one mpg across the board to 24 city, 29 highway and 26 combined.
The Encore GX is scheduled to hit dealership sometime this spring.