General Motors has officially launched the all-new Buick Encore family of crossovers in China. The two models in question are the second-generation Buick Encore and the all-new Buick Encore GX. After making their debut in April during the 2019 Auto Shanghai show, the new family of small Buick Encore crossovers goes on sale to solidify Buick’s position in its largest market.
While the two new models of the Buick Encore family will be available in China, only the Encore GX is expected to reach the United States. This is because the non-GX 2020 Encore is part of GM’s family of vehicles based on the global emerging markets architecture, otherwise known as the GEM platform, which was developed to meet the needs of developing markets.
The Encore was the first Buick SUV built in China. Now, the brand has decided to turn the Encore nameplate into a family of models to take advantage of the growing demand for small utility vehicles in that country. The undertaking is one of Buick’s strategies to satisfy various customer profiles, while at the same time increasing its commercial appeal in the world’s largest automotive market.
“The arrival of the all-new Encore and Encore GX, followed by the all-new Enclave later this year, will complement the popular Envision,” said Molly Peck, executive director of Buick for SAIC-GM. “It will give Buick a strong presence across small, compact, midsize and large SUVs in its largest market – strengthening the brand’s overall competitiveness in one of the most competitive segments,” she added.
The 2020 Buick Encore is a direct replacement for the first-generation model, featuring almost identical dimensions. Buick says that this new small SUV is aimed at the “Internet generation” or generation Z, configured as an economic utility that offers a fresh and highly customizable design.
Meanwhile, the all-new 2020 Buick Encore GX is a new addition to the Buick lineup that slots between the subcompact Encore and compact Envision as a sort of “subcompact plus” entry. It is aimed at young families of the millennial generation as a high-quality offering designed to meet the most demanding global safety standards. In addition, the Buick Encore also offers a tasteful design, greater cabin space, better dynamic performance and the latest technologies.
Both all-new Buick Encore models adopt GM’s eighth-generation Ecotec engines, which meet the latest China-6 emission standard. The Encore GX is offered only with the turbocharged 1.3L I-3 engine making 163 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the “regular” Encore is powered exclusively by the turbocharged 1.0L I-3 engine making 123 horsepower and pound-feet of torque.
The Encore GX’s 1.3T can be mated either to the GM nine-speed transmission or a CVT transmission, while the 1.0T in the regular Encore is offered exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The two new Buick Encore models are now on sale in China, with prices starting from 125,900 yen ($18,305 USD) for the Encore and 155,900 yen ($22,667 USD) for the Encore GX. The two models are covered by Buick’s new eight-year or 160,000 km SAIC-GM quality assurance guarantee for the main components, including the engine and transmission.
The Buick Encore GX will arrive in the United States and Canada in early 2020. It will be sold alongside the original, first-generation Buick Encore. Plans surrounding Mexico, the fourth and final market where the Buick brand is available, are currently unclear.