The Environmental Protection Agency has released its official fuel economy estimates for the 2020 Buick Encore GX, which is expected to go on sale in North America in the coming months.
The 2020 Encore GX with the base turbocharged 1.2L LIH three-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive has an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 26 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined. The 1.2-liter engine, good for 137 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, is paired with a continuously variable transmission in the Encore GX and is only available with front-wheel drive.
The crossover’s more powerful and slightly larger turbocharged 1.3L L3T three-cylinder engine, which makes 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, is actually more efficient than the entry-level 1.2L. The EPA estimates this engine will return 30 mpg city and 32 mpg highway in the front-wheel-drive 2020 Encore GX, giving it a combined rating of 31 mpg.
All-wheel-drive versions of the Encore GX will tap the 1.3L engine as well and will return 26 mpg city and 29 mpg highway for a combined rating of 27 mpg. Adding all-wheel drive also trades the CVT for a GM nine-speed automatic.
When equipped with the most efficient powertrain combination, that being the 1.3L engine with FWD, the 2020 Encore GX will cost owners about $1,250 in fuel annually, the EPA estimates. Base level 1.2L models and 1.3L models with all-wheel drive should accrue about $1,400 in fuel costs annually.
The new 1.2L and 1.3L three-cylinder engines are the first three-cylinders offered by General Motors in North America since the 2001 Geo Metro. The development of small engines has come a long way since then, with the Metro’s naturally aspirated 1.0-liter base engine making just 55 horsepower and 58 pound-feet of torque. By comparison, the new 1.3L L3T engine is nearly three times as powerful and has exactly three times as much torque.
GM’s new three-cylinder engines are built at its Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico and are then shipped to GM Korea’s Bupyeong facility in Incheon, South Korea, which is building both the 2020 Buick Encore GX and the related 2020 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Buick’s website indicates the crossover will go on sale this spring. Pricing has yet to be announced, though the Trailblazer starts at $19,995 before destination, so we imagine the Encore GX will start in the low-to-mid $20,000 range at the highest.