Back in February, we reported the 2022 Chevy Trax was set to lose its available front-folding front passenger seat. Now, in a not-so-surprising turn of events, GM has also pulled this available option from the order books for the 2022 Buick Encore, GM Authority can confirm.
Just as on the Chevy Trax, the flat-folding front passenger seat in the Buick Encore was standard equipment in the subcompact crossover, but the vehicle could also be ordered without it. The feature essentially extended the surface area of the flat load floor, allowing users to load longer items (up to eight-feet long, in fact) into the vehicle. The absence of the flat-folding front passenger seat will likely go unnoticed by many buyers, but some might miss the ability to fold the front passenger seat flat in the Encore.
In place of the flat-folding front passenger seat will be a traditional non-folding front passenger seat, which will also come with a seatback map pocket. The flat-folding front passenger seat in the Encore did not have a seatback map pocket, instead using a different design with more protective plastic for loading items, so 2022 Buick Encore buyers will at least gain an extra storage pocket out of this rather ineffectual change.
The 2022 Buick Encore will also drop the base trim level from the lineup, leaving only the Preferred trim. The subcompact crossover also received a new engine for late in the 2021 model year cycle, with the turbocharged 1.4L I4 LE2 gasoline engine, rated at 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, replacing the previous turbo 1.4L I4 LUV motor. A replacement for the current first-gen Buick Encore is currently being developed by GM and will likely have much in common with the GEM-based Buick Encore model that is already on sale in China.