The automaker’s SAIC-GM joint venture in China has unveiled the all-new 2024 Buick Encore Plus, which is the equivalent of the refreshed 2024 Buick Encore GX, but with a specific new powertrain setup and a name change to give the model a new impetus in the Chinese market. The removal of the ‘GX’ moniker in favor of the Plus suffix had been anticipated late last year with the leak of the Chinese-spec crossover.
While no official explanation has been given for the 2024 Buick Encore Plus’ name change in China, it has a lot to do with the arrival of the all-new Buick Envista and its impact on the brand’s compact crossover offering. It is also very appropriate to note that the Encore GX was never popular in the Chinese market due to its higher positioning and – especially – because of the notable rejection of three-cylinder engines by local customers.
In fact, the main novelty of the new 2024 Buick Encore Plus compared to the previous model and the refreshed 2024 Encore GX sold in North America is the adoption of a stronger powertrain. The 2024 Encore Plus is equipped with a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine rated at 135 kW or 181 horsepower, along with 250 Nm or 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to a continously variable automatic transmission.
In addition to slight exterior changes compared to the American-market 2024 Encore GX, such as alloy wheel designs, the 2024 Buick Encore Plus’s cabin adopts a new look with brown upholstery and a China-market-specific Virtual Cockpit System. The Encore Plus’s dual-screen module is slightly larger and consists of two 10.25-inch panels, but without the physical power button and volume control knob.
The new 2024 Buick Encore Plus was officially unveiled on August 18th in China and is expected to go on sale in the coming weeks after the official launch event in that country. It’s not yet clear what the exact positioning of the Encore Plus will be, but it’s likely that it will continue to rank above the new Envista. Units for the local market of the Asian country will continue to be manufactured at the GM Dong Yue plant.