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Despite their similar names, the Encore and Encore GX are entirely different Buick SUVs riding on different platforms with different powertrains. These subcompact crossovers appeared simultaneously in the Buick lineup for a few years, but only the Encore GX remains since the company discontinued the Encore after 2022. So, which Buick SUV is the better buy on the used market? Here’s a side-by-side 2020 Buick Encore vs. 2020 Buick Encore GX comparison.

2020 Buick Encore2020 Buick Encore GX
Used Price Range$16,200–$22,400$18,700–$25,800
Trim levelsStandard, Preferred, Sport Touring, EssencePreferred, Select, Essence
Engine(s)1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder1.2-liter and 1.3-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder
Horsepower + Torque138 hp + 148 lb-ft137 hp + 162 lb-ft, 155 hp + 174 lb-ft
Transmission + Drivetrain6-speed automatic + FWD or AWDCVT + FWD, 9-speed automatic + AWD
Fuel efficiency25/30 mpg city/hwy (FWD); 24/29 mpg city/hwy (AWD) 30/32 mpg city/hwy (FWD); 26/29 mpg city/hwy (AWD)
Cargo space18.8 cubic feet, 48.4 cubic feet max23.5 cubic feet, 50.2 cubic feet max
NHTSA Safety Rating5 stars4 stars

2020 Buick Encore overview: Price, specs, and features

2020 Buick Encore exterior passenger-side view
2020 Buick Encore | Buick

The 2020 Buick Encore made its mark by offering the signature premium Buick experience at an affordable price. Used 2020 models sell for about $16,200 to $22,400, depending on trim level, mileage, condition, and other factors.

Positive attributes include a fantastic ride quality, an upscale cabin for the price, and a modern infotainment system. Unfortunately, the 2020 Encore suffers from an anemic powerplant. Its 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes only 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. The engine pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels, although all-wheel drive was optional.

Gas mileage for the 2020 Encore is solid, with an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Cargo space for this subcompact SUV is tight. It provides 18.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 48.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

As for safety, the 2020 Encore earned an overall five-star NHTSA rating. Available advanced driver-assistance systems include forward-collision warning, lane-departure alert, and blind-spot monitoring.

2020 Buick Encore GX overview: Price, specs, and features

2020 Buick Encore GX exterior driver's side view
2020 Buick Encore GX | Buick

The Encore GX expands and improves upon the Encore. Used 2020 Encore GX models can be found for about $18,700 to $25,800 — a couple thousand more than the Encore. However, the 2020 Encore GX boasts more cargo capacity and standard features than the 2020 Encore.

The base engine in the 2020 Encore GX is a 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder producing 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque — slightly less power than the Encore but higher torque. The more potent Encore GX engine is a 1.3-liter turbo-three harnessing 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. FWD was standard, while AWD was optional on the 2020 Encore GX. FWD models have a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), while AWD versions feature a nine-speed automatic.

With an estimated 26 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, the 2020 GX’s gas mileage is about the same as the 2020 Encore’s fuel economy.

As for cargo space, the GX has a larger cargo hold than its smaller sibling. According to Buick, the 2020 Encore GX has 23.5 cubic feet behind the back row and 50.2 cubic feet with that row folded flat.

Regarding safety, the 2020 Encore GX received a four-star NHTSA rating despite having more standard driver-assistance systems than the aging Encore. They include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist. In addition, adaptive cruise control was available for an upcharge.

2020 Buick Encore vs. 2020 Buick Encore GX: Driving and performance

Thanks to leisurely acceleration and uninspiring handling, neither used Buick SUV will win any performance awards. But the 2020 Buick Encore GX provides a better driving experience. That’s thanks to its higher torque and refined platform.

2020 Buick Encore vs. 2020 Buick Encore GX: Interior and tech

2020 Encore GX dashboard
2020 Buick Encore GX dashboard with head-up display | Buick

The 2020 Encore GX comes with more standard features than the 2020 Encore. The 2020 model year is the first for the GX, giving it state-of-the-art infotainment features. That includes an optional head-up display and a high-definition 360-degree camera system. In addition, the GX has a quiet cabin with more passenger space than the Encore. 

Meanwhile, the Encore is also comfortable and has an excellent infotainment system. And like the GX, it includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, a USB port, and an auxiliary input jack. Upgraded Encore trims have a seven-speaker Bose sound system.

2020 Encore vs. Encore GX: Trim levels and features

2020 Encore dashboard
2020 Buick Encore dashboard | Buick

Buick offered the 2020 Encore in four trim levels: Standard, Preferred, Sport Touring, and Essence. Meanwhile, the 2020 Encore GX provided three trims: Preferred, Select, and Essence.

For both the Encore and Encore GX, the range-topping Essence features dual-zone climate control, leather seats, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Encore has a slight edge in this category for offering the Standard base model as an option for consumers wanting a more affordable Buick SUV.

Which used Buick SUV is right for you?

Both the 2020 Buick Encore and Encore GX are good subcompact SUVs. The GX provides more cargo space, more standard features, and higher-end options like a head-up display. It also has slightly more potent powertrains and better fuel economy. However, the Encore is a safe, solid vehicle at a lower price.

If you can find used models in your price range, test-drive them to see which affordable Buick SUV you prefer. There’s no wrong choice.

Finally, regardless of which used car you choose, obtain a vehicle history report and have a trusted mechanic perform an inspection to uncover potential problems before purchasing. Also, prices may vary depending on trim level, mileage, overall condition, and location.