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Buick is known as the go-to midrange vehicle brand between mass market and luxury vehicle brands. One of the most reliable American automakers, Buick used to roll out the Regal sedan, but since 2019, the company has solely focused on producing SUVs and Crossovers in North America. These include the Encore, Encore GX, Enclave, and Envision. 

If you’re a Buick fan looking for a subcompact SUV for city driving, it would be best to put the 2023 Encore GX on your short list of cars, as TrueCar ranked it the best Buick SUV. The Buick Encore GX is small, but it doesn’t seem tiny. Additionally, while it might not be the best option for someone looking to drive around a large family, it’s quite sporty and tech-forward, making it so darn fun to drive. 

Why the Encore GX is the best Buick SUV 

The Buick Encore GX’s positioning between the mainstream and luxury SUV segments leaves it without the characteristics to excel in either. At a glance, the subcompact SUV seems like the dime-a-dozen small SUVs we see on the roads, but TrueCar ranks it the best Buick SUV due to its ample cargo space and a roomy cabin that provides the comfort one would expect from a renowned carmaker like Buick.  

The 2023 Encore GX is a laid-back, quiet, and attractively priced SUV. Buick offers the GX in three trim levels: Preferred, Select, and Essence. With the Encore GX, buyers have two engine options: a base version 137-hp 1.2-liter turbocharged Inline-3 and an optional 155-hp 1.3-liter unit. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) comes as standard on the front-wheel drive (FWD) version, while the all-wheel drive (AWD) models upgrade to a nine-speed auto transmission. 

Despite its strengths, the Encore GX’s engine performance falls short of the numbers cranked out by its main rivals, such as the Mazda CX-30, which features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 191 horsepower, enough power to zoom from 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, 1.2 seconds faster than the AWD Encore GX with the larger 1.3-liter four-cylinder.

The 2023 Encore GX combines luxury and practicality

A white 2023 Buick Encore GX subcompact SUV model parked on a driveway of a luxury house near flowers
2023 Buick Encore GX | Buick

Like its siblings, Buick built the Encore GX with a high emphasis on comfort and luxury rather than driving satisfaction. Considering General Motors’ decision to discontinue the Encore in 2023, the GX remains the larger of Buick’s two subcompact SUVs. That said, shoppers can expect a high level of comfort on the road, with flawless handling that alleviates harshness. 

Because it straddles the line between mainstream and luxury brands, the Buick Encore GX features a more practical cabin with ample room for the passengers, more cargo space, and better equipment than base-level versions of its top competitors, such as the Mazda CX-30 and Nissan Kicks.  

Buick did an exceptional job in combining practicality and luxury into this SUV. The car has a luxury feel, thanks to its premium leather interior that feels and looks like a first-class cabin. Although it doesn’t offer the same level of trims and finishes as a BMW or an Audi, Buick efficiently used the available space. For example, the front-row seats can fold to facilitate the loading of longer items, and you can fit five carry-on suitcases behind the rear seats and 16 with the rear seats folded.

2023 Buick Encore GX pricing and trim level comparison

As mentioned above, Buick offers the Encore GX subcompact SUV in three trim levels, all with affordable pricing. The Preferred is the entry-level FWD trim and comes with a sticker price of $27,195, while the midrange Select has an MSRP of $28,595. The flagship trim level is the Essence, which has a price tag of $31,795. 

Nonetheless, if you are an in-market shopper looking for the Encore GX trim that offers the best value, Car and Driver recommends the Select model. It features beautiful 18-inch wheels, roof-rack side rails, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a rear-seat center armrest, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and remote start. Buyers can choose the optional AWD system, although that inflates the price of any Encore GX trim by $2,000. 

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