There aren’t many American luxury brands on the market, but one of the more famous ones is Buick. While it typically lags behind its foreign counterparts, Buick has made attempts to catch up. Here’s a look at how the 2021 Buick Encore GX is trying to gain on its rivals by adding a new standard feature.
Wireless smartphone integration is now standard on the 2021 Buick Encore GX
Though it’s practically expected that almost every brand-new car comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, that isn’t what’s new about the 2021 Buick Encore GX. Like many of its luxury rivals that already offer this feature as standard, the 2021 model adds wireless smartphone integration as a standard feature, MotorTrend reports.
This means that Encore GX owners won’t have to physically hook up their phones to their cars to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Instead, because the 2021 Encore GX can use those features wirelessly, owners can quickly and more easily use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This feature isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s definitely more convenient.
Buick isn’t the first, and it won’t be the last
Wireless smartphone integration has been a feature that’s become increasingly common in cars. Like most high-tech features, it was, at first, offered on the most luxurious cars. But as things got cheaper, it became more readily available for everyone else.
Buick wasn’t the first luxury brand to make wireless smartphone integration standard. In fact, more regular car brands have already begun adding it as a standard feature to their cars. For example, not that long ago, Kia announced that the K5, formerly known as the Optima, would come standard with wireless smartphone integration.
While the K5 would be the first Kia to come standard with wireless smartphone integration, Cadillac one-upped everyone when it announced all 2021 Cadillac models would come with that feature as standard. That’s likely what every other automaker will do soon, as wireless smartphone integration will probably replace the wired smartphone integration that consumers are familiar with today.
An overview of the 2021 Encore GX
Regardless, this is still a good step forward for Buick, and, as MotorTrend wrote, it wasn’t the only interior upgrade the automaker gave the 2021 Encore GX. For example, SiriusXM Satellite Radio is also standard. Furthermore, MotorTrend wrote, Buick has added adaptive cruise control as a standard feature on one of the Encore GX premium trims.
Sure, those upgrades are necessary, but they might not be enough. MotorTrend gave the 2021 Encore GX an overall score of only 6.9 out of 10, making it the 13th-best SUV in its segment. There were a couple of reasons for this low score, but one of the main issues is the price. Because it’s a luxury SUV, it has a nicer interior than most of its competitors, but that comes at a cost.
The 2021 Encore GX starts around $24,000, and while a few competitors have a similar price tag, most of the best SUVs in the subcompact segment cost significantly less. Furthermore, while the Encore GX offers a decent amount of safety features and cargo room, its engines aren’t very powerful, even for an SUV of its size. There are two engine options for the 2021 model: one that provides 137 hp and another that gets 155 hp. However, MotorTrend reported that neither is very good.