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Automakers often name cars after animals, states, and sometimes letters that seem random. But for the Buick Encore GX, the letters represent a descriptive word. The Buick Encore GX is one of GM’s newest and best-selling models. The original Buick Encore held the title until 2020, and then Encore GX’s sales surpassed it. GM halted production of the Buick Encore in the third quarter of 2022. But what does the GX stand for?

How the Buick Encore GX Changed Over its Short History

When the Buick Encore GX hit the market in 2020, critics realized it was a completely different car from the Buick Encore. It was longer, with less headroom and a roomy interior with better-balanced proportions. Reviews weren’t all positive, and its slow engine and low gas mileage were leaving testers disenchanted. Its popularity, however, would soon surprise critics.

What was so appealing? A higher level of luxury for an affordable price. It’s more refined than the BMW X1, reports GM Inside News, even if it doesn’t respond as quickly.

The Encore GX launched with three trim level options—Preferred, Select, and Essence. The Preferred trim featured a turbo 1.2 three-cylinder engine capable of 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The Select and Essence levels included an all-wheel drive option with a nine-speed automatic transmission featuring a 1.3-liter three-cylinder with 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque.

Many called the 2021 Buick Encore GX a bargain, with its tech features and luxe comfort level. Then in 2022, the Buick Encore GX made JD Power’s list of “Best SUVs of 2022” as a high-quality small SUV. Preferred, Select, and Essence trim levels continued as options.

The 2023 model doesn’t disappoint and is the most affordable new luxury SUV in the U.S. It has high safety ratings, and several safety features come as standards, such as lane keeping assist automatic emergency braking, and automatic high beams. 

The popular Select trim level received praise for its appealing options that can be bundled into its low price tag. These include Advanced Technology and Cold Weather Comfort packages, along with roof rails, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a rear armrest. 

So, what does GX stand for in Buick Encore GX?

A white 2023 Buick Encore GX parked in a driveway of a brown and white building.
2023 Buick Encore GX | Creative Commons

The meaning of the GX in the name Buick Encore GX is Grand Crossover.

The word choice, however, seems slightly confusing since the original Buick Encore and Encore GX have nothing in common except a name. And even though the GX is larger than the original Encore, “grand” might not be the best word to describe an ultra-compact SUV.

What’s Next?

Buick recently announced the 2024 Encore GX, which features an all-new look, a sophisticated interior, and a new logo. It has sleek exterior lighting, reshaped front and rear bumpers, and an updated grille. The wheels were also redesigned, and Buick’s Tri-Shield logo adorns the nose and tail.

The new Sport Touring model, replacing the mid-level Select trim, includes black aluminum wheels and a gloss-black mesh grille. The luxurious Avenir trim,  replacing the Essence trim,  features new exterior details, leather seats, an air ionizer, and a driver’s seat that adjusts in 10 positions. It is packed with luxurious features and rivals other luxury brands, including Mercedes Benz, but costs thousands less.  

Encore GX is the first Buick in North America to feature its new 19-inch Virtual Cockpit System, the largest infotainment screen in the small SUV category. It includes an 11-inch diagonal infotainment system along with an 8-inch diagonal driver cluster screen. Both are under one sheet of glass and are intuitively angled toward the driver. Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a mobile WiFi hotspot are all included. 


Experts Agree on the Best 2023 Buick Encore GX Trim