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2021 Buick Encore GX Essence – FWD

2021 Buick Encore GX Essence - FWD
2021 Buick Encore GX Essence - FWD

2021 Encore GX Essence – FWD

This week I had the opportunity to drive the 2021 Encore GX Essence. The standout features included its great handling, comfortable interior, and overall ride quality. The Encore GX shares a platform with the Chevy Blazer, starting at an MSRP of $24,200 and achieving a fuel efficiency of 30/32 MPG. It offers a good balance of efficiency, power, and nimble handling. 


Buick has refined the design of the GX, adding an extra 3 inches in length which enhances its appearance. The model I tested was in Chili Red Metallic, a stylish color choice for this vehicle. The GX boasts sharp body lines, a sleek stance, and eye-catching styling. 


The Whisper Beige interior color complements the Chili Red Metallic exterior well but would also look nice with various color combinations. The panoramic moonroof provides an excellent view for all passengers and creates a feeling of spaciousness inside. 

The Encore GX offers over 50 cu. ft. of maximum cargo space with the rear seats folded, including a convenient reconfigurable cargo area floor that increases cargo height by 2.7 inches.

I appreciated the shifter and heated steering wheel, particularly useful in colder weather. The 8″ diagonal Buick Infotainment System with Navigation from the advanced technology package stood out to me. 

Engine / Powertrain

The 2021 Buick Encore GX Essence is equipped with the ECOTEC 1.2L Turbo engine and Continuous Variable Transmission as standard. My test model featured the ECOTEC 1.3L Turbo engine paired with the Continuous Variable Transmission.

The ECOTEC 1.3L Turbo engine delivers 155 hp @ 5600 rpm and 174 lb-ft torque @ 1600 rpm. The Encore GX achieves a fuel efficiency of 30 city/32 hwy/31 combined MPG. 

The Encore GX prioritizes efficiency over sheer power, but the acceleration exceeded my expectations for a 3-cylinder engine. 

Special Options / Package

The Advanced Technology Package in my test vehicle includes features like the 8″ diagonal Buick Infotainment System with Navigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Park Assist, HD Surround Vision, and Heads-Up Display. In my opinion, the extra cost of $1,790 for this package is worthwhile. 

Additionally, my Encore GX was equipped with the Experience Buick Package, featuring a Panoramic tilt-sliding power moonroof and 18″ Medium Android High Gloss wheels with chrome inserts. Passengers noted how the Moonroof enhanced their experience, and the 18” wheels added to the GX’s overall appeal. 


Key safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Following Distance and Indicator, and IntelliBeam® auto high-beam assist. 

The Teen Driver Feature is a unique offering, allowing customizable vehicle settings linked to a specific key fob to encourage safe driving behavior. It can restrict certain vehicle features and activate safety systems automatically if equipped. The in-vehicle report card provides feedback on driving habits to help guide new drivers. 


The 2021 Buick Encore GX Essence – FWD delivers a pleasant driving experience. The interior is inviting, and there is ample cargo space for its size. The available options can enhance the GX’s appeal, making it a compelling choice for those in the market for a compact SUV. The starting MSRP is $24,200, and the version I tested had a MSRP of $35,065. 

Explore all the features of the Buick Encore GX on the official Buick website at:

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