Even though the Buick Encore and the Chevy Trax were refreshed a couple of years ago, there's just not much to love about either aside from their manageable exterior size and decent driving chops. They're too small inside, and they look like 3/4ths of a vehicle. Thanks to the Chinese automotive market, it looks like we may get something much better from Buick, and it's called the Encore GX.
To give you some insight on the Encore, the little crossover fits at the bottom of Buick's crossover totem pole with the big three-row Enclave at the top, followed by the two-row Envision. The Encore rides on the same platform as its sister-vehicle, the Chevy Trax. The Encore launched in 2013 and was refreshed for the 2017 model year, adding fresh front and rear fascias and an updated interior.
The new pair (Encore and Encore GX) that bowed in Shanghai are a redesign and a new larger model with an extended wheelbase. Rumor was that the larger GX would replace the Encore, but it seems the GX will be an addition to the standard Encore.
The new Encore looks much different from the existing vehicle, as does the longer GX. The stubby look is replaced by sleeker lines and a more sloped rear glass, along with a floating roof design that's very popular on crossovers these days. Available two-tone coloring in the roof and body trim give the Encore and Encore GX a more sophisticated look. It's a marked improvement over the outgoing vehicle.
The Encore GX is a different vehicle from both the Chinese and American market Encores. The U.S. version is a rebadged Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, and the Chinese Encore rides on an updated version of the American Gamma II platform, which also sells in Latin America in addition to China. The Encore GX makes use of GM's Vehicle Strategy Set - Front (VSS-F) architecture.
Buick desperately wants the Encore to regain its foothold here in terms of sales. Since its introduction into the market as the brand's first subcompact crossover, it's seen big sales successes only to drop off in 2018. But the numbers are still impressive with double-digit sales increases year after year, except for 2018. But it still sold a whopping 93,073 units, equal to 47 percent of the brand's sales. Buick hopes the GX and the new Encore will send sales northward, which doesn't sound like a stretch.