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DRIVEN: 2023 Buick Encore GX AWD Essence


regfootball

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This was a new Essence AWD I think the sticker was around 38k.  Which, is a lot for this size and substance of this vehicle.

LIKES:

For what it is, which is a subcompact crossover, popular styling, very nice.  Extremely garageable and urban friendly size.

Likewise, a somewhat elegant interior.

Good seating as far as support, and nice leg room front and back.

Nice trunk space for this class of vehicle.

The Encore GX has a real armrest! (the original Encore only had the fold down one.)

Small 1.3 liter engine had more pep (or perception of) than I thought it would.

Lots of available features, rare for a crossover this size (for example this one had surround view).

DISLIKES:

Narrow cabin, I am large.....I guess its like being in a subcompact sedan, but the higher seating and cabin emphasizes the narrow feel.

Simply put, the engine is too raspy and coarse.  This vehicle should have a FOUR cylinder.  I recommend the 1.5 litre four cylinder from GM's stable.

CVT was acceptable, sort of.

 

Here’s some pseudo pictures

 

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Edited by regfootball
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Since it won't let you edit after a certain time (not sure why, that doesn't work for typing a review ) Here is the full review

 

This was a new Essence AWD I think the sticker was around 38k.  Which, is a lot for this size and substance of this vehicle.

LIKES:

For what it is, which is a subcompact crossover, popular styling, very nice.  Extremely garageable and urban friendly size.

Likewise, a somewhat elegant interior.

Good seating as far as support, and nice leg room front and back.

Nice trunk space for this class of vehicle.

The Encore GX has a real armrest! (the original Encore only had the fold down one.)

Small 1.3 liter engine had more pep (or perception of) than I thought it would.

Lots of available features, rare for a crossover this size (for example this one had surround view).

DISLIKES:

Narrow cabin, I am large.....I guess its like being in a subcompact sedan, but the higher seating and cabin emphasizes the narrow feel.  And therefore maybe feels tippy.

Simply put, the engine is too raspy and coarse.  This vehicle should have a FOUR cylinder.  I recommend the 1.5 litre four cylinder from GM's stable.

9 speed automatic was borderline unacceptable, sort of.  It really felt like it was working hard like a CVT and it was slow to shift.  Figures without enough engine powering it.  Maybe since the car is not run often it was just warming up.

Cheaper plastics inside than the rest of the Buick line.  Doesn't pull of the 'Buick is nicer inside' concept very well.

Too expensive for a raspy three cylinder.  I love how all the carmakers are doing this, further de-contenting the powertrains and size of the cars and charging an arm and a leg.  Burdensome regs are the culprit.  This crap is our automotive future.

I won't want to even try a (similar) Chevy Trailblazer after this.

SUMMARY

Nice looking, and spacious, good size for urban environments or small garages.  Not enough luxury for the Buick tag, not a good enough powertrain to be happy with at all.  If you must have only a three cylinder, go look at the new Escape. Otherwise, seek out a similar vehicle with 4 cylinders, and a little more space, for the same money.  If this were 5 grand or more cheaper across the board, then maybe its 'ok'.

----Here’s some pseudo pictures

Edited by regfootball
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