Well, Folks.....I just ordered a new vehicle.

mmcartalk

Expert
Messages
3,811
Reaction score
2,437
Folks, please try to control the laughing at my ordering something with a three-pot engine, but yesterday, I ordered a new 2021 Buick Encore GX from my local Chevy/Buick/GMC shop. They are assembled in Korea...so the order will probably take 6 to 8 weeks, depending on when the the factory gets retooled for 2021s and operating.

1.3L turbo, AWD (with a disconnect switch for FWD when the AWD is not needed), 9-speed automatic, Burnished Bronze Metallic, two-tone black/ivory cloth/leatherette interior, Advanced-Tech-Package, Hands-Free-Liftgate, rubber interior and cargo mats.

Yes, it's a smaller, less-expensive, somewhat less-comfortable vehicle than my Lacrosse (but MUCH better-equipped with safety/convienience features), and there are reasons why I feel I need to downsize and get something more maneuverable, more versatile, easier to park, more safety features, and ready for bad weather. I don't care for the rather unrefined three-pot engine (it's generally smooth at higher speeds, but vibrates some while starting out), but I like virtually everything else on it...particularly the looks. And it is just about the right size for my everyday needs. The right front passenger-seat folds flat, so that, with the rear seat also folded, extra-long, narrow objects can be carried inside.

This is what it will look like, color-wise. I thought the Bronze exterior and Ivory interior was the sharpest color combination.

Lists for 30-31K as I ordered it....about 7-8K less than my Lacrosse did.















This would have been my second color-choice, if the Bronze was not offered....Black Currant Metallic, though I usually don't like really dark colors.

 

Sulu

Follower
Messages
355
Reaction score
546
Congratulations, Mike!

I know that you like to switch vehicles on a regular 4 or 5 year cycle, and I have been following your posts for a few years now, long enough to know that you keep to this schedule religiously. But it seems that it was only a few months ago (well, not that long ago) that you ordered your Lacrosse. Has it been 4 years already?

Enjoy the new car in good health.
 

mmcartalk

Expert
Messages
3,811
Reaction score
2,437
Congratulations, Mike!

I know that you like to switch vehicles on a regular 4 or 5 year cycle, and I have been following your posts for a few years now, long enough to know that you keep to this schedule religiously. But it seems that it was only a few months ago (well, not that long ago) that you ordered your Lacrosse. Has it been 4 years already?

Enjoy the new car in good health.

Thanks. 🙂

No, not quite four years. Hadn't planned on this, but recently, for a number of reasons, it has become more and more apparent that I need something smaller, higher-stance, and more versatile...even if it lacks the Lacrosse's ride and seat-cushiness. I didn't really need the Lacrosse per se, but I wanted another big Buick, more or less like the one I had when I was in college, many years ago (early 70s). Unfortunately, Buick quality tanked in the 1970s, and IMO they did not process competitive vehicles again until the last 7 or 8 years.
 

mmcartalk

Expert
Messages
3,811
Reaction score
2,437
Congrats Mike!!
Enjoy! Honestly, I miss those Regal TourX's already

Thanks. 🙂This is a great forum 👍......I had expected more laughs than congratulations. I myself wish it had at least one more cylinder under the hood, but, as it is, it's a great little versatile piece of transportation for my specific needs....and a lot nicer inside than most vehicles in this class.

Tragic Johnson, I agree that the Tour-X could have done better, and the main reason I can come up with why it didn't that the Outback is so firmly-established in the U.S., and commands such a high percentage of the AWD sedan-market, that it is difficult for a lot of people to really consider anything else. Even Toyota's 1Gen Venza and Honda's Crosstour had trouble competing against it. What's more, GM and Buick have sold off Opel of Europe.....all of the Regals, including the wagon, were simply rebadged Opel Insgnias imported to the U.S, so there will be no 2Gen wagon either.

By the way, it took me a long time to finally see the connection, but, with the "Johnson" in your screen name, I now see where that old picture of "The Rock" Dwayne Johnson you had as an avatar came from. I used to watch him, on WWE, years ago, until I got tired of 99% of that stuff on camera being nothing but scripted staging/entertainment, and not a real sport.
 
Last edited:

mmcartalk

Expert
Messages
3,811
Reaction score
2,437
Wasn't the UX a option?
Yes, the UX was an option. I liked its road manners and drivetrain....and the engine ran more smoothly. Its long-term reliability also bodes well. But its interior and control-layout, except for the nice NuLuxe upholstery (which is always excellent), was crap compared to the Buick's, it had a lot of thin/cheap parts in the interior and trim, the console-controls were a joke, I never was a fan of the spindle-grille, I have a long-standing attraction to the Buick nameplate, the Chevy/Buick/GMC dealership I've dealt with in the past has been excellent, and even a loaded Encore GX goes for a substantially better price.

Anyway, congrats for the new car!
Thanks. 🙂 I wasn't planing on getting a new vehicle right now, but some things have come up to convince me I needed something smaller, more maneuverable, AWD, more versatile, and higher-stance.
 

Ian Schmidt

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,938
Reaction score
3,356
Congrats! Bronze was definitely the right choice, the Encore looks better in lighter colors.
 

mmcartalk

Expert
Messages
3,811
Reaction score
2,437
Gecko said:
Congrats!


Congrats! Bronze was definitely the right choice, the Encore looks better in lighter colors.
Agreed. Normally (as I posed above), I also like purplish tinges...but not that dark, though it still would probably have been my second choice. But, IMO, you're correct....the Encore just doesn't look good in most darker colors...or the black monotone interior, which looks boring. 😒
 

mmcartalk

Expert
Messages
3,811
Reaction score
2,437
Nicely styled, outside and inside. Congrats.
Thanks, Steve. I just wish the engine was as nice as the rest of the vehicle.

I see by your signature that you have a Model 3 now. Congratulations. I test-drove one several months ago...there's a Tesla shop just a few miles from where I live. Unbelievable low-end torque...even the AWD version (with added weight and drag) will handily dust off the fastest American muscle-cars I grew up with in the late 1960s....the only possible exception might be the AC 427 Cobra. The Model 3 is definitely not a car for careless or inattentive drivers......one can get into big trouble with it (or an accident), very quickly, if they are not careful. I know, of course, that you are not in that category, but a lot of people today are.

More and more public places are getting Tesla-rechargers now. A new Wawa's (fast-food/convienence-store) open up just two blocks from me, and they have a whole row of Tesla-grade chargers in paring-spaces while their customers are inside. And one of our local shopping centers got a row of them last year.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,532
Reaction score
2,431
Congratulations on the new ride. I really like the Burnished Bronze exterior color.

By sheer coincidence, I've just learned that in about an hour I'll be getting a Buick Encore GX myself to sample for a week for the folks at Qué Auto Compro.
 

mmcartalk

Expert
Messages
3,811
Reaction score
2,437
Congratulations on the new ride. I really like the Burnished Bronze exterior color.
Thanks. I liked it, too. As Ian pointed out, this car just doesn't look good in darker colors. I thought that the bronze-orange and two-tone black/ivory interior was probably the sharpest-looking color combination....though I would have also liked a turquoise blue/green if it had been offered.



By sheer coincidence, I've just learned that in about an hour I'll be getting a Buick Encore GX myself to sample for a week for the folks at Qué Auto Compro.
Nice. 🙂 Thanks for the heads-up, and give us a little report on it when you're done....I won't have mine for at least several more weeks....possibly October. I think you'll like it except for the unrefined three-pot engine, which growls a little on starting from rest and at low speeds.

You will be surprised at, in a clear break from GM's past-marketing, how many safety and convenience features come even on the lower-priced base versions....much less the upmarket Elect and Essence version. GM has been criticized, in the past, for skimping on lower-priced models, and the Trailblazer/Encore GX was a clear attempt to address that.
 
Last edited:

Joaquin Ruhi

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,532
Reaction score
2,431
Nice. 🙂 Thanks for the heads-up, and give us a little report on it when you're done....i won't have mine for at least several more weeks....possibly October. I think you'll like it except for the unrefined three-pot engine, which growls a little on starting from rest and at low speeds.
My tester is white (with the obligatory black bodyside cladding) and black-and-ivory interior. They forgot to include a Monroney sticker, and Buick, like Hondas of yore, doesn't bother to badge the trim levels, but I'd say it's an Essence version. I base this both on the tendency of press vehicles to be the top-of-the-line variants and its rear-console 120v outlet, which is exclusive to the Essence. I'm going to guess it's the FWD variant. I didn't see any drive shaft on the rear axle.

I already took it out on a quick lunch run. I think Buick has done a great job as far as isolating and quieting the inherent roughness of the 3-cylinder engine. The uninitiated would definitely believe it's a 4-banger. Acceleration is quite acceptable. The trip computer currently reads 19.2 mpg average. This is actually quite decent given stop-and-go city and suburban driving with the A/C running full blast to keep comfortable in the humid South Florida summer (not to mention my lead-footed driving style)

GM definitely has room for improvement when it comes to the glossiness and graining of its interior padded surfaces. It's notably better than in the Chevrolet Bolt EV that I sampled a couple of months ago, but still a ways from class-leading. And the sides of the center console aren't padded. Plus, the front center armrest compartment is narrow compared to the last few cars I've sampled.

My biggest gripe, though, is the positioning of the starter button. It's smack dab behind the steering wheel's right spoke. You have to either turn it quite a bit to the right or tilt and almost duck your head and reach around to find the starter.

I wouldn't call any of that deal-killing, though. The Buick Encore GX is certainly refined and comfortable for such a small crossover.
 

mmcartalk

Expert
Messages
3,811
Reaction score
2,437
My tester is white (with the obligatory black bodyside cladding) and black-and-ivory interior. They forgot to include a Monroney sticker, and Buick, like Hondas of yore, doesn't bother to badge the trim levels, but I'd say it's an Essence version. I base this both on the tendency of press vehicles to be the top-of-the-line variants and its rear-console 120v outlet, which is exclusive to the Essence. I'm going to guess it's the FWD variant. I didn't see any drive shaft on the rear axle.

I already took it out on a quick lunch run. I think Buick has done a great job as far as isolating and quieting the inherent roughness of the 3-cylinder engine. The uninitiated would definitely believe it's a 4-banger. Acceleration is quite acceptable. The trip computer currently reads 19.2 mpg average. This is actually quite decent given stop-and-go city and suburban driving with the A/C running full blast to keep comfortable in the humid South Florida summer (not to mention my lead-footed driving style)

GM definitely has room for improvement when it comes to the glossiness and graining of its interior padded surfaces. It's notably better than in the Chevrolet Bolt EV that I sampled a couple of months ago, but still a ways from class-leading. And the sides of the center console aren't padded. Plus, the front center armrest compartment is narrow compared to the last few cars I've sampled.

My biggest gripe, though, is the positioning of the starter button. It's smack dab behind the steering wheel's right spoke. You have to either turn it quite a bit to the right or tilt and almost duck your head and reach around to find the starter.

I wouldn't call any of that deal-killing, though. The Buick Encore GX is certainly refined and comfortable for such a small crossover.
Thanks for the report. 🙂 Maybe Buick has made some running changes for 2021 on the amount of insulation from that low-speed engine growl....you could definitely hear it on the last 2020 version I test-drove.

As far as complaining about the interior surfaces, did you notice that nice polished light-gray carbon-fiber-texture strip on the upper-dash...the one that also surrounds that passenger air-vent? That was one of the things (along with the two-tone) that sold me on the interior...I really liked that. I agree on the narrow flip-up compartment between the front seats.....but I usually don't use that compartment very often, except to carry a spare COV-ID mask as a back-up, in case I forget and go out of the house without my regular mask.


Oh, and, BTW....the simplest way to tell if it is an Essence-trim or not is the steering wheel. In the Essence version, it will be both heated and leather-covered, both features missing from lower trim levels, even with packages. But what does come in lower-level versions is still surprisingly good.
 
Last edited:

Joaquin Ruhi

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,532
Reaction score
2,431
Thanks for the report. 🙂 Maybe Buick has made some running changes for 2021 on the amount of insulation from that low-speed engine growl....you could definitely hear it on the last 2020 version I test-drove.
I'm pretty sure it's a 2020. The press fleet guys forgot to include a copy of the Monroney sticker with the Encore GX but said they had it in the office and would email a copy.

As far as complaining about the interior surfaces, did you notice that nice polished light-gray carbon-fiber-texture strip on the upper-dash...the one that also surrounds that passenger air-vent? That was one of the things (along with the two-tone) that sold me on the interior...I really liked that.
Yes, absolutely. I should've mentioned that. And the leather-wrapped steering wheel is of high quality and very well done. And all of that echoes my impressions of the Chevy Bolt EV interior: unique, light-colored "technical" polished accents that look great and very high-tech and contemporary and a nice break from the usual wood, piano black or brushed-metal look. It makes all the other so-so graining and gloss of the dark interior plastics all the more jarring (notably worse in the Chevy Bolt than in the Buick).

Another of the pioneers in these alternative light interior accent finishes is the current Nissan Murano (that one skews a bit more marble-ish), It, too, is very nicely executed..
 
Top