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2022 Buick Encore GX Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Buick Encore GX Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Preferred vs Select and Essence

Compare the 2022 Buick Encore GX Trims - Preferred vs Select and Essence. What is the difference between them?

The 2022 Buick Encore GX is a subcompact crossover SUV with room for five people. It may be small, but it's not the smallest vehicle in its class. It comes in at 171.4-inches long, 64.1-inches high and 71.4-inches wide. This little SUV has a wheelbase of 102.2 inches. There's 23.5 cubic-feet of cargo space, and this can be expanded up to 50.2 cubic-feet by folding down the rear seats.

The Encore GX is a practical and attractive vehicle. The interior is equally attractive, well-designed and quite comfortable. There are three trim levels to choose from. All are reasonably priced and well-equipped, making the Encore GX a great value purchase. The Encore GX is powered by two different engines depending on the trim level.

Buick offers this SUV with either a 1.2-liter or a 1.3-liter engine. These are both Ecotec turbocharged engines with three cylinders. For anyone balking at the idea of only three cylinders, consider that this is a small vehicle that weighs just under 3,100 pounds. These engines have what it takes to provide quick acceleration and strong passing power for a vehicle of this size.

Here's a closer look at all three of the trim levels for the 2022 Buick Encore GX. Each trim level will be compared to the others in order to highlight their differences. This will hopefully assist potential buyers in deciding which trim level to choose.

Compare the Preferred vs Select Trims. What is the difference?

The first trim level for the 2022 Buick Encore GX is called the Preferred model. It gets the base 1.2-liter turbocharged engine. This engine provides 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. It also offers a Stop/Start system with a cutoff switch. This helps to improve fuel efficiency by stopping the internal-combustion motor when it's just idling, and then starting it again when needed.

The Preferred model of the Encore GX has a CVT that eschews the gears of a traditional automatic transmission. It instead uses a system of belts and pulleys for smooth, seamless power transfer. All three trim levels of the Encore GX are available in front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) variations. Models with AWD have improved handling and better performance on wet or slick pavement.

The EPA has estimated the fuel efficiency of the 1.2-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine. It should get close to 29 miles-per-gallon when zipping around town. At highway speeds, it can reach up to 31 miles-per-gallon. Those numbers drop slightly for models equipped with AWD.

The next trim level up after the Preferred is called the Select model. Both vehicles share the same engine and transmission. There are several mechanical features that come standard on both models. They both get anti-lock disc brakes for all four wheels. There's also Automatic Emergency Braking, which works together with the vehicle's Forward Collision Alert system.

Both models get an electronic parking brake. There's a brake-wear indicator so the owner always knows when it;s time to get new brake pads. A Front Pedestrian Braking system detects people in front of the vehicle and applies the brakes as needed. All three trim levels have a fully independent suspension that's fine-tuned for excellent handling and a smooth ride.

Electronic power steering is a stock feature for both the Preferred and Select trim levels. One of the great, high-tech features for this vehicle is GM's StabiliTrak system. This is an electronic, stability-control system that enhances handling. It's especially useful for keeping the vehicle on its intended path during emergency maneuvers. The system also features built-in traction control.

The standard trailering equipment for the Encore GX includes a 4-wire harness and 4-pin connector. There's an optional trailer hitch. Depending on the model, the drive-train and the engine, the Encore GX can tow up to 1,000 pounds. Every trim level also gets keyless push-button start, driver shift control and an air-filtration monitor for the engine.

There really isn't a difference between these two trim levels, mechanically speaking. The Select trim has the option to swap out the base engine for a 1.3-liter engine. This might be a good option for those who love the feature set of the Select trim, but who also want more horsepower under the hood. This may be a bit less expensive than just opting for the top trim level.

When it comes to the exterior features, both of these trim levels have halogen headlamps and taillights. There are LED fog lamps and daytime-running lamps. The headlamps have an automatic on/off feature. Both trims also get IntelliBeam automatic high-beams. There's also an LED, high-mounted, center brake light.

The Preferred trim gets a set of 18-inch aluminum wheels and some all-season tires. The wheels are painted in Bright Silver. The Select trim has 18-inch machined-aluminum wheels with pockets that are painted in a color Buick calls Dark Android. This trim level also gets all-season tires.

Buick throws in a spare wheel and a mechanical jack with some tools. There are intermittent wipers up front, with a single intermittent wiper for the rear window. There's a solar-absorbing, laminated, acoustic-glass windshield. All other windows get deep-tinted glass. The Select trim gets some side-rails for the roof with optional cross-bars.

All three models of the 2022 Buick Encore GX are constructed with QuietTuning™ technology. This is a combination of technologies for superior sound-proofing of the vehicle. The Preferred and Select trims have some chrome trim and moldings. There are heated outside mirrors that are also power-adjustable. Both trims have a manual liftgate with a fixed-glass rear window.

Moving on to the interior features, both trims have a 4-way manual front-passenger's seat. This can be folded down flat for some extra cargo space when needed. The Preferred trim has a 6-way manual driver's seat, while the Select trim offers a 10-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support. Select models also get heated seats up front.

There's a split-folding bench seat in the back in a 40/60 configuration. This can also be folded down for increased cargo space. There's a six-speaker audio system for both models. Both models get Buick's standard infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen. This system features Bluetooth streaming for music and multiple USB ports for connection or charging.

The Buick infotainment system has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, provided the owner has a compatible smartphone. The infotainment system also offers a WiFi hotspot to keep everyone connected and entertained while riding in the Encore GX. All three trim levels are Buick® Connected Access capable.

The Preferred trim gets basic heat and air-conditioning. The Select models have a dual-zone, automatic climate-control system to keep everyone comfortable. An HVAC duct channels cool or warm air to the backseat passengers. Every trim gets power windows, power door locks and cruise control.

The gauge cluster has a 4.2-inch color driver-information center. The interior features an active noise-cancelling system for a quiet and peaceful ride. There are overhead, courtesy reading lights, a center roof light and a rear courtesy light. The cargo compartment has lighting as well. All models of the Encore GX have the standard LATCH system for securing child safety seats.

Speaking of safety, the Encore GX has a standard airbag system with front, knee and side-mounted bags for the driver and front passenger. There is also a head-curtain airbag system for the front and rear passengers. All models get Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Automatic Emergency Braking and a rear-vision camera.

There's a Tire-Pressure Monitor for all three trim levels of the Encore GX. There's also a Distance-Following Indicator to make sure the driver maintains a safe distance from the vehicle that's ahead of them. All trims get a Lane-Keeping Assist feature with a Lane-Departure Warning and child-safety locks for the back doors.

Buick is a GM vehicle, and currently GM is installing a handy Teen Driver system on all of their vehicles. This means that all three trim levels of the 2022 Buick Encore GX will receive this technology. The Teen Driver system provides feedback on the driving habits of inexperienced drivers. It also allows the owner to enable or disable certain vehicle features and then attach those settings to a key FOB for the younger driver.

Compare the Select vs Essence Trims. What is the difference?

The top trim level for the 2022 Buick Encore GX is called the Essence. The first major change for this trim level is that it gets the more-powerful 1.3-liter engine. This 1.3-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine produces 155 horsepower with 174 pound-feet of torque. It still comes with the automatic CVT that was installed on the first two trim levels. Most of the remaining mechanical features stay the same as those found on the Select trim.

On the outside, the Essence has the same 18-inch wheels and tires as the Select trim. The Essence swaps out the halogen headlamps for a set of LED headlights with automatic on/off and a delay feature. The taillights are also upgraded to LED models for this trim level. The front and rear bumpers now have chrome accents. The body-side molding now comes in a Black Carbon Metallic color.

The interior features, safety features and driver-assist technology all carry over from the Select trim, except where an upgrade has been made. The Essence trim has a few extras as well. The front-passenger seat is upgraded to an 8-way power seat with lumbar support. This trim level also offers a 120-volt power outlet.

The Essence trim level has an extra electric auxiliary heater for defrosting. There's an in-vehicle air ionizer. The Essence features a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather-appointed seat trim. There is now a memory feature that can save settings for the driver's seat and exterior mirrors. This trim also gets a universal home remote that can access garage doors, security systems and more.

Essence models of the 2022 Buick Encore GX get the same airbag system as the previous two trim levels. The remaining safety features are mostly unchanged. The rear-view camera can be exchanged for an optional HD surround-vision camera. There's an available Side Blind-Zone Alert. This trim also gets the option for Automatic Parking Assist with Braking.

On the entertainment side of things, the Essence trim has the same 6-speaker audio setup as before. This can be upgraded to a premium system by Bose with seven speakers. The infotainment center can also be upgraded to include a GPS navigation system. This is an excellent upgrade that can help the driver to find their every destination.

Final Thoughts

The 2022 Buick Encore GX is a solid subcompact SUV. It has a lot to offer at a good starting price. While there's never too big of a price increase between trim levels, the jump between the Select and Essence models is significant enough that it may make a difference in someone's decision. For most buyers, the cost increase will be worth it for the increased horsepower alone, not to mention all of the great additional convenience features. This is why it's easy to recommend the Essence trim level as the best choice of the three.

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Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2021 Buick Encore Trime Levels