Compared: 2023 Buick Encore GX vs. 2023 GMC Terrain

These stylish SUVs offer comfort and tech in two sizes.

Buick | GMC

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The 2023 Buick Encore GX is the larger, more luxurious replacement for the original Encore subcompact SUV. Although the bump in dimensions makes the Encore GX a more practical option than its predecessor, it's clearly still a small vehicle. Buyers might consider going up a size and could perhaps even cross-shop the Buick with its corporate cousin, the 2023 GMC Terrain, which can often be found on the same dealer lot. The Terrain is larger and more expensive, but depending on your priorities, it might not be the better choice.

In this article we'll compare the two in three key categories: price, features, and efficiency.


2023 Buick Encore GX vs. 2023 GMC Terrain: Price

The Encore GX starts around $27,000, or $4,000 less than the Terrain's base price of roughly $31,000. Both come standard with front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is available for $2,000 on the Encore GX and $1,600 on the Terrain SLE and SLT trims. AWD is standard on the Terrain's top two trims, the AT4 and Denali, which start around $37,000 and $40,000, respectively. The Encore GX, on the other hand, starts at about $34,000 for the Essence trim with AWD.

That price can climb quickly if you add extras such as the $1,500 Buick Experience package, which gets you unique wheels and a panoramic sunroof, and the more than $1,900 Advanced Technology package, which adds adaptive cruise control, navigation, rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, and head-up display.


The Terrain also offers a number of packages that vary in price and content, depending on trim. Notable packages include the $400 Terrain Pro Safety Plus package (offered on every model except the Denali), which adds adaptive cruise control and rear parking sensors, and the $1,200 Infotainment Package II for the SLT and AT4 trim levels, which gets you navigation, a touchscreen, and a Bose audio system.


2023 Buick Encore GX vs. 2023 GMC Terrain: Features

The base Encore GX comes well equipped, offering 18-inch wheels, push-button ignition, active noise cancellation, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic high beams, forward collision intervention, and lane departure warning as standard.

If you want real leather, you have to move up to the Essence model, which also gets you LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, and heated front seats with memory settings.


The Terrain doesn't match the GX’s upscale vibe in base form, but it’s still well equipped, bringing to the table such standard features as 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, hands-free keyless entry, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, forward collision intervention, and lane-departure warning.

Every model except the base SLE gets the 8.0-inch touchscreen standard. A leather interior is standard on the SLT trim and above, as is dual-zone climate control, a hands-free liftgate, and a high-definition backup camera. The Denali model ramps up the luxe factor with standard wireless phone charging, a head-up display, blind-spot monitoring system, and seven-speaker Bose audio.


2023 Buick Encore GX vs. 2023 GMC Terrain: Fuel Economy

The Encore GX has two available drivetrains, while the Terrain has just one. Encore buyers can choose between two turbocharged three-cylinder engines: a 1.2-liter that makes 137 hp and a 1.3-liter good for 155 hp. Both are paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission and are estimated to get 30 mpg in front-wheel-drive guise, according to the EPA. With all-wheel drive, which is only available with the 1.3-liter, the Encore GX gets an estimated 27 mpg.


All Terrain SUVs are equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 175 hp and comes paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Adding AWD doesn't bring much of a gas mileage penalty, as the Terrain is EPA-rated at 26 mpg combined regardless of how many wheels it’s driving.

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Alex Nishimoto
Alex Nishimoto is a Los Angeles-based writer with 15 years experience covering the auto industry. He spent much of his career as an editor on staff at a major automotive magazine, testing cars, writing articles, and assisting on segment-defining comparison tests. When he's not writing about cars, he's wrenching on his E30-generation BMW 325is, which he's owned since college and plans to restore one day.